I'm glad to hear you don't expect your trainer to have shown as a junior. I hope to become a professional someday, I'm just figuring out which steps I should take to get there and what kind of experiences are the best to have. I didn't have the money to show in the juniors so I'm hoping it won't affect me in the long run. I'm just trying to figure out what kinds of things would help me become a great trainer.
Originally Posted by Pocket Pony
Someone who's not crazy. It has taken me my entire riding career to find this person!
I know exactly how you feel. I've taken a break from trainers for now because it's just been one after another!
First and foremost I want a professional who puts the horse's welfare as a top priority. Then, I want someone who is both knowledgeable enough to bring out the best in my horse and myself, and patient enough to put the time in without resorting to gadgets, quick fixes etc.
I don't really care what sort of junior career the pro has had, but I want to see a resume that demonstrates success at a high level in the sport, both personally and as a coach/trainer. My current pro has a resume as long as my arm, but she is also a genius at figuring out what *I* need to make things work, and she is a top notch, old school horseman who has brought along a lot of successful horses and riders. I feel very fortunate to be able to work with her.
********** We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
I don't mind if they haven't had a spectacular career themselves, however, it is always a perk becuase you know they've seen it all.
My number one criteria is, they have to be able to communicate well- there is a big difference between good riders and good trainers, it is much harder to find one that is both.
I rode with a up and coming professional, who hadn't yet established his "been there, done that" career, but, he was a phenomenal instructor and communicated what he saw and how to fix it in a way that was easy for me to translate and use in my own riding.
I currently ride with an established professional who has been short listed for several Olympic teams and ridden in Nations Cups, however I find, that I have to ask to be told, but now that I've established that, I'm learning a lot.
I want an instructor that has at some point achieved the goals that I have for myself. For example, I would like to someday show the "A" shows again (rode them as a jr-20 some yrs ago). I would want a trainer that shows at the "A" level and has students that are competitive at that level. The trainer doesn't necessarily had to have a top Jr career-but would need to at least have been in the "know", maybe as a groom or WS. As a trainer it's just as important as who you know as what you know- sadly,things are very political.
Along with good communication skills, wide knowledge of horses-vet care, tack, etc. Lets not forget...honesty and friendliness.
Realiability. Punctuality. Does not rush you but will push your limit if it should be pushed. Friendly to horse and human. Someone who's not full of BS. Has a record of successful rider/horse combinations.
Positive, well-versed in all things in my discipline, knows how to get results the correct way without using gadgets or fad training methods, reliable, attentive to the horse and the rider's well-being (both on the ground and in lessons - obviously I want my pro to notice things that might be off with my horse on the ground, but should I be in a lesson, I want someone who will say "yes, you're right, your horse looks off/tired/NQR, I think we should stop there for today and end on a positive note" rather than "I agree something is NQR with your horse but let's ride through it and finish the lesson"). Those are really the big ones for me, although there are more.
I'm glad to hear you don't expect your trainer to have shown as a junior. I hope to become a professional someday, I'm just figuring out which steps I should take to get there and what kind of experiences are the best to have. I didn't have the money to show in the juniors so I'm hoping it won't affect me in the long run. I'm just trying to figure out what kinds of things would help me become a great trainer. (snip)
IMO, one of the best ways to accomplish that goal if you have not had an opportunity to compete and prove yourself at the level you aspire to is to apprentice yourself to someone who has. Be the assistant to the trainer with a great reputation and resume, and learn from them.
********** We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
I expect one to know what it is going to take to get me to the point I want in the show ring.
That may not require a successful Junior career but is DOES require alot of show ring miles to know what it takes and how to produce it in the client and their horse.
Afraid there is no way around getting alot of solid show miles if you want to attract show clients. Not the big winner, mind you, but solid and sucessful miles. Going to work for another as an assistant/apprentice would be about the only solution to get those miles and all the experience they bring as well as learn how to market yourself and attract clients.
I personally like a trainer to be aware of other good teachers and take advantage of maintaining a good relationship with them, up to and including taking a clinic from them to stay sharp.
Now, if you don't want to center on show clients, not such a big deal but afraid you would not get my business.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
This is by no means a requirement for me...but I prefer that my trainer have a similar height and weight as me. I find that I receive better instruction this way. It is a lot easier to watch your trainer show your horse perfectly and think "soon, I hope to be able to do that too" when your trainer doesn't have legs that are 5 feet long.
...and while we're sorta on the topic, why do people, especially women, stick with lousy trainers? There's one in my area who's cheap and returns calls (most of the good ones charge more and are not good about returning calls) but never had much of a horse show career him/herself. This person has fallen into total disarray in terms of personal presentation, and works out of a really run down facility with terrible turnout. none of this trainer's students ride very well and everyone knows it. yet people stay with him/her for years---although this person's client list is not very large and doesn't contain any serious A-circuit types. is being cheap and available enough to make people want to stay with a trainer? thoughts please?
is being cheap and available enough to make people want to stay with a trainer? thoughts please?
i would guess that the majority of the riders in those types of places are not as experienced in the sport, and probably did not come from better barns/trainers. so, they don't know better. plus, money is tight these days. you can't blame everyone who doesnt spend their time and money on the A show circuit. there is nothing wrong with low prices. the problem here is that most of these people may not be able to afford any of the 'better' barns--and lets face it, if thats the only option you had to keep riding, wouldn't you take it? for the most part, riding is always better than not riding. (i mean, of course, there are extreme conditions--like an abusive trainer, things like that, where i'd much rather just not associate myself at all even if it were my only option. but this situation is unlikely to occur for most)
I agree with the requirements posted but wanted to add; they MUST be able to ride and ride well. I usually steer to male trainers for some reason. Over the 30 some years I have been riding; I found my favs are men trainers. Go figure.
I want to be SAFE
I want to have FUN
I want to LEARN
"Don't saw on your horses mouth it's not a piece of wood" ~ GM
[quote=00Jumper;4619850]Positive, well-versed in all things in my discipline, knows how to get results the correct way without using gadgets or fad training methods, reliable, attentive to the horse and the rider's well-being (both on the ground and in lessons - obviously I want my pro to notice things that might be off with my horse on the ground, but should I be in a lesson, I want someone who will say "yes, you're right, your horse looks off/tired/NQR, I think we should stop there for today and end on a positive note" rather than "I agree something is NQR with your horse but let's ride through it and finish the lesson"). Those are really the big ones for me, although there are more.All of the above, and especially be a horseman who, knows horses
I agree with most of what was already said, but something that is important in a coach for me (and probably one of the many reasons why I've stayed with my current coach for around ten years) is that they push me to ride my best.
My coach knows me so well that she knows exactly how far she can push me and what I'm capable of. There are days where I don't believe I'm capable of doing something, and I don't believe in myself, but she doesn't give me an option to say no. (Well, there have been times I've tried saying no, but she always wins) Sometimes I think she has more faith in my riding ability then I do!
Also, not only do I want a coach to be a good rider, but a good "horseman" (or horsewoman? a horseperson?) and that they teach me that as well. I don't want someone who's just going to teach me how to ride and that's that. I want someone who has a wealth of knowledge in all aspects.
I agree w/ everything posted so far; I do think some type of credentials is important; not necessarily being a superstar Jr. rider but more than just deciding upon turning 18 they want to be a "trainer" I also totally agree w/ having them be a knowledgeable horseperson. I know of a great trainer - good rider/ great instructor but IMO a lousy horseperson. Most of us entrust our horses in their care.. they have to be knowledgeable. I think it's important to have a trainer that can ride but it wouldn't necessarily be a deal breaker for me as many trainers who know longer ride have a someone they get school your horse for you if necessary..
I also look for client's longevity/not a lot turnover/coming&going of clients. My current trainer's barn is pretty much full of Adult riders who started w/ her when they were kids; a few stopped when they were in college/got married and picked up riding again... I like that kind of stability.
the last point is trainers who are willing to learn from others- or support/encourage a client to take dressage lessons, attend clinics etc..
I also don't like it when trainers insist that clients purchase this brand or that brand.. w/the reasoning that the judge won't pin you if you aren't wearingX brand etc. And I don't like it when trainers try to take too much charge over my animal or me..
1. Does not play around with commissions. I write checks directly to sellers, sellers write checks directly to me, commission is based on that number, and I pay out ONE commission to ONE person.
Period, end of story.
2. Welcomes customers to do their own tackups, grooming, show prep, braiding; does not insist on standing there for $75 and 'coaching' on hack day.
3. Has a solid foundation in developing a horse holistically as a 'total athlete', including a resume in both the dressage and hunter/jumper arenas. I don't necessarily care so much about a recent show record, but I want to know that they can produce a good horse and teach good riding.