Fake interview?
   

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Fake interview?

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    12-10-2009, 06:23 PM
  #1
Yearling
Fake interview?

I wanna work with horses for a living. I already work 9-10hrs a day at the barn I ride at, I give lessons occasionally at another barn, I've trained three horses, and have 12 years of riding experience. I can also ride almost every type of riding you can think of.

I'd like to do a sort of training internship and work at a stable with horses and learn as much as possible about training. I'm already pretty good, but I don't have any training. I've watched shows like Parelli, Clinton Anderson, Chris Cox, and Denis Ries. I've also watched my trainer and her son work with horses and I listen very closely to what they say and do. But, still, I have no 'formal' training.

I'd like to get an idea of what would be expected of me if I were looking for a job and a trainer willing to work with me. Like what kind of horses I've worked with, what kind of work have I done, etc etc.

Sooo, lets pretend I'm applying for this job of sorts and you guys are my boss(es). Ask me all the questions you'd ask someone who was going to be around your horses. I'll answer them honestly and to the best of my ability. I'm really trying to see how qualified I am and what I need to work on.

Thanks ahead of time! :)
     
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    12-11-2009, 07:25 AM
  #2
Showing
Have you ever worked with the nervous horse? If the horse get spooked and try to take off what would you do?

What would you do with the horse, which try to bite you? Crowd you? Rear on you?

Do you know how much water horse should drink per day? How much grain? How much hay?

What dewormers are for? Have you ever give one? How do you approach the horse?

How would you groom the horse (steps)? When? How do you saddle/bridle the horse (english/western depending on trainer)?

Do you know how to put boots on horse (like SMX)?
     
    12-11-2009, 10:13 AM
  #3
Weanling
How many years have you been working with horses?

What brought you to the riding world?

What method do you use to start colts? (how much groundwork, desensitizing, etc.)
     
    12-11-2009, 11:50 AM
  #4
Rod
Foal
This is a very good question, I'll bet others will be interested in the responses you get.

Over the years I've hired 5 assistant trainers. Two were worthless and three were excellent long term employees. That's only a little better than a 50% success rate- take what I say with a grain of salt.

I did a formal interview and asked 10 questions. I wanted to know about:
1. Experience with horses
2. Experience with kids (for lessons)
3. Philosophy of horse training (or colt starting)
4. Experience with equipment operation (tractor, arena groomer, truck and trailer, etc)
5. I'd give them a problem to solve such as teaching a young horse (or beginning rider) to do a specific maneuver or work out a problem
6. I'd ask about their comfort level of working with difficult horses (or people)
7. Experience showing a horse in horse shows and what disciplines or events
8. Can every horse (or any horse) be trained to a high level- if yes; give examples. If no; what do you do with those horses that don't make the grade.
9. If you are training a young horse, how far will the horse progress (what will the horse be able to do) after 30 days? After 60 days? After 90?
10. What are your long term goals and why do you want to work for me?

After the interview I'd tell them I would make a decision in a few days. If I was impressed with them I'd ask them if they wanted a tour of the facility. This was when the real interview began. I learned more about them in an hour "tour" than in the formal interview. Sometime during the tour I'd ask them if they were willing to clean stalls and/or feed. I'd also ask them what they considered their greatest accomplishment with horses. At the end of the tour, if I was really considering hiring them, I'd ask them to catch, tack up and ride a horse.

Some things I was not impressed with.
Those who "knew it all" about horses.
Those who lied. (One twenty year old told me he had trained "hundreds of horses". At his age I did not believe him. And if he did, why was he wanting a job with a small time trainer like me?)
Those who did not know what they were doing. (One young woman stated that she could teach a horse "everything" within 30 days.)

Some things I liked.
Neat clean appearance. I didn't expect applicants wear a coat and tie or a dress, I really preferred them to wear clothes similar to what they would wear to work (maybe just a little nicer).

Applicants who were relaxed and confident.

Applicants who were willing to do anything that needed to be done.

Applicants who had a high interest in horses. Since this was an assistant trainer position, I didn't expect them to have trained a lot of horses, but I wanted them to demonstrate an interest in horses by having some significant experience.



Other thoughts.

I asked applicants to submit a resume before the interview. One woman brought about 20 pictures as her resume. They were of horses she trained and places of where she worked. I liked it. I hired her.

The best employee I hired was one I "found" by asking other trainers if they knew anyone who was good with horses who was looking for work. If you have been involved in the horse industry for any length of time you should have some contacts that will give you a good reference and/or help you find work.

Send resumes out to people you would like to work for. I hired a young woman from an unsolicited resume. I kept it for 6 months until I had an opening. It may take a little time, but many people hire from a collection of resumes they keep on file.


Good luck with your career.



Rod
     
    12-11-2009, 01:21 PM
  #5
Yearling
Questions by kitten_Val

Have you ever worked with the nervous horse?

Yes. I bought my mare when she was a green 4yo and took her to her first show and first fox hunt. Both were very exciting. I've also taken many horses on their first trail ride, first show, and I've had to deal with a lot of skittish greenies. I also show saddlebreds and they tend to get excited easily. I've done some help with bomb proofing and desensitising and 'sacking out'.

If the horse get spooked and try to take off what would you do?
I sit back deep in the saddle, lower my voice and say "whoooooaaaaaa" and use that ever so handy one rein stop. Its usually not a smart idea to try to stop a horse with two reins if they're taking off in blind panic.

What would you do with the horse, which try to bite you?
I would smack them and make them move away from me very quickly. Of course, if the owner doesn't approve of 'man handling' like smacking, I'd just REALLY work on personal space and make them move away from me as fast as possible, but still controlled.

Crowd you?
Again, I'd work on personal space and really drill into their mind that crowding is a no-no

Rear on you?
AGAIN, personal space work. I'd also make them move their feet and work really hard so they associate the naughtiness with hard work.

Do you know how much water horse should drink per day?
An average horse drinks about 9-12 gallons a day I believe... but if it gets hot (especially if it gets humid) I think that they might need about 18-24 gallons at most. I know nursing mares usually drink about that much, too.

How much grain?
Depends. My mare, who is about 900lbs or less has about two pounds a day. A growing baby (weanling or yearling) needs a lot. Our warmblood yearlings get about 3lbs or more twice a day and the ASB and WB weanlings get about 2lbs twice a day. I think for an adult horse they should get between 1 1/5% - 3 1/5% of their body weight a day. But it varies on how much work the horse does, what breed it is, if they're under or over weight. Like a lot of quarter horses and ponies I know don't need much cause theyre 'easy keepers' and gain weight easily. Other breeds, like the thoroughbred, might be a little harder to feed and maintain a good weight.

How much hay?
If a horse has access to a lot of forage (like grass) they don't need as much hay. I think an average horse gets about a half bale a day, but depending on the horse's age & size and work out schedule and breed and how much grass it eats, it will vary.

What dewormers are for?
To get rid of any parasitic worms living in a horse's body.

Have you ever give one?

Yes. Many times... once to a yearling who REALLY didn't think it was a hot idea.

How do you approach the horse?
I act like I'm going to halter or bridle them, I hold onto their nose and put their head on my shoulder, put the dewormer in their mouth and tilt their head till they swallow.

If you're asking how I approach a horse in general, I usually walk confidently up to them, shoulders square and stand slightly to the side of them, not directly in front.

How would you groom the horse (steps)?
If they're muddy, I use a nice curry comb with one hand and a body (or dandy) brush in the other and try to find a horse under all the dirt; I check under the belly (in the girth area) and make sure theres no dirt that would make the girth rub them, and I really check the saddle area. Then, I use a softer face brush and brush around the face, working out all the dirt where the bridle would go. Then, I pick all four hooves, and if I'm not in any hurry, I might brush the mane and forelock. **A funny little fact - I don't like brushing tails because it takes the hair out. I use a saddlebred method and 'pick' the tail out. It gets rid of tangles and makes the tail look extra full.


When?
Before and after I ride. And if I don't get to ride that horse that day, I still like to go out and brush them a little.

How do you saddle/bridle the horse (english/western depending on trainer)?
For any saddle, you don't want to put the saddle too high on the withers or too far back. I like to put the pad up high, then pull it down into place so the hairs are all going the right way and nothing rubs. For an english saddle, the stirrups should be pulled up and for a western saddle, the stirrup on the other side should be hooked on the horn. Then I tighten the girth (I know how to tie a western girth and obviously buckle an english one).

For bridling, I stand on the left side of the horse, next to their head. I either position my right arm under the jaw and have my hand holding the horse's nose, or I put my arm over the head and hold the bridle while I put the bit in the horse's mouth, using my thumb to open the mouth. Both ways keep the horse's head still and both ways work.

Do you know how to put boots on horse (like SMX)?
Like galloping boots and bell boots? Yes. I've put on tons before.
     
    12-11-2009, 01:30 PM
  #6
Yearling
Questions by southerncowgirl93

How many years have you been working with horses?
Almost 12. I've been riding since I was 4 and a half and I'm almost 16.

What brought you to the riding world?
As a little girl I always loved horses. My cousin owned a horse that I loved to pet and feed treats to. Any time we passed a horse on the road my mom would pull over and I'd go pet it. When I moved to where I live now, there was a barn down the street where I soon started taking lessons. Ever since then, I've ridden and shown there and I love it.

What method do you use to start colts? (how much groundwork, desensitizing, etc.)
I don't really have a strict method. I use a lot of different techniques used by natural horsemanship trainers like Pat Parelli, Clinton Anderson, Denis Ries, Chris Cox, and some local NH trainers, as well. I also use methods used by other trainers (I'm not sure what they'd be called.. they're not NH trainers..) and I've picked up a lot.

I like to do a LOT of ground work and desensitizing BEFORE I get on. If the horse isn't perfect on the ground, I'd rather not start working undersaddle yet. I wanna make sure the horse trusts people and can lead well, respects space, and can disengage both the front and hind end. I also work on lunging and free lunging and flexing their neck on both sides on the ground.
     
    12-11-2009, 01:38 PM
  #7
Trained
If I were going to hire someone to help me I would not be concerned with thier training philosophy as they would be training how I tell them. I would be more concerned with thier maturity, work ethic and riding ability. The less they think they know about training the better. I would have the person saddle and bridle and ride a horse as part of the interview but I would make it clear to them that if there was hay to unload or stalls to clean they would be doing it while I ride the horses.

Be honest with what you want from an employer. It won't be good for either one of you if you take a position that requires you to do things you can't or won't do.
     
    12-11-2009, 01:58 PM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod    
This is a very good question, I'll bet others will be interested in the responses you get.

Over the years I've hired 5 assistant trainers. Two were worthless and three were excellent long term employees. That's only a little better than a 50% success rate- take what I say with a grain of salt.

I did a formal interview and asked 10 questions. I wanted to know about:
1. Experience with horses
2. Experience with kids (for lessons)
3. Philosophy of horse training (or colt starting)
4. Experience with equipment operation (tractor, arena groomer, truck and trailer, etc)
5. I'd give them a problem to solve such as teaching a young horse (or beginning rider) to do a specific maneuver or work out a problem
6. I'd ask about their comfort level of working with difficult horses (or people)
7. Experience showing a horse in horse shows and what disciplines or events
8. Can every horse (or any horse) be trained to a high level- if yes; give examples. If no; what do you do with those horses that don't make the grade.
9. If you are training a young horse, how far will the horse progress (what will the horse be able to do) after 30 days? After 60 days? After 90?
10. What are your long term goals and why do you want to work for me?

After the interview I'd tell them I would make a decision in a few days. If I was impressed with them I'd ask them if they wanted a tour of the facility. This was when the real interview began. I learned more about them in an hour "tour" than in the formal interview. Sometime during the tour I'd ask them if they were willing to clean stalls and/or feed. I'd also ask them what they considered their greatest accomplishment with horses. At the end of the tour, if I was really considering hiring them, I'd ask them to catch, tack up and ride a horse.

Some things I was not impressed with.
Those who "knew it all" about horses.
Those who lied. (One twenty year old told me he had trained "hundreds of horses". At his age I did not believe him. And if he did, why was he wanting a job with a small time trainer like me?)
Those who did not know what they were doing. (One young woman stated that she could teach a horse "everything" within 30 days.)

Some things I liked.
Neat clean appearance. I didn't expect applicants wear a coat and tie or a dress, I really preferred them to wear clothes similar to what they would wear to work (maybe just a little nicer).

Applicants who were relaxed and confident.

Applicants who were willing to do anything that needed to be done.

Applicants who had a high interest in horses. Since this was an assistant trainer position, I didn't expect them to have trained a lot of horses, but I wanted them to demonstrate an interest in horses by having some significant experience.



Other thoughts.

I asked applicants to submit a resume before the interview. One woman brought about 20 pictures as her resume. They were of horses she trained and places of where she worked. I liked it. I hired her.

The best employee I hired was one I "found" by asking other trainers if they knew anyone who was good with horses who was looking for work. If you have been involved in the horse industry for any length of time you should have some contacts that will give you a good reference and/or help you find work.

Send resumes out to people you would like to work for. I hired a young woman from an unsolicited resume. I kept it for 6 months until I had an opening. It may take a little time, but many people hire from a collection of resumes they keep on file.


Good luck with your career.



Rod

1. Experience with horses
I have had almost 12 years of experience and I've worked with many different breeds of horses. I've worked with horses at many different stages in training, all varying from halter breaking weanlings to taking a horse to their first show. I've had a lot of experience with young horses and I've had a lot of firsts with horses. I've also ridden and shown english, western, hunter o/f (jumping), hunter pace, saddleseat, trail, parade, and even gaited. I've ridden side saddle a few times and though I didn't like it, my trainer said I'm very good at it. I've also driven horses since I was 5 and I'm in the process of teaching my mare to drive, though I've never driven in a show. I am an accomplished bareback rider, I have successfully jumped a 2'6" course bareback, I've also trail ridden bareback, and played 'tag' bareback... I taught my mare bridleless last year and was able to do a few dressage tests and jump courses bridleless. I also taught her and another pony to neck rein and I have trained three horses. Two with help, and one completely by myself. All three horses are now in the lesson program and are completely kid-safe.

I also have experience with hard barn work. I work at a barn down the street where I ride and I muck stalls, rake halls, groom horses, water, feed, help bring in and out horses, and in exchange I get to ride a little.

2. Experience with kids (for lessons)
I have given about 17 lessons since August and I've helped with a few group lessons as well. In the summer, I was a horse camp counselor twice and I baby sit kids often, so I am pretty patient with them.

3. Philosophy of horse training (or colt starting)
I really like using a lot of Natural Horsemanship methods, especially Clinton Anderson. I am patient with the horse and I usually never lose my temper. I like to take things slow and steady and I never like to rush anything. If the horse needs it, I am willing to smack them, but for the most part, I am pretty gentle with them.

4. Experience with equipment operation (tractor, arena groomer, truck and trailer, etc)
I've helped load horses SO many times.. the worst time was I had to get two abused TWHs onto a trailor and the mare I was leading tried to run me over in the trailor. Luckily, I didn't panic and successfully pushed her away from me, tied her up, and got out. I haven't ever driven a tractor, only because I don't wanna break anything. My friend has had me help him before with the tractor and I've hitched stuff up to it, too. I can drive a truck, I've done it a lot, though I don't have my license yet.

5. I'd give them a problem to solve such as teaching a young horse (or beginning rider) to do a specific maneuver or work out a problem
I've lunged a horse from a horse's back before.. Its not very hard, but It was something my trainer wanted to see if I could do. I've also done easy stuff like opening gates and mailboxes.. I've also lead horses from the back of a horse before and a lot of from the ground stuff, too.

6. I'd ask about their comfort level of working with difficult horses (or people)
I don't mind a horse misbehaving, I just don't like rearing too much.. bucking I don't really have an issue with and I don't like taking off. But I can ride all those out for the most part.

I prefer one on one with a trainer, but I am ok with group stuff

7. Experience showing a horse in horse shows and what disciplines or events
I've shown weanlings and yearlings in halter classes before, and many greenies.. I've shown in Dressage, hunter under saddle, pleasure (english and western), jumping (hunter and show jumping) hunter pace, saddleseat, trail, parade, gaited..

8. Can every horse (or any horse) be trained to a high level- if yes; give examples. If no; what do you do with those horses that don't make the grade.
no. If a horse has bad conformation, they can't do high level jumping without hurting themselves. That's just one example.

9. If you are training a young horse, how far will the horse progress (what will the horse be able to do) after 30 days? After 60 days? After 90?
It depends on the horse. How much handling its gotten, how fast it learns, etc. usually from 30 days and up, though.

10. What are your long term goals and why do you want to work for me?
I'd like to become a trainer and own a barn one day. Maybe give lessons to kids and train for the public. But I can only hope. :P
     
    12-11-2009, 08:18 PM
  #9
Showing
Wow, Rod! Those a good one!

LoveTheSaddlebreds, I've been on committee for interviews (not horse-related though :) ). And I can tell that although knowledge is very important the appearance and attitude are also very important. If you are dressed up nicely (I don't mean anything fancy here for this type of job, but CLEAN nice looking cloth), you are open-minded and willing to cooperate with other people and learn new things then you'll put really nice impression on the potential employer (even if you lack some knowledge, which is almost always a case anyway). Also I completely agree with Rod "I know everything" and/or pushy candidates are not welcome usually.
     
    12-11-2009, 09:15 PM
  #10
Weanling
^^agreed with Rod and kitten_val(about the appearance). Also, try to find out a little about the type of work the place you are applying at does. Do they lean towards jumping, reining, western pleasure, barrels, dressage, etc. And learn more about that if you can.
     

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