I texted my trainer and I haven’t heard back… While you’re very concerned with Trainer’s lack of reply, you’d better believe the silence in communication is normal. Expected, almost. Your trainer is on her two talented feet all day, or she’s seated atop a four-legged steed she’s training for another client. If she’s not riding, she’s probably teaching lessons. And her phone? It’s unattended, sitting on the workbench of the feed room. Ringing off the hook until one of the girls who is feeding that night brings it out to her in the ring. It’s normal you haven’t heard back yet.
My trainer is always at the ring with So-and-So, that must be her favorite…. If insecurity was a wild animal, it would be a deer. Deer are everywhere, ready to run across the road when you’re not looking and potentially damage your car. If you’ve been hit by insecurity, you might feel like your trainer is playing favorites with other students. However, what you don’t see is that they, too, have been hit by insecurity and they might need more of her time, attention, and energy. While it’s normal, remember that you are capable.
My trainer wants to ride my horse in the derby… Does she think you can’t handle it? That, most likely, isn’t the root of this one. Your trainer is there to help train both you and your horse. Perhaps your horse is young, green, spooky, or all of the above! Your trainer will pilot said spook-fest, leaving you with a more experienced, prepared horse for your trip in the derby. She’s not trying to make you spend more money, she’s trying to help you create the horse of your dreams. Hey, that’s in her job description, so yes. It’s normal.
I don’t think I’m improving… Fortunately, you’re not the one who is qualified to make that determination. You’re working with your trainer to better your riding and improve your relationship with your horse. Which is to say, talk to your trainer! Discuss your concerns with her. Together, you can create goals to work towards. However, it is normal to feel like you’re not improving if you don’t have a set direction. Goals empower you to diagnose your improvements along the way.
My trainer criticizes everything… Accountability is important. Before you feel the pangs of defensiveness rise, pause. Ask yourself: am I doing my best? Am I using my lessons for development? Am I trying? If you’re unsure about any of those things, this is another instance where a discussion with your trainer may prove beneficial. If not for your riding, for your communication with her! Let her know how you’re feeling regarding your lessons, and make sure to be open regarding her responses. Sometimes it is normal to feel like your riding is being critiqued… but don’t you pay her to critique you?
Does our relationship have to be strictly business… You spend so much time, energy, and money at the barn on either your horse, or your own training. It’s likely you feel your business relationship with your trainer morphing into a personal relationship, but that’s OK as long as it works for you. Like a coach or mentor, your relationship can improve your riding and your relationship with your horse as long as it works for you. Wondering about this intersection is completely normal.
What’s normal for you?