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Calming Tea

Horse People- is this the usual thing?

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We are with a new trainer...who is very opinionated (even by trainer standards she goes far and away above)  However, we respect and like her.  She really does try hard, work hard, does with with horse, and I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. But more than *anyone*  I've met in my *entire* life, she thinks that her way is RIGHT and everyone else is WRONG- about training, nutrition, feeds, everything.  

Now, we've decided to just take her knowledge, filter it, research it, see if we agree and then put it to practice if we agree..

Now before we ever started with this trainer, we signed up for a bring your own horse camp with another trainer at the same facility, who we have known for a long time and really really love.  This trainer graciously shares her students is ZERO drama, and respects other trainers and doesn't step on toes.  She is truly amazing. 

But our current trainer, told the Horse Camp trainer, exactly what my daughter can and cannot do with her horse, which is even more limited than what she has her doing and that's pretty limited.  Without telling us.

So My daughter went into this English camp thinking she would trot and jump over jumps, and canter, according to the discretion of the Horse Camp trainers (who have been training horses and kids for ages upon ages) ...my daughter arrived and was in the middle of her lesson when she was gently told that Curren Trainer told Camp Trainer, absolutely no this and no that and no this and no that.

I think she should have told Camp Trainer, hey just FYI this horse bucked a few times after jumping and we aren't really sure why and left it up to the discretion of the Camp Trainer (my daughter has a motorcycle style release air vest) ...but instead she told her NO this and NO that.  Her reasoning, after speaking with her is safety which I appreciate.

However, I feel like she should have let us know.  That is all I addressed, not that she spoke to her, and not even that she told Camp Trainer what to do in her own camp.  Just, that she should have let us know.  Then we could have discussed it.  

She was extremely angry and ended up screaming at me for quite a while- I mean it went really badly- before I finally got her to calm down and just accept that in future I'd like to discuss things, not have them dictated to us and others.  That's all.  And int he very least I'd like to know.  She was not happy but in the end decided to agree to that.

Is this the usual thing to do when a kid and horse under your training go elsewhere? 

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This is only usual in instances where you are dealing with narcissistic personalities. She was wrong, as was the camp trainer, for deciding on her own to take the trainer's demand without speaking to you and giving you the option of getting your money back. 

I would most certainly find a new place to ride horses.

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Yes Current Trainer is definitely wrong.  I am glad I am not alone in all of this.

BUT Camp Trainer did nothing wrong. She 100% thought we knew.  My dd shared that she was truly shocked when she said Current Trainer hadn't told them that.  They assumed the horse was very dangerous.  They also have to walk a fine line as they really love and care about my dd and don't want to cause problems with her for her new trainer.

I wish I had gone back to Camp Trainer as trainer!!! It's a long story why we didn't - we just thought our horse couldnt' do English, but it turns out he was getting sour with Western Pleasure and a change of disciplines is actually really making him happy...

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 I guess Current Trainer has worked hard for us, and also I'm not sure Camp Trainer has room/time/space for a horse and kid in full training.

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I am not an expert by any means, and would have absolutely gone to the current trainer to ask why she put restrictions in place at a camp which she is not running  without speaking to me. 

The fact that she yelled at you—and “for quite some time” is shocking to me.  We’ve had different approaches with different trainers, but I have never experienced that, or witnessed it with others.  That would end our training relationship.  I need a cool head when my kid is working with a powerful animal, and I wouldn’t tolerate anyone yelling at me like that.

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That what my dh said, how completely controlling and dictatorial of her to do that, but then for her to scream and yell at you is so extremely unprofessional!

Even my drama queen trainer we left would never ever have screamed at a client.  She would just close her mouth have a wild look in her eye and then gossip later to relieve the steam.  lol

Honestly we went from the frying pan into the fire here.  THis trainer is very very honest, that is a good thing I appreciate.  But I am just up to my eyeballs in horse trainers with weird personality disorders! 

I am asking Camp Trainer if she will take my dd and her horse in.  She is very busy and currently losing her main assistant to moving out of town, so I really don't know if she has the time for another horse in full training.  That would mean over 6 hours of work per week, while her board is jam packed with lessons and she's losing her main assistant. So I honestly don't know if she can do it.

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Nope, I'd leave. However I needed to do it, and sooner rather than later. 

Camp Trainer will eventually have room, just might be a delay, so you have to figure out what is acceptable for that gap.

The first criterion I have for any horse trainer we work with (or any trainer or professional in any field, for that matter): I don't support sh*tty behavior with my money and my time. I. Just. Don't. My personal belief is that part of the reason we have such an increase in control freaks and drama queens in this society is that the rest of us reasonable-type people rationalize for them, overlook or make excuses for them, and continue to give them our money, our attention, and our time. (Sorry, that was my soapbox moment). Remember, your dd is watching you & learning what behavior you deem acceptable for a "professional" & how you allow yourself (&, by extension, her) to be treated. 

Nope. Nope. Nope.

IMHO, of course. 

 

Edited for clarity.

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Yes, that is what my dh is saying.  Unfortunately, however, our horse is young and needs full training.  He's 7 and without an experienced person keeping him tuned up he can get pretty wonky ? So a long delay would not be good.  However you are soooooo right!! We just accept so much crap from people!

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There are a lot of awful people in the horse world, unfortunately. ? I'm thankful to be able to have our horses at our place and just do our own thing and ride for fun. 

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I was a little bewildered reading the OP's post as well. We had our horse on our property and just rode him through the woods - had a wonderful time. We never did camp or anything else. I suppose a lot of things change when other people and other people's horses are involved in the activity. I used to board other people's horses and cannot imagine treating people like this.

As far as interactions with other adults go - it seems you are dealing with someone who has little sense of tact, respect for clients and is laboring under the notion of being completely in charge. Lack of communication with you and her student has consequences as this incident has shown. And yeah, I agree with Selkie, there are always people who think they are the only ones who know what to feed, how to deworm and how to train. 

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53 minutes ago, Happy2BaMom said:

Remember, your dd is watching you & learning what behavior you deem acceptable for a "professional" & how you allow yourself (&, by extension, her) to be treated. 

Nope. Nope. Nope.

IMHO, of course. 

 

Edited for clarity.

 

I have to agree with this. I did not even address the yelling - I was shaking my head because of her other behavior. I think she may need to lose a few clients to realize that her demeanor and people skills needs some polishing.

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I am not a horse person but I have been around a numbe of horse people. My opinion is that no one should ever have to put up with abuse and screaming at someone is abusive.   And honestly, horse people can correct me here, but people who work with animals need to be flexible and not locked into just one way. 

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Hope you find what you need. 

Are you sure your daughter and her horse are a good match? I'm not sure I'd put a child who is still at that stage of training on a horse also in need of "full training." 

Secondly, the yelling. Ohmy, NO. Don't put up with that. Seriously. Major deal-breaker. 

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Okay, we have never had horses nor did we ever have horse training, though we have ridden horses many times.  What we did have is people who taught our children.  Never did any of them scream at me.  Never had we had someone who was so tyranically either.  The behavior you describe is an absolute no go for me.   

 

As to the pP who talked about drama queens and 

12 hours ago, Happy2BaMom said:

I don't support sh*tty behavior with my money and my time.

That is me too.  People often kind of wonder why I shop where I shop and aside from convenience and good selections, attitudes of store employees count a lot with me.  I am at a stage of life where I am not needing to so closely watch my money that I need to shop at stores with surly employees.  One reason I love Publix- the employees are also part owners and overall I have had excellent service at the store.

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I think it is fine for a teacher, when asked, to provide information on the rider's level.

That lady was obviously over the top, as was apparently her style in general.

I would just caution that since you heard it second hand, it is possible that the second teacher translated the language used into something more extreme to cover her own butt.  In other words, suppose the 1st teacher said "well she has tried jumping, we let her do it sometimes, but she has fallen off a few times so you need to be careful."  Then the second teacher decided not to let her try at all and changed the words to "absolutely no way."

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And as to whether horse people are unusual ... my kids' elderly horse teacher / owner (who has done this all her life and her daughter also) can be pretty opinionated and sometimes what I'd consider too harsh.  I don't question that she knows horses 100% better than I do and knows kids fairly well also, but she isn't always right.  That is why one of my kids won't go there any more and the other (horse-crazy girl) admitted she's scared of her.

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Unfortunately, some people don't learn by losing clients.  They simply become even more convinced that they are right and the others are wrong.  There's always someone willing to take the place of those who left, because there are too many riders out there trying to get away from other trainers who don't care for the animals properly or maintain safe facilities or who have legal issues or lie to their clients.  

OP, since you say your regular trainer is honest, she may have been absolutely right about the safety issues with the horse in the camp situation, given your dd's current level of riding, but she handled the issue terribly.  If she had clearly explained to you her concerns ahead of time, you could have either arranged to pay a more experienced rider to longe, ride, and tune up the horse each morning before camp started so your dd could participate fully, or you could have withdrawn your dd from the camp.  Communication is important.  If the other trainer doesn't have an opening and you continue with this one, be sure you get clear communication any time something new is planned.  And keep your eyes open for a better situation, realizing there are always trade-offs.  

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Yes I think horse people in general are very opinionated. "This" is the best way to do a training method.  "that" is the best feed company ...I am used to that.  But usually they'll preface it with at least an attempt and humbleness  ?

This trainer goes so far over the top, it's incomprehensible.  There is exactly ONE right way, even up to and including putting down her own apprentice.  

We are going to have to move on...not sure where right now but hopefully Camp Trainer will be able to make room in her program for my dd and her horse.

As to whether this horse is the best for someone riding only a few years- no he is not the best.  We asked for an older horse and allowed ourselves to be talked into a young one.  BUT he isn't crazy.  He's a very good boy and he;s our family member now.  He bucks merely out of pride (truly he is saying oohhhh look what I did and it's a little cow hop never a true Bucking bronco moment) He needs consistent training and patience that's all ?

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I'm going to go with not ok but also in the realm of normal. Horse people are crazy. It's not really abnormal for working students/assistants to be treated like sh*t, either. I've personally overall had really good experiences, but only as a result of a lot of luck and being very careful about investigating barns before riding/working there. I think the craziness is a combination of things, really, but mostly it's money. Horses are expensive and clients can be unreasonable and being a trainer pays horribly - with that combination, I think crazy people last longer, lol.

If you're thinking about changing trainers, I'd really recommend investigating any barn within reasonable commuting distance. It can give you an idea of exactly what you do want and you might find trainers you didn't know about before. I don't think the horse sounds that bad. If you want to go to Camp Trainer and she doesn't have time for full training, maybe you could try half training or see if there's an advanced student who could flat the horse for you a few times a week? I know I'm generally happy to pick up a couple extra rides a week, provided the horse isn't truly horrible (along the lines of bucking with serious intent or rearing and nearly flipping) and I'm pretty competent. 

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Thanks for all the thoughts.

OK Camp Trainer really legitimately does not physically have the time in the day, and she also is a little confused about our horse's "Buttons" since he's 100% Western Pleasure.  She said, if he could have another month of transition-to-English lessons, she can figure out her schedule and he won't take quite as much time, once we transition back to her.  She encouraged me to stick it out for another month with Current Trainer, and then she could probably squeeze my daughter in. But with losing her best assistant, and the new assistant not working out as a Trainer (as an instructor she is working out but the horse training isn't working out), she just doesn't know exactly what her schedule is.

Now, there is a very fancy Jumping Barn on the same property and there is a Working Student there who is very advanced.  ...I thought about asking Camp Trainer if I could ask Working Student to school our horse for a month but not sure that would work out....

 

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24 minutes ago, Calming Tea said:

Now, there is a very fancy Jumping Barn on the same property and there is a Working Student there who is very advanced.  ...I thought about asking Camp Trainer if I could ask Working Student to school our horse for a month but not sure that would work out....

 

Obviously this is dependent on the culture of that barn, but you should probably ask whoever the working student is working for first. Otherwise, Camp Trainer may be seen as trying to poach the working student. 

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Ahh, the horse world. Two people, 47 opinions...

Current trainer needs a good kick in the seat of the pants if she thinks that is in any way acceptable behavior. 

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well she dismissed us for wanting to continue feeding some alfalfa...and Camp Trainer who is a saint said come on over, we will figure it all out.  

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23 minutes ago, Calming Tea said:

well she dismissed us for wanting to continue feeding some alfalfa...and Camp Trainer who is a saint said come on over, we will figure it all out.  

Well, that makes it easier to leave her as a trainer. . .

 

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Makes you wonder if she saw it coming that you were going to leave and decided to be the one who made the first moves so "it wouldn't be her fault."  So glad it's working out.

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Interesting ... my kid's horse teacher just told me today that my sister is not allowed to come within 45 feet of her ever again.  Because she told my daughter she looked a bit glum at last Saturday's horse show.  I never know whether this lady is serious about such statements.  Once she told me that nobody in her barn is ever allowed to talk about another riding stable.  When she says things like this, I generally chuckle because they sound too extreme to be intended seriously.  But maybe I'm wrong ....

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8 hours ago, SKL said:

Interesting ... my kid's horse teacher just told me today that my sister is not allowed to come within 45 feet of her ever again.  Because she told my daughter she looked a bit glum at last Saturday's horse show.  I never know whether this lady is serious about such statements.  Once she told me that nobody in her barn is ever allowed to talk about another riding stable.  When she says things like this, I generally chuckle because they sound too extreme to be intended seriously.  But maybe I'm wrong ....

I don't know your trainer, obviously, but it wouldn't actually surprise me if they were serious statements. There's a lot of crazy out there.

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Yep she may be serious. Horse barn owners have a lot of perceived power. They are often under a lot of stress and have crazy horse owners. 

Our (now previous) trainer doesn’t own the barn or run it but the lady who runs our barn facility is like this- she just dismisses anyone that stresses her out. So you better do what she wants, how she wants, never complain, and try to be as much as possible like you and horse don’t exist. If you call her one too many times you’re on her bad list and then she will start looking for reasons do get rid of you. I’m not making this up. She almost dismissed us once already. I think it was purely her heart for my horse and daughter that changed her mind. 

It’s all just crazy. 

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Just another story for you, at our last barn the owner was totally overwhelmed with 10 horses in full training, running the entire facility with only one Mexican worker and one assistant, lots of lesson kids, attending shows all show season, and financial problems. She has a kind heart and would never dismiss someone unless they had years of bad track record causing issues- she’s generous and patient.

but her stress would show up in i consistent care of the horses, inconsistent teaching, not giving horses their supplements up to four days per week, sometimes they had one type of bedding sometimes another.  And she’d gossip all the time whenever she was stressed out. And you know it was happening behind your own back.

i used to wonder why other people stay and now I know. The horse world is so utterly crazy that you can move on and you don’t know what you’re going to get. There we had a bunch of problems but no fear of getting kicked out and we do like what’s underneath in that lady.

here our horse is happier, the facility is so much nicer there is no comparison, things are run better - but there’s a vibe underneath it all that is a bit scary- imagine getting kicked out of the barn ? 

So all that to say is yes the horse world is crazy.

 

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It's sad that the horse world is like this. I've seen so many decent people driven away from being involved with horses because they don't want to deal with the drama and nastiness. 

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And here we outsiders always thought the horse world was more down-to-earth than ours.  ?

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It's really dependent on the barn you're at, but there're definitely a lot of places with drama. It's like a lot of other sports, except that everything is magnified because it's so expensive. 

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The only place we were at that was zero drama had no lesson kids, no show horses, mostly rescues and trail horses and the owners had no idea what they were doing with feed, thus our horse lost 25 lbs in about a month there and the trainer only works with green horses...so unfortunately the one mecca of love and happiness just didn't work out for us ?

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5 minutes ago, Calming Tea said:

The only place we were at that was zero drama had no lesson kids, no show horses, mostly rescues and trail horses and the owners had no idea what they were doing with feed, thus our horse lost 25 lbs in about a month there and the trainer only works with green horses...so unfortunately the one mecca of love and happiness just didn't work out for us ?

The low drama places I've been have all been fairly active show barns, so, who knows. Eventing does seem on average less drama, but a lot of it is luck too.

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I'm fortunate that I've only had to board for a short time while my barns and fencing were being put in. That was a big enough dose of the weirdness for me! Plus, I'm very particular about the care of my horses, so I know I would probably get kicked out of most barns for being a pain in the butt.? 

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Now that I think about it, the biggest girl drama we've seen so far has been at the horse barn.  It's another reason one of my kids doesn't like it.  The one-up-man-ship, back-biting, fibs and gossip.  I mean at some point, girls are gonna find drama, but why pay over $50/hour to go looking for it?

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Please, please, please find a new trainer.  You do not need this and most especially your child does not need to be exposed to a personality like this.  Just go watch Dance Moms and see if that is the type of environment you want for your child.   I was in the 'horse world' in college and beyond.  I am a mom now.  Just NO.

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We trained for years with one woman. She remains a very close friend. Yes, the horse world can be crazy, but it can also give your children lifelong friends, having learned so much. After she retired, we did some caretaking of her place that we had done a lot of work on over the years. We had even built her a house many years ago! After we got her all packed up to leave CO to move to FL, she handed dd the title to the trailer--the one we'd hauled so many years! Those were wonderful years and we're very grateful. 

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Some MDs are technically talented and highly intelligent, but have poor bedside manners and make poor doctors.  This trainer sounds like the horse trainer version of that, and I would find another if I was treated that rudely.  It honestly sucks the joy out of everything.

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