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How many of you have trainers and why?

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  • How many of you have trainers and why?

    I've noticed that working with a trainer regularly seems to be considered a usual part of the expense of owning a horse for a lot of you. Do you have a regular trainer? Are you working toward advancing in a discipline like dressage or does your horse seem to always need more training? How many of you enjoy just getting on and riding? Who of you is blessed enough to have a horse that never seems to "lose" his training even if he/she is not ridden much?

    This is a spin off of an old thread from BO's who had trouble with people paying for trainers before they would pay for things like routine medical care for their horses, farriers, or even tack that fit- not that any of you would ever do that. I 'm just curious why so many adults depend on having trainers year after year.

  • #2
    riding horses is an ever evolving learning process that often requires a ground person to be able to point out an error, teach a new skill,improve a weak one. So many riders can only ride a couple of times a week and need some kind of support from another set of eyes. It is like anything, you can be doing it wrong. even though it feels ok and then someone sees what is wrong and is able to help. Nothing wrong with just getting on and riding but I have seen way too many that do that without ever getting help and their horses suffer for it. We all need help from time to time!


    • #3
      I'm working on advancing my general ability to ride, not towards any specific (showing type) goal. I used to work with a HJ trainer, and now it's dressage; at my low level it makes no difference, especially since I'm not trying to jump courses, only popped over some cross rails and teensy verticals every now and then. With both the focus was on my riding on the flat.

      Since I go away a lot for work, having a trainer is useful for keeping my horse working too.
      Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia


      • #4
        I rode with a trainer from the time I was 3 until I was 18. At that time I became more of a working student. At 21 I became a head trainer at a local lesson/show barn and did that for a few years. Now I've gotten out of horses as a business and only have my old, very well trained junior horse. We pretty much just trail ride and putz around at this point. If I were to get a young horse I would definitely take a few occasional lessons from a trainer. It never hurts to have eyes on the ground or a different perspective.
        Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
        My equine soulmate
        Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


        • #5
          Having moved abroad, I think it's a very North American thing to be based with your trainer or take very regular lessons (as opposed to here in the UK). I had a real hard time finding a showjumping trainer that was going to a) let me come on livery, b) ride my horse or give me several lessons a week and c) take me to competitions. I tried the whole riding without a trainer thing last year when I had my bf and best friends help me at shows but I really could not deal with taking criticism or advice from someone I was emotionally involved with (ie BF) because when I screwed up it kinda hurt my ego!

          Having a trainer at shows and at home is really relaxing for me because I know that whenever things go wrong I have someone there who can help me set it right. It's the reassurance that I'm never alone with my problems as I progress with my riding.


          • #6
            I use trainers to work and show my greenies. I don't take lessons from them. Given that I work FT during the week, I don't even see the trainers much of the time.

            That being said, I like it when a prospective buyer for a horse has a trainer to assist them as needed.
            Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule


            • #7
              A few years ago, I found myself with three young horses, two green broke and one completely untrained, during a short period of time. We used our trainer for obvious purposes with these three. Now we will go for tune ups and to work through specific issues. I just dropped the baby of the group off for a month while my daughter is busy with high school soccer and spring break.


              • #8
                I think it really depends on your goals. I can have fun trail riding, etc. without a trainer. But I really enjoy improving my riding and my horse's training. I am an adult re-rider and forgot much of what I knew as a youth! I also enjoy competing (at a low level). But if I couldn't work with a trainer I would still enjoy my horse!


                • #9
                  I am a trainer myself, but not in the discipline I choose to learn now, so have a trainer for that and some horses with that trainer.

                  With horses, you can always learn more and if you don't go to the source, the trainers/instructors, you are having to reinvent the wheel and that is not always fair to the horse.
                  Horses also deserve good teachers.

                  I know enough now to train my horses, but not enough to do it very well and know that, so for that discipline, the young ones are with the right teacher and that happens to be someone else.

                  When it comes to someone already at the top of their discipline, well, horses being horses, BNTs still have at least someone regularly watching them as "eyes on the ground", to be sure they are doing the best they can already, not missing something they can't feel/see from on top of the horse.

                  I have said time and again, the best money spent with horses is in yourself to learn more, as that makes your horse experience and that of the horses you may ride the best it can be.

                  Cross training between disciplines is also a wonderful way to learn more, that is what I am doing.

                  At least consider some lessons and clinics, you can work alone between those.
                  Our horses will thank us for that.


                  • #10
                    Do you mean trainer? instructor? coach? All 3 or any combination? I take regular riding lessons but my horses are all kept at home and I am the only one who backs/starts/rides/trains them. I do sometimes, not all the time, have a coach with me at shows. The deal is I get coached if she's there already with other students; otherwise I do not ask her to go just for me. I continue to work up the levels in dressage. I have one I've trained to FEI (PSG) but this is the first time I'm trying to train the P&P from scratch so yes I do feel like I need help from the ground from someone more knowledgeable than I and figure it into my budget.
                    Ranch of Last Resort


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Frosty M View Post
                      Who of you is blessed enough to have a horse that never seems to "lose" his training even if he/she is not ridden much?
                      Who of you is blessed enough to be a rider that never seems to lose your training even when you do not get much instruction?

                      I Know _I_ slip into bad habits if I ride on my own (without lessons) for months at a time.

                      My horses seem to retain their training better than I do!

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


                      • #12
                        I have two trainers (husband and wife), and they have four trainers they work with. It seems the higher up you get, the more you need a trainer Look at it this way. When my niece was competing in gymnastics, she worked with a trainer almost daily. Now she does some of the stuff for fun on her own It depends on what you want.


                        • #13
                          If I were working toward upper-level shows, bigger jumps, etc., I'd find a good trainer (easier said than done). However, I show low level and mostly trail ride now, so no trainer -- even with my green horses. I'm a very confident rider and took lessons for years, though. If I were having trouble, I'd find a trainer -- or at least someone to get through the tough part.

                          Horses' care, tack fit, etc., would always come first.
                          "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."


                          • #14
                            #1- I have a trainer because I can't put the "finish" on a horse like a pro can. I usually show in deep competition and it's almost impossible to do well without a trainer.
                            #2- Not enough time and/or ambition to keep a horse show ready. I have a cute little horse at home that I could show from home, but realistically I don't have the time to make it work. It sure would be less expensive, though!


                            • #15
                              I am not showing and I like a trail ride as much as the next person.

                              I still get weekly lessons because I want to improve myself as a rider and because me and my horse are both slowly developing our skills and its a lot of fun! I think we would have kind of stagnated if I'd just been riding on my own all the time and ended up doing the same thing every time I got out to the farm.
                              The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                              Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


                              • #16
                                It depends.

                                Sometimes I'm working on something where I feel like I need some help. Sometimes I feel like I need a tune-up. For those times, I have a trainer (not a riding instructor, a horse trainer) and a riding instructor that I can work with.

                                Other times, like now, when I've got a young horse who simply needs time and wet saddle blankets, I just go out and ride.
                                "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                                that's even remotely true."

                                Homer Simpson


                                • #17
                                  I have a regular trainer. I usually try to lesson 2 times a week. I am constantly trying to reach higher division in my jumping and improve my horse's and my abilities. However I also just enjoy getting on and riding without my instructor. Going on the odd trail ride. However most of my rides are schooling rides (be it in a lesson, on my own, jumping, flatting). Training and seeing my training pay off is what I really enjoy about riding.
                                  I rarely ever have a trainer sit on my horse unless I am away because I ENJOY the training process.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Frosty M View Post
                                    I've noticed that working with a trainer regularly seems to be considered a usual part of the expense of owning a horse for a lot of you. Do you have a regular trainer? Are you working toward advancing in a discipline like dressage or does your horse seem to always need more training? How many of you enjoy just getting on and riding? Who of you is blessed enough to have a horse that never seems to "lose" his training even if he/she is not ridden much?

                                    This is a spin off of an old thread from BO's who had trouble with people paying for trainers before they would pay for things like routine medical care for their horses, farriers, or even tack that fit- not that any of you would ever do that. I 'm just curious why so many adults depend on having trainers year after year.
                                    I am blessed with two horses that never lose their training even if they aren't ridden much. My ottb hunter came to a brand new barn after a winter off in the field and saddled up within a half hour of his arrival, no longe no prep. After two years of being "retired" to dressage and never seeing a jump, he pinch hit for a 2'6" children's hunter class and came away with ribbons out of 32 at a very competitive show. He can teach a beginner longe lesson after not being ridden for three months.

                                    I am also a professional who retrains other people's horses for them and teaches lessons.

                                    I take a lesson every week, sometimes more.
                                    I take lessons on very green horses to learn how to introduce simple contact and steering concepts better.
                                    I take lessons on my fourth level horse to learn how to ride collection and tempi changes better.

                                    I have nice horses and I want to ride them as well as possible for their sake, as well as to eke out every bit of potential and rideability from them. They will cost me the same in board over their life times if I get tempi changes out of them and hunt them around the first years or not.

                                    If I am going to spend the huge sum on board and care for twenty years either way, as well as spend all that time riding around, why not work to be the best rider for them I can be and turn them into the best horses they can be?

                                    By the way, it is "just getting on and riding" to me. The better trained the horse is, and the more skilled the rider, the easier and lighter everything gets. My baby green training horses I have to work much harder than with my personal horse on whom I can just float lightly around. On the green training horses even simple things require conscious effort. Sure it is fun and I enjoy the process, but it is work. On the further along one all the stuff I have to work so hard on with the others is just unconsciously there. Brings a whole new perspective to "just getting on and riding."
                                    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                    Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                    The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


                                    • #19
                                      I have a trainer that rides my horse regularly. My previous horse needed that trainer because he was a little off in the head. My old Appendix..no trainer was needed. I just got a OTTB and will be having the trainer work with him. I have never had a OTTB and I don't want to screw him up. There are things that I am learning with an OTTB that is completely opposite of anything else I ever knew.
                                      Insignia MC - Spanish PRE mare
                                      Tuggy - RIP at the bridge (9/12/2016)
                                      Theodore the Boxer - RIP at the the bridge (10/5/2017)


                                      • #20
                                        I refer to my instructor as my "coach", not my "trainer", since I don't pay her to actually ride my horse, just give me lessons (she IS paid by others to train their horses, but I prefer to do the riding myself). I take lessons once every month or two, less in the winter. My coach is an upper level eventer who has enabled me to really refine my skills and ride really well rather than just okay and getting the job done. I also have a dressage instructor who I ride with when she's in my area, but I don't ride with her as frequently since my eventing coach is very helpful for my flatwork too.

                                        While I'm not a professional or riding at a high level, I enjoy setting goals for myself and becoming the best I can be. I spent many years not taking lessons since I couldn't afford it and had trust issues with new people after experiencing some really bad instruction. I'm a decent enough rider that I did pretty well not taking lessons. But I like learning and you can do more of that when you take lessons
                                        "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"