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Don't know if this belongs here or not but I think it does :)

Anyway, I am wanting to find a trainer who can put some more time on my new OTTB 3 year old. Nothing to show or anything like that just keep her in shape and have some more time on her before springtime/summertime.

Now my question is...How do you find the "right" trainer? I've heard some many stories about people sending their horses to "trainers" and they come back worse then they left or starved or beaten or a number of other things. My horse is calm, gentle and broke. So when she comes back I'm expecting the same. But with more undersaddle time. I am not a beginner rider but I have just started two jobs and really don't have the time (or desire) to ride in the cold, wet, snow. But, BUT if I paid someone I wouldn't feel as guilty (for not riding her) and that's their job haha I know that sounds a little selfish but I mean it in the best way possiable :)


Also I want someone who is familiar with TB's but at the same time realizes I want her to be a trail horse not a jumper, or Dressage horse or anyother thing like that.. So where would you start looking? What questions would you ask? Would you want to talk to previous owners they had broken horses for? Well you get the idea haha.. I put a ad on my local craigslist.. I know not the safest place but I thought it would at least give me a few ideas of the "trainers" out there..

And just to let everyone know this will be the first horse I have sent off for training so I am going to be very picky and suspicious of everyone. My brother breaks and trains horses but he has blood clots and the doctor told him to lay off for a while, while they are getting his medicines and things straightened out. He usually does all the training for me but like I said he is unable to and I just don't trust many people with my horses so I wanted to get you all's opinions..

Also if you are in Va and have used a certain trainer or know of one that is good Pm me :)

Thanks so much, sorry this got so long.
 

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I PMed you.. :)
 

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Hey! I'm in a similar situation to you, I also have an OTTB who's off the track and I'm looking to get him more under saddle time. My first piece of advice would be to go with someone who has experience with OTTB's. They are a whole different breed apart from regular TB's, and anyone who has worked with them will tell you that. Although they are similar to babies, and yours will be especially because she is only 3 years old, they are not green. Its like taking a cow horse and asking them to jump, they know how to have a rider on their back, the just have no knowledge of what you're asking them to do.

As for finding a good trainer, trust your instincts. Don't be afraid of telling someone you don't think your mare and the trainer are a good fit. Go out to the facility (if you're sending her away for sure) and watch him or her on another horse currently in training. Make sure you find out how many horse the trainer takes on at one time, and find out who else would handle your mare besides the trainer.

I would also check out this board, its specifically for OTTB and OTSB owners, people from all over the country with all levels of OTTB experience are members and they could probably help you with your trainer search.

Exracers.com Forums - Home
 

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As a riding instructor, trainer, and riding student, my advice is to go to the facility that you are looking into, unannounced. If they tell you that you have to set up an appointment to be there, I would be skeptical about leaving my horse there. Showing up unannounced, you will be able to see the true way these people work. If they are trying to hide something, they will be more able to do so with an appointment. Also, go and watch them ride or train. And ALWAYS ask questions. If they can't give you an answer or they beat around the bush about it, they may not know what they are doing. Only you can be the judge about what is the "right" trainer for your horse.
Hope this helped:)
 

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I hate to say it, but trial and error. If you are new to the horse scene in an area, you aren't going to know about different trainers and their reputations until you get your hands dirty. Go to shows, clinics, "open barns" and find a program that you like. Talk to horse people who you respect (ie are themselves good riders and horsepeople) and see who they like and heck even do a google search on some places. You really have to root around to find good trainers these days.
Good luck!
 

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As a riding instructor, trainer, and riding student, my advice is to go to the facility that you are looking into, unannounced.
A very good idea. The barn I board at is not somewhere I want to keep my horse forever, but since I am in school and trapped here, I have little choice. Thankfully I can make it out every day because I never know what kind of a train wreck I am going to find. The BM calls herself a "trainer" and talks a very good game. Last week she intentionally flipped a mare over backward because she had tried to rear when she was riding her. I have seen her beating horses with a whip so badly that it left huge welts and my poor boy stood at the far end of the arena shaking. I know she would never do this or admit to it if she thought the owner might see it (and yes, I absolutely gave her a piece of my mind and will NEVER let her touch my boy). You have to be exquisitely careful with who you trust your horse to and I definitely recommend someone with OTTB experience, but a solid trainer will be able to help whether or not they have worked with them before.
 

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Hello,
I have a question. If your brother is the one who usually does this for you ~ Might he be able to suggest someone to you?

Even if the recomendation comes from your brother there are a few things that I still want to ask the recomended person.
Here is what I did before sending y mare out.
I asked many folks at my own barn about their knowledge of this trainer and the outcomes of some horses he had worked with. A gal at my barn already had her horse with the guy, so I did get to see him ride her horse when he came to pick mine up. Before that I got to see a very short Cell phone clip of him riding.
I called and talked with him before making a final decision to send her there. I asked him questions about what he feeds where he has worked how long he had been doing it, what his place was like, how and what he will do with my horse.
Through people I know I found out he had worked starting horses at another big barn in the area years prior. I called and asked some questions.

Another thing that was important because I planned for her to be gone at least 60 days was to make sure she had her suppliments and stayed on wormer and farrier schedule etc.

Most importantly......If the place you send the horse ~ does not want you or allow you to come and see what they are doing with your horse..Do Not send the horse to them.
This trainer where my mare is ~ has been very happy to have me come up and see what he is doing. We talk on the phone regularly and I have visited her regularly. She is due home around the 23-26th of this month.
Feel free to PM me with any other questions....
Hope this helps...
Half Pass
 

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I would say your best bet is to interact with other horse owners at shows and what not!Im not saying take the horse to shows or anything like that but as you said before you just wanted it to trail horse! to add some new contacts just so you could get some info on what to look out for! Another thing i would suggest is talk to your brother about it and ask him if he could recommend any contacts!

I know how you feel as a horse owner myself i would be very untrusting regarding the subject but you hav eto take a camble try and get someone in the area! mayby visit the trainner with the horse a couple of times before you actually send the horse to be trainned see how gentel they are with the horse look out for short tempermants and mean natures explain your horse to them and also look out for a very knowledgeable trainer! Goodluck and try to let your guard down just a lttle about!xxx
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My brother has always been the one to "fix" the problems caused by "trainers" in our local area and those are the only ones he know's of. Not that he would recommend any of them but I have already asked LOL.. Thanks so much for all the advice :)
 

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I think it's always a good idea when doing anything horse related to ask your vet, farrier and even the people running the local tack shop. They usually know all the horse people around and can usually give you insights on their reputations and their ability's.
 

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Best Advice comes from word of mouth. Ask your ferrier, Vet, hay supplier etc. These people know lots of people who know lots of people.

Remember you get what you pay for. You don't sound like someone who is going to be taken advantage of so pay good and expect good. Watch the progress at least once per week--minimum. 60 days minimum--lots of improvement in ther first 30 days then "I don't want to" then more improvement after that is settled.
 

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Now my question is...How do you find the "right" trainer?
First. Make a list of what a trainer means to you.
Someone who....what?
1. knows about your breed of horse

2. has lots of clients or only takes on a few (that will tell you who will be working with your horse...if it's a trainer with a big barn, ten to one, your horse may be shuffled to a trainer assistant and that might be good or bad. if the barn is smaller, then your horse might actually be trained by the trainer)

3. what kind of approach do you like? The "just get er done!" type or the take your time and get the details or a mix of both or what? Some trainers like to tear through training and get going, others like to take their time and work on detailed riding....

4. how trained do you want your horse? want your horse to have reining basics or just the basics? want to be able to do a sliding stop or just know that you've got reliable brakes?

5. Choose a trainer that wants and insists to work with you. You really need to make time even if its just an hour a week...to check up on the progress and be some part of the training. Sending a horse away and expecting a gem in return may or may not come back to haunt you. Don't take the risk and make the time to go watch and learn so that you know that your horse is truly in good hands and that you understand how to take over once the training time is over.

All the horror stories I've heard from people have been because they find a trainer, trust the trainer 100% and leave the horse there for said amount of time without really checking up on the horse, who ends up suffering. Don't let that happen to you or your horse. Be part of the training

What questions would you ask?
See above. Plus...I'd ask the following:

References. And call them and check out their horses progress or finished product.

Can I stop in anytime? A yes answer is what you're looking for.

Check out the trainer's tack. What kind of stuff is used?

Have the trainer work the first day in your presence. See the chemistry between the trainer and your horse. See the trainer working with other horses.

I put a ad on my local craigslist.. I know not the safest place but I thought it would at least give me a few ideas of the "trainers" out there..

Craigslist isn't really a trainer's page. Google trainers in your area and check out their sites and make some phone calls. Google barns in your area and see who trains there and check it out.


And just to let everyone know this will be the first horse I have sent off for training so I am going to be very picky and suspicious of everyone.

Picky is good and asking a lot of questions and more so, though, talk is cheap....go see and take in what you see....check out the horse's physically that are at the training barn....any marks? all look healthy? in good condition mentally and physically? what does the trainer do with the horses that aren't being trained at the moment? is the horse stuck in a stall for hours on end or does the horse get exercised on days off or turned out or??

Good luck with your search!
 
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