Show Season

Show Season

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My horse the Therapist

I have said it before, but it bears repeating...I am so thankful for my fuzzy, opinionated, 1200 lb girl.  Just getting her out of the stall and grooming her is therapeutic.  Tacking up and going for a trot around the pond can temporarily erase the stress.  Giving her a big squeeze around the neck before I leave the barn can tide me over until the next time. I don't know what horseless people do to unwind!

Since my post after this will be #100, I didn't want a whiny complaining post - so I will do that now on
# 99!  I had a tough day yesterday - work and personal life all rolled in to one.  My job, which I have loved for the past five years, is getting stressful.  I haven't gotten to the eye twitching symptom stage yet (that was a past job), but I have always figured that I spend a good deal of my life at work and by gosh, I want to like it!  Right now, and for the past 3 months...not 'in like' with my job.

My mistake yesterday was to check on personal email at lunch time.  My former trainer (who also trained Lex) emailed me and asked how Riva was doing and if I was ready to resume lessons.  Daughter and husband had suggested to me that I should consider switching trainers to the BO where we board.  All the other boarders there (which are a whopping 4 women) take dressage lessons from her.  We originally started using former trainer for Lex - since she needed jump lessons and dressage.  It seemed logical, at that time, for me to take lessons from the same person - since we were already paying a trip fee and was cheaper to take back to back lessons. 

Now that Lex is at her working student position, it is just me needing lessons.  I had just spoken with the BO on Monday about starting lessons with her.  Not only do I need lessons on Riva, but I need lessons on a school master to work on myself, and Riva needs ridden by a trainer to further her education.  BO was happy to add us to her schedule and came up with a plan to start.  I like her thinking - she wants to work on getting Riva lighter off the aids - be able to lose my spurs.  She plans for my first lessons to be on a semi-retired schoolmaster who last competed at Intermediate level.  I am excited!

The problem - I emailed former trainer back and explained that I am starting lessons with the BO and a few reasons why I made this decision.  I was kind and diplomatic - I loved taking lessons with my former trainer, that was not an issue.  One reason I did not contact former trainer to resume lessons was whenever we just had one horse to take a lesson between Lex and I (a horse lame or other issues), she would always reschedule because she felt it was not worth her time and money to make the trip for just one of us.  She also had to drive about an hour to get to our barn and last winter, was not able to come a few times because of weather.  It made logical sense to me to start lessons with the BO who lives on the property, is a dressage judge, very capable of training my green horse and my green self.

The email I received back from former trainer surprised me.  She was not happy at all with me that I did not ask her to resume lessons with Riva and I.  I was upset with the tone of the email and will feel uncomfortable the next time I see her, which we will run into each other at shows and she takes lessons with the trainer where Lex is a working student.  I had my husband read the email and he does not take it the same way as me.

I did not reply back to the email because I don't know what I would say.  Anyone else had something like this happen?  How did you handle it?


Amy said...

Email is dangerous!! If I were you I would not reply via email. Emails get misinterpreted very easily. I would either let be be or speak in person or over the phone. But then that is me giving advice because the real me has fired off more than one frustrated email.

Lisa said...

You are entitled to pay whoever you want for lessons. Your old trainer is not suitable for a few legitimate reasons and your new trainer is. Simple as that, the old trainer can just accept it!

SprinklerBandit said...

I can seem why your former trainer would be sad to lose a steady client, but as you mentioned, you're in an excellent situation now to take lessons from your BO. Do that. I wouldn't email back, would cool off and distance myself (hubby probably has a point), and would be polite and friendly in all future personal contact.

Of course, I'm not the angry one in the situation. ;-)

Emme said...

If you want my advice I would say that you should read over your email to her, and unless you left out something or would like to adjust something you should not respond to her email. In other words; don't worry about what she wrote, just look over what you wrote and leave it at that.
You went above and beyond to explain your reasoning, and in her professional life she is going to desk with this a lot. So let her; deal with it that is.

Also; if you were uncomfortable "firing" her, you may be projecting some guilt and attributing those "bad" feelings to her. The next time you see her, you could be friendly, assume she wants to hear how you and Riva are doing, thank her for all her help, and pay her a compliment for starting you off well.

I have to "fire" people in my job quite often, and I have moved Pippi a few times. I try not to allow people to make me act guilty, by apologizing and explaining myself to death. I figure if they want to talk further they know how to reach me, and I only contact them if I have something to say or if I feel I said something badly.

Hope you have a good weekend! You deserve one!

Kelly said...

Thanks for the comments and advice everyone! It is hard to read emotion in email (my boss at work and I have discussed this many times), so I could be misinterputing.

Regardless, I am not going to respond back. When I run in to former trainer next, I will try and be as friendly as I would have before the email.

Carol said...

I agree with Amy - email is dangerous to read into. Having said that, it seems that switching trainers is fraught with problems. I hope this gets smoothed over so you aren't uncomfortable, and also just so you don't have that icky feeling that accompanies negative communication.

achieve1dream said...

I agree with the others. It is very difficult (for me at least) to read the "tone" of emails and I do attribute my own feelings to it. Emails can definitely be dangerous. I agree with the other about just leaving it alone. You did nothing wrong at all and everyone will get over it if there were feelings hurt. :)