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View Poll Results: Trainer certification:

Voters
106. You may not vote on this poll
  • it would make a real and substntial positive change. We should implement it ASAP.

    9 8.49%
  • it would be a positive change, enough that it is worth the hassle to go through with it.

    25 23.58%
  • it would be a positive change, but when weighed against the hassle, it's probably not worth it.

    21 19.81%
  • it woudn't actually help our industry very much at all when applied to our current paradigm.

    47 44.34%
  • Other.

    4 3.77%
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  1. #1
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    Apr. 26, 2006
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    Default Trainer Certification: Do you think it would really change anything?

    I'll keep my comments to myself for the time being. Your thoughts?

    eta: Okay, I tried to keep my comments to myself, but when I was writing out my poll options my bias was pretty evident

    I think it's a nice idea, but I don't think it's going to do what people would like it to do. I often read threads about issues people are having with trainers and people always say "well, anyone can put out a shingle" and that trainer certification would make a difference.

    But to be honest, not one of the trainer issues people have mentioned seem like they would be helped by certification. Look at regular teachers. They are certified but there are still better teachers and worse teachers. There are still students that get along with some teachers and don't get along with others.

    And the trainers that are simply dishonest? Or abusive? Certification isn't going to help because it's not like they're going to be dishonest or abusive when they are working with the certification people.

    And those that are good riders but not great teachers? Like those that don't have a good "bedside manner?" They'll still get certified. It's not like that can possible be THAT bad at telling someone what to do that they won't manage to get certified. Look at GM. He may not have the best bedside manner, and some people hate him, but many other love him and he gets excellent results.

    Sure, maybe it'll keep out a few ridiculously bad trainers, and won't it also keep out good trainers who don't have the time or money to commit to a process that is going to be expensive and complex?

    So yeah, in general, I don't think it'll be worth the effort.

    Please share your opinions!!!
    Last edited by ExJumper; Feb. 20, 2011 at 11:23 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by tidy rabbit View Post
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.



  2. #2
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    Dec. 16, 2003
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    Staunton, VA, USA
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    Default In time it will make a difference

    Esp if the insurance industry get involved.

    But most of all as more people get certified, the customers will begin to learn that there is certification and begin to look for it.

    It has so many positive effects.

    It will come in time.
    MW
    Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
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  3. #3
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    Jul. 4, 2000
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    Default

    Unless there is a major enforcement mechanism, like there is for state level licensing of people in the health care fields for example, trainer licensing is just a paperchase. Certificate looks pretty on the wall / website, but there is no real utility for the customer.

    If riders /horse owners want a good source of information on trainers / instructors, we may be better served by having a category on Angie's List .... trainers could be rated and appropriate comments posted by clients.

    *star*
    "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
    - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 3, 2010
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    Default

    Certification does absolutely nothing except put money in some pockets and prestige in others who usually do not deserve it.

    You will still have BNT's trashing horse after horse on their way to the next top rung of the ladder. It will not stop them and one of those horses could be yours. They may only be able to ride but who will deny them their certificate?

    It is like medals. I know people who have them that couldn't housetrain a puppy. But people see the medals and think "they know what their doing!", no they don't!

    This isn't Europe!

    Morning rant over.



  5. #5
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Default

    Well, certification won't help at the top or with most professionals, but it sure would weed all those fly by night backyard trainers out there, of which there are a big passel of them "training" horses today, some as a day job, some part time.

    They at least would have to learn about the mere basics, like what bits are, how to fit saddles, how to feed and care for horses, all that so many are clueless, but call themselves a "trainer" just because they can get on and stick to a horse acting up, even if they don't know why or how to make the horse better, other than wearing them out into submission.

    Those are the kind of people certification may at least slow down, by requiring a minimum of very basic knowledge, what leads are, the differences between feeding hay and grain and why, etc.

    At least that kind of basic certification would be a start.



  6. #6
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    Jul. 16, 2003
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    Default

    Living in a world where certification of one form or another is the norm (ie veterinary licensing, board certification in specialties, etc). the addition of letters or certificates does not make one any better than they truely want to be.

    I know way too many people, trainers and instructors as well as fellow veterinarians, that go thru all the special training and continuing education because it is required or will add prestige to their reputation but don't change one darned thing about how they did things before.

    Nice idea, but un-enforcable.



  7. #7
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    Default

    Well Resident Show Whore, I think it's a good idea on paper but in reality, it's meaningless. I work in an industry that is very oriented around certifications due to the fact that they make companies look good and make their services marketable. However, many of those certifications are not related in any way to skills/experience and are simply tests of knowledge that relates more to how things work rather than making them work and many of those tests are largely irrelevant to the jobs requiring those certs and some are simply nothing more than over-hyped multiple choice exams with randomly chosen questions that usually don't cover most of the "knowledge" that the certificate is supposed to imply on the part of the certified individual. That being said, I've often worked with people who sounded great if you looked at their resume but couldn't do their jobs all that well. I know the trainer certs are built around a program which is different than what I deal with for the most part, but the general point I'm making is that if you make a certification so easy to attain that an idiot could do it, then you're going to end up with a bunch of certified idiots, and that seems to be what the program is, from the conversations about it.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  8. #8
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    Default

    Since you put this in "off Copurse", you presumably intend it to apply to multiple disciplines.

    Both Eventing and Dressage ALREADY HAVE certification programs. For instance see
    http://www.useventing.com/education....on=instructors

    The results are mixed. The ICP certification indicates certain mimimum standard. But there are some very godd trainers (e.g. Jimmy Wofford, who taught many of the ICP examiners) who are not certified.

    There are also said to be certified instructors whose actual teaching practices are different from what they were taught and tested on.

    And there are sometines mutterings about internal politics and power.

    You might want to move THIS thread to H/J, and post separate threads on eventing and dressage asking for feedback on their existing systems.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  9. #9
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    Default

    Good idea. Janet. I've asked that it be moved to H/J.
    Quote Originally Posted by tidy rabbit View Post
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.



  10. #10
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    Mar. 3, 2010
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    Default

    I'm a little confused as to how any licensing requirement would be enforced. Do we really want Congress involved in horse/rider training? That would be the only way to stop the idiots with a backyard horse and no clue.
    "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
    http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/



  11. #11
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    Default

    Personally, I wish we did have a good, meaningful certification process, but having said that.....

    I don't think it will help much with the backyard idiots. Unless there is some law (like in the medical and legal profession) that makes it illegal to train without the license, you will still have the idiots training.

    It will be like with plumbers, carpenters and electricians. They are certified, licensed and supposedly know what they are doing. But that doesn't stop anybody from hiring themselves out (cheaper) to do plumbing, carpentry and electrical work without a license.

    So, in the end, you will still have the cheap trainers who are unlicensed giving lessons and training horses. And so it goes.....
    Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.



  12. #12
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    Jan. 1, 2008
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    Default

    I voted other...

    As an amateur, I rely on trainers quite a bit. I've shown horses for over 50 years and a piece of paper is probably the least likely criteria that I would use to evaluate a trainer.

    Having briefly reviewed the certification process, let's just say, I wasn't all that impressed. But hey, if it floats your boat, perhaps it has some value.



  13. #13
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonesta View Post
    Personally, I wish we did have a good, meaningful certification process, but having said that.....

    I don't think it will help much with the backyard idiots. Unless there is some law (like in the medical and legal profession) that makes it illegal to train without the license, you will still have the idiots training.

    It will be like with plumbers, carpenters and electricians. They are certified, licensed and supposedly know what they are doing. But that doesn't stop anybody from hiring themselves out (cheaper) to do plumbing, carpentry and electrical work without a license.

    So, in the end, you will still have the cheap trainers who are unlicensed giving lessons and training horses. And so it goes.....
    Yes, to make sense of horses as a business is more complicated that just certifying trainers.

    We would need to have regulations to require any public stable be licensed and one condition of the license that it be run by a certified trainer.
    I think it is coming, don't know how many accidents it will take, pressure from cities wanting extra fees, insurance asking something be done to keep the total idiots out, etc.



  14. #14
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    Default

    In Canada, the EC has a Coaching certificate program. it is expensive and it is political, so many people do not bother with it. there is also an other instructor program (CHA maybe?) that is not through EC, and I have had students come here from instructors certified through that program that can't trot more than a lap after a year of lessons...yet 6 months of my uncertified lessons are w.t.c and jumping small jumps.

    I do sometimes have people as if I am a certified coach, but as my business if full, it can't be hurting me to not be...and it is very hard to justfiy the $$$ to get certified.

    Based on the usefullness of the above programs, I doubt that a training certificate would be any more useful.



  15. #15
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    Default

    Wait...are you talking about certifiying coaches or trainers of horses?



  16. #16
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    Default

    I am not sure that pointing to bad programs means we should not consider some and try to make them better than those few existing bad ones.



  17. #17
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    Default

    Even if we did, how would it be funded, executed, and enforced?

    If the current programs are any example of the best option anyone has yet come up with, then I think it's better left alone. I do not have experience or knowledge of every certification program extant, but with the exception of the BHS program, I see little merit in the current options. They're expensive, they're inconvenient, and they're not true indicators of an instructor's ability.

    JMO.
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  18. #18
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    Default

    And it still doesn't mean that the certified ones will practice to the level they were trained to.

    I event and have ridden under ICP and non-ICP instructors. And have been a demo rider in several ICP sessions. So I know what they are taught, or at least were by those instructors. Not all now ICP certified instructors teach as they were taught in the courses.



  19. #19
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    Default

    Moved from Off Course.
    Quote Originally Posted by tidy rabbit View Post
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.



  20. #20
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    Sep. 8, 2005
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    Default

    I voted that I think the benefits outweigh the hassle for a few reasons:

    1) I feel like part of our industry's problem is that a lot of people stop educating themselves once they go "pro". I find that a dis-service to our clients. Everyone needs to continue their education, whether it is for advancement in the saddle (for instructors who still ride, obviously), on how to be a better instructor/educate others, better barn management skills, understanding of the newest tack/equipment/ supplements, liability and insurance education, etc.

    2) I enjoy learning, and think this a great opportunity to asses my own knowledge.

    3) I feel it demonstrates dedication to my craft and that I am not just someone who "hung up a shingle". I also think it shows great accountability on my behalf, and that I value my education as much as my experience.


    That said, I wish there was more incentive for getting the certification, i.e. discounts on USHJA & USEF memberships, recognition on the USHJA website (I think the USEA zone 4 website does that ) etc.

    My personal favorite idea would be that those with certifications get exclusive trainer symposiums at a fraction of the cost and/or free. That way I could STILL continue to eduacate myself, but without forking over more money. It also makes me feel like my money is going towards something proactive for me, not just more money for the USHJA.

    But I do agree that most of the poorly qualified trainers will not get certified, and they will continue to sucker money out of their uneducated clients who know not that a certification program even exists.
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