ALEX: Well, I think the best way to find a trainer would be, if you know the discipline or breed you want to be involved with, there are a lot of publications that trainers advertise in.

Obviously word of mouth, or even going to certain breed-specific shows or discipline-specific shows (like a hunter and jumper show or a trail riding event) and meeting people and searching out the people you feel comfortable with could lead you to purchasing a horse, training that horse for you and going to events and having that coaching aspect involved.

STEVE: A trainer is a real personal decision. There are a lot of guys that are good trainers, but maybe don’t have the best personality. You want to have someone that you’re comfortable with, that you can communicate with and can give you the type of feedback that you need to encourage you to get better at the discipline that you’ve chosen, whether you’re going with a reining horse or a jumping horse.

Finding people in those particular disciplines is painstaking, but it’s well worth it — especially if you find someone that can communicates at a level that you’re comfortable with and that you get the right kind of feedback — they really help you develop and grow as a horseman and they help your horse develop and grow as well.

ALEX: I think it’s important that a trainer needs to be a good horse trainer but also a good coach to you, because there are two things going on here: It’s you and the horse that have to have a common association, so that trainer’s got to know that horse and how to train that horse, but also be able to coach you in how to get along with that horse and how to go through the aspects of training.