The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2009
    Location
    CA to Costa Rica to WI
    Posts
    792

    Default Coaching at a School. Is it achievable?

    I need some COTH tough love for my quarter life crisis.

    I'm currently at a point in my life where I need to decide which direction I want to go in. I survived college (with a degree in Outdoor Leadership) and am now working abroad for a year. While there are many things I can do, when it comes to what I want to do, I always come back to one thing...

    Coach/run a program at the high school or college level.

    The problem? My riding skills are not up to par. I'm only comfortable up to 2'3" (although on a wide variety of horses) and have basically no show record. The upside? I love to teach, a love to manage, I have business, sales and customer service skills important to running a barn, and I am always learning.

    I always put off working with horses as unachievable for me, but as much as I pursue other avenues, this is what I keep coming back to. Is this an achievable goal or should I give it up long term? I'm considering spending 1-2 years in working student boot camp (and writing it off as my "graduate school") if that can get me to where I need to be, but I would skill have to work part time to make ends meet and 1-2 years isn't much.

    Advice?
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

    Fourteen Months Living and Working in Costa Rica



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2005
    Location
    Va
    Posts
    2,846

    Default

    I knew a lady who ran a college program who didn't do any riding other than a couple trail rides for the several years I knew her. I don't know how much riding she had done in the years before I knew her, but she knew how to instruct and take care of the horses and that's all I saw her do.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2011
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Posts
    443

    Default

    Do you have any teaching experience? I would definitely try to find a working student position where you would be able to teach some and ride some.

    As for long term, my barn manager teaches lessons but doesn't ride/train anymore after a bad accident.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2011
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Posts
    443

    Default

    Do you have any teaching experience? I would definitely try to find a working student position where you would be able to teach some and ride some.

    As for long term, my barn manager teaches lessons but doesn't ride/train anymore after a bad accident.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2009
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,651

    Default

    Here's an example of being successful coaching something that you have never done.

    The head coach for Hampden-Sydney College football (division 3) has never played a game of football, he was a basketball player. He gets the game of football and he understands how to get across to his players what they need to do. They have had a VERY successful program since he took over.

    So, what does this mean? It means that you don't necessarily have to have done that to be able to teach that. You have to be able to see it and translate that to your students. If you can do those things, you can coach a high school or college team even it you have never jumped at the level they are.

    Best of luck with your decision.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
    Posts
    8,527

    Default

    Based on some of the coaches I have seen, you're qualified.

    Of course continue your education. You might be surprised how quickly a few dressage lessons will up your game.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area, California
    Posts
    4,253

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    Based on some of the coaches I have seen, you're qualified.

    Of course continue your education. You might be surprised how quickly a few dressage lessons will up your game.
    I agree with this. I used to board at a barn that had a high school and college team, and one coach no longer rides and the other only coaches from the ground and never gets on a horse.

    Follow your heart!
    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    4,658

    Default

    I went to a small college with a BIG riding program. We had a large staff of trainers (4-6 at any time) for all levels of riding. Also, I'm not so sure the director of the program at the time was as good a rider as she let everyone believe... just sayin'.

    Being a good rider does not equal being a good coach. And you can be a good coach regardless of your own abilities. Shoot, look at that woman on Dance Moms...

    What you do need, though, is experience. Instead of focusing so hard on your own riding, maybe you can spend a year or two with a respected trainer who will let you teach... it would be invaluable for your resume!
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2009
    Location
    CA to Costa Rica to WI
    Posts
    792

    Default

    Wow, thanks so much! I have a tiny bit of teaching experience just at a summer camp type level. I also founded my college equestrian team and coached at eq and western shows before our trainers traveled to shows.

    What would make me more marketable? I'm confident I can gain the skills to do the job, but I'm more worried about my ability to get the job. I'm currently in Costa Rica so working on my Spanish is definitely a huge priority. Then I'm considering becoming a working student for my trainer to fill in some of my horsemanship gaps (like clipping, trailering, etc.) and working part time for one of the local lesson mill barns teaching.

    Any other advice on what I should focus on?
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

    Fourteen Months Living and Working in Costa Rica



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2001
    Location
    over yonder
    Posts
    2,900

    Default

    I guess I will be the lone dissenter here. I think it is realistic to get a job as a trainer of beginner riders when you are only comfortable at 2'3" but I don't think it is realistic to get a job traing at a higher level or running a riding program without a lot of experience either riding or working with trainers that teach at a high level.

    A school with a good riding program is going to want to attract good riders. Good riders will be attracted by the level and quality of the instructors resumes.
    Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    14,929

    Default

    Regardless of how big you have jumped or the lack of a show record, how much do you *know* about how to make a horse that can do more?

    I ask because planning a career around teaching/training at the under-3' level will limit you. It's a broad, constant market but not a lucrative one. Once your clients want more than lessons or that first horse, they'll have to leave your barn.

    IME, people who don't add some formal dressage or make up horses that jump bigger lack some depth of knowledge about how to ride horses in a correct way that will keep them sound. In short, jumping 2'3" will admit a lot of sins, so you want to make sure that you aren't building horses/clients/a career around those!

    In practice, if you can get hired, I think you could do a lot of "on the job training" as a coach at a school and learn more. Or maybe you already have that, but not the riding experience and show record that shows it. I like your idea of spending a couple of years as a WS with a good trainer or two.

    I hope you can find your way.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
    Posts
    8,527

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonders12 View Post
    What would make me more marketable?
    Buy an ottb.
    Take a weekly lesson on it until it is showing 3' hunters with changes.
    Then take more weekly lessons on it until you get your USDF bronze.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2008
    Location
    Area IV
    Posts
    283

    Default

    I think your idea of coaching at a school sounds like a wonderful one and something that I also would like to do! However, I think you need to have some more skills to be truly marketable as a coach. To be blunt, as a rider I'm probably not going to be interested in taking lessons from someone who has only jumped 2'3". I expect my trainer to be more qualified than I am. Perhaps look into an instructor certification program. I know the USEA and USDF have them. There is also the British Horse Society. I would suggest Pony Club but I think you may be at the point where you are aged out. Best of luck!


    3 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2009
    Location
    CA to Costa Rica to WI
    Posts
    792

    Default

    Thank you all so much for the feedback.

    I want to clarify: in my perfect world (if I could design my ideal job), it would managing an equestrian program, teaching beginner/intermediate riders, coaching at shows, etc. I know the large programs often have trainers for the intermediate/upper level riders and that's probably where I would fit best. My concern is if this is too narrow of a niche.

    The trainer I will likely return to first has a dressage background, but I like the idea of trying to expand on that with dressage specific trainers as well.

    I wish there was a Pony Club programs for adults! (Or even if I would have known about it as a kid.) I have looked into a couple certifications, but I believe the most marketable would be USHJA. It would be a few years before I could get there, but it is a good goal to shoot for.

    For the OTTB, that's definitely a life goal of mine! However, I've heard many times that if you want to get involved in the horse industry, it's better to not own a horse. (More catch riding, easier to move around, easier to take advantage of opportunities instantly, more money for lessons, etc.) Would bringing up a horse be a better move for me?
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

    Fourteen Months Living and Working in Costa Rica



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2008
    Location
    Area IV
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonders12 View Post
    I wish there was a Pony Club programs for adults!
    There is! We have the Horse Masters program which is intended for those who want to Pony Club system, but are no longer PC aged! It's still being developed, but there are several clubs nation wide!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2009
    Location
    CA to Costa Rica to WI
    Posts
    792

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by eventerchick517 View Post
    There is! We have the Horse Masters program which is intended for those who want to Pony Club system, but are no longer PC aged! It's still being developed, but there are several clubs nation wide!
    This is great! I checked out the website and it looks right up my alley! On the "find clubs" map, it doesn't seem to differentiate clubs with the program available. Should I just contact all the clubs in my area (I'd be willing to travel a bit) and ask if they offer it?
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

    Fourteen Months Living and Working in Costa Rica



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 31, 2011
    Location
    southeast Georgia
    Posts
    2,916

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinHorse View Post
    I guess I will be the lone dissenter here. I think it is realistic to get a job as a trainer of beginner riders when you are only comfortable at 2'3" but I don't think it is realistic to get a job traing at a higher level or running a riding program without a lot of experience either riding or working with trainers that teach at a high level.

    A school with a good riding program is going to want to attract good riders. Good riders will be attracted by the level and quality of the instructors resumes.
    I have to say I agree with this one. If you can find a local Pony Club, become a volunteer. Take as many lessons as you can and ride as much as possible. IMO, good trainer should be a good enough rider to train a green horse without help. That takes years of experience.
    I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2008
    Location
    Area IV
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonders12 View Post
    This is great! I checked out the website and it looks right up my alley! On the "find clubs" map, it doesn't seem to differentiate clubs with the program available. Should I just contact all the clubs in my area (I'd be willing to travel a bit) and ask if they offer it?
    I would call/email the clubs in your area and ask if they have a Horse Masters program. In my area, our Horse Masters is really the adults from several clubs in the area who have banded together. Some clubs are more active than others but you should be able to find some really great resources. Best of luck!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,496

    Default

    I would also suggest getting a teaching certificate or MS in secondary education. You will broaden your potential for employment. Once you are at a public or private high school and/or college, you can start an equestrian team or team coach an existing one.

    It's unlikely you are going to start at your goal so think of skills you need to be successful and how you can achieve them.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 13, 2003
    Posts
    239

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonders12 View Post
    For the OTTB, that's definitely a life goal of mine! However, I've heard many times that if you want to get involved in the horse industry, it's better to not own a horse. (More catch riding, easier to move around, easier to take advantage of opportunities instantly, more money for lessons, etc.) Would bringing up a horse be a better move for me?
    If there was a way you could do both, that would probably be ideal. If you can be a working student for 1-2 years and ride multiple horses a day of various levels that should give you some really good experience.

    I personally can't believe how much I have learned in 3 months of riding multiple horses, and I wish I had done this ages ago rather than the one horse thing. It's like somehow everything transfers over. I get to ride horses that better riders ride too, and learn a ton from those horses. Then I can take what I have learned and use it on a greener horse. Or having a really good ride on one horse gives me confidence and muscle memory to know what I'm trying to achieve on the next horse that is a little more challenging.

    And why do you say you are only comfortable up to 2'3? On the right horse, you would probably surprise yourself at what you can do.



Similar Threads

  1. Trainers coaching and NOT coaching from the sidelines
    By roamingnome in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: Apr. 26, 2013, 09:51 AM
  2. NY coaching club
    By charismaryllis in forum Driving
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: Feb. 4, 2013, 02:28 AM
  3. Replies: 19
    Last Post: Jan. 22, 2011, 01:07 PM
  4. Coaching Tips
    By mcorbett in forum Eventing
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: Mar. 10, 2010, 09:35 PM
  5. Spinoff of Vet School - Vet Tech School then Vet School?
    By horse_on_course in forum Off Course
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Jul. 27, 2009, 10:33 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness