I am struggling still with the whole trainer thing. I think I have unrealistic expectations, not so much in how “much” I will learn from a trainer, but rather of how interested the trainer should be in my progress/activities once I am out of class and/or at a trial.
I grew up riding horses, at a barn, for many, many years. The majority of my childhood until I left for college. These were nothing fancy by any means, but we did ride 3-4 times a week and show on the local B/C circuit. I had the same trainers for years. Really–depending on my age–they were probably 50-75% trainer and 25-50% babysitter. They had a vested interest in how I did, how my horse was, and at the shows, they were right there with us. And this was with a large barn of somewheres in the neighborhood of 30-50 students at any given time…
So I know agility is different than a hunter-jumper barn. And I also haven’t been doing this that long, so maybe I just haven’t found my training hero yet. Having a horse in training is exponentially more financially draining than going to agility once a week and trials a few times a month–so maybe it was a money thing… Or maybe this will be my thing to “go it on my own” in some capacity… But really I am seeking someone who gives a crap once I’ve left their classroom and my $20 session isnt in effect. Someone who at the shows doesn’t have to hold my hand, but at least will actively watch my runs, and give me advice on the course, and not either ignore me or tell me all about how they will run their dog (without any relation to how mine might go)… is this too much to ask?
I went to yet another facility last night. I was proud of myself how I tracked this one down. After old trainer had a strained look on her face when I told her who I had taken a few classes with up here, I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt (even though she drives me crazy sometimes, I still respect her opinion and want to continue in the vein she has started us off in), and kept hunting. I racked my brain for someone I had seen run their dogs up here, around my level, whom I thought was good. One young girl popped into my mind who runs her Mini Aussie and Cavalier. She runs quietly and positively and her dogs do well. So I internet stalked her via our Club and luckily for me she is exceedingly nice and invited me to sit in on her class last night.
Really nice facility, nice trainer (not the head one I hope to take classes with, but I’d be happy with this one too to start). I like that all the main trainers seem to run mixed breed/rescue dogs along with their purebred dogs. That seems silly, but it means a lot to me, to have someone who is interested in overcoming those little unique behavioral issues that rescues come readymade with. So… we’ll see.
I’m not trying to become one of those people who is notorious for trainer-hopping and being in denial of issues that the dog/owner has, just looking for the right “fit”… to be continued.