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For Endurance or any Discipline


Eric Hought

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The task of matching trainer style to horse owner skills is one that must be addressed. This is no more clearly obvious than at home. I ride all my horses with them pitched away. No contact with them in the face. This is not going to work for Gail because she rides with some amount of contact most of the time. She will always ride with some contact on Tempest at least for a couple of years. My style being what it is will not fit. I know the owner is always right and it is true. My problem is knowing that all the time I have spent accentuating sensitivity in the filly will become dulled to some degree.

The owner and the trainer's styles must match to some degree in order for the owner to be happy when the horse goes home. Gail's filly is home, so if the two of them get into a problem, I can fix it. The brightness in the filly is what I work to enhance and that is an area that can be very touchy. What I would call brightness might be described as too free by another. Now what do we do? The filly will have a few jumps and humps that I will allow. Gail on the other hand won't allow them thus, the filly will be required to frame up the way Gail wants her to. This is the right way to go because Gail has to be safe on the filly.

This dilemma is more obvious than we realize. The problem magnifies itself when the rider sounds knowledgeable but isn't and doesn't have the riding skills to continue with the same program. I know that if I rode Tempest for a year she would be pretty good for Gail. Consider the cost to someone whose husband doesn't have the time, facility or riding skills to ride the wife's horse. It becomes too costly and not an option. So, the problem is to find a trainer who fits the goals, skills and pocket book of the horse owner.

The topic of the pocket book can be a sore one because one who charges say, $350.00 per month, compared to one who charges $750.00 per month may be more attractive to the horse owner. Which one is best? You really don't know until you go to his/her place and watch him/her train. Look at what he is doing and then ask yourself if you want your horse to ride like his horses (style)? How many rides per week, what kind of rides, how many horses does he ride per day, who actually handles the horses are questions that must be considered.

My style won't fit some people, which is ok. If the owners riding skills are not compatible with where the horse will be in say, two months, then I will suggest finding someone else to ride their horse. It is important to live close to the trainer who can coach the owner with their riding skills so the two will match at the end of the training period. It is important to get training on the horse. It is also less expensive to pay for extra months on training than spend money on yourself in the form of doctor bills and long term recovery.


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