From Allison Roves
With the growing popularity of equestrian sports and horse riding, the role of a horse trainer has emerged much beyond just training and preparing a horse for a particular competition. Currently, horse training has become a specialized vehicle within the equine industry so much so that various horse-training courses have been tailored across the globe keeping in mind the various nuances of horse training. Equine training has its own best practices but ultimately, a horse trainer has to leverage his understanding of the horses and their behaviour. It is this insight that helps them to understand the similarities and dissimilarities between different breeds of horses.
Equine training calls for patience and perseverance because different breeds have their own behavioural challenges. One of the most important tasks of horse training is to establish a quick connect with the horse that one is going to train. It takes great skill and insight to quickly understand how the horses if feeling and then, taking the correct steps to make it feel safe and comfortable. Many a times, trainers either operate from their own stud farms or travel to the client’s farm to assist with the overall feeding, grooming and behavioural training of the horse. Generally, horses are trained with different goals in the mind with safety being the first and the foremost. Since horses are much larger and stronger than human beings in terms of the physical aspect, it becomes very important to train the horse to carry the rider safely. The second most important goal is helping the horse understand the purpose of training because each and every class of animals in the living world have different thinking patterns. One of the best ways to strike a connection with the horse is to have a keen understanding of their psychology. The third major goal of equine training is to enable a horse follow directions and respect the rider.
There are different stages of horse riding and it is important that an expert horse trainer have a firsthand work experience with all these different stages of horse riding. Some of these stages are:
- Foal training
- Ground training
Apart from these different stages, the real challenge for the trainer lies in training and grooming horses for different equestrian events. People who love horses and have spent a considerable amount of time in horse riding, can really go onto become a horse trainer. As such, there are no formal training institutes that give away certificates for equine training but there are equine science programs devised to help foster an understanding of horses. When it comes to equine sports, there are off course certain institutes like the United States Hunter Jumper Association that offers a trainer certification program. Like any other domain, equine training has its own set of challenges and misconceptions regarding the horses. It is important to know that it is only by the dint of passion for animals that can really help one establish a sense of trust, respect and understanding with the animals. The passion for horses is something innate and cannot be necessarily generated through external programs and trainings.
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