Saturday, February 21, 2009

A boo boo update and a gripe

It's kind of funny. As soon as Gabe hit the big 5 I've started feeling more antsy about getting more done with him. It's almost like I'm on more of a time line than I was before. This damned weather is keeping me out of the saddle. Grrr.

His leg is definitely better. It gets scrubbed, medicated and re-wrapped every day. The puncture wounds are healing very nicely and no infection ever showed up. I figure another four days of wrapping ought to be good. I just don't want it to get dirty, and with all this mud, keeping it sealed up snugly beneath gauze and a bandage is the best thing.

I think I've mentioned before that my youngest daughter takes weekly riding lessons. So far we've been pleased with the lessons she's getting. She's learning and having fun and making friends. However, that said, I haven't been terribly pleased about the communication between the trainer, the barn owner and us. More than once we've shown up at our scheduled time only to find out the lesson time had been changed and no one bothered to let us know. The trainer thought the BO called us, the BO thought the trainer called us. Some where the communication broke down and we showed up late and missed her lesson. The barn is NOT close to my house. The last time this happened I called the BO and was kind of a bitch about the whole thing. I felt a little bit of bad doing it because she is an absolutely wonderful woman in all other aspects, but she had to understand how very, very unprofessional it is to not communicate with your clients, especially in the current economic climate. I made it very clear to her that I am not unreachable by any stretch of the imagination and not calling me is absolutely unacceptable. She has my work number, my cell number, my home number and my email address.

So, the latest thing we are dealing with is this: Her riding instructor recently got accepted for a pretty awesome job. She's moving to the Himalayas for a couple of years to teach survival classes. She's leaving at the end of next month. Awesome eh? However, I didn't hear a word about it from the BO or from the instructor herself. I had to hear it from another mother who's daughter Kayleigh rides with. Then I heard it from a couple of other mothers and two barn workers.

There is no word yet about who will be teaching the girls when the current instructor is gone. Am I being ridiculous or expecting too much to think we should be kept in the loop about what's going on? I spent some time finding a barn I was comfortable having my daughter take lessons at. I looked at all the school horses (school horse care is VERY important to me) and I watched a few lessons with a couple of different instructors before I selected who I wanted to teach her. I put in some time researching and watching to make sure I was getting my kid into the right environment where she would learn PROPERLY.

I'm starting to feel like I won't have that option when the instructor leaves. I have worked for barns that don't hesitate at all to fob their "advanced students" off to teach the beginner riders and then charge the same amount for the lesson that they would charge for a lesson with a certified instructor. That's not okay with me. Just because you can ride well doesn't mean you teach well and I think it's a bad practice.

I'm willing to wait a little bit longer to find out what they plan to do, but I guarantee I will NOT be a happy camper if we show up for her lesson and we have some unknown out in the ring giving lessons.

Riding lessons are a LUXURY for Kayleigh, not a necessity. She has her own horse and I'm quite experienced at giving beginner/intermediate riding lessons. I can teach her myself but know from past experience that family teaching family isn't always the best mix, especially when it's a mother/daughter situation. I signed Kayleigh up for lessons so she can have the experience of riding several different horses and be able to ride with other kids her age. Riding with mom is fun, but riding with girls your age? That's golden.

I guess we'll just wait to see what happens.


  1. This is obviously something to which you've given a great deal of thought, and about which you care deeply. When you're laying good money out there and dealing with something this important, I think it's okay to make it a big deal.

  2. That's good that there was no infection. I don't think you are being unreasonable by expecting to be notified about changes in lesson times. My son's basketball coach recently chewed him out for missing a practice. We were there, but nobody else was because they changed the location and neglected to tell us. It is annoying to have to waste time and gas.

  3. Good news on your boy's leg!

    Well welcome to my world of fat cat wanna be's! What it is with that...??!!
    I am done with those sorts of folks now! I can choose whom ever I wish and the closed circuit ones,as you've described don't deserve the time and energies and wasted gas, I say!

    I am just burnt out on nasty uncommuicative people
    right now though!

  4. I'm so sorry to hear that you're having problems with the barn! But I think it's great your daughter gets to take lessons. I know I really benefited from them even though I had my own horse and an experienced rider for a mother. I took lessons with my horse, but now I wish I had done some on other horses, because I think it slowed me down some. You're doing the right thing! Even if you have to put up with all this nonsense.

  5. find another barn to give your money to. this is ridiculous. the barn owner AND the instructor should be calling you. this is unacceptable. very very poor customer service = no customers.