Your trainer is your ally in keeping you and your horse safe, and in progressing your riding. It’s so important that you find a great trainer that you click with.
Here are seven qualities that you should look for in any great trainer.
Any great trainer should have extensive knowledge about riding, horse health, and horse care. You only want to learn from someone who is well-educated in these topics, and who can give you accurate, reliable information. Your trainer will be one of the most trusted people in your horse world, so go with a great trainer who has excellent knowledge.
In addition to knowledge, a great trainer will have a wealth of experience. Great trainers have competed at multiple levels, ridden a wide variety of horses, and studied under different trainers, themselves. When looking for a new trainer, make sure you ask about their level of experience, the disciplines they’ve ridden, and what their competition history has been.
A great trainer is often a firm trainer. Trainers have to be firm in order to keep you safe and to drive you on. While it might be tempting to look for a trainer who makes lessons fun and easy all the time, doing so won’t benefit your riding. Instead, look for a trainer who is firm but who is also reasonable.
Your trainer’s goals should be very similar to yours. If your goal is to learn how to become a better rider but your trainer’s goal is to get you to the top shows in your area this year, the relationship probably isn’t going to work out. Be sure that your trainer understands and is happy to meet your goals.
While it’s important for a trainer to be firm, you’ll also want to work with a trainer who can be positive and encouraging. Sometimes a bit of encouragement can make a big different in your riding and your success.
A great trainer is a clear communicator. Great trainers know how to teach, and they know how to adapt their teaching methods to each student’s individual learning styles.
Willingness to Answer Questions
Any great trainer should be willing to answer your questions. A trainer who constantly cuts you off or, worse, makes fun of your questions is not helping you to learn. A great trainer will listen to and answer your questions.
Do you recognize these traits in your current trainer? What other traits would you add to this list?