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How to Become a Professional Horse Trainer

Question: I’m a young up and coming rider and have dreams of becoming a professional trainer after I finish school, I have won quite a bit and feel pretty confident in my abilities, and do you have any suggestions?

Answer: Congratulations, I am glad to hear that you have had some success in the show pen at an early age. Just remember that becoming a successful professional horse trainer is a tough, but rewarding way to earn a living.  Let me suggest first that you stay in school and finish with college. I personally believe that now with a down economy and the general horse community being better educated with trade magazines and the internet you will gain a competitive edge by bringing more skills, whether in life or horses, to the table.

I also suggest that you work as an assistant under a respected trainer to give yourself a leg up on your chosen field. Expect to work long hours, miss most holidays, work nearly every weekend and have little to no social life, training horses is a 24 hour, 8-days-a-week job. If you are serious plan on spending 3-5 years working as the unsung hero supporting the trainer while developing the skills necessary to hang out your own shingle. Watching a successful trainer will allow you to understand how to handle your business with clients and develop at successful network of allies.

Remember that you are being paid to work, not to learn, what ever instruction that you receive along the way will be a fringe benefit. Dress neat and clean even though it’s a dirty job, you are representing your boss as well and yourself. Treat the clients as you would like to be treated. Go into everyday with a willing to learn and happy attitude, no matter if you have to clean stalls and buckets or ride 15 two year olds. There is only one way to the top and that is to start at the bottom. Remember that most everyone in the horse business has cleaned stalls and bathed horses before they every got the chance to become a champion in the show pen.

There is no better way to make a living than by getting paid to ride horse all day long. Remember to enjoy the ride and have fun, but finish school first.

As always; Ride Hard, Be Safe, Have Fun - Steve Kutie