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Hello! I live in Florida and I do Jumpers. Recently, my sister and I want to switch trainers/barns. We want to switch because there are only group lessons and they always have a ton of people in them, we aren't advancing in our riding, our trainer really doesn't teach us anything, there aren't a lot of school horses to ride, and our trainer isn't the kindest. We volunteer there three times a week. We used to get free lessons and free hacks but ever since she got more riders, she said we have to pay full price for lessons and no more free hacks. She also said no more to those things because we're sometimes not there all three days. But that's because we are busy or sick. We've become really close with all the workers and her family. My sister and I ride the bus and go to school with her son, and we don't want him to hate us. She is NOT very understanding. The last person who moved, she didn't take it very well and wasn't very nice about it. We've also looked at multiple other barns and we found one that we really like. So, how do we tell her that we are switching without her blowing up at us and without her son hating us?
 

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First off...do you own your own horses? So, then if you do you are leaving her as boarders and students...

Unless you are "grown adults" and riding a school bus with her son tells me "NO"...your parents should be going with you when you inform her of your decision.
As minors and those amenities like riding expenses are not usually totally under your financial ability...some moral support and adult intervention is appropriate.

As for telling her....it really is simple.
"Mrs. XYZ, we've come to you to let you know we will not be riding here under your instruction anymore. Period"
....nothing more is needed to be added.
Everyone thinks they need to elaborate, you don't.
It is a personal decision, the less said the better.

If "Mrs. XYZ" asks why...just tell her your needs have changed. You enjoyed riding at her barn.
Don't elaborate, it isn't necessary.

The less said the better in many instances.
Is she going to be mad, probably...she is losing income and her work horses(you) who she depended upon to do her dirty work.
Without you saying a word, if she is astute she already knows she has changed in her attitude and riding privileges towards you.
That is now going to bite her in the butt...sounds like her need to take on more students than mounts and changing the barter system of work for riding... she knows what she did, and you know what you need doing.
You also did not keep your end of the bargain though if you agreed to "work" 3 days a week and for whatever reason did not, then you did not "earn" the right to that free lesson. A deal is a deal....
Her attitude and way of treating/speaking to you though should never of been tolerated by you, or by your parents from day one!!
Your parents are your advocates, for good or bad reasons...they also have/had a responsibility in all of this too.

Besides all of that.... if she gets mad, isn't nice or whatever... it really makes no difference as you are leaving. Her son, it isn't his place to be mad either...
Her attitude will probably make your leaving a easy thing...with how you write she speaks and treats you lately..:think:

Don't tell others either before you speak with her...sucks learning things via the rumor mill last instead of first.
:wink:
 

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Horselovingguy offered some great advice - your parents need to take the lead here, and you need to stay silent no matter what she says to or about you.

While it's wonderful that you have a close relationship with the folks at your barn, the relationship with a trainer is a professional one; when riders are unhappy with the service they paid for, it is their prerogative as clients to depart, and your trainer knows this is the nature of the training business. An understanding trainer will ask for your feedback to try to improve their services, but she may not fall into this category. You weren't extremely clear about what the riding arrangement was between you, so it is possible she feels that you did not hold up your end of the "volunteering" bargain - in which case, I hope she would have addressed that with you directly, rather than causing you to wonder what changed.

This is a great opportunity for you and your sister to learn to hold your heads high, silently, with grace, as you maneuver a difficult relationship. Also keep in mind that the horse community is a small one and individual barns are even smaller - if you give your word that you will volunteer or do something a certain amount of time, keep it. If you can't commit to something, then politely and respectfully say that you cannot commit at that time.... less a horse lesson and more a life lesson, but something it took me years in the military to learn myself, that would have made relationships a lot easier and more clear, had I learned it sooner.

Good luck! Please let us know how things turn out, and enjoy your new barn :)
 
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