If you are new to the world of horses just how would you verify the credentials of your proposed trainer to be (or internet adviser) ?
No different than any other biz...references are good, but shouldn't be the sole way to check. The best I think is to watch the trainer work...a lot of times, owners get lazy and just don't make the effort then end up getting burned because they didn't know the trainer likes to be abusive and the horse ends up suffering because of it.
Check up on the trainer several times, be there when another client is there getting training/lessons and see how the trainer interacts with that person and that horse.
Get a one time lesson with you and your horse to help you see how the trainer will interact with you and your horse before committing to more time and money.
Ask a lot of questions, find out what kind of tack the trainer uses and why. Find out as much as possible.
I think seeing for yourself is the best way. Because the trainer might be the best in the land for other people, but maybe you end up hating their methods,...so this way, you can see it's not a match. Or maybe you didn't hear good things but ends up that other people expected different and you love the trainer. People are picky or not picky enough. You've got to decide for yourself what will work for you and your horse.
Especially...if the trainer insists that you show up a lot during the training..this is a good sign.
If the trainer says, gimme the horse and go away and don't come back til the horse is done....you're better off with a trainer who's very willing and pushes training you and your horse.
Be a big part of the training. So, if you're sending your horse out, at least make the effort to check up on em once a week or more. Get lessons to find out how the training is going, and to be sure it's what you want.
The more active the owner is in the training process, the quicker that person can pull their horse out of training they don't like and possibly avoid bad things happening if they were to wait a whole month before seeing their horse again.
As for internet training info...that's gotta be taken for what it is...advice from a stranger that can only guess and give out advice based on what you write....take it, think it over, pick through it, and use what you might think you can, and toss the rest. When in doubt, find a trainer in person.
Unless you're taking lessons from the trainer over the internet or something....you don't really have any way of knowing if the person is for real or not. But if you're taking lessons, you can ask for a video or something to see the trainer working. There's really no way of being sure without being in person, I think.
I wouldn't even trust a bare certificate. I know certified trainers who stink. I know trainers who are not certified who are awesome. A piece of paper doesn't make a person a trainer, so it shouldn't be the end-all-be-all of your search. Dig deeper, go watch the trainer for yourself.
I see so often people throwing out ads for services and when you look deeper some things just don't jive. New people coming to the horse world just do not have the knowledge to make a decision on what is good or not and are often overwhelmed.
Overwhelmed or not. There's a lot of info and everyone has gut feelings they can follow. I mean, if something feels wrong, it probably is. If it feels right, then check it out more. Dig deeper to see if it's what you want or not. A lot of times, people can be very lazy and just not bother doing the detail work and end up getting a raw deal. Do the homework. No different than if you were looking for daycare for your kid, you wouldn't just hand him over to anyone claiming they're a babysitter, so don't do the same with your horse. Find out everything and stay involved.
I would like to take this farther because with the internet being at everyone fingertips and so many "pretent" internet trainers out to make themselves appear better than they really are increases the difficulty, as now you can't (for the most part) even see their faces or expressions. A 13 year old can attempt to be 25 with knowledge (or at least googled knowledge). When you compound this with the common assumption that if it isn't on the internet it didn't happen. I have run into this very closed minded type of thinking on every website but believe me there WERE things going one and competitions won by people that will never show up on the net.
I think this is where people need to stay smart and keep in mind that when it comes down to it...the internet is a place of entertainment.
Reality is....no one here can see you, see your real issues, details and all. So, it's up to everyone to be smart and not just read something and go out and do it blindly. Human beings do have good instincts. I think it's when they choose to ignore them is when trouble happens.
I personally see this as a real problem new horse people.
You're absolutely right. But it's reality. There's more people who didn't grow up around horses, who don't have years of experience, who are getting horses that are too much horse for them....but there is also a lot of good help out there for them.
I think, just like anything else, it's just a matter of common sense and educating oneself to find the real trainers and steer away from the rest.
It's not that hard to see what's real and what's not, if you take the time to check. I think that's all it comes down to.
Just like buying horses....I've heard too many times from people who went out and bought a horse without ever riding it! They trusted the seller who claimed the horse was kid broke and bomb proof. The buyers gave the money and took the horse home, only to find out the horse was absolutely unbroke or barely green broke....and these are buyers who've no business with anything other than a seasoned horse. It's disgusting, but it happens. And these too, buyers beware.....check out the horses thoroughly, have the sellers catch, tack, ride the horse before you buy, get a vet check....
The more you dig, the more you know and the better your chances at not getting screwed.