What makes a good trainer?

HazuraJane

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8 April 2017
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214
What makes a good trainer? One who watches what you're doing and isn't occupied returning text messages.
One who gives instructions beyond the mechanics; for example, mine will say, "Take a breath," or, "Relax your face," or memorably, "You keep telling him, 'let's go!' when your aids are telling him to do the opposite!" (Ouch.)
One who loves your horse nearly as much as you do.
One who has the strength of purpose enough to tell you to get off your horse so he/she can demonstrate when you're not 'getting it.'
One who never, ever, ever mistakes abuse of an animal for discipline.
Probably a lot of other things, but those are the qualities that spring to mind.
 

Myloubylou

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20 February 2009
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960
One that can break down why you are doing an exercise and what is supposed to feel like. Works on the horse and rider combo rather than having set lesson plan that teach everybody. Pushes you in the lesson but doesn’t make you feel a failure for trying
 

AML

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Joined
17 June 2009
Messages
131
One who never, ever, ever mistakes abuse of an animal for discipline.
Or rather

One that has enough tools in the box that the two are never close enough to be mistaken.

An instructor once told me that riding is 90% mind over matter and how true is that. As instructor not only has to know the mechanical whys and wherefores but has two separate and different minds to understand.
The horses view point has to be first, second and third and the good instructor will have many ways to help the horse understand what is required by having a good understanding of their psyche
 

DressageCob

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30 December 2011
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1,316
I actually don't mind a trainer who says to get another horse. If that's the reality, of course.

I had an instructor say to me that if I wanted to event I would need a different horse to my little cob, because he doesn't have the scope, particularly for the solid fences. It took the instructor pointing it out for me to realise that while he was trying incredibly hard for me, it really was pushing him to his limit. It's not a question of more training; we could have got better shapes over the jump with training, better stamina from more fittening work etc, but the reality was he was never going to be comfortable nor competitive. So I decided I didn't need to be an eventer.

I also had a similar conversation about the same horse with dressage. He was a driving horse at first and not the most supple. With hard work with an excellent instructor we got to elementary with good scores. We placed at the Trailblazers nationals in both novice and elementary so he surpassed my expectations. Again though, as we were working more and more on the sideways I had a frank discussion with my instructor who said that if I wanted to progress beyond medium I would need a different horse. It's not a reluctance to train, but just a fact. I adore the little man, he's tries his absolute hardest for me all the time. I owe it to him to acknowledge his limitations, so I don't push him beyond what is fair. I'm delighted with what he's done, but I needed to hear that he won't get much further. I was fortunate to be able to buy another horse to take the pressure off. We still train, he still improves, my instructor still tries to get the best out of him and we improve our scores at our current level. I'm happy with that.

I actually really appreciate an instructor who can have those difficult conversations. The ones where you are told to think about what you want to achieve and how you can get there, or when you have to think about what is more important, the particular horse or the ambition. Better that than one who just stays quiet and doesn't say what they think.
 

milliepops

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26 July 2008
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21,432
Yes DC I agree and that's why I said that if ambitions of the rider don't match the horse they have then it's a valid discussion to have.
I'm more irritated by someone just looking at a horse and writing it off as too "ordinary " when quite often a very ordinary horse is very capable with good training.
 

DressageCob

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Joined
30 December 2011
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1,316
Yes DC I agree and that's why I said that if ambitions of the rider don't match the horse they have then it's a valid discussion to have.
I'm more irritated by someone just looking at a horse and writing it off as too "ordinary " when quite often a very ordinary horse is very capable with good training.
Oh yes, I've had a few lessons with such trainers in the past. Normally as one-off clinics or camps. I never go back 😄
 
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