Horse Trainers, How did you get started?
   

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Horse Trainers, How did you get started?

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    09-19-2013, 11:43 PM
  #1
Green Broke
Horse Trainers, How did you get started?

As the title states, how did you get started?

How old were you?

What challenges did you face at the start?

Did you live in a "horsey" area, or did you have to relocate?

Do you make enough off of training alone to support your self?

Do you train out of your own barn, do you rent a barn/work out of some one else's place, or do you go to each client and work at their home?

Have you ever come across horses, that you just will not deal with?

Do you still enjoy it, or is it too much like work now?

I'm sure I would think of more questions, but I just typed this all out then my computer shut down...stupid update...
     
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    09-19-2013, 11:57 PM
  #2
Weanling
I got started volunteering for a horse trader when I was 12 years old. The facility and management was a disaster but it was an excellent learning opportunity. There were trainers always coming through and I was always able to learn something from everyone.

My main challenge is that I suffer from a bone density problem so I have to make sure my groundwork is rock solid before I swing a leg over. If I get bucked off, bones WILL break, it's just a matter of how many and how badly. Right now it's that i've moved on from the traders facility and i'm trying to make my own start.

I worked/ volunteered when I was too young for a horse trader for 8 years. I'm only 21 but I have swung a leg over more horses than most people will in a lifetime. I learned something from every horse and being around so many types of horses has given me an excellent education on what works and in a timely fashion. Working with so many people and horses has humbled me.

Thankfully I live in a very horsey area, or rather a whole bunch of city people that want horses and don't have a clue.

I am very lucky that at my current boarding facility the BO does allow me to have my own clients.

I am not picky on the horses I work with. The only thing I will turn away is a horse that has some real talent bucking and even then if I think I can break the habit with groundwork I will work with the horse.

It's the people that I have more conflict with, for years I dealt with the most insane want to be horse people that already knew it all. I work with problem horses but a vast majority of the time it's horses with people problems that I encounter. If I find a person that is looking to be my client but has no desire to further their own ability I will turn them away. I can train their horse no problem, but those problems will arise again if the do nothing to correct themselves.

I love it, every moment I can spend teaching a horse or a person better horsemanship is a moment well spent. I never have a day where I felt burnt out, and when I can't be at the barn I am on a horse forum or watching more training videos.
Wallaby, boots, KayceeJo and 2 others like this.
     
    09-20-2013, 01:28 AM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by myhorsesonador    
As the title states, how did you get started?

How old were you?

What challenges did you face at the start?

Did you live in a "horsey" area, or did you have to relocate?

Do you make enough off of training alone to support your self?

Do you train out of your own barn, do you rent a barn/work out of some one else's place, or do you go to each client and work at their home?

Have you ever come across horses, that you just will not deal with?

Do you still enjoy it, or is it too much like work now?

I'm sure I would think of more questions, but I just typed this all out then my computer shut down...stupid update...

I started riding early, age 5 started competition at C level shows, then quickly moved to the A level shows as a Hunter/Jumper.
I was a working student and then an assistant training at two locals barns, then took a few years off and started to train at an amateur level around age 21.
Since I was so young, it was hard for people to take me seriously and some people that I was at a barn with almost scared me out of it because we didn't get along (my fault, long story). After I moved locations, I picked back up and started it all over again and have been doing well for myself. I took more time off to have a child and now I am back to doing what I love. Age and general lack of confidence because of my age and peoples perception of me were the biggest challenges I faced.
I live in Southern California and there are enough horse communities around that I never have to worry about lack of business. I do make enough to sustain my lifestyle, but it helps that I have other businesses and my husband works. Essentially, I do this for money because you should never do something that you're good at for free.
As for training locations - I have 2. One barn is a hippy commune that I absolutely love, the other provides a location closer to home. I also offer mobile training for those living near one of my facilities since almost everyone has horse property there.
I have never come across a horse that I refuse to work with, but I have seen a horse that was a nightmare and a half that if I had been asked to work with, I would have refused at that time. Now, I don't think there is a horse that I wouldn't give a chance to.

And really, it may be "work," but is is so much fun that I can't believe people actually pay me to do this. I am serious when I say that you should never do something for free if you're good at it; that has been my motto and given me 3 stable businesses that earn me good money. If you love it and are good at it, even better!
Ripplewind likes this.
     
    09-20-2013, 01:57 AM
  #4
Yearling
Trained my first horse at 12 (I might have been 11 now I think of it), and it was the first horse I actually owned. I was with my uncle at the time on his cattle station, about 100,000 acres in North Queensland. The horse was one he bred and I broke her in under the supervision of one of his stockmen, Gavin. Gavin taught me how to do everything, and when it came time to ride her, I was up. The horse was collar roped and hobbled, I swung up on her, sat there a minute, she was un-collar roped and un-hobbled, and the rodeo began (stuck to her too, she never actually managed to throw me that horse).
At the time, another guy, the guy who taught me to actually train horses well, was watching. He noticed how hard it was to catch this horse and how stubborn she was, even after being ridden, told me to go get him a stock whip, and in 15 minutes he had her following him around the round yard like a lost puppy. When I saw that I decided he knew what he was doing and I ought to learn from him, and I did.
The challenge at first was that natural horsemanship methods, much less hackamore training horses (much much less even getting hold of the equipment) was something no one had ever seen around there, I’d never hear the end of how it was all BS and didn’t work, even while I was doing it.
After that I worked on cattle stations from the NT to south Queensland as a ringer (cowboy) and trained horses as part of my work, both station horses and my own. I would also often train horses for other people as a favour or payment, or a horse swap, and earned a reputation in some parts for being able to get horses that were considered dangerous or un-rideable going, I ended up with a couple of them.
Never trained horses as a sole occupation, it was just part of station life; the money paid, I eventually decided, wasn’t worth the hard work and injuries.
I have met a few horses I would rather not train if I didn’t have to, I have met plenty more that I could get going no worries but had a gut feeling that they wouldn’t make a hackamore horse and so start them out in a snaffle bit and possibly never bother with a hackamore on them (I start them from scratch in the hackamore generally).
I still train my uncle’s horses when I have the time to get up to his place. It would never get too much like work; I actually get all ancey if I don’t get to train a horse regularly.
MangoRoX87 and Ian McDonald like this.
     
    09-20-2013, 07:17 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Thanks guys.

I always wanted to be a trainer growing up, but have given up the past few years, because of lack of support, and physical problems, that I hope will be fixed by surgery by the end of the year.
     
    09-21-2013, 12:07 PM
  #6
Yearling
Still working on doing this for a living here, but I can tell you that if you want to find horses to ride, they're out there to find! It's helpful if you can get some video of you riding and put it up on youtube so that prospective customers can see what you do.

How are things in Ocala nowadays? I've been considering going back for awhile this winter when things used to get busy.
     
    09-21-2013, 12:11 PM
  #7
Green Broke
I'm not sure, the economy is in the toilet, I had a few stable hand jobs but got let go because people are running out of money. I moved to SC 3 months ago because my dad's job shut down, and he got transferred.
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    09-25-2013, 08:48 PM
  #8
Foal
Started as a working student, held plenty of those jobs, then assistant trainer, then on my own. It is a VERY difficult path, little to no paycheck, high start up costs, and a lot of risk. Not to say it's not worth it, but only for the super determined! I honestly think it is easier to become an actor!
myhorsesonador and waresbear like this.
     
    09-25-2013, 11:46 PM
  #9
Started
Started catch riding at local hunter shows because, while I had breeches, a coat, and boots, I lacked the horse! Got along with some spunky little horses and started getting paid to exercise. Exercising led to race tracks. Race tracks led to management and starting babies. Management and starting babies led to getting requests to re-school spoiled horses, and re-schooling led to getting nice young horses.

Marriage and children slowed that down, though we ranched through that time, but when they became old enough to ride on their own, we started buying prospects at sales and putting 30 days of riding and feed on them and re-selling. That again led to requests to start horses and to re-school spoiled ones.

Now I'm getting out of re-schooling and only exercising for people with decent horses who are good horsemen. I've paid my dues!

Have fun as you find your own path!
myhorsesonador and Cherie like this.
     
    09-26-2013, 05:15 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by myhorsesonador    
As the title states, how did you get started? My friend who is also a trainer called me up and offered me a job at the barn where she was working. I almost said no, I was pretty certain I didn't want to be a pro.

How old were you? 25? 26?

What challenges did you face at the start? There aren't a lot of ways for trainers to learn how to teach lessons or learn how to train. It's a lot of figuring things out yourself. There are also a lot of bad trainers /bad information out there so you have to be careful with who you do listen to. I've had to clinic a lot and work with some older more experienced trainers to keep learning.

Did you live in a "horsey" area, or did you have to relocate? I live in a very suburb-y area that happens to have some big boarding/show barns.

Do you make enough off of training alone to support your self? Yes

Do you train out of your own barn, do you rent a barn/work out of some one else's place, or do you go to each client and work at their home?
I work for a big show barn.

Have you ever come across horses, that you just will not deal with?
Yes. I am best with starting horses, finishing green horses, or tuning up made horses. I can deal with problems, but my specialty is not fixing the chronic rear-er/bucker. There are other trainers who are wonderful at that. And honestly, I don't really want to anymore! I have too many horses to ride and not enough hours in the day to deal with something that wants to kill me.

Do you still enjoy it, or is it too much like work now? Overall, I LOVE my job. I have the best job in the world! But there are a lot of days when I lack motivation or days when it is definitely work. It is an exhausting job that takes a lot of time and energy. BUT, there's nothing else I'd rather do!

I'm sure I would think of more questions, but I just typed this all out then my computer shut down...stupid update...

If you want to ride professionally, I would suggest working closely with some really top notch trainers with lots of connections who are willing to help you out and teach you what they know. Prove to them you're worth it by working your butt off doing menial labor because the majority of people who come to me saying they want to do what I do don't actually want to work that hard. Learn as much as you can, get a show record if you can, get connections, because so much of finding a job is who you know! Good luck!
mbaron5731 likes this.
     

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