What do you look for in a trainer? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-19-2010, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Western Pa
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What do you look for in a trainer?

I am going to be looking for a trainer soon, for help with teaching ground manners and eventually breaking a new foal, and I'd like to get 30 days or so of professional training for both of my mares, and a few lessons for myself... But I don't know of any trainers local, and I don't know what questions I need to ask before I trust someone with my horses...

What should I ask or look for regarding training for my horses?

"Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious."
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-19-2010, 09:56 PM
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References. As many as possible. Also take couple lessons - if he/she is indeed a good trainer you'll see it right away.
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-20-2010, 12:48 AM
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What would/do I look for??

First & foremost I'd be watching the person working with other horses and finding & checking out other horses who have been trained by the person. I look for someone with a good knowledge of horse behaviour & bodylanguage. Someone who is considerate & respectFUL of the horse. Someone who will enhance & reinforce the horse's positive attitude towards people & the 'work' we want of them, and will help the horse become comfortable & confident with everything, rather than just forcing them into stuff & making them 'work'. After sussing them out & seeing them work with other horses, I would have a lesson or 2 with them, let them work with my horse in front of me, before I'd ever consider leaving my horse with them.

References, are a start. But knowing the wide variety of opinions on what's good, bad or indifferent, I wouldn't put my trust in refs alone - been there, done that once, one of my horses still has the mental scars to prove that approach wrong, after only 1 week of the wrong 'training'! I also would be hesitant of, but wouldn't definitely rule out people with little experience so few references. If I thought they had a great attitude & understood enough of the principles, theory, I would probably give them a chance, at least in front of me.
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post #4 of 5 Old 04-20-2010, 06:55 AM
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People lie and mislead but horses always tell the truth. After checking some references look at the horses the trainer is riding and ask to ride some of thiers. If the horses reflect what you want with your horses then hire the trainer, if not then keep looking. Don't even ask about price untill you have decided on a trainer. It will be much cheaper to pay a good high priced trainer than to pay a crappy cheap trainer and a good trainer to fix what the crappy trainer did. Also, some trainers just getting into the area or just starting out on thier own won't charge alot because they want to stay busy and build a reputation.

As far as lessons go, some trainers are good with horses but not so much with people. I know some good trainers that won't offer lessons because of the liability and headache.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill

Last edited by kevinshorses; 04-20-2010 at 06:58 AM.
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-21-2010, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Western Pa
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Thanks Kevin... Great advice as usual...

I have a guy in mind and already know what he charges, but I wanted some input on what I need to be looking for... I know of one problem horse this guy retrained and I wasn't sure if I should ask if I could ride him again... If they did a good job with him though I'll notice the difference in him....

I think I'm going to do come calling around, just to get some info and go from there... I'm not in any hurry, since I won't be ready to send my mare off until its time to wean her foal....

"Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious."
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