Today I want to address one of my ALL-TIME least favorite sayings that frequent the mouths of boarders.
“Well, my trainer says…”
Before I go on, I want to explain my unique (but not-so-unique) situation. Some of my boarders come from training barns where their trainer is the ultimate authority. Or, the trainer might also be the owner of the barn. But the barn-owner, trainer, and the hired-help are generally not the same person. In my case, I am the barn owner and hired help rolled up into one convenient equestrian burrito. Let me be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a trainer, or keeping your horse with a trainer.
But, when these trainer-based college-aged boarders arrive, they wander absently about the barn, resembling lost puppies without their trainer. It’s a sink or swim moment for most, to be sure. They have never had to make judgement calls on the health of their horse without someone standing over their shoulder giving them instructions. I’m happy to say that most of the time I can stand back and watch them flourish, while they learn how to do things on their own! But a few flounder without the constant aid of a trainer, and for their sake (and their horse’s) I wish their trainers had better-equipped them before they left the barn nest.
Either way, when I hear that phrase connected with something nonsensical, I groan inwardly and my eyes turn into little slits.
Here are a couple examples of how I’ve heard this phrase used:
- Horse is due to arrive in a few weeks and I inquire about what the horse is currently eating so I can be prepared, “Well, my trainer just says to feed him some pellets.”
Pellets? What KIND of PELLETS? How many PELLETS? Please, do tell about these pellets…
- Horse is clearly painful and colicking. I ask if I need to help administer banamine and make a vet call, “Well, my trainer said to keep walking him and he should be fine.”
Oh, really? Is your trainer here? Does he/she know how painful your horse is?!
My aim is not to bash trainers. Not at all. The simple matter is: Make sure you can care for your horse independently, outside the realm of your trainer. And P.S. not all trainers are superstars.
Phew. I really needed to get that off my chest. Thanks, guys. 🙂