View Full Version : How did you get your Eventing (Lessons and Training) barn established?

Nov. 7, 2009, 09:50 AM
I want nothing more than to be a trainer. I have some experience giving lessons. Just little kid lessons when I worked for a trainer a while ago and am currently teaching my neighbor to ride on weekends I come home from school (for free. I am still an ammy), but when I gradutate college I want to open my own farm and start teaching people to ride and compete and board horses and train. Obviously I know that right now I am no expert. I have a seven year old I did all the training on (ground up. I got her as a baby out of a field) and we are jumping 3'6, but I wont take her above BN until next fall. It did take me a while to train her, but I know now what it takes to get a horse going well and I CAN actually do it! ha I am hoping to work under my current trainer at school, who is also our schools equestrain team coach, when I am senior to learn more about this business and what not.

Obviously I know that its going to be hard, but how did you bring in clients if you werent some super star at eventing.
I am slightly one up on most people because I have my own barn already and I have a small pony and an old Been there done that guy to give lessons off of and hopefully my pasture pet who needs to be worked will be a good school horse when i have the time for her (my current show horse will be off limits for a while..). Anyway sorry to drag on, but what does it take to get everything started?

Nov. 7, 2009, 05:52 PM
Well since nobody else bit, I'll bite. ;) I am not a trainer but I'm a client who's tended to work with younger trainers. What seemed to help them most--besides the obvious qualifications of good teaching ability, good work ethic, honesty, and decent business sense--were the following:

--affiliation with a BNT. Being somebody's ex-working student, groom, or assistant trainer goes a long way toward increasing client confidence in your abilities and philosophies as a trainer. If they know you've been trained by someone who really knows their stuff, they're more likely to take a chance on you.

--the price is right. Younger trainers typically charge less, sometimes as little as half of what the BNT charges. I've paid $30 per lesson with some of them, $40 with a few others. That's not much profit for them but it helps get their name out there.

--they're willing to ride the crappy horses, especially crappy client horses, in training (and again at a very good price, less than you'd pay with a BNT). Let's face it, most clients will come to you with a horse already in their possession; even if you have the greatest eye for sale horses, that does you no good when your client only has one horse and can't afford another. So you have to be able to work with what you're presented with.

--The better your riding creds, the better the scope of clients you'll get. In my area, a frequent champion rider at AEC's at Beginner Novice has hung out her shingle as a trainer. While that's fine and dandy, what's she going to do with her clients when they reach her own level of competence!? Personally I look for trainers who've ridden at least to my goal level (Training), and preferably up to Prelim or higher.

--They had school horses and the other trainers did not. Many bigger-name trainers don't need schoolhorses to attract clients, so if you've got a school horse, you may rope in a horseless client that others could not. The holy grail of eventing schoolhorses is a pony, a been-there-done-that older horse who can get people to the combined test level, and a Novice or Training schoolmaster. If you can find that final one, you will have clients coming out of your ears. It only takes one successful spin around a BN or Novice XC course in competition to hook most competitors into buying/leasing their own mount.

Nov. 7, 2009, 06:08 PM
jn4jenny, that's probably the best written description of what it takes to start out successfully I've ever seen.

The only things I can think to add would be having a trailer to transport clients to shows and the nicest facilities you can start with.

Nov. 7, 2009, 06:25 PM
Thank you soo much! That has helped a ton! What if I was never a working student, what is I just train with a BNT? I ride with Bill Hoos (big name trainer for the area here) when I can, but could never afford to be a WS for him.. will that count?

Nov. 7, 2009, 06:26 PM
Great advice. FWIW, I don't think anyone should be teaching other eventers how to event if you have only gone BN. Get some real knowledge and experience first please.

gully's pilot
Nov. 7, 2009, 06:43 PM
I do agree the former advice is very sound, but I especially agree that I don't think anyone should be training eventers who has only gone BN--not to say that you couldn't do it, I know many have, but I would want someone who has ridden at least at Prelim. I've been looking for awhile for someone to come work out of a training barn I own, but I specifically want prelim experience or higher.

Nov. 7, 2009, 06:51 PM
I will DEFINITELY be going higher than BN by the time I am ready to start training students to event! I guess I left that out, sorry. I should be going training or Prelim by the time I am out of College.

Nov. 7, 2009, 06:55 PM
jn4jenny said it very well

You should probably pm eventrider
and look at her website


Nov. 7, 2009, 06:58 PM
You're putting the cart (and the stable, and the students) before the horse here. There's a big, huge, enormous difference between training a horse and BEING a trainer--and a bigger one between being a good rider and being a good teacher. You're on the right track teaching beginners and planning to work with/for your coach, but just doing that for a year won't qualify you to open your own place. My suggestion is to work for someone well-respected (probably for peanuts or for free at first) for a couple of years before going out on your own. This does two things: one, you learn to teach correctly because you're being taught to do so. You wouldn't be a doctor without going to med school; don't be an instructor without learning how to teach. two, it will provide you with students while developing your own reputation. Then when you're ready for your own place, you won't have to go trolling for students, they'll seek you out.
This just scratches the surface of what it takes to be a good instructor, so seek out everything you can get your hands on (books, videos, advice from experienced instructors, training and lessons) and learn everything you possibly can. The best instructors never, ever stop doing this.
Good luck!

Nov. 7, 2009, 07:13 PM
I started teaching eventing when I was competing at Training, but I had a pretty good dressage and showjumping background too including a stint as a WS for a BNT. And I had a been-there done-that show horse who would pack students around at 4'. By the time I got serious in coaching eventing I'd produced two Preliminary horses from the ground up and ridden with some BNTs in eventing too.

I'll definitely agree that probably THE most helpful thing in getting my business established was having darn nice school horses. Especially since I produced them myself. A) it gives horseless (or unsuitably horsed) students something they can win on, which is good advertising and B) the fact that you trained the horse yourself is good advertising. When I started out I had one horse that would pack people around at shows and get them addicted to xc; now I have two horses that are safe enough for rank beginners, one will pack around at BN, one at Novice; another will pack through Training and win the dressage but isn't a beginner horse. It is HARD to find a barn that has really nice school horses.

As for riding crappy horses, yep, you have to be willing to ride them, and more importantly you have to know how to ride them and FIX THEM. (There is the "being a trainer" thing). Piloting a couple of nice imported trained event horses around at Prelim is NOT going to get much of a career. The clients who can afford those horses will go to the BNTs. You have to be able to make a stiff, ridden-upside-down-for-ten-years, downhill halter-type put in a respectable effort at BN. If you can do that, you can have as many clients as you want. (and eventually you won't have to ride those kinds of horses anymore!!)


Couture TB
Nov. 7, 2009, 08:06 PM
OP, Here is a quick outline of what I had to do to become a trainer:

I had a pretty good buissness going before I turned 21. The biggest thing that helped that was I was a working student for two almost but not quite BNT (can I call them bNT?) who were both long and short listed for the Olympic teams. When I got done being a working student at the first trainer's stable I built up a decent amount of clients by working with problem horses. You could not pay me enough to touch those horses now though! But the thing with being young and not a BNT is that those are going to be the horses coming thru your door for the first however many years till you 'pay your dues'. And I had the use of a couple horses for basic w/t/c lessons for low level dressage and huntseat.

After coming back from the second WS position where I had the chance to work more on young horses for XC and compete to the upper levels at events, I got in more sales horses. I also had a couple horses that you could learn to jump on. At that point I had a waiting list for lessons and training.

Now wait for it: You can loose it all in a second. I had a horse due a rotational fall over a xc jump and shattered my ankle, split my tibia, and poof there went everything. Just as fast as you can build it up it can come tumbling down.

After that I went on to do a few smaller GP in show jumping out east, and trained a few horses up to 4th level and one to PSG. Got some clients back.

Then became ill. Couldn't ride or train for the last four years. Now once again I am just starting the whole thing over again. Getting students. Trying to get in training horses. Getting a few nice sales horses. I have a couple of horses that show true potential for upper level eventing, upper level dressage, and GP jumpers.

Here is the thing: If it weren't for my family I would have been out on the streets. Think long and hard about if you want to try to make it in the horse world as a pro. Even now without my husband having a good job I wouldn't be able to try to build a buissness back up again.

ETA: Oh and on top of the WS things, I also grew up reschooling nasty ponies and horses most people wouldn't touch with a 10ft pole. That was because my parent's could not afford nice horses for us, but my father new enough to teach us to fix them. He taught quite a few kids in our PC. He is the reason I could ride well enough to have the trainers take me on as a WS. For the first trainer I didn't have much 'prettiness' to me, but I could get a horse over the jump come hell or high water.

Nov. 7, 2009, 11:14 PM
Thank you soo much! That has helped a ton! What if I was never a working student, what is I just train with a BNT? I ride with Bill Hoos (big name trainer for the area here) when I can, but could never afford to be a WS for him.. will that count?

That's sort of like saying, "I want to be a lawyer but I can't afford law school, so can I just be a lawyer without going to law school?" If you want to be a trainer, you need a trainer's education. It's about sitting on as many horses as you can, working with as many clients as you can, and learning to run your barn like a professional, all with someone who's been there/done that advising you about how best to negotiate each situation.

That 7-year-old mare you're bringing along might be your ticket to a working student gig. That's one thing about being a trainer: you can't get too attached to your own horses. Give the mare a winning season at Novice and sell her for $10,000, then go work for Bill Hoos who pays his working students $10 an hour toward their board and housing expenses. Between the chump wages and the money from your mare's sale, you'll pay for at least 9 to 12 months of experience. I've also met people who waitressed during their working student gigs to supplement income; it's difficult work but very good money.

Nov. 7, 2009, 11:57 PM
RR, I'm just going to put it out there that *I* am doing what you want to do (slowly), and the number one thing you need to know is that having a trainer you work with ON A REGULAR BASIS, who DOES WHAT YOU WANT TO DO and takes you out and introduces you to people and is well respected in the area is absolutely the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER.

You can go run around prelim ALL DAY LONG, but people want to know WHERE you got YOUR education and if you can emulate it to THEM. It is NOT enough to just get around at a certain level. If you don't have a good teacher TEACHING you, you CANNOT teach anyone.

If you want some realistic tips about getting started in our area, I'll give them to you, but you need to listen and learn from ANYONE YOU CAN.

Nov. 8, 2009, 07:57 AM
I would agree with a lot of what many people have posted here. YOU MUST PAY YOUR DUES!! One problem we have is there are so many people who have parents that have money to buy them a farm and they just through up a sign and call themselves trainers. This is a large reason we have many problems in our sport. You could spend years and years riding up through Preliminary and it still won't mean you will be able to teach this sport safely.

You must find someone that is a well-rounded horsemen (or women) that you respect and want to learn EVERYTHING from. It is going to take you a hell of a lot longer than a year to become that trainer that you want to be. Being a trainer is not just about riding, it is also about the proper care of a horse and safety of a rider. Some of this you can learn in books but most of this is learned through years of experience. Bill Hoos is wonderful and if he would take you under his wing for many years and train you to be the all-around horseperson, you should do it. But don't count out you may have to move to get what you want. I have not only lived many places in this country to train with the people that are the best but have lived in other countries to train with the people at the top of our sport.

It is a huge sacrifice and many years of blood, sweat and tears. Be prepared to miss many family activities (Christmas, holidays, weddings etc...) Those things can't be first on the list when you are going through all your years to get there. Be prepared to do all the dirty work.....Can't tell you how many Christmas's I have spent cleaning stalls.

Go be a working student for someone that has 'career programs', bring your horse, learn as much as you can, ride every single horse that you can get your hands on no matter what they are doing, watch as many lessons a day with your trainer and ask questions and learn. A good trainer will take you under their wing if you "prove yourself". I would spend as many hours as my trainers were teaching to watch and listen to them teach all types of riders.

Do not expect to be teaching people if your experience only takes you to Novice, it is just not realistic.

Best of luck to you, work hard and doors will open!!

Nov. 8, 2009, 08:24 AM
Another thought to build on what Epona said...once you get introduced (or introduce yourself) to well-respected trainers, spend lots of time watching them teach (in addition to watching your regular trainer's lessons) and watch them coach. I go to the warm-up area when I don't have anyone riding and ask some of the good trainers if I can eavesdrop while they coach their students. Everyone has always been happy to let me, and often engages me in conversation about why they're coaching the way they are for a particular student. As usual, eventers are always willing to help each other out. It's given me huge insights into different styles and approaches that I wouldn't get from working with just one person. And it's FREE!

Nov. 8, 2009, 10:37 AM
Networking is going to be key, but it is something that you can start doing NOW. Join your local dressage and combined training association, join your local dressage group, and join any other horse group that shares a common interest. Join these organizations, volunteer a bit, attend activities and become known to other members. If you want to teach, contact your local 4-H and Pony Clubs to see if they can use some help. You might not be able to teach immediately, but you can observe lessons and what other instructors do. I guarantee that you will have a much easier time starting a lesson and training business if you have an active connection with the greater horse community. It has to go beyond showing frequently; it has to include giving back to the larger horse community.
In my area, we had a very talented young dressage rider/trainer move into the area. Her parents built a lovely facility for her. But the reason she has been so successful is that she became active in horse community. She joined all the local horse groups. She offered her facility at no charge to several local dressage and eventing groups for clinics. She volunteered her time to coach junior dressage teams. She donated lessons to silent auctions. She has attracted a number for students and horses for training. Her business is a success. She networked like crazy and continues to network.

Nov. 8, 2009, 01:10 PM
I cannot sell my mare. She is my world and I would rather be teaching up down lessons for the rest of my life than sell that mare. I have another girl who if she makes it as an eventer or a nice anything will be sold, but my mare will not be sold. I bought. I trained her and I will keep her forever. Period. There are other ways that I can make in the horse world and I will find it.

I never thought about working while I was being a working student. But I would rather pay for lessons with Bill than be a working student for him. There are many other working student oportunities out there that I can afford. I dont feel like this is the same as wanting to be a lawyer and not being able to afford law school. Bill hoos in incredibly expensiive to work for. There are other just as qualified trainers that i could work for...

gully's pilot
Nov. 8, 2009, 03:05 PM
Most top-level working student positions are going to be expensive, because you get what you pay for. You're asking for advice on how to become established; that's probably what it's going to take.

Most professionals I know would part with any still-rideable horse in their barn, for the right price.

Nov. 8, 2009, 03:10 PM
Yeah, if you're going to be in the business, you have to think like a businessperson. There is not a horse in my barn that isn't for sale at some price. The only horses I currently do not have on my sales list are my 19 yo stallion (who would have basically no value on the market so there is no point!) and my 5 yo UL prospect, who despite being very talented is 15.2h and a chestnut TB mare to boot, so I would never be able to get out of her what she is worth!! (But, if someone came up and offered me enough money, she'd be outta here).


Nov. 8, 2009, 03:35 PM
Gully's Pilot is right.....You will get what you pay for!! Sometimes that is what it takes to work with the best. It is very expensive being a working student for anyone that is at the top but again that is the price you pay for working with high quality! You can not equate going to a junior college for 2years and getting an associates degree to graduating at the top of your class in an Ivy League College. It is the same with the horse industry and until people out there start doing more research on who they are riding with I am afraid we will continue to have people just hang signs up.

Many of my years spent being a working student I would also have a night job, bartending, cocktail waitressing (whatever it took to make money to pay for my training), these are the sacrifices you will have to make if you don't have wealthy parents that are going to support this dream.

Nov. 8, 2009, 04:42 PM
Reality check: It sounds like being a barn manager or maybe finding somewhere you can teach some up-downers on the weekends would be best, at least for the immediate future.

You don't have anywhere near the credentials it takes to be a trainer and you've got a ton of excuses why you couldn't possibly go get them. That's definitely not the philosophy I would want to buy into as a student.

(And I certainly hope that competing at the preliminary level is not considered a main qualification for training other riders. Yikes. I shudder to think of every scary prelim rider I see teaching 10 more people to ride just like them.)

Nov. 8, 2009, 05:27 PM
Reality check: It sounds like being a barn manager or maybe finding somewhere you can teach some up-downers on the weekends would be best, at least for the immediate future.

You don't have anywhere near the credentials it takes to be a trainer and you've got a ton of excuses why you couldn't possibly go get them. That's definitely not the philosophy I would want to buy into as a student.

(And I certainly hope that competing at the preliminary level is not considered a main qualification for training other riders. Yikes. I shudder to think of every scary prelim rider I see teaching 10 more people to ride just like them.)

I think the comment about Preliminary was that an event instructor should be someone who has competed to at least Prelim. I agree that there are many Prelim riders (and beyond) who would be terrible teachers! IOW, a record at Prelim is necessary but not sufficient.

RR9, I think that you need to get a lot more experience before you can even think about teaching others to event. You are still learning how to do it yourself. You have yet to compete in a recognized event, if I read your post right. And it sounds like you have not had consistent training from Bill H. or any other instructor.

Get a working student job for a year or more. See what the business is like. Then decide whether you want to work toward being an event instructor. At that point, you will need to continue to be a working student for a good while longer. And take lots of lessons. And compete a lot to build your recognized show record, on your own dime (any event away from home costs several hundred dollars a pop).

As for the working student job itself, if Bill H. is not taking students, or if his program requires high tuition, look for other avenues. There are programs that provide housing and a stall, and/ or a small stipend. You might have to work another job too. But they are not in Middle TN that I know of-- you might well have to move away. There have been a lot of threads on WS jobs in the past-- do a search.

Nov. 8, 2009, 07:28 PM
For Clarification...

I do not plan on posting a sign out front of my home within the next 3 years and calling myself a trainer.. I KNOW I am not capable of training event riders at this moment. My mare will never be for sale. Period. She will eventually be one of the best school horses ever! If it werent for our poor dressage (which is getting a TON better) then we would be able to easily go training... she is a bold SAFE horse. She will jump anything and can pack anyone around (I will admit I have had my fair share of terrible rides) on any course. Easily. She is my once in a life time horse.
I have yet to ride a recognized event, but I have traveled out of state to do many schooling events. I know the costs involved with traveling and I am very lucky to have a means of transportation and usually super cheap hotels because of my moms benefits because she travels so often, BUT I am more than willing to camp out to save money if ever need be. I also do not mind moving away from home. My horses are at my parents house and can be taken care of if I leave for a year or however long to train, but I will move back home eventually.

hmm.. lets see what else I am leaving out here... Oh I have a consistent trainer. I take lessons regularly, but since I am farther away it isnt feasible at the time to ride with Bill Hoos like I did before. I would take lessons with him every two weeks.. I know that isnt a lot, but I didn't have the money at the time to travel more and take more lessons.

Also.. let me make it clear because maybe I was vague about it before.. or kinda didnt mention it. I dont plan on being a top trainer right when I start. I know I am going to train beginners, I am going to ride terrible horses and if I never train 2 and 3* riders I am okay with that. My current trainer says she makes most of her money off the little beginners in her barn or the kids with the stubborn ponies who they want to compete off of and only at schooling shows. There are many trainers who make money this way and if I am only one of those kinds of trainers then I am okay with that. All I want is to make some money doing what I love. I love working with horses and I love teaching people about them. I know I dont know everything and I am the first to admit that. I will always be a sponge to soak up knowledge in the horse world. I spend most of my free time riding horses, reading books on different training methods and anything else I can do to learn about horses and this sport.

Now if I make it as a BNT great. If not thats great too. I just want to do what I love. I know it will take work to be a decent trainer and I am prepared for that. More than prepared. I am not out to be rich.. I just want to love my job.

BTW I worked at a WS when I was 12-15 with a trainer and I know what work it takes to actually own and manage a barn ect... Im not in for any surprise...

Nov. 8, 2009, 07:47 PM
Just wondering... how old are you?

You've never ridden at a recognized event and you're wanting to establish a lesson and training barn?

You have been given GREAT advice here on this thread and seem to be finding reasons why *you* don't need to follow it. :eek:

I know a woman who was SURE she knew what it took to run a top-notch boarding facility. :yes: She'd boarded out a few places, but never had or run her own barn or even worked at a barn. BUT. SHE. KNEW.

Long and terrible story short, she built a $700,000 barn and lost it within two years. Because she couldn't or didn't want to take the advice of the people around her.

But... Good luck! Wish you all the best.

(FWIW, I love horses. LOVE them, would love nothing better than to make them my career, but it *just is not* in the cards for me. I simply don't know enough to be training other people or other people's horses. Yeah I did teach some lessons in my late teens, but looking back, I was an idiot for doing so... it was just little kids but still... Sometimes, NOT doing what you love is the RESPONSIBLE thing to do. )

Nov. 8, 2009, 07:54 PM
Honestly, there's not a lot of room for a defensive attitude here. The majority of these people on here have been there, done that, and are generous enough to share their knowledge of the real world. You may have had a WS stint when you were 12 - 15, but when you're that age, I don't think that you honestly know the hardships of this industry. Theres nothing wrong with more research, and I don't think that you should be biting their heads off when they just want to let you know what's up.

Anyways, it sounds like what you want to do is what Tawn Edwards has done in Georgia. I'd suggest you'd get in contact with her. (Website here (http://www.willowsouth.com/).) She has a wonderful program down here, and her students (all kids, or at least the majority are) are taking names left and right at the lower levels.

Good luck with your dreams, just be open minded about it.

Nov. 8, 2009, 08:05 PM
Look, C, you came here asking for advice, and you've been getting it- some really good stuff, honestly. Whether you like it or not, the people on this board know their shit. It took me a long time to realize that myself, and I got on COTH when I was about your age, but now I get it. For everyone 1 answer you get that is a crock, the other 99 are RIGHT, to some degree.

I shouldn't be personally invested in your life, but the way the world works, we've crossed paths again and again- you can do it if you do it the right way, but you need to back down a little and have a piece of humble pie. Listen to the people around you. Becky and I are both making it in a similar way. Other people in Middle TN about my age are doing it too- Rachael H and Evelyn S are two that come to mind. It IS possible, but you need to worry less about making it with your mare and going prelim and doing this and doing that and get a GOOD, SOLID eventing AND DRESSAGE foundation under you. Thats not to say you can't teach at the lower levels in the meantime- again, look at me and Becky. But you're asking people on this board who are thinking you want to be the next Christian Trainor, don't get up in arms when they tell you what its going to take to be the next Christian Trainor.

I have a forever horse too. He may NEVER, EVER make it around a BN XC course ever again, but he's mine and hes the one I have and I'm going to do what I can. In the meantime, I'm laying the best foundation I can for his AND my success and learning A LOT in the meantime.

LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE THAT ARE TALKING TO YOU. They are telling you the right things.

So, hate me if you'd like to, but there are a lot of things about you that remind me of myself a few years ago, and again, you CAN and WILL succeed, but you need to step back, worry about college, get into a program and go from there.

Couture TB
Nov. 8, 2009, 08:22 PM
If you are going to be in a buissness every horse has it's price. Now that price may be sky high, but if someone wants to pay it then sell. That does not mean that they can not be your friends and you can't care for them. It just means you are thinking like a buissness woman and not a person who just is in it for fun. I once turned down 6 figures for a horse. He bowed his tendons 4 days later. That horse would have financed more competitions with other horses, school horses, help pay for my insurance (yes you are going to have to have insurance), etc. Oh yes and be padding for when you are laid up.

Until you yourself compete at at least Training and maybe do a Training 3 day I don't think you really will know if you truly want to be a trainer and instructor for eventing. You need to get out and see what real competitions are like, compete under stress, and then you may or may not still want to specialize in eventing. If you just want to teach up down lessons that is fine. But that is much different then training eventers. Remember to be a trainer and instructor for eventing you have to be able to train and instruct in dressage, cross country, and show jumping. By the sounds of it you are going to need more then 3 years to do that, unless you go get a WS position soon. FWI there are quite a few WS positions that will give you and your horse room and board and a few that will give you a little bit of pocket money. If you go to www.yardandgroom.com you can search for them both in the US and over seas.

There are tons of very talented riders and trainers out there that also have dreams of making money doing what they love. The thing is it is a very very hard life. There are ups and downs. There are injuries of horses and riders. For every Darren out there that you hear about people raising money to help them pay their bills while they are laid up there are tons of small names that are competing at all different levels that you will never hear about.

Nov. 8, 2009, 09:01 PM
No one can tell you how to be a trainer/coach in the horse world. There are many different ways to get there.

Here is how I did/do it. First I worked for a small Intermediate level trainer who ran a pretty big (45 stall barn) for 5 years while I was in college. I watched every lesson I could, taught some up/downers for free under supervision and rode everything I could sit on, including up/downer lesson ponies that needed schooling. Then I worked in Corporate America for 5 years, in customer service. Then I went back to grad school and got my masters in Education. I've ridden through prelim and trained many OTTB through training/prelim because I never had any money; still don't! Learn quickly that everything is for sale... take the money off the table; its a horse and can be dead tomorrow.

Six years ago, I opened my own farm and still teach tons of up/downers. I have students running bn through prelim, they all started to ride with me. I do not have prelim students looking to ride with me, but have taught them from the start. It takes many years to establish a business, and even more to prove that you have the ability to teach riding. Be willing to give back to the sport and to the local community.

There are many, and I do mean many ULR or BNT out there who say that are teachers of riding. I have met very few who actually can teach. Most regurgitate what their experiences were and use what is in their personal tool box and what works for them. (The student either figures it out or spends tons of time and money being confused.) To an extent that is fine, however, teaching is being able to put your experiences aside and find out how to show a student theory and how it works, then incorporate that theory into something that someone else can be successful with, which is probably not what would work for you.

Teachers learn how to teach others through years of instruction, and then they teach under supervision. Many years will pass and any real teacher will tell you that they are still learning how to teach every day. When I meet a trainer who actually teaches and can really ride, I love to talk to them... they are virtual human sponges who never stop learning.

If you think that you are one of these people who can and want to teach... to give to others for hours out of your day, being tired, dirty, hot, cold... and working on days off and while sick, then teaching riding is a wonderful job. Best of luck.

Nov. 8, 2009, 09:40 PM
EponaCowgirl (I was gonna say "L" but I didnt want it to seem like I was mocking you! I think initial use is cute! hahaha) anyway.. What I want to do is what you and Becky do. I dont think I know how to explain that to COTH people. I get that I still have a ton to learn. I know that even doing just the little stuff is going to be hard. I talk to becky all the time about it and I am going to discuss with her working for her FOR FREE within the next few years while I am in college. I mean I do some barn chores for her now and then and I get some of the kids warmed up, but nothing to spectacular to quailfy me of anything great... I know this. I feel like everyone here is gripping at me for thinking I can make it as a trainer... I feel like I ask a question and I dont just get the answers to the question, but I get a ton of other stuff like people telling me I need to learn this and work for this person and do this, ect. While all this knowledge is great, its not exactly what I asked for. I know I can't be an BNT without gaining knowledge from the greats, but I dont aspire to be a BNT. So sorry if i get defensive, but I feel like evryone is telling me I cant do somethig that I am not even trying to do... Does that make any sense? All I asked anyone was what does it take to be a trainer. I never wanted to get my sitituation in the picture.

I want to thank everyone for all the advice and I am not telling people that I am not going to do any of it. The only thing I said I would probably not do is be a WS for Bill Hoos, oh and Sell my horse. I want to learn from the greats, I would love to be a WS for someone I actually enjoy working for and feel like I am getting something out of it. I love taking lessons and I feel like most of the time I walk away learning something new. I am very open minded and I am sorry if i come off as not being open minded, but I asked what other people did to become a trainer.

I hope all my rambling makes sense.. I am tired and have been studying all weekend!

Oh and L, I think you would be one of the best to talk to about all this, since you are living my dream... haha

Couture TB
Nov. 8, 2009, 10:16 PM
[QUOTE=Rescue_Rider9;4488197]I feel like I ask a question and I dont just get the answers to the question, but I get a ton of other stuff like people telling me I need to learn this and work for this person and do this, ect. While all this knowledge is great, its not exactly what I asked for. I know I can't be an BNT without gaining knowledge from the greats, but I dont aspire to be a BNT. So sorry if i get defensive, but I feel like evryone is telling me I cant do somethig that I am not even trying to do... Does that make any sense? All I asked anyone was what does it take to be a trainer. I never wanted to get my sitituation in the picture.

And people answered your question about how to become a trainer. No one said that you have to do this to become a BNT. What people listed and said, and the people that posted how they did it (which is what you asked) was that you need to do those things to become a GOOD trainer. No one said you have to train with a specific person. They said that being a WS for a established trainer with a proven program would be some of the best experience that you can get. You asked how to become a trainer. Follow some of the advice from trainers that have posted on here and that will help you in the long run.

Why get upset about people saying what it took for them to become a trainer and what you should expect? No one ever stops learning, and you can learn something from almost everyone be it how to do something correct or how not to do it.

Nov. 8, 2009, 10:18 PM
Well, in that case, here's what you need:

A good job with flexible scheduling while you work your ass off to get some clientele.

A GOOD trainer for yourself.


Don't turn down a SINGLE client.

Thats about it!

Nov. 9, 2009, 11:09 AM
I asked what other people did to become a trainer.
Just as important I can tell you what I did that made me decide NOT to be a trainer. I worked for 2 summers managing the "on the road" barn for a BNT on the H/J A circuit. Fabulous experience, enjoyed it then, but it did make me realize that I did not what to rely on getting food on my table based on the whims of children. (But that's just me!) And I've gone on to have a long and fulfilling career as an amateur!

Paige, I honestly don't think you even know enough right now to have any insight if being a "trainer" is something you want for your future or not. You know a little about some elements of it, but you don't have enough grasp on the actual job description to understand if it is something you really want. And that's O.K., but it does mean you really need to find some way to immerse yourself in the business first.

Teaching up-down lessons and beginners is fine, but if you are any good at it they don't stay up-downers for very long at all! Not being able to continue with those students would be a pretty poor business model. The advice on how to be a "good" low level eventing trainer is pretty much the same as how to be a BNT. The level of riding might be different, but the time commitment to education is probably pretty similar.

If I were you, what I'd do right now is check out the USEA Instuctor's Certification Program ( http://useventing.com/education.php?section=instructors ) and order the Standards Booklet and Workbook. Not because you are ready to do the program, but because it would be a good place to start seeing what knowledge and skills you need to master. Then go get all the recommended reading books and read them, study them, apply them to your own riding and watch how others apply them to theirs!

The next thing would be to find at a minimum a summer job in a big commercial barn. I'd leave the area to do it--you need to expand you horizons beyond the single big local trainer. Do anything that puts you in that barn 10-12 hours a day--which might not include riding--at a minimum price you can possibly get by if needed!

THEN decide it you want to train as a profession.

Pony Someday
Nov. 9, 2009, 10:23 PM
I think it's great that you are following your dreams. That's so important.

The only bit of advice I would add to this great thread is to not forget that you will be competing for clients. It's important that you give yourself an opportunity to build a riding/training history that can compete with other trainers in your vicinity, or the clients will be going to them, not you.

Good luck!