Telling it like it is
I used to be a client of Cat Smith's at Gotham Training Center. I agree with those people who have stated that she does not deliver on the promises made in regards to training your horse. She would only work my horse when I was present, which was 1 day a week, and I was paying what other trainer's charge for 5-6 days a week training. I had finally moved to another more reputable training facility after giving her many chances to right the situation. It never got better, I only was taken MORE advantage of. I truly feel that she bit off more than she could chew. She was not in a the position to run a full-service show barn, nor a training practice. I do think she was capable of working with well-trained seasoned horses, but not fixing serious behavioral problems or starting young horses. I must honestly say that I did enjoy the lessons I had with her and felt she was good at giving instruction. Her problems were her lack of total commitment and always finding an excuse for not following through with her promises. She needs to take a good, hard look at herself and determine what she could do to restore her reputation, which may include making amends to those she has wronged. But until she faces up to it and swallows that difficult pill, it will never happen.
Gotham Training Center aka Cat Smith
Two things amaze me about bad horse trainers. One is that they stay in business. Two is that they continually steal major $$ from unsuspecting clients and then close up their facility only to move on to another group of unsuspecting victims. This is how Cat Smith operates. She is a liar, thief and scam artist. Her list of credentials, references and education resume is bogus. After extensive research and contacting the people and places she lists on her resume, I have the proof to discredit her. In fact, she has been let go from reputable facilities in the state of Florida for her unprofessionalism and unethical ways of doing business. Her reputation in the industry is nothing more than a "*** Artist in a pair of riding boots". I have been told by well known, professional horse trainers and reputable equine medical personnel, that her facility conditions and care she provides are substandard and detrimental to the health of the horses. She advertises she is able to train your horse in every type of discipline. Let me tell you she is not able to do so. She does not have the ability to train your horse at all. WHY? Because she is in this business for her own personal gain. She does not care about the horses or the students who pay good money for lessons. Her only agenda is her and how much money she can get out of you before you figure out what she is really about. She assures you that your young, green horse is destined to be a fabulous champion and/or worth major $$ and that your child is naturally talented and headed for great success. Either way, Cat Smith utilizes these proclamations to seduce you into spending more money. Meanwhile, your horse is NOT being trained and your child is trained only to the point to where you are told to lay out more $$. I am writing this from firsthand experience dealing with this lying viper. I cannot begin to tell you how much time, effort, and money I have given this person. My horse and child have suffered greatly at the hands of this pathological liar. The best is when you call her on what she is doing. She tries to reverse the blame and tell you that your horse has issues and that your child is not progressing because he/she is not listening to her or working hard enough. In other words, nothing is ever Cat Smith's fault. Cat Smith carefully chooses which horses to ride that make her look good. Any horse that is evasive, temperamental or just plain unattractive is not ridden and a client is then told "she has exhausted all her efforts and that they should "Cut Your Losses". It is always someone or something else's fault. She takes no responsibility for the horse's health she has put in jeopardy and takes no responsibility for the money she has taken from loyal clients. I can't stress enough that you should never board, train or take lessons with Catherine "Cat" Smith. She leaves behind her a long list of casualties in both horses and good people. This is not being written by someone with a grudge or personal vendetta, just by someone speaking up for a large group of people that have been taken advantage of by this lying fake. I just hope you adhere to my words and do you and your horse a favor - Stay away from her. There should be laws put into effect that keep people like her from working in this industry. She gives legitimate hard working trainers a bad name. She is part of a group that tarnishes this profession for all the truly ethical people out there. Cat Smith is in the process of once again going out of business at her current facility (there have been many and she is actually being evicted). She is most likely planning to relocate and repeat her ways on to another group of unsuspecting, hard working people. BEWARE!
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