Home : Horsemanship Essays by Franklin Levinson : What does it take to become a horse trainer?

What does it take to become a horse trainer?

1. What are the ups and downs of being a horse trainer?
The main 'up' is turning the fear of a big 'flight' animal like a horse, into 'trust'. Helping 'fear' to become 'trust' in any individual, be it human or animal, is a very worthwhile and special endeavour. The big 'down' of this profession is having to deal with the humans and their misconceptions, misunderstanding, projections and unfounded opinions about horses. The horse is the easy part of the equation and very honest and straight forward. Getting the human, with their egos and self serving ways, on track appropriately with the horse is the hard part.

2. How do you become a horse trainer? (like what kind of schooling do you need?)
I grew up with horses and that helped a lot. I was lucky. But the main ingredient is education about horses. Read about them, volunteer at stables and theraputic riding centers, observe trainers working with horses whenever possible, read as many books on horses and horse training as you can find and remember the 'golden rule' of horses, "The Horse is always innocent." Any behavior that looks like the horse is being 'bad' is the horse showing he is afraid.

3. What didn't you know when you started that you wish you knew back then?
The Golden Rule of Horses.

4. How long does it take to become successful?
This depends on your defination of 'successful.' But basically, how much education you can get about horses, being willing to work hard and put out great effort, how strong your desire is and if an individual can develop talent for the job.

5. What does it take to keep this kind of business successful?
This depends on what you mean by "successful." Satisifaction from helping a fearful horse come to trust and complaince with humans is immediately successful and extremely satisfying. Finanical goals are an individual preference. My focus has always been great service to horses and their humans. My focus has never been acquiring money. But, rather, to bring a sence of peace and safety to the animals and humans I work with. I have found that by focusing on great service, that the money seems to take care of itself.

6. Do you have any advice for me to become successful in this type of career?
Search in your heart and find out your deepest desires and passions. If it is to 'help' and serve horses and humans to have great relationships and successful interaction, then, with hard work and the acquiring of real knowlege about horses (and the human psyche), you will be successful. Discover where your passion is and wherever that leads you is where you will be successful.

7. What does it take inside to be a trainer?
Compassion, kindness, being trustworthy, thoughtfullness and a desire to 'give' rather than to always 'get.' My goal is to always be truely kind and helpful in all interaction.

8. How much money do you need to start?
Its not about money at all. We always attribute success to money and this is a sure way to be frustrated and bitter. Seek to offer help, good service and to 'give.' This is the pathway to real success and happiness. One does not need money to become a successful horse whisperer.

9. How did you start out and become successful?
Again, success is an individual thought. For me, by developing a desire to offer help, learning about the real nature of horses and then always giving my best to the horse has allowed me to become successful and happy in my life. Talent is developed over time through the acquisition of knowledge and practice. I know I became 'successful' because my goal was to offer solid, effective techniques for helping horses to trust humans and helping humans understand horses and become successful themselves in their appropriate interaction with them

10. Do you feel that this career choice is dangerous?
Only if a human does not educate themselves about horses, seeks to judge horses as 'bad' as opposed to merely 'afraid' and is over confident about their skills and abilities.