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What to look for in a trainer -Rocky under saddle-
#1
I am determined that this is the year Rocky goes to school. I have a few questions I would like some advice on.

I have 'interviewed' about 4 people so far.

One guy came out last year and I mentioned him in this post:

http://www.dailyequine.com/forums/topic....IC_ID=6145

My concern with this guy was besides his own horse, he had only trained one other horse, but they spoke highly of him. Also spending such a long time in each session was an issue also.

Second guy I spoke to would take Rocky for 30 days for $300 bucks. Downfall to this guy is that my friends know him well and he is hard on the horse. Self taught trainer.

One guy came recommended very well down here, but may have an issue with alcohol and is not reliable. He was $400. Comes from a horse family.

A neighbor 3 houses away learned under a guy named Benny Sargeant and has a degree from Morehead in animal science. She worked for this Benny guy for about 8 years and broke about 30 horses. She charges $600 a month and that includes lessons once a week on Rocky.

Another person is up in Ohio about 2 hours away, she charges $550 plus $50 for hauling Rocky to and fro. She has been training professionally for 5 years but did not mention how many horses she finished.


Is it standard practice to pay the trainer before hand?

Is it out of line for me to ask for references and how many horses they have finished?

Should I let distance be a determining factor?

If someone mentions that they use a training technique you do NOT want done to your horse, but they say they ONLY do it if....could that alone be a enough to say no to that person?

Do you have to click with the trainer you send your horse to?

Is there anything I am not thinking of?

I know these may seem odd off the wall kinds of questions, but I have done EVERYTHING to Rocky since he was 3 months old. I am afraid to let him go into a situation that may cause behaviour issues.

What would a post be without a picture? Rocky April 1st:

[Image: DSC_0003-2.jpg]
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#2
"Is it standard practice to pay the trainer before hand?"

It varies with the trainer, but most DO require you to pay in advance. After all, they are boarding your horse, too. I have had two trainers who billed me at the end of the month, and two that charged in advance.

"Is it out of line for me to ask for references and how many horses they have finished?"

Absolutely not!!! It is YOUR horse and YOUR money...ask anything you want! It does seem to me, though, that the best trainers HAVE trained many horses. Experience does mean a lot.

"Should I let distance be a determining factor?"

Yes and no. It should not be the only determining factor. You will do better sending your horse to a good trainer who lives further away, than one not so good, who lives close by. If you can find a great trainer close by, you will be ahead. That way, you can easily check on your horse and ride him when he is ready.

"If someone mentions that they use a training technique you do NOT want done to your horse, but they say they ONLY do it if....could that alone be a enough to say no to that person?"

I guess that would depend. My gut feeling is, yes. Again, it is your horse and your money. You should be able to get what you want.

"Do you have to click with the trainer you send your horse to?"

It sure helps. Really, for the best results, the trainer needs to be able to work with you, too. If there's a huge personality clash, then that is going to be difficult.

"Is there anything I am not thinking of?"

Check out the facilities, ask what your horse will be fed, and ask who will be doing the riding. Most good trainers are really busy, and may have an apprentice ride your horse part of the time. Or even most of the time. This is not necessarily bad...just something you need to be aware of.

"I know these may seem odd off the wall kinds of questions, but I have done EVERYTHING to Rocky since he was 3 months old. I am afraid to let him go into a situation that may cause behaviour issues."

These are not odd questions at all; in fact, I think everyone should take these things in consideration before sending a horse off for training. I have had 3 horses broken to ride for me by professional trainers, and have sent several others to trainers for various problems, so I've had quite a bit of experience with these things.

Another thing to keep in mind...you want the horse trained so YOU can ride him, not just to the point where maybe only the trainer can.

EZ2SPOT
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#3
This would be my choice Candace.

quote:
A neighbor 3 houses away learned under a guy named Benny Sargeant and has a degree from Morehead in animal science. She worked for this Benny guy for about 8 years and broke about 30 horses. She charges $600 a month and that includes lessons once a week on Rocky.



I like the idea of close to home, trained / broke 30 horses, Close enough for check up and lesson on Rocky will be invaluable. Close enough for tune-ups/ lessons later. Close enough to walk him home if things don't work out.

Wander on over a few times to see if you like her and her methods. If so, go for it.
Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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#4
quote:
Originally posted by EZ2SPOT

Another thing to keep in mind...you want the horse trained so YOU can ride him, not just to the point where maybe only the trainer can.


Candace -
Why send Rocky off to a remote trainer? Wouldn't it be so much better to have the trainer, Rocky and yourself together? Then you could keep an eye on the process and learn as well. If a trainer can't be found that would come to you, could you find a situation where you could trailer Rocky to him for day lessons where you both learn? Even if it is only one lesson a week with homework between lessons, your relationship with Rocky will benefit too.
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#5
quote:
Originally posted by hoopski

quote:
Originally posted by EZ2SPOT

Another thing to keep in mind...you want the horse trained so YOU can ride him, not just to the point where maybe only the trainer can.


Candace -
Why send Rocky off to a remote trainer? Wouldn't it be so much better to have the trainer, Rocky and yourself together? Then you could keep an eye on the process and learn as well. If a trainer can't be found that would come to you, could you find a situation where you could trailer Rocky to him for day lessons where you both learn? Even if it is only one lesson a week with homework between lessons, your relationship with Rocky will benefit too.



Actually Hoopski, good reminder. This would be my preferred method too if it could be arranged.
Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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#6
Talk to Mrs Parrot about who she used down your way. I think she was very pleased.
Wendi
[url="http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pnfoRs6vqud-JpZvz-_9EQw"]Wendi's Riding Log[/url]

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#7
We're in the situation where we have to board, and until recently, having a trainer for Remi was part of the search. When we've had to look, we made our appointments and visited the trainer at the farm. Besides interviewing the trainer, it's a chance to see the condition of the fencing, watch how any farm help acts around the animals, etc. You learn a lot about the personalities of the people just from condition of the property. When we think we have a fit with the trainer and no red flags from the look at the farm, we'll come back a few days later unannounced - just to see whether the first visit impressions were real or a "dog & pony" show.

We've passed on many situations where the trainer was fine, but the facility had safety issues - like the place that had the horse stalls downstairs in an old barn with a fuel tank located on the old hay mow floor over them - or where we observed the stable help being rough with the animals.

The other important thing I would do is ask to watch the trainer in an actual session or two with one of their existing clients' horses. Most will oblige, and actions speak louder than words.

It's a lot to go through, but I think it's important - Bear still has baggage from his first unhappy trainer experience that I deal with every ride. I agree with staying as close as possible to home, but "close" to me is secondary to all the other considerations. Distance is easier to undo than a bad training experience.
AE
________________________
I'm so busy, I'm not sure if I found a rope or lost my horse.
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#8
Candace, I would suggest you consider at least 60 days, if at all possible. I really don't think 30 days is enough.
"You learn a thing a day, you store up smart" - Festus Haggen

"A man’s soul can’t be hidden,
From the creatures in his care." -
Hard Candy Cowboy by Debra Meyer


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#9
Hi;
Seems like a lot of great advice has been given.
Not to be the voice of pessimism, but let me just say that almost all trainers will tell you things that just are NOT true....they will tell you what you want to hear, then do whatever they want when you're not there. A busy, fairly well-known trainer TOLD me that. I know a lot of discouraging stories about trainers. Stuff that would curl your hair. Keep in mind, tho, that these were trainers for SHOW stock horses. I don't know what you want to do with Rocky. Who is quite cute, by the way.

No matter who you choose, you need to drop in unannounced frequently, and keep close tabs on your horse.

Sad, but true.

I'm from southern Indiana. I do know of one trainer in northern KY who will treat the horse extremely well, and will do what you want, no lies or deception. PM me if you want her name. Also, I've had a horse at Benny Sargeant's, many years ago.
If you can't be a good example, at least be a horrible warning.
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#10
quote:
Originally posted by hmeyer

Candace, I would suggest you consider at least 60 days, if at all possible. I really don't think 30 days is enough.




Harv, I am hoping that since I have already brought Rocky so far, that 30 days will be all he needs, but if he needs more, no problem I would want him done right.


Dunhorsechic sent me info on a trainer who is down by me and in fact I think my oldest son went to school with her son. I have a message into her and hopefully I will hear from Parrothead also.

Saddlefitting time for the Ol' Rockstar! We'll start with the narrow templates on him.


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