One of my favorite things about training horses and teaching people to ride them are those "Aha!" moments when things begin to click for the first time. You can always tell when a horse is beginning to understand what's being communicated when their expression brightens and they respond in exactly the fashion you want them to. These are the moments I look forward to every day.
During my career as a trainer, I have had many such moments. One of my major goals is to help my clients and students have those moments, too. When rider and horse become one working on new concepts and mastering new tasks, it makes all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears worthwhile. This is what it's all about, the true definition of horsemanship.
Your trainer should be educating you while training your horse, explaining along the way what he or she is accomplishing (or seeking to accomplish). Those "light bulb" moments should be an educational experience for the horse owner, as well as the horse. Being able to see the difference in a horse's performance or a horse's reaction to various aids can be beneficial to the rider or owner. In fact, I consider it essential.
These days, there are many trainers for a horse owner to choose from, I've covered that topic before. But making sure both you and your horse are going to expand your horizons and enhance your education is imperative if you really want value for your hard earned dollars. In today's economy, ensuring that clients get their money's worth is another major goal for me. Feeling like you've actually gained something for what you've paid in training fees is paramount.
I do not generally use this blog as an advertising venue, however having spoken with so many people who are so jaded about the entire concept of putting their horses in training, I would like to extend an open invitation to everyone to come experience the Sunlit Farm difference.
We'll see you out there on the trail or in the show ring!