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Trainer’s Tip Tuesday

I had a different post planned. Maybe I'll do that one tomorrow.

I had someone complain about a bill on a horse that I have put in far more hours than I have billed for. I care for the horse and their owner. I get too emotionally attached to the horses and their humans. I felt guilty for charging for my services. Then I got frustrated because I put in so many hours to not be appreciated. Then I understood how two trainer's felt hopeless and made a life ending decision this week. Thankfully my mental health is good. Thankfully my husband has a good job and provides for us. Thankfully I have a support system. But.....

We have had two trainer's in the equine world commit suicide this week. It's a tragedy.

Being an equine professional is not an easy job. It's not all working with horses. There is a human factor as well. If it were just the horses, it would still be a 24/7 job but there would not be all the human drama.

When your horse comes to us, we watch and worry over that horse 7 days a week. We are constantly tweaking little things like feed, meds, exercise, trims, body, etc to try to get the best outcome possible. We want to see you and your horse be successful. We generally under charge and overwork ourselves because we want everyone to be happy. We want to help.

Here are the facts, horses are expensive. I work with many equine professionals and yes there are bad ones out there that take advantage of people, but for the most part the ones I know undercharge. They don't charge enough for their time, expenses and education they receive and seek. They don't charge enough for wear and tear on their equipment, bodies, and vehicles they use to make this horse passion work for you. They don't charge enough for the insurance they have to provide or to cover their basic expenses for living. They do their job because of their passion.

For the most part, I have great clients. They appreciate me and don't complain about their bills. I still dread billing every month. I don't like discussing money. I would help for free if I could afford to. So I adjust and readjust bills to save my clients as much as possible even when I know I earned more. I want to help, I want to make it as affordable as possible. The facts are horses aren't cheap and broken horses are super expensive. I hate billing, because as much as I short myself, I will always have at least one person that complains and one person I have to chase for payment. I will spend more time stressing and worrying and justifying to those clients than financially is wise. Time is money and there are only so many hours in the day. Here I sit at 9pm doing paperwork and writing a post. I am now on hour 14 of my work day. Somedays that corporate job you gave up with a salary, retirement, benefits, paid sick leave and paid vacation seems really enticing. Somedays working at a local retailer 40hrs a week for $18 an hour seems smart. Higher hourly wage and fewer hours. But we have a passion to help horses and their people and horses need help with their people.

This week I have also seen several great professionals being attacked on social media by keyboard warriors who think that they can tear apart professionals offering education for free. These professionals are now considering doing what I have done, go private. Such a loss for those truly seeking good people to better their horsemanship.

Sometimes there isn't enough of you to go around. Sometimes too many people complain or don't pay. Sometimes you just wear yourself out trying to please everyone while shorting yourself. Sometimes you work so hard to help everyone but then no one is helping you.

Be kind to your professionals. Before you attack them about a bill, ask for clarification. A good professional can justify all the charges. Also consider if you ask Walmart, Sams, Olive Garden, Home Depot to justify and break down their prices. If the answer is no, maybe be a little kinder to your small business owner. Yes, there are bad ones out there. Most of us are just trying to do a good job and help those around us.

We had two trainers commit suicide this week. Veterinarians have one of the highest suicide rates. Let's all be kind. You never know how your positive (or negative) words can build someone up (or tear them down). Assume the best unless you can prove the worst.

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Thank you for all you do and have done for me. We miss you. ❤️


Same for me and that goofy horse!


I’m with Lisa. I hope my beaming face today told you just how much your support and encouragement means to me and my horses. I can understand how it must feel to learn your colleagues ended their lives. We all need to cut each other some slack and encourage each other. I firmly believe I’ve gotten priceless benefit from your knowledge. You deserve fair compensation!


I don’t know where Tino and I would be if not for all your help, love and care! You are a life and soul saver!!

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