I rode Izzy yesterday, and it was wonderful. She didn't spook, despite the dumb kids playing baseball by the arena. She was forward and soft, and our biggest problem was that she'd prefer to do a nice canter transition instead of a lengthen trot. Not exactly horrible. (Oh, and the jeans are fine.)
Today was not so good. She was cranky and uncooperative. She spooked at stupid things (or nothing). She didn't want to be forward much at all, but I think that's partly because it did rain a bit overnight, and the footing wasn't what it could be. We had a few nice moments, but she was in a mood, and then I got to be in a mood, and then someone else came in to ride, and I decided it was a good time to be done.
I made a decision that it is not a good time to talk about other borders, because I really wouldn't do them a service. When my horse is being irritating is not a good time for me to make personal observations. We did manage to end on a good-ish note. It might be a good time to talk about trainers, though.
In a comment on my last post, Jean made a comment about letting a trainer go too far with her horse. I'm not naming names, but there are several trainers in this area that I might go to for a lesson, but I would absolutely never let them on my horse. Our philosophies on horses are just too divorced for me to ever be comfortable with that, regardless of how good of a "rider" they are. I'm an adult (sort of) and I'm comfortable telling people no. I don't just mindlessly do what I'm told anymore (not that I was ever good at that).
I wonder about kids and less confrontational adults, or even just horse people who aren't as confident in their skills and knowledge. It's easy to second-guess oneself and say, "Well, I wouldn't do that, but s/he knows more than I do". That may be true. It's possible that we our oversensitive about Precious, and she really just needs a good smack once in a while to tell her it's not ok to run all over people, HOWEVER, if you know that, odds are you need to set boundaries, with both the horse and the trainer.
My solution is that even though I'm not currently in a situation in which I need firm boundaries with trainers (since I'm doing the training), I'm already setting them in my head. I know certain people that I will never let on my horse, and I will (and do) advise friends the same way. I watch people work before I take a lesson from them or let them ride my horse. I am willing to step in and take my horse away if I don't like how they're handling it.
Has anyone else set and/or used boundaries with trainers and instructors?