It is very important when your horse has finished it's training period with your trainer that you understand your horse's program that you are to follow at home. Too many times owners take their horses home and follow the program for a week or so...then a "friend" gives their input. Next thing you know, tack has been changed and so has the program. Sometimes it's very difficult to tell your friend thanks but I'm going to stick with my trainer's program but you are far better off to hurt their feelings than possibly get hurt yourself.
You have to remember you have paid for your trainer's knowledge and experience, which is why they are the "trainer". Most trainers have years of experience combined with knowledge. They spend time with your horse and they know what will work and what won't. Experience isn't something you can learn from a book.
When horses leave our facility we have now implemented a written program for the owner to follow. Once they can follow this program on their own with confidence then you can start to make changes. This can happen because you are now working as a team and you are comfortable with your horse.
If you get into trouble with your horse and nothing seems to be working then go back to the beginning. Go back to the program your trainer sent you home with including using the same equipment. Work with those basics until you start to have good consistent sessions with your horse. If all else fails, call your trainer and see if you can take your horse back for a lesson. This will allow your trainer to look at what you are doing or not doing and get you back on track. Gary always tells his clients to call if they run into any problems. No matter how silly you think it may sound, he would rather help you work through it before it becomes a big problem.
Before any horse leaves our facility we insist the rider come out and ride the horse before they go home. This way they are being taken through the whole program step by step.