In the internet age, valuable resources sit right in the palm of your hand. Contributor Stephanie Warner introduces us to six “virtual” horse trainers with great online resources readily available.
Virtual training is on the rise. More and more riders are loving the option to self-train and get support from the coach of their choice — regardless of where they are located.
If you’re new to the idea of online training, take a look at these six professionals to get an idea of what it’s all about.
1. Lizzy Traband (Tajii Horsemanship Coach)
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ACTraband
Online Services: Free video training library, in-depth PDFs, quizzes
Best Suited Disciplines: Hunter/Jumper, Pleasure, Dressage
I dare you not to be impressed by this girl. Young and full of passion, Lizzy understands horses and the training that goes into making a safe, reliable partner. Though the training videos are short, they have detailed “Pocket Guides” that go along with them. You can’t submit virtual lessons, but the free resources are hard to beat.
2. Callie Rae King (CKR Training)
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/CRKtraining
Online Services: Free video training library, blog posts, online courses
Best Suited Disciplines: Hunter/Jumper, Pleasure, Dressage
Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced rider, you’re sure to find a helpful video from CKR Training. The videos cover a wide range of topics, from problem-solving to basic ring etiquette. The videos are detailed and high quality, and when they are free to watch you have nothing to lose.
While no virtual lessons are currently offered, they do offer online courses and Q&A webinars.
3. Caroline Rider (Rider Horsemanship)
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/CarolineRider
Online Services: Video training library, long distance coaching, virtual lessons, resources
Cost: Many free resources, $75-$135 for virtual lessons, $349-$649 for online courses
Best Suited Disciplines: Pleasure, Trail
Caroline Rider has a wealth of knowledge that any level of rider can benefit from. While she works her horses without a saddle, the exercises focus on the horse’s mental state and work regardless of tack. Her YouTube channel covers a variety of problems and solutions.
You can submit virtual lessons, though they are pricey. A 4-6 minute YouTube video assessment costs $75, and a 15-20 minute video is a $135, but you get a 15-minute phone conversation with it. The phone conversation is something unique to Caroline Rider.
4. Pat and Linda Parelli (Parelli Savvy Club)
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/parellitube
Online Services: Video training library, articles, podcasts, powerpoints, magazines, community chat, iPhone app
Best Suited Disciplines: Pleasure, General Performance, Dressage, Trail
With a sleek and modern interface (and a mobile app to boot), the Parelli Savvy Club is sure to impress you. Whatever type of resource you’re looking for, they will have it. The amount of information available is almost overwhelming.
However, if you’re new to Parelli, free resources are hard to find. Their YouTube channel does offer some insight, but doesn’t share any real training material.
There are no options for virtual lessons, but the “Member Minutes and Savvy Times” will allow you to share your horse’s story with the Parelli community.
5. Warwick Schiller (Warwick Schiller Performance Horsemanship)
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/WarwickSchiller
Online Services: Full length online training videos, virtual lessons, community chat
Cost: Free resources, $24.95/month for access to online video training library, $50 for 10-minute virtual lesson
Best Suited Disciplines: Reining, Cutting, Ranch Horse, Pleasure, General Performance
With many free training videos on YouTube, Warwick Schiller is a great place to start for anyone looking for fast and free help. Problem horses are not the sole focus and emphasis is placed on teaching performance as well.
What’s nice about Warwick Schiller’s online video library is that you can cancel your subscription at anytime. So if you want to pay $25 and binge watch all 350+ videos in a month (not that I did that … cough), you can get a lot of bang for your buck. The option to submit a virtual lesson is also a great resource for anyone looking for personalized help.
Warwick Schiller also offers a lot of free help in his very active Facebook group and even more during his occasional live Q&A sessions.
6. Will Faerber (Art2Ride)
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ArttoRide
Online Services: Video training library, virtual lessons
Cost: Free video library, $60 for 30-minute virtual lesson
Best Suited Disciplines: Dressage, Pleasure, Hunter-Jumper
Regardless of discipline, Will Faerber’s Classical Foundation Training will make your horse a better mount and you a better horseman. All his videos are uploaded to YouTube and are free to watch and learn from.
The rates for virtual lessons are the best I’ve come across and make having a virtual trainer possible. Most riders submit multiple videos and develop a relationship with the program. Will’s philosophy is that it is not hard to train horses when you have the right education, and he provides that education better than many local trainers I’ve come across.
Will also uploads training sessions of his own horses/students and provides commentary to compliment them. Aside from riding videos, there are also videos to teach lunging, saddle fit, bridle fit, back development, and general thoughts on horse training.
Who are your favorite virtual horse trainers? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section — and go riding!
Stephanie Warner has been riding for over 20 years and has competed in everything from ASPCA medals to extreme trail. She is a student of the horse and is continually learning how to be a better rider and trainer.