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Kirbytb

Help Me Grow A Backbone Regarding Trainer

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Hi Everyone,

Long time lurker who has decided to come out of the closet to ask for some help.

Long story so please bear with me.

I came back to riding after being away for the past 6yrs fighting a devastating illness (cancer)

I started taking dressage lessons at a local barn and really liked the trainer. I filled her in on my confidence issues and goals and asked for her help in working through these problems. She was onboard with what I told her and everything was fine.

I came to a point where I asked her to help me find a calm, quiet horse and we found a diamond in the rough who I put in full training with her. I paid for board and full training for my boy which included 2 lessons a week. I work a sucky job and work my *** off to pay for these things. My hours at work are not the standard 8-5 and I only get 1 weekend off a month, which I shared with the trainer and she was ok with.

This worked out fine in the summer with the longer hours but this winter has been non existant. The arena at the barn has awful footing to the point where my boy slipped and fell while in a easy trot. Not his fault, just the footing. The care at the barn is awesome but there is no extra money for the barn owners to put in footing.......sigh

So, the trainer hauls out to another farm that has a indoor arena. But she will only go with a full load because of gas costs and facility fee. Which leaves me out because I don't work normal hours. So, everyone else gets to go except for me who pays for full training. I think one reason may be is that this is not a big name trainer and money is a issue, so the others that she hauls out with pays her in cash for the lessons......hence, instant money for her but my fee has been spent along time ago

Mean while my trainer continues to train my boy and has fallen in love with him. He is her favorite.

I expressed my frustration on not getting enough ride time in and some confidence issues that I have before our upcoming first show of the season in March and she told me not to worry, that I am just doing intro dressage and oh by the way, she's riding my boy in some upper level tests at the same show.

So now I feel like she wants me to stay at the low level so that she can show him at the upper levels and get her name back out into the community to get more business.

I guess the final straw was when I first starting riding my boy and I was worried that if I did something wrong, I would ruin him, which she told me I wouldn't but just last week she made the comment that I something wrong in my riding and to stop doing it because now she was going to have to fix it.

I am going through a divorce and am on my own and was really hoping that I could integrate into this group but now I feel like an outsider and my feelings are hurt.

I'm tired of other people getting to ride my boy because he is the most sensible at the barn. I am tired of everyone using my saddle because they can't afford to get one or the trainer doesn't have enough saddles to fit everyone. I work hard and don't have a lot of money. It all goes towards my boy but I can't seem to stand up for myself and say NO. I don't know if its just in my head or something that I need to step away from.

Help!!

Sorry told you this was long and rambling........I just got my feelings hurt again today and don't know what to do

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Get a written contract. If your horse is in full training, then it is the trainer's responsibility to ride him where she can work him, thus either r-locate to an indoor, or haul ALL of the horse sin full training with her

Do you get a financial break having your horse used as a lesson horse? if he is not on some kind of lease as a lesson horse, no one but you and the trainer should be riding him.

No one but yourself should be allowed to use your tack, unless you give them permission

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Smilie's got it in the bag. I tend to give more emotional responses in situations like these. My first thought was to find a different boarding situation where you, your goals, your availability and your horse are given equal consideration for the money you prepaid compared with those who pay cash at time of service.

I feel your horse is your reward and you should get exactly what you pay for and be the one enjoying your hard work, not everyone else. If not, things have to change and that begins with you. This is where things get tough and you are simply going to have to stand up for yourself to ensure you are getting full value for your hard work. And maybe find a big and intimidating family member, friend, neighbor or random-hairy-tattoo'd-pierced-guy-you-saw-outside-a-biker-bar to stand next to you while you do so.

Congrats on beating cancer, hugs for the D and good luck with your spine,

h =^..^=

Edited by Heidi n Q

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Yes, your trainer is taking advantage of your horse and you, whether it is knowingly or not does not matter. Did you give her permission to enter him in those upper level classes? If not that is a MAJOR overstep on her part. In addition, you should never have to limit your time or what you do with your horse because of HER agenda. Too bad for her. You are right, you pay for training like anyone else, and that does not include taking liberties.

I would recommend you being blunt and straight-forward, but not on the offense or emotional about it. Write it down ahead of time, if need be, but bullet-point all the things that are bothering you about the situation, and take them to her personally. Be prepared to offer defense if she tries to justify any of your points.

You are not obligated to let your horse as a school horse unless you are under contract/agreement. You are under no obligation to let anyone use any tack of yours without permission, it doesn't matter your reasons for saying no. Your tack, yours to loan or not as you choose, even if it is as simple as "I don't want to."

Your trainer is under obligation to train your horse to the level the two of you agreed on, and if that means hauling him with the rest to the indoor, so be it. All part and parcel.

I wish you the best, and hope it works out. I hate confrontation and am awful about it, so I live vicariously through others' speaking up for themselves, lol!

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You are paying for being used. Is THAT smart? Get smart. It's YOUR money.

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Pull your horse ASAP.

Your horse should not be being ridden by anyone else without your express consent.

Your horse should not be being entered in shows without your express consent.

People should not be borrowing your saddle without permission.

Get out of there and find a new trainer who is not going to take advantage of you like this. I know it's hard and you don't want to burn bridges, but it's what needs to happen for you AND your horse.

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This person has taken over control of YOUR horse and she is getting all the rewards while you get very little.

Time to grow a pair and move this horse away from her control and into your control.

Its all about what is best for you and your best friend. The pros of staying at this location just don't add up anymore.

Time to find greener pastures -- good luck and keep us posted on your new home. Hopefully very SOON!

Remember get everything in writing from now on...HTTY

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Hold the train here! People, other than you and the trainer, are riding YOUR horse?! And you're not getting a lesson kickback fee from it!? No way, Jose!!

RE: trainer riding horse in show - *could* be a good thing, if she's not charging you, and you are wanting to resell the horse. NOT acceptable if you didn't ask her to, however.

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RE: trainer riding horse in show - *could* be a good thing, if she's not charging you

Or if trainer is riding as a prof. statis and her as an amateur to acquire points if it's breed shows. But as others have said this should be in a contractual agreement even for Mileage/trailering fees and usage of this horse.

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The issue is not the trainer riding her horse in a show. The issue is that her trainer did not ASK if she could ride the horse in the show. I mean, if I owned a horse (sigh) and my trainer ASKED if she could ride him, I would let her. But she'd dang well better ask first.

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But on the other hand I have friends who train and use shows as part of the training. To see where the horse is and what needs to be worked on. I also think it's a bit extreme to expect the trainer to haul one horse whenever one owner has a free day. Cost of fuel being so high.

Maybe ask for an iou on these lessons when weather is nicer. Make up for the missed lessons by getting two a week until your squared away.

As far as others riding your horse. That's your call but i would ask for a cut in training fee to make the difference. Or tell her you don't want everyone riding him.

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The next time she tells you to "stop doing something with your riding because then she's gonna have to fix it" I'd tell her I'm gonna fix it RIGHT NOW and move MY horse to a trainer and facility that meets MY needs. You pay for full training and she needs to take your horse to the other facility at least every other time she trailers there, but I am leaning towards her taking him *every* time.

NO trainer should EVER give an owner a casual oh-by-the-way-i'm-gonna-show-your-horse without first clearing it with you. And it appears, it needs to be contractually written. Then paying for full training but your horse being left behind? This person is unprofessional and I really think you will never get the respect and services you pay for with this person because she has proven to take too many liberties.

You're gonna need to move you and your horse away from her. Good luck and start shopping around.

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I'm confused, if you have already paid for full training, why isn't the trainer hauling your horse with the others, even if YOU can't go? It can't be fuel costs, you've already PAID her in full, to train you horse, which includes, hauling him to another arena if need be.

Definitely put a stop to your horse being used as a lesson horse, unless, of course, you are asked and, don't mind, I would then, though, tell the trainer, I was deducting part of the training fee.

Others riding your horse without being asked first!? NO WAY! Your tack being used without permission? Lock your stuff up with a big padlock, after letting the trainer know, she overstepped her bounds.

Your trainer is taking liberties, because you have not spoken up, so, assumes you don't mind.

I think, your trainer likes your horse, to the point, she has, essentially, taken him over.

When you do talk to her and, she argues with you, or, refuses to change anything....get out, there are plenty of other trainers out there who will EARN the money you give them.

Good luck!

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