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post #1 of 7 Old 04-23-2013, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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For anyone that has went to or is going to school to be a trainer, so you like it? How long do you have to go? Where do you go? Whats all involved?
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-23-2013, 02:48 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
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I took my Horsemanship Major. It was Sept-June with a six week work practicum at the end. It was about $13,000 all together, and not one of my clients ever asked for certification, and I learned three times as much doing my work practicum then I did in the course.
I could have bought a SUPER nice horse for $13,000.... LOL
So, I'm going back - For something NON horse related. :p
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-23-2013, 07:09 PM
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I do not have a equine related degree so perhaps I am out of step even posting this. I think with training a degree is nice but a degree does not mean you can train. Half the skill set is being able to train the owner as well as the horse. I agree with the above that training is a lot of experience/seeing things based.

I have seen a lot of people who have stars in their eyes about training horses. I don't have an equine degree because I grew up working around horses and the girls who wanted to train horses. Horse work is hard, dirty, dangerous and generally does not pay very well. If you run a boarding facility (and if you are training you are probably doing a boarding facility as well) you are working 7 days a week, cleaning, turning out, feeding, and mucking. Its really difficult to find good barn help that is willing to show up constantly. I would not go into an equine program thinking that it would be an easy job. If you love horses and you love the work, and heartbreak that can go with them than pursue this career. If you are anything less than passionate or want to sleep in once a week, keep horses as a hobby.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-25-2013, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
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I have a 4 year Bachelor of Science degree in Equine Science & Training from the University of Findlay. I dual majored in Business. Currently, that Business degree is what pays the bills.

School doesn't make you a trainer. Hands on training under the supervision of a made trainer is what helps you become a trainer. That said, the concentrated focus of school helped get my riding skills up to the level where I was then able to successfully work with a big name trainer after graduation. After a few years, though, I realized training professionally wasn't the best fit for me.

The more well-rounded your education (formal and informal) the better off you will be in the long run. Find the mix that works for you. A talented rider with tons of experience will be more marketable than an average rider who holds a degree.

Last edited by Cynical25; 04-25-2013 at 10:01 AM.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-25-2013, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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I agree! Thanks!
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-25-2013, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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I agree! Thanks!
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-25-2013, 10:30 AM
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As far as what my college training entailed: Every weekday there was a 4 hour block of hands-on classes at the barn (either Western or English barn - you could only select one,) plus your regular college classes (math, science, computers, equine science, equine nutrition, macroeconomics, barn management, etc) on campus. Evenings & weekends were spent at the barn for extra work with your assigned horses, or to help feed and clean stalls. You fit your book studying in where possible.

Freshman year: rotated through the school horses to master groundwork, medical care, judging conformation/suitability, mastering riding skills on finished horses, determining what discipline a lightly started colt should be finished in, properly preparing horses for show, taking horses on a trail ride, etc. Dabbled in showmanship, Western Pleasure, reining, cutting, trail, Hunter Under Saddle, western riding, etc. Up to 2 horses to work with daily.

Sophmore year: Assigned to 1-3 colts to start each semester, many of which were from outside clients. Some horses had never been handled, some had been spoiled by too much owner playing. Got them well trained on ground, under saddle, tieing, standing for farrier, trailer loading, standing to be bandaged, okay with clippers, standing for sheath cleaning, collection, or mare checking, etc. Maintained regular communication with the horses' owners, so they knew how training was progressing; some owners would come in for periodic rides or views. Final exam was held as a horse show.

Junior year: Assigned 1-3 horses to start or finish each semester, plus rotated through the cutting horse heard to learn about that discipline.

Senior year: Assigned 1-3 horses to start or finish each semester, plus rotated through the reining horse heard to learn about that discipline.

Participating in the show team was optional, but I would highly recommend it if you look at colleges with a team! More experience riding unknown horses, and winning gets your name out there if you're looking to work for a show trainer.

We had instructors who had been in the horse business for many years, plus seminars, guest speakers, and field trips to Quarter Horse Congress, Churchill Downs, etc. As much exposure to the huge horse world as possible. Things I never would have experienced had I just gone to work for a local trainer.
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