Horse trainer disappointments

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by turnnburnlynx, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. turnnburnlynx

    turnnburnlynx Senior Member

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    This is just kind of me feeling sad, and I wouldn' mind a little advice.

    Let me start off by saying if you don't agree with having horses trained for futurities , then you probably should respond with such.

    My 2015 filly POLTREYGEIST (REY DUAL X IMA ROCKIN DOC OLENA)
    Has been in training for just about 1 1/2 years with a reined cow horse trainer. This is a reputable trainer who doesn't train a ton of horses any more, he will take a select few each year. He is also nrcha judge.
    Originally ghost was suppose to be shown end of May - this is when we found out she gets a little nervous in a large herd of cows, and she threw a fit, so he decided not to show her. Her next show was scheduled for end of June, and he couldn't show because another horse had flipped on top of him (He is fine, just bruised) the next show was suppose to be this weekend, and the fair grounds flooded.
    The next show is a huge show in loveland the 17th through the19th. It's huge.
    But I'm having a problem with how I feel about this trainer now. Like.. I personally feel like he should have started her on the herd work sooner, and should have shown her sooner. But at the same time, he' the professional, and I do trust his opinion. I' just worried because she has no show experience , and her first one is going to be the midamerica show.
    He says she is the most talented 3y/o He has had in years. But I feel like I've spent over 20k on training with no evidence.

    I'm also scared that I'm going to send trouble to him and he won' campaign him appropriately.

    I' debating on bring ghost home at the end of August, and riding her, and working with a different trainer so I can show her in the non pro next year. Or do I continue to work with this trainer ? Am I just being paranoid ?
     
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  2. Alyssa Hughes

    Alyssa Hughes Full Member

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    I don't have any advice as I do not show Reined Cow Horse, but I would trust my trainer go to the show and give them both a chance to prove themselves (trainer and horse). You seem to care a lot about your filly so you should trust your judgement. If this show doesn't work out you can then decide your future with your trainer.
     
  3. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I don't know if you're being paranoid or not, but I do know that many horses take longer than others to settle in their work, some have more nerves than others. And I do know he can't control acts of nature like floods.

    When you and he discussed training the horse 1 1/2 years ago, how long did he estimate it would take to get the horse trained to the point where she is going in larger competitions(that is, where she is today)?

    Many trainers will take in a horse for longer-term training and competing when the owner will not be on site, and then not work with them. The horses will mostly stand around in their paddock or pen, or get turned out. They might get ridden by his students or 'loping girls.' They won't really get trained on by the trainer 3 or 4 or 5 times a week (fewer days of work is appropriate for younger horses, about 3 times a week for 3 yr old, 4 times a week for 4 yr old, etc). They won't get fit. Most of training is about creating habits and getting a horse fit, they won't get either. Before the owner comes, the horse will get a 'rush job' of a day or two of intense round penning, longeing or schooling so the owner thinks the horse is getting 'worked like what I'm paying for.'

    The trainer will put up a darn good front, and the owner won't be around often enough to 'put the puzzle together.' The horse 'isn't ready' for each competition, or he goes, and the performance indicates the horse has neither fitness nor habit in the work.

    If the owner tries to check up on the trainer, he'll be pretty smart at fending off any questions. The barn owner says you didn't work the horse today, you just dropped by for 10 minutes in the afternoon. Oh no, the barn owner wasn't there when I worked your horse. So why did you come by in the afternoon? Well I just take such good care of the horses, you see, I always check on them in the afternoon. Make sure they're ok, ya know.

    It's impossible for me to know - and for you to know, for sure - if the trainer is putting in the work and the horse honestly needs more time, or if he's selling refrigerators to Eskimos.

    NO horse does perfectly at his first big show. So even that is unlikely to be proof of anything. So in fact, we're really kinda trying to shut the barn door after the horse is gone - it's been 1 1/2 years and now you're starting to wonder what the heck is going on, chiefly because 3 competitions were missed.

    My suggestion - monitor it from day one. Show up on short notice. Take lessons on the horse and know what the trainer is teaching and how the horse should respond if that piece of the training actually was done. Try and pin down the trainer to identify 3 goals for each 3 month period. After 3 months, the horse will pick up his leads 90% of the time. After 3 months, the horse will stand still at the mounting block. Then go see how that 3 months worked out. At that point, try to get him to identify 3 goals for the next 3 months. Verify that those are met. And so on.

    You don't have to put him on the spot. Just ask him. 'What are 3 things you want to accomplish with the horse in the next 3 months?'

    Keep in mind that only us gals will NOT ask him. Any business man sending him an 'investment horse' (which will be his high end, and most important, customers) will want to set some goals and see them met. If they aren't met the horse will be out of his barn and with someone else (that doesn't always work well if trainers train differently, we can talk about why).

    Hang around for a long weekend. Go to shows with the guy. Talk with other customers. Know how to tell if your horse hasn't had a girth around his belly for 3 weeks. Get familiar with his routine. Is he really spending any time at the barn, or does he have another full time job, go to judge competitions 3 weekends out of 4 (that usually at least 3 or 4 days of riding at home won't get done), or 3 WEEKS out of 4?

    Neither you or I know this. The only thing you can really do is talk with someone who is there, day to day, someone who will be honest with you. And that will be hard to find. Current employees are likely to stick up for their boss. You'll find enraged ex-employees whose stories may or may not all be true, business competitors whose stories, well, ditto, and it's hard to sort of what the truth really is.

    But this is one reason that I've generally taken riding lessons, rather than send a horse away for training. I worked with one trainer for a long time where I was there daily. And found that he showed up at 10:30 or 11, rode two horses, went out for lunch for two hours, came back and taught 3 lessons, and went home. There was a whole stable-full of horses in training, that he was getting a lot of money every month to train and ride himself, and they got turned out every day by the stall cleaners. But they did not get trained. They did not get ridden. If they got worked at all, it was that throwdown two days before the owner arrived, or they got ridden by novices in lessons.

    And I found many trainers did that. Especially as they got older, more jaded, and less motivated. But even younger trainers get 'overbooked' and wind up with a barn full of horses to ride and no time that they are motivated to spend riding.

    But not all are like that.

    Some are really diligent. And in general, they get financially rewarded for doing so. Their barn is repaired, their footing is maintained, they have good quality help. They get longer-term customers, they make more money and they make money more consistently year after year.

    So truly, at this point, neither you nor I know what the truth is.

     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  4. secuono

    secuono Senior Member

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    This is more of a group question than for OP only, but related. Can the owner not show their own horse?
     
  5. turnnburnlynx

    turnnburnlynx Senior Member

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    So to slc- the plan was to shpw futurities this year, and she definitely is at the point where she should be. She is not far from me, so i frequently show up unannounced , take lessons on other horses (before i became sick) and see her progression. I had a bad trainer experience with a previous horse 6 years ago, so I've made sure to really watch her. She was mostly ridden by his t
    Underling trainers until 6 no the ago, when she became a part of the "show string" so he mainly rides her now. I just feel like maybe he should be introduced her to cattle sooner. And been showing sooner. And I just don't know. She was suppose to be a snaffle bit futurity contender, and I just don't see how it can happen now.

    @secuono - my plan was to ha e her trained and shown in the open through the snaffle bit futurity, and then I was going to show her in the non pro starting her 4year old year
     
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  6. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I'm glad you were actively involved all along.

    Do you think all the delay is because the trainer was not doing the work in a timely fashion? Do you think, from riding her, that her nerves really have had to slow the training down?
     
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  7. turnnburnlynx

    turnnburnlynx Senior Member

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    I feel like there was a mistake a few months ago. She was really into working cows, but they had only worked like 3 or 4 at a time. I feel like they didnt think she would have an issue with the herd, but she most definitely did. And I do think your right about her nerves slowing down the training. When you say it like that, it does make me think he is doing right by her. I guess I wanted to see more progression at this point. And I know there have been things that are out of the trainers control (the show cancellation, the other horse hurting him)
     
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  8. endurgirl

    endurgirl Senior Member

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    Wow, i definitely understand your frustration. I think i would see how she is at this next show, even though it's a big one, but trainer should be hauling to his friend's places and putting her in show type situations. You don't take a horse to the futurity without "pretending" you've been there before.

    If this show doesn't go well or he comes up with an excuse, bring her home or find another trainer. It's well known Rey horses are hot, and i'm upset for you that he didn't introduce her to all the show situations that he should have.

    My 4yo was taken to show after show as a 3 yo and he sat on her to hold herd or even turn back, so she was show pen ready. In may i decided to bring her home from the trainers after she'd been there a year. One, she needed to gain weight, and two, i was separated so was trying to be wise with my money. I told the trainer i was going to show her in May, even though she wasn't quite finished, so i did. She did well, except for the fast cow who took off across the pen and we lost it. Had i picked a better cow like the first one i picked, we'd done better. There's a reason cow classes are difficult, lol.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  9. Alyssa Hughes

    Alyssa Hughes Full Member

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    Maybe you should talk honestly with her trainer and try to fix the issues? It sounds like a lack of communication between you two about your wants for her.
     
  10. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I dunno...to me it sounds like reining training takes however long it takes, and that depends on the horse.

    I do know that most of us cannot afford training indefinitely. But maybe high skill sports just take a lot of time to learn.
     

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