BY TPH STAFF
In the supply and demand cycle, many trainers currently have more business than they can handle and more horses than their barn can fit. They’re busier than ever trying to make hay while the sun shines. Clients whose difficulties were worth putting up with in a lesser economy may be struggling to find a barn to call home.
Regardless of the limited spaces available in good training programs, the following behaviors don’t set any client up for success.
- You call your trainer on a Monday with something that could have waited.
- You think a barn rule doesn’t apply to you. But they do—all of them.
- You tell the barn staff what to do.
- You post negative things on social media about the barn, trainer, staff, or horses.
- You forget to tip the staff at horse shows and disrespect the barn staff in general. (If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to show.)
- You have unrealistic expectations for how quickly you will progress in the sport, and have a bad attitude about it. It’s a process. It takes a while.
- You gossip or talk trash with other customers.
- You don’t pay your bills on time. Constantly having to remind people to pay wastes precious time, and trainers need to plan on that income to pay staff, buy feed & bedding, and pay mortgages, insurance, etc.
- You don’t fit into the barn culture. Every barn has a vibe and if it’s not your barn, it’s a trainer’s prerogative to fill it with people who meet their goals and their vibe.
- You think you know better than your trainer does. If you don’t think your trainer is an expert or have no interest in listening to their opinion, you’re probably not that fun to teach.
- You complain all the time. About everything. (Your trainer knows, I promise you.)
- You expect other people to clean up after you, and leave a mess everywhere you go.
- You ask questions and demand attention at inappropriate times like during other people’s lessons or when your trainer is enjoying some precious non-work time.
Does doing any of the above mean you’re a bad person? No. Some of these behaviors are about being more considerate. Some simply mean you aren’t a good fit for the program. There’s no shame in either party, client or trainer, maturely moving on. None of us are perfect, but it’s always a good practice to admit your flaws and address mistakes and unflattering behavior.
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