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Happy Hayburner

please help me choose a trainer

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I would like to start taking dressage lessons to become a better rider. I'm trying to find the best trainer available in my area, which is difficult when I don't know very much about dressage. I want to find a very knowledgeable trainer with correct posture and tons of experience. I live in the Enumclaw, WA area. Here are a couple links to a few barns in my area: http://havilahequestriancenter.com/default.htm and http://www.majesticsporthorse.com/home.html If anyone knows of any other barns please let me know. If you could take a look at the trainers and give me your opinion that would be great! Thanks.

[ 06-07-2008, 09:35 PM: Message edited by: Happy Hayburner ]

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They both look like very nice places. My best suggestion is for you to shop around a little more. Go into your local tack shops and ask both employees and customers about who they have had positive experiences with. You really can't tell until you take a lesson. If you see a place you like, and the price fits, take a lesson just to try it out. Don't limit yourself just to these two barns, or to big, well-known, and expensive barns in general. The smaller and lesser known barns in the area often have equally knowledgable and quality trainers and instruction.

luvhorses, who does or at least used to frequent this board, lives somewhere in that area, if I remember correctly.

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It also depends on what you like and how you like to be coached. Some coaches teach the big picture while other focus on small details.

The best thing you can do is go out and have a couple lessons. Also if you have any friends that ride ask them for suggestions or what they know. That way you know what you are getting into and not going in blind so to speak.

Good luck on your search! [smile] Keep us updated.

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I would call those barns to find out when they have lessons going on that you could go watch. See what "vibe" you get from the trainers, and take the time to talk with them after the lesson. You can discuss your level and goals. Some trainers are very show oriented, while others work happily with students who may simply want to ride better for their own and their horse's personal development - you can talk about that with the trainers.

A lot of it is your personal connection with the trainer as well. Somebody who works well for one rider may have a style of teaching that doesn't vibe as well with you.

If you find one you like, there's also no harm in setting up one lesson, as a trial, so see how you work together in action. I did that recently when finding an instructor in my new area, and it worked really well. I found one I love!

Good luck! [big Grin]

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