Six Things to Look For in an Equestrian Trainer
Whether you are new to the equestrian industry or you’re a seasoned professional, you should regularly evaluate your relationship with your trainer to ensure that everything is going according to plan. Trainers can make a huge difference in your skill as a rider and your advancement opportunities, so be sure to evaluate your options thoroughly. If you’re searching for a new equestrian trainer (or you just want to see how amazing your current one is), read through our list of the top six things to look for in a horseback riding trainer.
1. Do They Listen to You and Put Your Interests First?
First and foremost, your trainer needs to really listen to what you’re saying. Especially if what you want differs from what they might have had in mind for you, your trainer needs to be able to hear what you’re looking for and adjust their teaching strategy accordingly.
This goes beyond the training strategy. Trainers often make a commission off the products they sell and they receive various fees for finding horses or entering their students into different competitions. Your trainer needs to recommend what is best for you and your horse based on what you have told them and what they have seen for themselves — not what will boost their income.
A great trainer will also help manage your expectations. They’ll listen to what you say your horse’s abilities are and what you think your skill level is, but they will also assess these for themselves and develop a plan that will keep you safe while advancing your skills.
2. Are They Clear About Costs?
Every trainer has a different fee policy. If you’re paying someone for lessons and boarding, you need to know exactly what you’re getting and what charges you may incur if you cancel an appointment. Your equestrian trainer should be transparent about everything related to price and service.
3. Do They Have Enough Experience?
Your trainer may have been perfect for you when first started with them, but in the time since you began, you may have advanced further than their experience can accommodate. If you have outgrown your trainer, it’s time to have an honest conversation with yourself and with them.
4. Do They Have the Facilities You Need?
The riding goals you have will determine what equipment and facilities you need. Visit the equestrian center, speak with the trainer, and decide if this person has everything you need.
5. Do They Have the Connections You Want?
Equestrian trainers who have been in the industry a while should have built a network of experts upon which they can call when they have questions about your situation. From horse training questions to competition strategy, a great trainer will have contacts with whom to communicate.
6. What Is Their Record Like?
Last but not least, take a look at their track record. Have their past clients gone on to achieve success? Do they have current riders who can serve as references? The equestrian industry may appear large, but it’s actually very small. Word gets around quickly about which trainers are gifted and which ones you may want to avoid, so do your research before you sign with anyone.
Our full-service Equestrian Center in Seabrook Island welcomes any questions that you may have. Reach out to our team to learn more about the services we offer and about our training approach.