Originally Posted by waresbear
You can be certified up the yingyang around here but no one willing to pay a decent price for your services will consider you. HOWEVER, if you have worked for & apprenticed with well known trainers and they put a good word out for you, you are golden in this neck of the woods.
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This - I am not certified, nor is my coach.
IMO most certification programs are a joke - and only test to see what skills you have - they don't actually teach you.
Get experience teaching - this is usually done through traditional academia. In grad school I am exposed to this - and there are a lot of free info sessions for grad students. I would assume colleges would offer certificate programs for teaching, or allow you to audit classes.
Get experience riding - until you yourself can prove that you can show and win at national and international levels - what do you truly have to offer students. Riding is not a "stay one lesson ahead of the kid" thing. You have to have comprehension and understanding that what you do now WILL affect the horse (and rider!) 10 and 15 years from now - and have an in depth understanding of fixing issues - not bandaiding them!! I myself have winning results at an international level and have competed against some of "the best", including an Olympian, with respectable results.
And I still consider myself only to be a basic level coach.
I am getting more training - working towards my judging status and always auditing and riding with respected clinicians to learn more. There is always more to learn! And you have to be very committed to learning in order to be successful - always have a mentor or 5!