“I wish my clients understood…”

Photo by Haley Eagan.

BY April Bilodeau

The Plaid Horse Professional Collaborative is a new group on Facebook that brings together professional trainers and riders in the horse industry.

Among many topics that are discussed on a weekly basis, we asked the group “What is one thing you wish clients understood?”

Here were some of their answers:

“That “just one thing ” I do for you that takes me 5 minutes? Yeah, that actually adds an hour to my day. And if I don’t charge for doing the “little” extra things, then I can’t get to the big things”

“How hard it is to go 24/7 365 days of the year. And the money/time/mental facilities it takes to run the farm…”

“The tremendous amount of responsibility we carry on our shoulders. For the client, as well as the horse.”

“That horses aren’t vehicles that anyone can drive. You can’t just buy a 3’6″ horse and do the 3’6″ any more than you can just buy a grand prix horse and do the grand prix.”

“Organizing turnout is way harder than you expect. Who goes where, for how long, with a buddy or not. It is way more thoughtful than just putting a horse in a field.”

“The most expensive ponies are the old ones stepping down. If you want a deal, ask for a green or quirky one.”

“Just because I’m available to the horse 24/7 doesn’t mean I need to be available to the humans 24/7! Clients understand that we drop everything for the horses at all hours, and they expect the same for them which is really unfair. Clients who respect boundaries and our ability to have free time or a day off are worth their weight in gold.”

“There is no guarantee that your horse will stay sound.”

Next time you head to the barn or chat with your trainer, try keeping these things in mind. While questions are always welcome, the timing and the way that you ask them can be key. Remember, your trainer wants you and your horse to succeed, so there is almost always a reason for everything they do!