Finding the Right Lesson Horse for your Program
Every Horse has Something to Offer:
Evaluate the students in your program. Literally. How tall are they? How much do they weigh? What level of rider are they? How is their energy level? There are so many questions that you can ask when it comes to finding the right horse for your program.
Now, keep in mind that the last thing you want is for one of your students to get hurt, or a horse to become unhappy with their job. Remember, your job as a trainer is to ensure safety is priority for both horse AND rider. Period.
Make a checklist of things you want or need in a horse to help your riders grow. If the riders in your program are more C level riders (beginners), you may want to find a beginner friendly horse. One that has a quiet temperament, does not have any vices, pretty much bomb proof. If you have more A and B riders (intermediate and advanced), you may want to find a horse that is more responsive, and may require more advanced skills to ride. Remember, you still want all of your horses to be safe. Now, you may come across a horse that can do it all! If so, GREAT!
After evaluating the riders in your program. Then, begin your search for your next horse. If you come across a horse that you think would be a good fit, go and try them out. While trying the horse out, keep all of your riders skill levels in your mind to see if the horse would work for them.
If you like the horse after the initial tryout, I, Personally, would take the horse to your lesson program on a 2 week trial to see how the horse would fit it. Naturally, you would take the necessary steps to get the horse settled in, and do any schooling the horse may need prior to introducing them to your lessons.
You may wonder why I mentioned schooling, and here’s why. Not all horses will come to you perfect. Some may have been sitting out in a field for 6 months, and may need a little tune up. Some may have a few weird habits (hopefully not dangerous), that can throw your riders for a loop which can be dangerous if they are not ready. Schooling a horse does not mean they are bad, it could just be working out some kinks, or dusting off their skills under saddle. You want to make sure that your horse has a good head on their shoulders.
Remember, it may take some time to find a good horse. Be patient as safety of your riders, and the happiness of the horse should come first. Pick the horse that is right for you, and make sure that you are right for the horse.