Is seems like everybody that can stick to a horse clams to be a horse trainer these days. Are they? Probably not. Just because they’re “somebody certified” doesn’t mean they’re a good trainer. Anyone can pay money to attend a course and get a certificate. Anyone can put up a website and write whatever they want. Are you sending your horse to someone that can do what you need or someone that can scar your horse for life? How do you know?
You don’t until you’ve done your homework. Be diligent about your research …. your horse is depending on it. Choosing the wrong trainer can take years to correct problems the trainer has caused. I know – I made this mistake. Over 5 years later my horse & I are still paying for my mistake. I took the word of a friend and didn’t do my research. Unfortunately I didn’t know the extent of the damage until I got my horse back after 3 weeks and started riding him.
Ask knowledgable horse people who they recommend. If you have someone in mind, ask around about them. Has anyone ever heard of them?
Get references. Not from friends or family, but from clients. Names & email or phone numbers of several clients. Call the references, explain the situation and see what they say about the potential trainer. Be suspicious if the trainer has no references or is unwilling to give any.
Ask your prospective trainer questions. Can you visit your horse anytime you’d like? Do you get to ride your horse during training? Can you got to their barn & watch them work with other horses that are in training? A response of no to any of these questions would cause me to look for another trainer. To me, no means they have something to hide. A trainer should have no problem with you visiting and watching them work or stopping in to see your horse. They should also give you lessons so you know how to ride the horse when it’s finished it’s training. How long have you been riding? How long have you been making a living at training horses?
Other questions to ask: Are you from this area? The last could really be key to the trainer’s reputation. If they aren’t training in their own area, why? It could be they had an good offer at a barn that cause them to move or any number of valid reasons. Be weary of too many changes of address. Moving from barn to barn could mean he or she has created a bad reputation for themselves and has to move to a totally different area where nobody knows them in order to get work.
Take time to do you homework, choose wisely and visit often.