Choosing a trainer is both more complicated and a lot more simple than it would seem at first glance.

I know, it sounds weird, but stay with me, because this is really important for your horse.

I’ve seen trainers teach when the horse was clearly lame. I’ve seen trainers teach when the horse was clearly afraid. And I’ve seen trainers teach the rider to pretty much fight their horse with hands and spurs to get them to do what they wanted.

A bad trainer will not only teach you crappy techniques, they will give you bad advice and will be detrimental to your horse’s physicial and mental health.

So choosing your trainer well is really important and when you know what to look out for, really simple. But if you don’t know what to look out for, it can feel really overwhelming! How do you recognise the good from the bad?

Over the years, I’ve developped a few tricks to help me know what type of trainer I’m dealing with, and at the end of the day all of those tricks could be summarized in one: don’t listen to what they say, but instead look at the horses that they teach.

That’s it. It’s that simple.

But this is also where it gets complicated, so here are a few example of what I will focus on:
– How relaxed and focused does the horse look during the lessons? I’ll use the ears and the eyes for this, amongst other things, looking for signs of tension and discomfort.
– How are their muscle development? For this one, I look at the topline including the neck but aslo at the balance front/back and left/right.
– How supple are they when they move? This is crucial for me because most of my work revovles around movement and making sure your horse moves freely. So if I see a trainer teach a horse to be stiff, you can bet they will not be recommended or used by me!

I’ve met a tone of people who were using all the right words, saying all the fancy stuff, and yet when looking at the horse they were teaching, I was seeing only the opposit. So referring to the horse is your best shot at evaluating a trainer, because a horse will never lie!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *