The Dark Side of Some Horse People

All I can say is WOW.  I am the type of person who if I don’t have something nice to say about someone I don’t say it.  As I was scouring the horse blogs this week I was flabbergasted at how  mean some people can be.  A certain blog is completely ruining the business of a trainer, well actually a few different trainers.  I’m not saying I use these training methods because I really don’t.  BUT I can say he is not abusive and some people and their horses do benefit from this program.  It’s a different story if you have proof that a trainer is abusive, by all means then call him out!   Don’t just do it to get your blog read and cause trouble.


I just picture some of these bloggers as lions devouring their prey.  I once lost a batch of students because of someone like this.  The reason this happened, I went away for about six weeks.  This other trainer came in to sub for me and my students.  I looked at her resume, and felt she would be appropriate for my beginner to advanced beginner riders.  What I did not take into consideration was that she would like to steal my students and keep them.  She spent the six weeks that I was gone poisoning my students against me.  They were all too inexperienced to realize my methods are tried and tested.  She had them all loping around the arena like maniacs (I was told by my boarders and one of my other instructors who actually knows how to ride).  This other instructor went on to tell the parents that I was holding them back, and they could learn at a much faster rate by staying with her.  A few of them bought into that and left.  I basically told them, I will not engage in finger pointing, and that I do the best job I possibly can while keeping my riders and horses safe.  I also told them they were not at a level that was safe to be doing this uncontrollable loping.  That did not sit well because the other trainer told them she saw their potential and I did not.  I will not move a rider up to a more advanced gait if they don’t have a balanced seat and hang on a horse’s mouth.  I want to develop a true rider and I won’t allow any yahooing around at the horse’s expense.


I could have told the parents I made an error in judgement for the instructor’s qualifications and she did not have the foresight to protect the horses and riders.  I didn’t put her down, as much as I wanted to because she was completely unprofessional.  I did lose a few students and I warned them of the safety issues because I genuinely care for the safety of the riders but no one wanted to hear it.  The trainer is now out of business and I don’t know if any of those people ride anymore.  Probably not any of them because I’m guessing she screwed them so much that they lost faith in horse trainers.


I strongly feel that there is something to be learned from everyone.  What I learned from this trainer, is that you cannot trust people to be honest and professional.  She later tried to sue me for slander when I never even said anything other than for the riders to please be careful and stay safe.  Her suit was thrown out, which was brilliant.  I could have counter sued, but I’m not that kind of person.


In closing, if you see someone putting down another trainer for no other reason than to get themselves ahead, you just may be witnessing a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Always use common sense, and think for yourself not what other people tell you that you should think.  And please be nice, there are so many dishonest rude people in the horse business it would be really nice if the good people out numbered the bad.


About Deanna Castro

Deanna Castro has been training horses and riders professionally for over 18 years. She trains riders in Horsemanship, Western Pleasure, Showmanship and Trail Riding. Deanna is married to Native American Horse Trainer Fredi Castro and she is the author of "Six Weeks to a Better Horse".
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6 Responses to The Dark Side of Some Horse People

  1. It’s good to hear that you took the high road concerning the trainer that stole your students. My daughter and myself have dealt with this particular issue too. You are right not to let your students advance until they are safely ready to do so. Unfortunately, most people are so competitive and egotistical that they will listen to anyone who tells them how wonderful and talented they are. In a perfect horse world everyone would be honest and caring about their horses and their riders safety.

  2. Mrs Mom says:

    I always teach and try to live by… “We can learn something from everyone, even if it is what NOT to do”.

    Sounds like you might have been better off with out some of those students actually. But I am happy for you that things worked out for the best.

  3. Finski says:

    I can’t afford to go to my trainer often.. in fact it’s been months and months. I finally saw her at a resteraunt and told her how much I miss her.
    She is just one of those instructors that has you leaving the lesson feeling so good about yourself and your horse…. even if the lesson did not go so well that day!

  4. Sabrina says:

    ((HUGS!!)) That’s HORRIBLE!! I’ll NEVER understand people!! There’s a gal in our area that does that SAME stuff…and she doesn’t understand WHY she gets kicked out of the facility she boards at within a couple months time and why she’s finding it so hard to find new facilities in our area to board at…well…DUH…we’re a fairly tight knit group and protect each other tooth and nail from lies regardless of how well we actually like each other!! And NO…I’m not friends with his gal…in fact I was one of the many who was verbally “attacked” BY her…and accused of things I’d NEVER think of doing! Thankfully people in our area know me better than that so the rumors were extinguished quickly. But that’s a different story…anyway…((HUGS!!)) again and I’m sorry for what happened to you…it just amazes me how strongly competition and money drives people!!

  5. dcastro says:

    Thanks for the support guys!

    Greyhorsematters, wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a perfect horse world? Why does it have to be so corrupt? Horse’s are such an emotional thing for so many people, it’s a shame.

    Mrs. Mom, I think you’re right, I think I was better off without those people anyway. One rotten apple spoils the bunch :) Ha ha, maybe I should have used that title for the post.

    Finski, I’m glad you have a trainer who is good. She sounds like a real gem.

    Sabrina, I’m sorry that happened to you :( It is crazy how money can drive people. I never understood why anyone would want to make a quick buck and rip people off instead of doing a good job and building a good reputation.

  6. photogchic says:

    Deanna…your methods are correct. You have never failed to give great advice and wonderful analogies for ways to ride better. Too bad there are so many bad apples in the horse industry, but glad to hear you handled it like the professional that you are. Chin up….karma will get her soon enough.

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