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Horse Trainers, How did you get started?

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        10-15-2013, 11:35 PM
    Haha I just started teaching a ten-year-old! I'm 15, by the way.
    I have to say my biggest challenge so far is making sure my student is comfortable with the horse and knows that it will not be easy. I worry that she'll feel like she's not progressing and want to rush onto bigger and better things. Also it's difficult for me as a student to juggle homework AND training my own horse and finding time to relax!

    I can't really answer the income question because I do $15 an hour, which is quite a steal in my area, being $30 for 1/2 hour the normal rate at the barns I have looked at.

    I don't have an arena because of where the pasture is, but I do have a long, flat, area wide enough for 10meter circles to ride in, which I love dearly ;) I teachat my house for now, but with winter coming they may not want to continue or we may have to work something out with an indoor arena that I rent near my house, but we'll just have to see!

    I use my own missile-proof trail/dressage/trot-pole gelding for her lessons, but if I were to continue giving lessons later on in my life it would just depend on the student and horse as a team whether or not I would work with the horse. If they aren't suited for each other one bit, then i'd probably not work with them. (I.E. Small, weak, inexperienced 11-year-old with a flighty, sensitive, 4-year-old Thoroughbred mare)

    I love teaching so far and I look forward to it all day at school! It's a great learning experience for both of us and it's something special, knowing that a kid looks up to you for advice and wants to be just like you when they're your age. I also love being able to pass on my knowledge to the younger generation and infecting more children with the "horse bug"!
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        10-22-2013, 09:48 AM
    Originally Posted by myhorsesonador    
    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.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    I live there. SC is secretly an equestrian gold-mine. You just have to know where to look. :) Aiken is probably a good place to start. York is another. There is also Landrum, but that is further North.
        10-22-2013, 12:22 PM
    Green Broke
    Originally Posted by Ripplewind    
    I live there. SC is secretly an equestrian gold-mine. You just have to know where to look. :) Aiken is probably a good place to start. York is another. There is also Landrum, but that is further North.
    I'm in West Union Near Seneca. Not really equestrian around here, only boats and jet skis lol
        10-22-2013, 12:44 PM
    I got started at a small "lesson mill" barn.

    I believe that I was fifteen or sixteen.

    In the start, I didn't face too many challenges.

    I do live in a "horsey" area... sort of. Colorado has a big Hunter/Jumper scene, so I got lucky in that aspect.

    Heck no. Like most trainers starting out, I started out as "pee-on". Students paid $45 for an hour lesson. I did everything from start to finish, including help groom and tack up, teach the lesson, assist with cool down, and then supervise untacking and the giving of treats (my favorite <3). And I was paid $6 or 7 an hour.

    I worked under someone else.

    Nope. I have come across horses that I didn't feel safe putting students on, but none that I wouldn't work with.

    I no longer do it. For me, it was too political. More than that, the trainer I was working under was asking me to do unsafe things, and I felt I was being taken advantage of. IE-put a very green, young rider on a very green, young pony. Or, even more humorously, have me drive her home after one too many margaritas. It turned me off of training for good. I'd much rather just lesson, and train horses for myself.
        10-22-2013, 12:49 PM
    Super Moderator
    I was born into 3 generations of horse family though my father wasn't really interested in riding. My grandfather was mad for racehorses so my weekends from a really early age were spent between the yard he kept a few at and then later on with a cousin of his who broke and schooled horses. I broke my first pony on my own (always with someone to hand) when I was 14 but I was in no way a 'trainer' at that age.
    I had my own ponies but always hung out at a little riding school/dealer/competition yard. It was far from 'posh' but things were done properly and it gave me the chance to ride lots of different ponies and horses.
    I was lucky to be able to have lessons with some really good people and spend time with some really good trainers.
    Later on I worked at a BHS Riding School where I could train for exams, the owner was really knowledgeable but I hated the type of work and it tied up my weekends so going to shows or hunting was difficult
    I moved to another yard that was a mix of breeding, breaking & schooling for selling plus a mix of DIY, part and full liveries (boarders) hunting in the winter & shows in the summer. I loved that job and stayed there for 10 years until the owner retired with ill health and sold up
    I took my full liveries with me and set up my own small yard with them and doing some dealing then moved completely into breeding a two foals a year and buying green horses to bring on and sell.
    I worked part time in what my father called a 'real job'
    I quit when my husband took a job that involved a lot of travel and now just have 'horses for fun'
    I learnt early on that its stupid to take big risks for an employer or client because being out of work as a result of an accident can put you in real hardship and they will rarely worry about it.
        10-22-2013, 02:30 PM
    Never had a horse of my own till 22 but started riding neighbors plug horse when I was 8 or 9. When 15 a farmer I was working for said he'd give me $30 to break a 3yr old he had. So being a cocky teenager took her out in a plowed field and commenced to ride her rodeo style. Well, that didnt work, fractured my collar bone. While mending, read all I could, talked to old timers that broke horse to ride for suggestions. One old timer wouldnt tell me things directly, give me a 20 minute story to cipher out and then come by a few days later to see if I got the drift of what he was saying. I learned a lot from the hours and hours of stories he told me.Tho his methods were kinda rough IMO at times, I figured out on my own reading,watching and going to observed some Buck B clinics what is now called NH methods. I never started, takein problem horses for a living but have worked with up in the hundreds of horses. The later years I did lease a barn and inside arena to be able to take in horses year around. Usaully had 3 or 4 at at time I was working with. I'm 65 now and don't take in other peoples horses. 5 or 6 years ago my balance and reaction time started getting off and health went south and was getting throwed more than normal, I figured I better quit before I broke a hip and lay in the dirt 5 or 6 days before someone found me because I live alone. I got rid of all my horses except one old gelding. He died 3yrs ago and figured I wouldnt get another horse. Well, its in my blood and bought a 10yr old mare a month ago that is calm, just needs some fine tuning
        10-31-2013, 10:48 PM
    Originally Posted by Ripplewind    
    I live there. SC is secretly an equestrian gold-mine. You just have to know where to look. :) Aiken is probably a good place to start. York is another. There is also Landrum, but that is further North.
    Don't forget Camden !
        11-28-2013, 06:47 PM
    I started teaching lessons for my trainer as a teenager. I took my first client shortly after I finished high school and continued from there. The key to it is to continue your education and keep riding yourself. It's really easy to get tied up in your client's horses and not practice on your own.

    I do a lot of different things to keep me well rounded. I teach lessons, train greenies, correct behavior problems and catch ride. I also take lessons myself and find time to practice on my own finished horse to keep him sharp.
        11-28-2013, 07:20 PM
    I was very fortunate. I was born into a horsey family and had a professional trainer for a dad. Because of that, I always had good horses and learned early how to turn out a good horse. I started putting miles on green horses of Dad's when I was about 11 or 12, and worked on greener and greener ones. I sort of jumped into training one on my own at 14. He ended up broke as he could be, but due to my own inexperience and lack of knowledge, he doesn't have really stellar training. He's hot, chargey, touchy, and difficult to ride.

    After him, I kept on finishing off greenies for my Dad and I would start the more mellow ones on my own (under his instruction since these were his customer's horses). I steadily worked up from there, handling the greener "problem" horses and worked my way up to starting them from day 1.

    During all that, I started taking in a customer horse of my own here and there during high school. After I graduated and moved away to the city, I didn't get much time to get home to ride, but I still would put a few miles on someone's green horses whenever I was home. Then, when I moved back home to start training full time, my business was all ready to go great guns...and it did. I kept a waiting list anywhere from 2 to 10 months long and I stayed busy.

    I decided earlier this summer that I wanted out of it. It was starting to feel too much like a job because I had to take on more horses than I really wanted just to be able to afford decent health insurance. Not to mention the unrealistic expectations of so many customers.

    Too many people have seen movies where someone loves a horse into being broke in a that's what they expect *eyeroll*. Then, they don't follow your instructions for when they take the horse home and get pissed at you when the horse doesn't stay broke.

    Just as a perfect example, my last customer: He sent me a 3 year old horse that he had turned into a bucker. EVERY TIME you put the saddle on, he turned into a saddle bronc. If you let him stand still for more than a couple minutes and then asked him to move off, he turned into a saddle bronc. He was pushy and obnoxious on the ground.

    Because I know I'm not a bronc rider, I worked with the horse for quite a while on the ground before I ever got on him and it was about 2 weeks before I even took him out of the round pen. Still, in 60 days, I could saddle him, step on, and ride off with no problems, lope circles easily, neck rein, leg yield, sidepass, etc.

    I sent the horse home with explicit instructions that someone needed to ride the horse every day to keep him going or he would likely revert to his previous behavior.

    Fast forward to 4 months later, I get a phone call with this guy telling me how upset he is because he took the horse home, turned him out for 4 months while feeding him about 10 pounds of sweet feed per day, then wondered why the horse bucked again when some stranger tried to ride him to move cattle at the sale barn with no warm up or anything .

    So, now I only train for a hobby and am considering just keeping to my own horses.
    waresbear, boots and BlueSpark like this.
        12-12-2013, 11:31 AM
    I started when I was around 14, met a new friend and he was from a horse family and his grandfather taught me tons! Rescued a horse and brought him home to train. Through instruction of my friends grandfather. It was at that point I was hooked! Nine years later, I'm 23 and running my own training facility. A lot of working with other more knowledgable hands is what helped me along the way but honestly I am mostly self taught. I have read every thing I could get a hold of, watched every video and trial and error. If your going to be a trainer, you can't just like horses. You have to have a passion for horses and a true love for them. The reason I say this is because there will be Lots of good days but there are bad days where you feel like nothing is working. You have to have the will to keep pushing towards the desired goal and not let yourself down. You can't be emotional and be a good trainer because you will let emotions get in the way of the horse.
    AnrewPL likes this.

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