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How to Pick a Horse Trainer

Jul 17, 2008
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 services.

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
Edna X Wilson is a writer for www.HorseClicks.com, popular classifieds of horses for sale, used trailers and ranches for sale.
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