A trainer's accomplishments - important? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 11-26-2013, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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A trainer's accomplishments - important?

How much does a trainer's show record matter to you when trainer shopping? Would you be okay with a trainer that's proven in local/unrated shows or only if they have medals?

Purely curious :)

I was bored while waiting for work to appear and looked up some of my old trainers on the USDF centerline scores website and found:

- one had zero record (her accomplishment was getting to novice level as an eventer. Knew that going in but I was a re-rider and mostly just wanted saddle time)
- one has about a quarter of the way to a bronze after 20+ years of rated showing. Her students usually place locally (this was the trainer who was adamant that my horse was three legged lame even though he wasnt so much as head bobbing)
- one claimed to be a 4th level rider but centerline has her at first level at the highest with perhaps 1/4 of the way to a bronze medal (she did live overseas for many years and centerline only has US shows)

Apparently I suck at choosing trainers, LOL.

So what about you guys? Does the trainer's show USDF show record matter to you? What about their local level? Overall experience?

What do you look for in a trainer?
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post #2 of 27 Old 11-26-2013, 04:53 PM
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I don't really care fi a trainer can show or has all the ribbons in the world or is a international winning jumper/shower/etc.
I want a trainer that knows what she/he is doing with horses, knows how to correct things, keeps good communications and helps the owner to make sure they know what to do to keep their horse well an show them how to correct it.

I would like a trainer with some experience - but once I see for a few days if she seems to know what she is doing and works very nicely with horses I will keep them.

I want to be a trainer but I don't plan on showing or anything. But this is what I look for in a trainer and hopefully I can become a good one in time!

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post #3 of 27 Old 11-26-2013, 04:54 PM
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It would depend what my ultimate goal was. If I only wanted to compete at the local level then I would be less fussy about their accomplishments. If I wanted to go the world championships their record would have to reflect their ability to get me and my horse there.
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post #4 of 27 Old 11-26-2013, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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But without the ribbons, what do you use as a measure of how skilled/knowledgeable they are? Aside from word of mouth. One of my trainers I could have sworn knew what she was about until she started insisting my horse was "three-legged lame". (When I called the vet out, the vet said my horse was healthy, sound and sassy and looked like a fun ride. She felt so bad that I was trying to do the best I could for him that she didn't charge me for the visit.)

Even if you don't have the desire to show, awesome training is awesome training. Wouldn't you rather ride with the ability of a GP rider if you could?

(Just playing devil's advocate to keep conversation moving)
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post #5 of 27 Old 11-26-2013, 05:01 PM
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Like I said before - I would watch them work with my horse a few days.
You don't need ribbons to prove you are the best. There are some people out there who have their trainers do all the work for them so the horse knows that to do. All the rider has to do is jump on and look good.

My mom and I saw this girl who gave her horse to her trainer to prepare for a show. The trainer got the horse ready and went over the pattern with the horse multiple times and by the time she got it back the horse had the pattern memorized. The girl got on the horse and in the ring and the pattern ahd been changed last minute. Her horse did the orignal pattern and the rider had no I dea what to do. but if the pattern was not changed then she would have gotten first place.
So maybe she becomes a rider but doesn't improve on your horse with all these ribbons she has won? In my opinion - i don't think so.

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post #6 of 27 Old 11-26-2013, 05:06 PM
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I switched dressage instructors earlier in the year. The first one had competed at training level and first level plus had all around horse experience. She was able to help me re-establish some very basics but did not pick up nor correct subtle faults.

My current instructor is a USDF Gold Medalist, has competed at FEI level and graduated from the USDF judges program - she totally transformed my riding from the ground up. Many of her students have bronze medals and a couple of earned their silver medal. All those things matter to me so that's why I like riding for her.

If I never wanted to compete, or only compete at training level, then the first instructor would have done a fine job.
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post #7 of 27 Old 11-26-2013, 05:08 PM
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Everyone does have their own opinions - like most people want a trainer with a hosue of ribbons, but I want a trainer who I have seen work in person with horses and see how she works.

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post #8 of 27 Old 11-26-2013, 05:28 PM
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Do you want to learn French from someone who is learning the same lessons as you? Or someone who knows the language and is fluent?

I would highly, highly recommend looking at a coach/trainers personal accomplishments as a #1 to short list them. Then look at the success of their students, then watch a lesson.
Someone incapable of training a horse is not going to be able to teach you to train yours!
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post #9 of 27 Old 11-26-2013, 06:14 PM
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I don't care, per se, what an instructor's accomplishments as a rider are. Some can ride well and not teach for beans, so more important to me would be, "Where are their other students placing and competing?" Obviously, I would want an instructor who had at least competed to the level I want to be at, but it would mean far more if not only that, but they also had several other students competing at the level I wanted to be at, as that would prove to me not only do they know their stuff on the horse, but that they know how to communicate, translate, and apply that knowledge to other horse and rider combinations.
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post #10 of 27 Old 11-27-2013, 01:02 PM
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There are some brilliant riders who cannot teach for toffee.

I think there is a difference in what you look for if you are just wanting to train with your horse, or if you aim to compete and win. If you want to compete, you need to look for. Trainer who has the background, but is also known to take students where they need to be and not hold them back, or have the lack experience to take them where they need to be.
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