It’s not hard to become a horse trainer. Everyone, every single day, trains their horse in some way. Most little girls who ride dream of being able to grow up and be as cool and awesome as the trainers and riders they looked up to them.
What is hard is becoming a successful trainer, without compromising your ideals and morals. As that little girl grows up, she sees the shady side of the horse world. She sees the high demand for finished 3 year olds to win futurities. She sees people demanding their trainer help them buy a 4 year old for their beginner rider. She sees the pony with its hooves shaved down to make a measurement card.
Over time, sometimes, she gets conditioned to it. She accepts that that’s how the horse world is, and if she wants to make it, she has to make those things happen too.
Being a successful horse trainer without meeting the “money making” demands of the industry is hard. No quick fixes, no big money babies, no shady horse flips means long hours and lots of sacrifices.
What they don’t tell you is that it’s worth it in a different way. Sure, I may never be a big name out there. But every single time I go to work I watch people grow closer to their horses. I watch horses bloom into confident partners. I watch people pursue a gentler way. I don’t go home at night with a sick gut feeling because I know I tried my absolute best to do right by the horse.
I think this is why so many young “instagram trainers” and the like get burnt out. They have these dreams about what they want from their Horsemanship, but they aren’t willing to make the sacrifices to get that done. They aren’t willing to work two jobs so they don’t have to start colts too early. They aren’t willing to lose a client telling them they can’t help them buy the wrong horse for them. So they go home, feel terrible, and give up.
Being a horse trainer isn’t hard. Being a good, right-by-the-horse, successful, happy horse trainer is.