I get this question a lot… “how do people become professionals in the equestrian discipline?” Don’t I wish I had a good response to this and let me let you in on a little secret, ANYONE can become a horse trainer, anyone.
So, let’s take a diﬀerent approach to this. How do you know if your horse trainer is a good fit? I’m going to ask you to think about something, would you get financial advice from someone who is broke? I wouldn’t, so why are you going to take lessons from someone who isn’t qualified to teach you?
How do you know if they are qualified you ask… simple. Does the riding you or your child is doing look safe? Are the horses fit, healthy, and willing doing their jobs? Is the tack you or your child is riding in safe and checked regularly? Does the instructor do continuing education or collaborate with others in the business to provide better services/teaching to their students? Don’t be shy to ask them for credentials! Is their teaching method clear and to the point allowing the student to understand what is being asked of them? If jumping, are the course set in a proper manner with strides counted? Does the instructor allow the horse and rider team to grow at their pace with consistent improvements? Most importantly, is that professional out doing what you want to be doing?
No professional should be teaching a discipline or training a horse and never have done what they are attempting to teach. This may just be my unpopular opinion, but it is true. I see more horse and rider combinations fail due to improper training and an unrealistic timeline. I also don’t believe you have to spend big money on proper training. I see plenty of good coaching at reasonable rates sometimes you just must be willing to travel to the right person for the right fit. So next time you are at your lesson listen, watch, and learn. There are many qualities that make up a true professional.