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Horse Articles :: How to Choose a Horse Trainer
How to Choose a Horse Trainer
When looking for a trainer, you need to decide what your
goals are. They may change depending on what you and your
horse decide to do, but at least have an idea of what you
want to do. Do you want to show or just take lessons? Do you
want to trail ride and just want to learn how to control your
horse and ride better?
WHERE to look for a trainer
You can start with your vet, horse-related magazines, local
tack store, friends or the classified advertisements in your
local paper. Tack stores usually have a bulletin board, where
they allow barn owners and trainers to post announcements
when they have stalls available and if they're accepting new
clients. If a tack store has been established for a while,
they can usually tell you about the local barns, trainers
and their disciplines. Compile a list from everyone and give
the trainers and/or barns a call.
Pleasure or show?
Showing your horse is quite different then just riding for
fun or taking lessons. If you're serious about showing and
winning it requires a different mindset then taking lessons
and going trail riding or hanging out with your horse. Its
also much more expensive. Show barns usually charge more for
boarding, but usually have a trainer available if the barn
owner doesn't train and show horses. Make sure the trainer
has shown in the discipline you're involved in.
VISIT THE BARN
After you get a list of trainers, call them to set up an appointment.
Go to the barn they work out of. Check out the facility. If
the barn isn't in great shape, don't worry. Instead, look
at the horses -- are they well fed and cared for? Do they
have plenty of grass and turnout? How's the fencing?? Is the
barn neat and orderly? Does it look and smell clean?
MEET THE TRAINER
It's helpful to watch a trainer teach a lesson, so try to
schedule a time when a few clients will be at the barn. Talk
to him or her in between lessons. Find out about their personal
riding experience. How long did they show as a kid or adult?
Where and on what circuit? If they still show as a professional,
that will take away from their time to teach. And if they're
on the road with advanced students a couple months a year,
they may not be the right trainer for you. And find out how
long they've been teaching. If they're new to teaching, they
may have more time for you and your horse. Just because they're
new, doesn't mean they don't have talent. Ask the trainer
for references and if they're reluctant, don't enlist their
And finally, remember finding the right trainer is a personal
choice. You need to like and trust the trainer you choose.
They should be willing to answer your questions about their
training philosophy and what they're doing with your horse.
Lastly, go with your gut instinct. If you click with a trainer
who's relatively unknown, that will turn out to be a better
choice then going with a well-known trainer that everyone
knows, that you don't click with. Riding and having a horse
should be fun. If you do your homework beforehand you'll have
more options and make the right choice for you and your horse.
About the Author
Philippe Wiskell is a writer for HorseClicks, classifieds
sale Indiana, and other states.