How we all come to find our trainers is a personal journey. Some folks get it right right off the bat, but more often than not, we’ve all kissed a few frogs along the way to finding our educational Prince (or Princess!) Charming, and we’ve also inevitably outgrown perfectly good programs and needed to seek out something, someone else.
I see lots of folks out there getting downright bad help, and I’m always struck by why anyone would tolerate trainers who tell them they’re stupid, or trainers who are awful riders, or trainers who are bad to their horses. But I also see lots of folks out there who don’t get enough help, and I wonder if it’s because they don’t know they need more help, or if they don’t know how to find more—or better quality–training.
When searching for a coach or trainer, here are some things I encourage folks to consider.
1. Has your coach done what you want to do? This seems like a no-brainer, but I can’t tell you how many riders I meet in clinics who are riding with people who haven’t competed at the level they themselves are striving to compete, or ever dealt with a horse or rider issue like the one their student is experiencing. Whether that’s youth riders with the NAJYRC working with trainers who’ve never shown the FEI levels, or adult amateurs working on bringing their horses up the levels working with coaches who’ve only ridden trained horses themselves, if your coach hasn’t done what you want to do, look elsewhere.
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