Working with a Dressage Trainer- Expectations? - The Horse Forum
 1Likes
  • 1 Post By QtrBel
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 Old 08-12-2020, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 2
• Horses: 0
Working with a Dressage Trainer- Expectations?

(I x-posted this to New Rider Forum)

Hello everyone! I've been taking lessons at a few different barns over the past two years. Recently, my trainer (been with her for a year) made the move to a new barn too far for me to travel to. She is, however, going to help me with finding my first horse, as she knows me and my riding best. I will have to board the horse at a new barn with a new trainer.

I've always ridden at barns where there is a lesson program with a trainer who has lesson horses. I've been browsing some barns and noticed dressage trainers that don't have lesson horses, but will work with you and your horse.

Is anyone in a program like this? If so, what are your experiences with this vs a lesson barn?
Do dressage trainers dislike "non-dressage horses" (horses that aren't warmblood schoolmasters)?
Is the expectation that you have to pay for both lessons AND your horse to be trained by the trainer all the time? Can you just take lessons w/o training?
I'm interested to know because I'm worried about the cost. I am located in the U.S., as that may make a difference.
blackhorse7 is offline  
post #2 of 9 Old 08-12-2020, 01:50 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: CenTex
Posts: 2,997
• Horses: 1
I've been through something like this. I think part of it depends on how well-trained the horse you buy is. Is it a retired schoolmaster? If so, it shouldn't need a lot of training, and you can just take lessons on it.

When I moved to my current barn, I brought Pony (greenbroke) and Moonshine (ex-ranch horse). In that case, both horses went into training while I rode on lesson horses they had. I don't know what they would have done if they hadn't had lesson horses.

Maybe at really fancy high-end barns they might look down on a non-warmblood.

Having been through what I went through with my horses who were not trained for the discipline I wanted to learn, I will tell you that my riding progress was MUCH slower than it would have been if they had been well trained. But I learned a lot more about horsemanship.

Ultimately, I really think the answer to your questions depends on the horse you purchase. You're probably better off spending more money up front to get a horse that is already trained, than on buying a cheaper horse that will need training. Training is so very expensive.

"Saddle fit -- it's a no brainer!"" - random person
ACinATX is online now  
post #3 of 9 Old 08-12-2020, 02:53 PM
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 10,928
• Horses: 12
If your trainer is aware of your skills and you rode with her in the discipline you are continuing then she should know what to look for. If you are still in the just starting out and your budget allows then she should be looking for a schoolmaster.

If you are advancing and are beyond the beginner level with a feel for working with a horse that has the basics but needs work to advance then she could find one started for you to train and learn under a good instructor. Horse may need some training rides but would not be project for the trainer or you could still go with a school master to continue advancing on until you are more comfortable.

As for trainers preferences that depends on the trainer. Around here we have everything from ponies to full drafts or draft crosses to TBs, Paints, QH, Appendix, and WB. What you have is what you ride or you ride the schoolies.
They are a mix of the above as well.

Now if your trainer knowingly arranges a purchase of an absolute greenie that has to trained to your discipline before you start riding then I hope she had your permission beforehand. I also would not recommend the purchase of a more advanced upper competition horse for you to learn on. Your trainer will be riding to keep that horse tuned up costing you $$$.
Woodhaven likes this.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.

Last edited by QtrBel; 08-12-2020 at 02:59 PM.
QtrBel is offline  
post #4 of 9 Old 08-12-2020, 05:40 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 113
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhorse7 View Post
(I x-posted this to New Rider Forum)

Hello everyone! I've been taking lessons at a few different barns over the past two years. Recently, my trainer (been with her for a year) made the move to a new barn too far for me to travel to. She is, however, going to help me with finding my first horse, as she knows me and my riding best. I will have to board the horse at a new barn with a new trainer.

I've always ridden at barns where there is a lesson program with a trainer who has lesson horses. I've been browsing some barns and noticed dressage trainers that don't have lesson horses, but will work with you and your horse.

Is anyone in a program like this? If so, what are your experiences with this vs a lesson barn? This depends on your riding goals. When you ride different horses, you gain a lot of experience. However, if your goal is to say, make it to Training level this year with your horse, maybe getting lessons on strictly your horse would be more beneficial.
Do dressage trainers dislike "non-dressage horses" (horses that aren't warmblood schoolmasters)? You will find prejudices in all disciplines, dressage being no exception. Find the horse that works for you and then find the right trainer. Dressage is good for all breeds of horses and if your trainer doesn't believe that, find a new one!
Is the expectation that you have to pay for both lessons AND your horse to be trained by the trainer all the time? Can you just take lessons w/o training? I would expect this to be depending on the individual trainer.
I'm interested to know because I'm worried about the cost. I am located in the U.S., as that may make a difference.

These are just some of my thoughts. Dressage can definitely help you get a deeper connection with your horse. Good luck!
Palfrey is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 08-12-2020, 07:08 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 2,917
• Horses: 0
Your trainer that you have been working with for two years should know your skill level and be able to help you buy a horse that suits that level.
I have often seen a rider taking lessons and they are doing well and becoming good competent riders and decide to buy a horse. Having your own horse is different than riding a school horse that is in work several hours each day and know their job well. When a rider gets their own horse they are responsible for the riding and work that the horse gets, if you can't get out for several days the horse can be feeling pretty good and may be a little difficult to handle.
If you are working with a trainer it can get pretty expensive if the horse needs a lot of training and can be discouraging if you have to handle a lot of training yourself.

If you could work your way into horse ownership by leasing or part leasing a horse and see how it goes and then maybe start looking for a horse of your own.
I would recommend getting a horse that suits your skill level now, perhaps a retired school master. This may mean having this horse for a few years, develop your ability and skill and then move up to another horse.

I have seen many people buying their first horse and they get a good horse but green and not really the right horse for the rider's ability. They soon become intimidated by the horse and soon it is no pleasure to go out and see their horse and this just keeps spiraling down until the rider gives up.

I don't like to sound so discouraging but I think it is important to get a good well trained horse to start with and build a great working relationship and that way you can both enjoy your horse ownership together.
Happy riding to you
Woodhaven is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 08-13-2020, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 2
• Horses: 0
Thank you for the helpful advice everyone! I should have clarified that I intend on buying a beginner-friendly horse (not green). However, there are many safe horses that aren't trained to first or second+ level dressage (some are well broke to ride as pleasure horses). Reading through your posts, it sounds like it would be best for me to increase my budget and make sure I get the best trained horse I can for my budget. I have been leasing and three days a week is not enough for me , definitely ready for the plunge into horse ownership. A well-trained dressage horse can start at high-five figures+ so hopefully I can find something affordable trained at the lower levels.
blackhorse7 is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 08-13-2020, 11:06 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,784
• Horses: 2
My daughter rides on her 21 yr old arthritic Arab at First level with a coach who comes to us one week and we trailer the other week. It's been great. Most of the riders and their horses are in Training level and the coach is fine with that.



But I am from small-town eastern Canada.
Acadianartist is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 08-14-2020, 04:56 AM
Started
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,721
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhorse7 View Post
Thank you for the helpful advice everyone! I should have clarified that I intend on buying a beginner-friendly horse (not green). However, there are many safe horses that aren't trained to first or second+ level dressage (some are well broke to ride as pleasure horses). Reading through your posts, it sounds like it would be best for me to increase my budget and make sure I get the best trained horse I can for my budget. I have been leasing and three days a week is not enough for me , definitely ready for the plunge into horse ownership. A well-trained dressage horse can start at high-five figures+ so hopefully I can find something affordable trained at the lower levels.
As a novice I bought a safe horse who wasn't dressage or jumping trained. I would have preferred a schoolmaster in either discipline but there simply weren't any locally (non horsey country). It turned out great. We made a lot of progress but it is slooooooooow. Very slow. I am not too sure which approach is better. I have had a lot of frustration and an enormous amount of fun figuring out how to teach both myself and my horse since we don't have any dressage trainers locally. I am sure my riding would have progressed much more quickly if I got a schoolmaster but I wouldn't have learned how to teach the horse, I would basically just know how to ride those figures. In any case, I cannot say that buying a non-schoolmaster was a waste of time because I enjoyed it a lot. Of course, for this to work, you have to get a safe horse without too many bad habits.
Horsef is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 08-14-2020, 09:54 AM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: eh?
Posts: 2,828
• Horses: 2
A lot of dressage trainers don't have school horses because it's a lot of work maintaining a string of good dressage schoolmasters. School masters are expensive, meaning most trainers can't go buy them just for teaches lessons on. The schoolmasters they do have are usually their own horses who are retired. If it's a horse they are currently competing on, they won't be using it often for lessons, and only for advanced students. Plus, the level of sensitivity required for a good dressage schoolmaster is too sensitive for beginner lessons. A dressage lesson horse requires a different level of responsiveness and softness than a hunter lesson horse, for example. So that trainer is going to have to spend a lot of time schooling those horses to keep them tuned up for the students.



It'll depend on the program if it's expected that you also do training rides.


Again, it'll depend on the trainer if they have an issue with off-breeds. While they have their favourite types, the trainers I've worked with will work with you, regardless of what breed your horse is.


You probably will want to look at smaller, less competition-focused barns. You're less likely to run into the issue of needing to be in a training program and off-breed bias.
ApuetsoT is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome