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Harriet Morris-Baumber

What to Look for in Your Trainer .

Harriet Morris-Baumber takes a look at what to consider when finding a trainer and what to look for to get the best possible outcome to suit your individual needs.

Harriet Morris-Baumber

Yorkshire-based trainer, Harriet Morris-Baumber of HMB Equestrian, explains what to consider when finding a trainer and how to get the best possible outcome to suit your individual needs.

When choosing a trainer first of all you should define your training goals. Examples of common training goals could be that you are looking for a trainer to simply give your horse a kick start after a long break, or perhaps, more specifically, you're looking to start a young horse under saddle or gain the confidence to make that step up to compete.

Whatever your goal, write it down, as this will help you to target your search for the right trainer. It will also help the trainer gain a better understanding of what they will be doing and to see if your goals are realistic. You can also use the list of goals to question the trainer's experience on these topics, further helping you to find the right person.

With regard to location, keep in mind that the best trainer for your requirements may not be the one closest to you. But you do not want a trainer so far away that you cannot travel there often enough to accomplish your goals, so find the right balance to suit you and your horse.

Harriet explained the power of word of mouth saying: "It is a great way of finding a trainer and often the most reliant and truthful. Ask around and see what people have to say as your ideal trainer might be right under your nose. This way will also ensure you get a trustworthy reference".

Always go and visit any potential trainer's yard and, upon visiting, observe the staff and horses in their care to see if you'd be happy leaving your horse there. Make sure the yard and stables are clean, airy and well looked after. Don't be afraid to ask questions and have a good look around all the facilities making sure they can accommodate your requirements to achieve your goals.

Harriet said: "Here at Granary Hall we are lucky to not only have some fantastic schooling facilities, but we also have some great bridle paths in the surrounding area. There are a lot of benefits for getting out of the school as it stimulates your horse mentally and also gets him working on different surfaces which is beneficial for all horses".

If your goal is to find a trainer who will coach you and your horse, be sure to closely evaluate the trainer's personal style in light of your preferences. For example if you are someone that works best from a lot of feedback, you may want to look for an outgoing and talkative trainer. If you are timid you may work best with a calm, encouraging and approachable trainer. However, if you are someone who requires a lot of motivation, you may prefer a trainer with a strong presence. 

Ask if you can watch your potential trainer in action, observing their way of training and personality when in action. Talk to your potential trainer about their background and previous experience as having a good chat with them will help you gain a better understanding of their personality and ultimately help you decide if you could work together.

Remember that the trainer must suit you and your horse. Harriet spends time getting to know both rider and horse, gaining an understanding of how both work. Due to her vast experience she can tailor the way she trains clients to suit their individual needs and personalities.

Harriet is available for dressage, show jumping and cross-country lessons at her base near York.   

To find out more call Harriet on 07795 562745 or visit

Interview sourced from