Working with Horses and their owners


Hidden Meadow Equestrian Center is in the process of getting ready for visitors. While I’ve managed other barns in the past, it has always been for someone else. I oversaw the day to day operations but I didn’t was the one who paid the bills. It was a lot of stress and I didn’t really have control over the outcome. Working for Whimsy Brook Farm taught me a lot and I am thankful I had the opportunity to work there right out of college.  I got to realize my dream of being a riding instructor and horse trainer. I also realized how hard of a life that is and I learned that I didn’t want to only be a riding instructor/ horse trainer. It took me a while to get back up from that realization. I had to reconsider my choices and what I wanted to do. I had to reinvent “the wheel” so to speak.

The most challenging thing about needing to realign my thinking was that I still had to deal with horses and their owners. It’s a joke in the horse industry that the worst thing about dealing with horses are the humans that come with the horses. An unfortunate truth is that a common thing to hear while at a horse show is “Ms. Smith Trainer Extraordinaire is great with horses but horrible to deal with in person.” Then there are horse trainers that are people savvy. Often these are the people who are great to deal with and can convince everyone around them that they are AMAZING at what they do as and yet for some reason the horses they work with end up lame or injured or unrideable. Those people are the ones who are flashy and can talk the talk but when it comes to the safety of horses, well, that is something they don’t consider.

Which is quite a difficult thing to work around the question usually ends up being- as a riding instructor/ horse trainer and human how do you maintain the contact you need to succeed while still keeping the safety of the horse in mind?

This question is especially relevant as we see horses compete and train at increasing higher levels. The more we demand of our horses, the more we need to think about their safety. As a horse owner and a horse professional I’ve opted to keep out of the show scene- for me, showing off my skills isn’t as important as providing a safe, relaxed and enjoyable environment for my horses. Luckily for me, I happen to have boarders who are of the same mind.


Stay tuned for more from the Hidden Meadow team.


Felicia Jane

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