Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Little Lesson I Seem to Miss

All the talk of disposable horses and the training that can contribute to such outcomes for horses brings me around to thinking about what I've learned over the years about choosing trainers. Mostly it's the things I've learned from trainers that have not worked out for me that have taught me the most.

I've posted about a couple of bad experiences I've had with trainers and I've not posted some other experiences. I swear I learn from those experiences but not always everything there is to learn. Sometimes it's the accumulation of things that brings the real lessons to the front.

Back when Legs was a yearling, I put him in a really bad situation. I'm lucky the horse wasn't permanently damaged by the experience. I posted that story in Are You a Good Advocate for Your Horse? Part 2

Then I went on to put the horse in another bad situation. It's not been that long ago that I posted about that. Life..........and Its Lessons I learned a lot from both of those experiences but still I've been sucked in by trusting trainers after that time.

Looking back what do I remember that these trainers had in common. Each of them spent a considerable amount of time tearing down other trainers and building themselves up. Some were more subtle than others but with each the need to continually point out what was seen as short comings of other trainers was a major focus in their interactions with owners.

Hopefully I've come to the realization that any trainer who must "sell" themselves continually should be avoided at all costs. That grooming process that goes into getting the clients trust as well as putting the trainers on an even higher pedestal should be the number one clue that there's a problem. If a trainer really IS good, they'll be too busy working to spend that kind of energy trying to convince others that they're good. Now if I can just remember this in the future, maybe it'll save me and my horses some grief.


  1. You're right, trainers are business people like any others and have something to sell. Caveat emptor applies in all situations.

  2. Good observation. Over time I've come to see the trainer in our barn in a different light. At first I didn't think she was all that great, partly because she's very self effacing. I mean she's humble to a fault!

    But she really is amazing. I've seen her turn around half a dozen horses now, and only with firm, fair and loving treatment.

    Which is why she has a waiting list for horses to train.

  3. True enough .any one worth listening to tells you what he/she can fdo right , not what everyone else does wrong . Better still if they just show you what they do right

  4. How does that saying go? "It is hard to fill a cup that is already full". With trainers and even horse people in general (present company excluded *grin*) nearly everyone I have come across already knows "everything". I tend to save my thoughts for our blog and can count my off line horsey friends on one hand for that very reason.
    Part of the problem (and I have written of this before elsewhere) is that so many trainers exude confidence and spout so much *cough* knowledge that people immediately buy into it. Breathe has the right of it; the very best trainers and horse people are those who are quiet and humble. The rest eventually wind up tripping over their own egos; unfortunately they can cause a lot of damage when they crash and burn (like Joe Famous did on U-Tube not so long ago - oops).

  5. I remember this from back when I was in college: if a guy has to tell you he's a good guy, then he's not a good guy. I imagine this applies to trainers too.

    People who badmouth others all the time make me nervous. If they're willing to talk badly about other people to me, what are they telling those people about me? In my opinion, it shows lack of character.

  6. Thank you so much for the reminder.