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Animal Training reviews in Horseheads

  • A
    Mancini, Cynthia A.
    Cindy provides high-quality riding lessons for beginning to advanced riders. She specializes in dressage and eventing, but she has given my beginner husband a trail riding lesson that was very helpful. Her main emphasis is on the safety of horse and rider. That means she focuses on quality instruction to improve her students' hands and seat. When I started taking lessons with Cindy a year ago, I literally rode in the fetal position with clutching legs, hunched shoulders and unforgiving hands. She has reschooled me from the ground up, working on limbering my muscles, relaxing my body, and sorting through my fear issues related to several bad riding experiences in the past. She has been patient, forgiving, funny, and when necessary, hard-nosed enough to move me past my fear and into a better mental space. She devoted three months this spring to lessons on the lunge line to help improve my seat and hands, and when she was convinced that I was ready to move on, she began introducing more difficult assignments into our weekly lessons. She offers constructive criticism balanced by meaningful praise, and when necessary, she's willing to climb onto a client's horse and help ride through issues that might arise. (She has kept my gelding "tuned up" as I have improved my riding.) She encourages her students to read, watch videos and attend clinics to improve their knowledge, and she maintains positive, professional relationships with many area trainers and boarding barns. What impresses me most is that in addition to her busy training schedule, she also is a technical delegate for the USEF, as well as a USEF "r" Event Judge, and a graduate from the USDF "L" program, and she has trained with a number of the big riders in the industry including Michael Barisone, Lendon Gray & Marilyn Payne. She actively judges rated events from the spring to late fall, which adds to the value of each lesson I take with her. Most importantly, she helped me find my one-and-only dressage horse, a gorgeous gelding with beautiful gaits and a wonderful mind. She was willing to work within my limited budget, and she didn't turn her nose up at a breed (Quarter Horse) that other dressage trainers might have dismissed as being too pedestrian. She evaluated my gelding on his merits, and she recommended I buy him. It was proven to be one of the best decisions I've ever made. He is an amazing horse, and he's perfect for what I need. Her patience and unwillingness to accept second-best when it came to making that purchase helped me make the perfect match. Her website is:
    - HEATHER S.
  • B
    As soon as I walked in, we were greeted very friendly. A technician was at the desk and came right around to help weigh my puppy right away. She then put the information into our computer file to have the weight updated on file, and got the heartworm medication for us. The technician was also very helpful with my questions in regards to our future spaying needs; and she wrote down my question for the vet. She then also provided me with an estimate of the spaying, the print out was nice, it broke all the services down and gave a "low" and "high" end cost of the procedure, with the option of using a laser for the incision (which will cost more). I was a little leary that my question would not be passed onto the vet, as she wrote it down in a notebook that looked like it was used for notes by the receptionist and she told me "the vet is not here today, he will be back on Monday" (there's 3 vets at this office so the specific one we see wasn't there that day). However I was nicely surprised by a phone call late Monday morning from the vets office, it was one of the receptionists but she told me "the vet was told of your questions regarding the spaying." And she told me what the vet thinks is the best way to handle it and how it would be done. I was very pleased that the vet did get my message and was surprised at how fast I did get a call back. (I do think the estimate for the spaying is rather very high, not sure if I totally agree with how the vet wants to not give antibiotics prior to the surgery - my puppy has vaginitis and I would think the best idea is to give a few days of antibiotics before surgery to prevent problems but they say just putting her on antibiotics after surgery will be enough- and also think if they have the laser technology that would be their standard of care to use that rather than "it being an option and will cost more if we use it" "but their healing time is faster and less pain if you do let us use the laser". So I do plan on calling my past vet to get their opinion of the antibiotics and also getting an estimate for spaying from there to compare.)
    - Jessica M.
  • F
    David Dixon
    In the beginning David Dixon was very respectful and hard working at our stable. He worked hard to assist the stable functions. It quickly became apparent that Mr. Dixon's goal was to become a partial-owner of the business and that he had no intention to just remain a stable hand. He would not assist in the ways I requested, such as holding my own horse while I mounted riders, but in ways that would place him alongside the clients. When trail riders would come to our facility, he would position himself as the owner and the primary contact, pushing myself (owner) aside. Whether it was to receive tips or to prove that he should be a higher-ranking part of our business model, his "I'm the owner" mentality was unrequested, unprofessional and unacceptable. As I communicated that there was not a possibility of him becoming a partial-owner (there was no need and he also would not have brought any skills to the position that would add to and complement my own), his workmanship spiraled downhill. He only did the minimum amount of work necessary per shift and often made many mistakes. He would also make up excuses to explain absences from shifts. When cleaning stalls they were often barely even touched, let alone clean. When questioned about his workmanship he continually played a "cowboy-schmooze" routine to try to talk himself out of the situation and avoid more work. He would question my standards and demands instead of accepting that he was not working to the stables's and other employees' and volunteers' standards. There were obvious issues as well with his ability to let himself be managed by a woman. In addition, the assistance that he did provide with riding clients was often flawed or not up to standards. He over-estimated his horsemanship abilities, flaunting that he was "backyard trained" as though that were a benefit. The cocky mistakes that he made would often risk the safety of clients. He did not double check his work or ask questions when he did not understand a particular piece of tack or the behavior of the horses. He often would use the wrong saddles on horses and knew nothing about saddle fitting. The result is that he caused the horses pain while he rode. He would use their erratic behavior resulting from the pain to try to prove his skills as a rider and/or trainer. He was asked to help with the training of one of our boarder's horses. It was evident early on in the project that the issue was not the horse's training, but the horse's health. The horse had chiropractic issues that were easily resolved with chiropractic and dental care. The horse's training has proven to be far beyond Mr. Dixon's own knowledge. Mr. Dixon did not communicate with the owner the sources of the issues and that there was no longer a need to pay him for specialty training and continued to try to make money off of the situation. Beyond his work in the barn and his attitude, he almost never paid any of his rent and utilities on time. After leaving, he still had not caught up on 2 months of rent. In the 5-6 months of him working here, I also had two issues with him dating other employees and stable members. Because the stable hand room rental is in my home, it was incredibly awkward for the women to be escorted into their boss' home for dating activities. Additionally, I found it incredibly unprofessional in terms of his relationship with the business. When it was finally decided he needed to find work elsewhere, he somehow came up with a bill for over $800 for ME to pay him, saying that he had done some specialty repairs that he was charging $15/hour. We had any conversations on the topic, let aloner agreed to further pay beyond pay that would be applied towards his rent. Considering that the repairs were within his scope of work that he already owed me it was ridiculous. Further, he had only worked 8-10 hours a week when he was being paid for 14 hours he actually owed ME hours, making the charge even more absurd!
    - Erika E.
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Animal Trainers in Horseheads

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