Horse trainers train horses for racing, trotting, harness or riding. They advise and consult with owners and direct stable staff and jockeys / drivers.
Trainers need to handle a horse gently and make it accustomed to the bridle, saddle and other riding gear. Horses are taught to respond to commands made by legs or reins and commands.
Horse trainers may also teach learner jockeys, drivers and riders, horse riding techniques and horse handling methods. They plan, supervise and carry out training programmes for horses and select race programmes to achieve the best placing for a horse. They attend race meetings or other horse-related events. They also need to advertise their services to attract clients and employ and manage staff in accordance with relevant laws. They have to keep accurate records of accounts and use correct credit procedures.
They supervise and direct stable staff, jockeys, drivers of a sulky and other workers. Horse trainers sometimes get special permission to organise the breeding of horses and then they may need to help mares when they deliver their foals.
Horse trainers are also responsible for grooming, exercising and feeding the animals. They either do this themselves or they supervise assistants or stable hands. Horse trainers usually specialise in either thoroughbreds for galloping races, standard breeds for pacing or trotting races or performance horses for events, show jumping and dressage.
Horse trainers may be required to work long hours. Much of their work is carried out very early in the morning and they may continue to work all day.