The Horse Forum banner

121 - 139 of 139 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,533 Posts
I screwed up
It think these words sum it up.

The trainer gave you a huge red flag of not working with your horse for the first 15 days. I would have brought my horse home THEN. And I wouldn't keep sending the trainer money if I didn't think they were meeting certain expectations. Text messages are NOT a good way to moniter your horse's progress. Every horse is going to progress differently in training, and you often don't know how they are going to progress until you start working with them. I've had some colts that I entered in shows in 30 days, some that were still in the round pen at 30 days, and some that I ended up selling at 30 days because I was sick of dealing with their nasty bucking (there's too many good horses to deal with ill-tempered ones).

Yes, you got ripped off by your trainer. But you really didn't do much to help yourself from that. Hard lesson learned.

You've been complaining that you don't have time (nor want to deal with) a green "unbroke" 4-yr-old colt at this point in time. Nothing wrong with that, but instead of sending him for training for $1300 or $1800, why didn't you give him away and buy a 7-yr-old trained trail horse for $1500? (Easy to find right about now, with the way the market is.) Or why did you even take him on a trade in the first place, when you could have gotten cash for whatever it was that you sold? For the end goal you wanted, you really did not set yourself up for success. Again, hard lesson learned.

And just kinda curious since you've mentioned time and time again throughout this thread about ALL the horses you've trained successfully, and continue to insinuate that you can do better than this trainer did ..... How long has your horse been back, and what have you accomplished in that time frame? Are you going to be able to walk, trot, canter, direct rein, move off pressure, and pick up his feet in 45 days? (Although we know he still can't pick up his feet, because you said the farrier took an hour to do his feet. That is YOUR responsibility to teach; not the poor farrier.)

Probably not.

And clearly you are now seeing that your horse isn't going to be an easy one to train, like all the others. Every horse is different.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,228 Posts
^It was my understanding that OP was not actively visiting the horse while he was in training, and only later found out that he hadn't been worked for the first fifteen days?

Also, she has mentioned that she got her horses to w/t/c nicely under saddle within forty five. Maybe she just doesn't have the time?


I'm still so appalled that we are reprimanding the OP as opposed to the trainer. Maybe I'm stuck in the past but, to me, a contract is a contract. If I pay for something, that's what I'll be getting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,533 Posts
I'm still so appalled that we are reprimanding the OP as opposed to the trainer. Maybe I'm stuck in the past but, to me, a contract is a contract. If I pay for something, that's what I'll be getting.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where people aren't always honest. That's why you've got to watch your own back. No, it shouldn't be that way, but it is.

Yes, a contract is a contract but I doubt it was actually written on paper that the trainer 100% money-back-guaranteed that the horse would do x,y,z at the end of 45 days. We all know that horses are unpredictable and it would be impossible to legally enforce such a contract.

If you allow yourself to taken advantage of (whether or not you know better), it's just one of life's many lessons. Move on and learn from it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
579 Posts
Discussion Starter #124
It think these words sum it up.

The trainer gave you a huge red flag of not working with your horse for the first 15 days. I would have brought my horse home THEN. And I wouldn't keep sending the trainer money if I didn't think they were meeting certain expectations.
She did work with him for the first 15 days. There was a 2 week period in the middle where she admitted that she did not.


You've been complaining that you don't have time (nor want to deal with) a green "unbroke" 4-yr-old colt at this point in time. Nothing wrong with that, but instead of sending him for training for $1300 or $1800, why didn't you give him away and buy a 7-yr-old trained trail horse for $1500? (Easy to find right about now, with the way the market is.) Or why did you even take him on a trade in the first place, when you could have gotten cash for whatever it was that you sold? For the end goal you wanted, you really did not set yourself up for success. Again, hard lesson learned.
Maybe I'm wrong here, but though I'd never used a trainer before I thought that sending a horse to a trainer was a viable option? No time or location to do it myself, why not pay someone else to do it? Other people do that all the time. I AM in a position now this winter to break him (which I am doing). However, at the beginning of this summer I was not - due to time and location constraints.

I took him in trade because at that point in my life I was in a position to start him a year later. However, circumstances changed. Yes, I could have sold him. I admit I was a bit attached - what is an unbroken unregistered 4 year old going to go for? meat. I felt like I owed him something since it's MY circumstances that let him sit untouched until he was four

And just kinda curious since you've mentioned time and time again throughout this thread about ALL the horses you've trained successfully, and continue to insinuate that you can do better than this trainer did ..... How long has your horse been back, and what have you accomplished in that time frame? Are you going to be able to walk, trot, canter, direct rein, move off pressure, and pick up his feet in 45 days? (Although we know he still can't pick up his feet, because you said the farrier took an hour to do his feet. That is YOUR responsibility to teach; not the poor farrier.)
Since he has been back I had to leave for work again, however I did have a month to work him. In the first week he got to where you can easily handle all four of his feet with no problems. My dad trimmed and shoed him before our hunting trip with zero issues, I was very proud of Atlas :) After that first week or so of working with his feet and doing groundwork I took him to the bush.

After the pack trip (11 days) I only got on him twice before I got sent out of province for work. Those rides were just at a walk. However he is long reining well, giving to the bit, and moving off of hand pressure. NONE of which he was doing when I got him back.

Like I mentioned, I'm gone now so haven't worked him again but will be starting again once I'm home. Amazingly, I thought I had a "very difficult" horse, but everything went VERY smoothly once I had the time to start working him

Yes, there is not a doubt in my mind that accomplished more than the lady I paid. I mention the colts that I have started in order to make it clear that I am not a complete noob when it comes to starting horses.

In the end, it's all good! Lesson learned. I GOT RIPPED OFF. But I shouldn't have trusted her like I did either. Atlas is doing well now and he's quickly becoming my little sweetheart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
579 Posts
Discussion Starter #125
Unfortunately, we live in a society where people aren't always honest. That's why you've got to watch your own back. No, it shouldn't be that way, but it is.

Yes, a contract is a contract but I doubt it was actually written on paper that the trainer 100% money-back-guaranteed that the horse would do x,y,z at the end of 45 days. We all know that horses are unpredictable and it would be impossible to legally enforce such a contract.
Actually, the expectations WERE written on paper. We did re-hash everything that had been talked about at the time that I was signing the contract and I did write these things down on the paper. But you're right, it would be pretty darn hard to legally do anything about it.

I'm not sure WHAT I would do differently next time except just plain not ever send a horse to a trainer again unless I know them personally.

I did speak to several different trainers, asked for recommendations from people, etc. I got a bad feeling from several of the trainers I spoke to. There were a couple who I liked but were booked up. There were a couple who said they needed me to call a day before I stopped over (red flag!). So, I went with Amy because she claimed to have an absolutely open-door policy, told me again and again how honest she is, etc. I got a good feeling even though I don't know anyone who has used her. Her prices were not any lower than any of the other trainers I looked into (price was not an issue when I was researching trainers, I looked at that AFTER)

I am NOT from Alberta or Saskatchewan (where I was living this summer, and where I wanted to find a trainer) which makes it 10x harder to find someone.

I absolutely should have stopped in to visit more often. I know that. And excuses are just excuses but I was living 3 hours away (so a total of 6 driving), and I foolishly relied on texts and phone calls for updates. Again, I trusted her too much and she definitely took advantage of that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,228 Posts
I guess I was just raised differently than to say "I got ripped off. Oh well, my fault!" and just leave it at that. I think people should be honest.

I do understand that horses are unpredictable. But, if things weren't going according to plan, then it is her duty (as a trainer that is being paid, UNDER CONTRACT) to contact the owner and explain that things aren't progressing the way that she would like, and then discuss with the owner the proper course of action. Whether that means some of her money back, an extension of time, or new goals... That would be for them to decide.

I guess I'm just sick of dishonest people in the industry, and then everyone saying "you should have known better".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,533 Posts
OP: The good trainers ARE going to booked out quite in advance. It usually makes me raise my eyebrows if a trainer says they can get them in immediately. The few times I have used a trainer, I called a year ahead of time to get my name on the list and get my horse in when I wanted. But they do good work and they are worth the waiting for.

I apologize for mis-reading your post, but I guess it would make me even more suspicious with red flags if she stopped working with him in the middle of it all, unless she had made you aware ahead of time that she was going to be gone on vacation or something of that nature (which doesn't sound like the case).

Did you actually get any references from friends for this Amy lady? Or just looked her up? I know you said you had references for other trainers who had a long wait list. For myself personally, I do a lot of background on a trainer before my horse goes there.

Zexious: I'm not saying the trainer wasn't crooked. I don't think anyone is saying that. But simply texting back and forth with the trainer is no way to ensure your horse is being taken care of or trained. That's where the OP went wrong and she already knows it. You've got to actually visit your horse on a regular basis. Yes, people are supposed to be honest. But some aren't. Different story if you've used the same trainer for years and know them well; then you may not need to stop in on a regular basis. But using a trainer for the first time? Yes, you need to stop in frequently. And if all you did was text instead and the trainer said "Yeah they are doing great!" well you can't really blame yourself too much for getting taken. It's quite easy to manipulate and lie to someone when you never see them in person. And sometimes you will still be lied to your face. This is not only true in the horse world, but absolutely true in real life. Sad what our society has become, but it is what it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
This thread is interesting but absolutely exhausting to read and keep up with. I am truly shocked at how many people have beat up on the OP for things ranging from not taking more time to work with her horse (the amount of time she works with the horse is her choice and dependent on her life and her circumstances, as long as the horse is happy and healthy and being cared for, I don't believe it's a horrible awful thing to leave a youngster in a field with little or no work as long as the owner has a plan for the horse's future, which the OP does) to having unrealistic expectations when she made the choice to invest in a trainer (as many many people have already stated, the OP's expectations were not at all unrealistic), and many other things in between.

I won't continue to restate opinions that have already been stated here. However, I must say, the thing that really shocks me is how unsupportive and sometimes downright close-minded so many people have been on this thread. In the horse world, I have found that so much can be gained by being open-minded. So much can be lost by being close-minded. There is more than one way to do most things. What one person wants, another person might not want. What one person pays, another person might not need to pay. What one horse needs, another horse might not need. There are so many factors, and it seems like people are forgetting that.

The OP has kept this horse well-fed and healthy. She realized she wasn't able to give him the time he needed as far as his training is concerned, so she made the choice to invest in a trainer. By doing those things, she is doing leaps and bounds more than most horse owners in the world do! Mistakes were made, but the important thing is that she did right by the horse and the horse is currently making progress and in a good place. WHY can't we focus on that and keep the negativity to a minimum?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
579 Posts
Discussion Starter #130
OP: The good trainers ARE going to booked out quite in advance. It usually makes me raise my eyebrows if a trainer says they can get them in immediately. The few times I have used a trainer, I called a year ahead of time to get my name on the list and get my horse in when I wanted. But they do good work and they are worth the waiting for.
No doubt about this! If I EVER do it again, I'd go with someone who does have a waiting list. It's still hard to know though when you're going in blind like me. I live in the Yukon, went to school in southern Alberta, worked this summer in northern Saskatchewan and am now in BC. I never know where I'm going to be a few months down the road. When I found out I was going to SK this summer I was left without a place to start Atlas. It was either sell him or send him to a trainer. I searched forums for recommendations, asked on here, and asked my family in Alberta but basically didn't come up with anything viable. From that point I pretty much had to go with gut feeling. I tried to do background on a couple different trainers but I guess with me being new to the game or SOMETHING I was unable to turn up anything helpful.

I KNOW I should have stopped in more and I sure as hell would have if there was any way that I possibly could. Phone calls to her reassured me that he was doing well and things were going relatively to plan. Not the case!

I wasted my money. It's partially my fault that I got ripped off, but it's HER fault that she ripped me off, I don't see how anyone can look at that any other way. I did attempt to contact her after I got him back and NEVER heard back from her. It ****es me off because this chick makes her living off of training and lessons.

My first clue should have been the one time that I DID stop in to visit and she kept calling him a mustang in front of other people hahahaha. I'd TOLD her that he was a draft/paint mix lol.

Anyway, it sucks that I had to leave home for work again because I'm going to have to re-start with him when I get back, but it is what it is.

In other news - one more reason I'm proud of him, he is GUTSY. Nothing on the trail phased him much after the first day, he'd cross anything, climb over anything, and go through anything. He broke a 4" tree off with his pack box and didn't even think twice about it lol, and creek crossings that some of the other horses were jittery about were no big deal - he'd just leap over them (not good to have a pack horse who jumps stuff but oh well hah) When it came to swimming the big river at the beginning and end of the trip I was worried that there was NO way he was going in... but he bailed in like an absolute champ! I just threw the shank over his back and away he went.


swimming.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
579 Posts
Discussion Starter #131
I guess that in the end I hope this thread saves someone else from making a mistake. I still believe that this was a pretty crappy way for a professional to run a business, and I DO still believe that (as the thread title says) I wasted $1300. But it's done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,703 Posts
Faye, really?? Killed me? If that is the case then he must be a true glue factory horse! (that's a joke...and no, he would not of killed me...he would have been dog tired at the end of the first day though...as would've I) .
No you wouldnt have, you would at the least have been in hospital if you took your normal approach with him. Most people have told me to have him shot and the BEST trainer in the UK who only ever takes on RANK and problem horses took 9 weeks to even have him walking and trotting under saddle (and yes he originaly went away for 6 weeks I was wanting w,t,c under saddle, took 9 weeks and only w,t achieved but I'm well versed enough in horses to know when it goes wrong it takes more time)

To give you an idea of the horses my trainer takes on, she only ever has 3 in at a time, when Reeco was there the 2 others that were there were a 16.2hh warmblood with potential to go to 3* eventing (international level) that a major international rider had brought in to her, they couldnt break it in (and they have broken some quirky stuff in) and when they tried to long rien it, it bolted out through the wall of the indoor school, through the closed gate, 6 miles up the A62 (dual carriage way with 70mph limit) bounced off several cars along the way and ended up in a field bound up in its lines and still thrashing, as it was so valuable that at this point they sent it to my trainer.
The other horse she had there was 15.2hh and had taken to throwing itself over backwards everytime it was asked to do anything.


My horse often tried to kill himself rather than cooperate with us. He galloped head first into a brick wall the first time a saddle was put on him, fracturing his skull. My trainer has 10ft panels on her round pen, he tried to go over the top of them and then through them (and succeeded in going through).

He was not dangerous to handle on the floor in any way shape or form, he could be handled by small children, he was bitted and he lunged like a dream before he was sent to her. He was not spoilt as I cant stand spoilt horses, he wouldnt dream of coming for you with feet or hooves, infact i'm fairly sure it never crossed his mind that he could.

Now, with a lot of time and patience my horse is out competing at national level and holding his own (well not right this second, right now he is probably engaging in his favorite pasttime or digging himself a wallowing hole and pretending to be a hippo)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,320 Posts
But Faye, you were told by your trainers that he was going to need more time. I've done that myself, told a customer what I can normally get done in a set amount of time only to call them a few days later and tell them that some behavior had popped up and caused the training to stop progressing.

The point is, the trainer needs to make the owner aware of something like that, not just wait until the end of the time, take the money, and then make excuses about how "they didn't have time" or "the horse has a behavioral problem" when they return a horse that isn't rideable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
Faye, yes, if, after a day or so I would know if he was going to be somewhat "normal"...then I would not have guaranteed he would safely w/t/c after 30 days; I did have a horse that rared up everytime she was asked to trot/canter....I told the owner I would need an extra 5-10 days and would charge them an extra $100/week(plus feed) until she was safe....

I am still a bit perplexed by your focus on me getting killed or put in the hospital...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
Yes, they were. The horse will take far longer than 6 weeks to be broke, regardless of how much $ you pay. And if some cowboy wants to bronc out the horse in a week for $100 then all the power to him, but the horse will still not be broke.

I get irked because this is the prevailing attitude and it wrecks horses and makes trainers lives not fun. When owners expect a show ready horse in 2 months it is not realistic, but of course the customer is always right...
Not picking on you, just be realistic with your expectations. Should a toddler read at a Grade 4 level in 6 weeks?
Posted via Mobile Device
I agree with what you've said. Being realistic keeps us, for the most part, because accidents do happen, from being disappointed.

But I bolded this because, funny thing is, I was one of those toddlers. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
I agree with what you've said. Being realistic keeps us, for the most part, because accidents do happen, from being disappointed.

But I bolded this because, funny thing is, I was one of those toddlers. :)
I get irked at folks that don't read and then address something totally differnt from the original post...the horse was supposed to be rideable and w/t/c safely .... NOT be a premier show horse/finished bridle horse...

There are numerous trainers, ranches, etc.(check out the WYO ranch sale horses -- they are riding them at all speeds, safely, out on the OPEN range after 3 days....they do it EVERY year with DIFFERENT apprentices helping under the same head trainer...and their horses are very prized possessions); it is VERY rare that a horse can't be made to ride at all gates, safely, with a loose rein or collected, move off the legs, stop well, yeild the hind and forequarters, stand ground tied, and walk out in any terrain/environment. The fact that you feel this somehow is NOT the standard is what, in my opinion, is "ruining" some horses, not the other way around. It's folks that treat the animals like dogs, or children that get them into trouble.

And not that it matters, but most folks don't "bronc" horses out anymore...but, when they did, it was out of necessity and lack of time; however, most of those horses were solid since after they were broke the first day they were ridden out over the range for a few days straight, a week of riding the range, chasing cows, mending fence, fixing pens, etc. is worth 2-3 months of ground work/walking around an arena...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
Yea, I know it's all been said, by 2 cents is 2 cents.

The going rate for a good trainer (around here), with good reputation, open door policy and years of experience is about $500/month (including board). To start a colt, they generally want 2 months time for a foundation (though are generally backing them within 1 month, usually a week or 2 depending on the horse). You can get decent (though less experienced) for 300$ (English trainers are $650, but they aren't popular around here, so I don't know what to expect)

For a "solid" start, the average is about 90 days. Horses in this time (again, average) get a decent handle on a loose rein, decent stop, yielding front/behind, moving away from pressure, trailering, feet handled, backing up, exposure to shows and obstacles and introduction to what discipline you are trying for. (Even if you don't plan on showing your horse most will tag clients' horses along for the experience). They may begin more "advanced" skills if the horse is ready. (And yes, ground work is done in beginning and throughout training, and in addition to riding.)

If there are problems, the TRAINER needs to say so. Period. I don't expect a trainer to have the time to send me a minute by minute account of progress (I would expect them to be training), but I would expect to know if any issues arise- whether it's weather or behavioral issues- or an exceptionally good or bad day, and the occasional heads up on progress, good or bad.

Again, all skills may not be PERFECTED in that time period. Some horses do better than others, some are better at certain activities, less graceful at others. But I don't think that it is at all unreasonable to expect a decent foundation on a horse in 2 months- whether touched or not, and should be manageable by an experienced person to finish out, and pretty confident at 90 (Unless the horse is just a complete wreck of a horse, but this horse sounds no different than 90% of the horses that are generally sent off to trainers- at least your average backyard type). I wouldn't expect much in less time, but from what the OP explains I think what she was told (and expected) were perfectly reasonable.

BTW- I'm glad he's doing well and coming along.
 
121 - 139 of 139 Posts
Top