Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Different Kind of Journey......... and Deeper.....

This Story Begins Here

Shortly after my open house both Storm and the big gelding went to the facility where YW was training. As close as I can remember it was somewhere near this time, I began hauling horses up to that facility so I could work them. The plan was as I was working my own horses, I could kind of guide YW along this journey of getting these young horses of my breeding ready for the ring.

The idea of me "consulting" or "mentoring" if you will, was not a new one. I had been giving her my input for months on how to handle situations with whatever horses she was working with and particularly the bay gelding she'd purchased from me. She had not only accepted my input but she had actually sought it out on many occasions. It was being able to have such input that made me feel secure enough to even be in this situation where a new, pretty much unknown trainer held in the palm of her hands the future of some of my biggest stars.

I think it was only a couple of weeks later when YW missed a contract payment on the gelding she had first bought from me. I could already see that I had probably made a big mistake trading Storm for work so I talked to her about not having two horses when she couldn't even afford one. She agreed and soon after I took Storm back home and at that deal was done.

Since YW was having problems with payments, I talked to her about putting some miles on Vee in place of part of those payments on her gelding. The mare was then pregnant and I knew probably wouldn't get much exercise in our projected bad winter. I figured riding her now would get her in really good shape before the last trimester. Even having those last months off the mare should still be in pretty good condition at foaling time.

Keeping in mind when I made this decision about Vee there were things that happened along the way with that gelding that made me a bit nervous. We always seemed to get them resolved or I thought we did. I told myself it was just part of the learning process for both YW and the gelding. YW always seemed to be open to my input and as long as things stayed that way, we'd be good.

I can't even tell you when it changed or even why it changed. I can tell you she got a couple of horses in training from a friend of mine and that woman from regionals was talking about bringing her another one. YW started not being there when I showed up and not returning my calls. It also seemed to me she wasn't listening to me anymore either.

As it became more obvious training with the first gelding was not going wel, it looked to me like maybe she was afraid of him. While I had done ground work with the horse before she got him, he had never been ridden, like the others. I had only sat on him one time and she was there when I did it.

She claimed he was just being a jerk but that didn't fit into what I knew of this horse. Still I kept blindly moving along letting this woman take Vee. I guess I was thinking because Vee was broke, still green, but broke and relatively safe, that there wouldn't be a problem. There was nothing anymore scary about Vee than any other horse I ride. All I wanted was miles in the saddle nothing fancy. It should have been easy. Right??

Each time I confronted her about these issues of not showing up for appointments, doing what she'd promised or returning phone calls, YW blamed that same woman she'd blamed back at regionals. I told her it really didn't matter to me what her excuses were, I wasn't going to continue to work with her if she wasn't going to be doing what she said.

Still YW went on trying to blame this woman. It was all HER fault. It wasn't what YW wanted to do BUT she just couldn't stop this woman from unexpectedly showing up at the barn, consuming everything around her, demanding all or YW's attention and time. YW said this woman sucked her energy all up and she couldn't stand having her around. She went on and on.

I will admit this woman is something of a whirlwind and I can see where she might catch someone off guard if they were unprepared but still that didn't change YW's responsibility to her training clients and that included me. I felt as long as YW was not doing what she needed to for her clients it was HER problem not the woman's. Still there was no effort by YW to take responsibility or do something different.

I didn't really know what to think but I told YW if she was having boundary problems with this prospective client she needed to deal with them. I reiterated it wasn't good to be standing up clients to deal with one in particular. If she was going to deal with clients in that manner, she'd probably would have trouble keeping or even getting clients. No one wants to pay good money to be ignored. Balancing out your time where needed among all the clients is an important part of being a good trainer. If she wanted to be a successful trainer, she needed to figure out how to cope to get that done.

Her response to me was she didn't want "that" woman for a client OR even in her barn. Again, I told her only she could be the one to make that decision and she had to be the one to set limits because she is the only one who could figure out what would work for her. It sounded to me like something needed to be figured out and figured out soon the way things were going.

As this whole drama was unfolding, there was another problem developing. I had made an appointment to come see Vee. I came with one of my friends who is also a breeder and always in the market for a trainer. I wanted to see how Vee was doing and we'd go to lunch and my friend would have a chance to meet YW.

The problem was when we got to the barn, Vee was not standing in a dry stall. I asked YW about the situation and she explained. It had been doing a lot of raining and the manure pile was situated right behind Vee's stall. Run off from that pile was going into Vee's stall and then on out and down the aisle way and straight out the door. A small trail of water could be seen, not much more than a wet line on the floor leading out the doorway.

Obviously there was no way I wanted my pregnant mare living under such circumstances. Not to mention that fact that I sure wouldn't pay board for conditions like that. I let YW know I wanted it fixed, pronto.

Now I remember thinking that Vee's stall was not good but not so terrible she couldn't stay there briefly while the problem was fixed. I didn't really care if the mare was moved if the issue was fixed as long as the mare's stall stayed dry like it should. YW told me she'd talk with the barn owner as soon as she could and I trusted YW to do just that. I also asked her to let me know what the outcome was.

It also turned out that YW had no plans to ride Vee while we were there even though that's why we'd come. When I asked her if she'd ridden her at all since she'd been there, I was told, she'd been lunged a couple of times and again, there were excuses. It was not looking good.

To be continued...................

The Discovery

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  1. Oh oh. She's starting to sound like some trainers I've known.

  2. This girl is starting to sound like she took on more than she should have. She obviously didn't have the credentials to be a professional trainer. You don't treat clients like that and you have to be able to deal with undesirable clients and not use them for an excuse because you're not professional enough to do the right thing.

    I'm of the opinion that you are a very trusting person and gave her the benefit of the doubt. Apparently, she didn't deserve it. But I'll save judgment until the end of the story.

  3. i think i know who YW is but i'm not positive. i am making a guess based on reading your blog. curious!

  4. People like me (and YW) depend on people like you for help and guidance. It's unfortunate that this woman's irresponsible behavior is what you got in return.

  5. Ugh, I'd have been tearing my hair out at this point.

  6. Nuzz Muzz, I'm betting we'll change that opinion here soon. I doubt you've known anyone quite like this YW.

    Arlene, so far you are right on. I doubt that will change.

    fernvalley, yes, unfortunately the slide begins.

    lytha, I mentioned YW when you were here. Have not posted about her here before except in generalities. Nothing you could identify her by.

    Leah, my experiences with YW have definitely been unfortunate for me but more unfortunate for my horses.

    smazourek, well if this part has you going, you better protect your head for the next post.

  7. You have to be really dedicated and have a mind like iron to train and care for a lot of horses every day. My good friend does it, and has done it since she was young--day in, day out, rain, shine, snow or ice--but she is RARE. I could NEVER do it--and it's starting to sound like YW couldn't either.

  8. Sounds like YW lacked a serious amount of maturity. I agree with you that it is up to her to set her limits and boundaries and above all know your own limitations.

    The horses are one thing, but as a professional you have to learn to effectively deal with people. There comes a time when things don't work out and you need to be able to set them right or part ways and move on. It's not always pretty and life isn't exactly fair, but none of us have died from it so far.

    MiKael- Once you start getting that gut feeling of things going wrong- they don't usually go away. Always trust the gut. It seems you know that know though.

  9. I prefer people who own up to making mistakes and not blaming others. So far it seems that YW hasn't followed through on any of her promises so I'd be especially on guard in dealing with her by this point.

  10. Oh my gosh, i looove your blog♡
    how did you get so many followers? any tips? Aha. You should follow me, i only have 2!! ]:
    Anyway, keep up the awesome posts[:

  11. This kind of passive aggressive behavior would be very hard to deal with. Good story writing though. I'm on the edge of my seat.

  12. Linda, I agree with you. It takes a special person whose not afraid of hard work and is definitely dedicated. Unfortunately there aren't enough of them around.

    CNJ, I suspect you're right about maturity. but there are other things at play here as well.

    Ms Martyr, I'm with you on people owning their mistakes. I was definitely beginning to feel cautious by now or Storm would probably have stayed with her. Boy I'm glad he got out of there. I only wish Vee had.

    Daysia, nice to meet you. I've been blogging for a while so that helps.

    Carol, I am not a game player so it was very frustrating and you're right she was very much passive agressive in her behavior.

  13. sounds like she wants the fame without the work. Wonder what her "new friend" thinks about YW slamming her!