What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
Jen Truett stays on top of research in every aspect of horse care and training, as well as attending numerous clinics both at DHF and elsewhere. She requires her staff to contribute educational, informative or fun articles to DHF's monthly newsletter, which means both the staff and the newsletter subscribers are being exposed to a wide variety of information. All the trainers at DHF teach the biomechanics method of riding, which is very scientific. They all are being constantly trained in it and embrace the continuing study required to become an outstanding trainer and riding instructor. Jen and some of the others on staff are taking the Learner Judge program in order to increase their knowledge and improve their teaching skills, as well as potentially becoming judges themselves.
What types of customers have you worked with?
We train students of all ages and all experience levels to improve their riding in dressage, jumping, eventing, side saddle and groundwork horsemanship. We put on shows and have an apprentice and working student program which teaches young riders how to be trainers. We now have a graduate of our Apprenticeship program working as a professional on the farm. We host numerous educational clinics per year including ones by Mary Wanless and Pan Am Games Team Gold and Individual Silver Medal winner, Heather Blitz. Our own trainers compete, too, with Apprentice Helen Trimeloni winning her silver medal in dressage while riding side saddle last year.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Look for a facility that's well-cared for, clean and tidy, where the horses are happy, well-fed and look bright-eyed and interested in their surroundings. Look for a facility with school horses if you don't have one of your own. Meet the trainers - do they seem friendly and open, interested in talking to you, or do they seem more likely to just give you orders? You'll learn more from someone who communicates with you rather than ordering you around and not giving you clear explanations about what you're doing and why you're supposed to be doing it. Find a facility with a good indoor arena with good footing and lighting so you can ride in all weather. An outstanding facility like DHF will have powder rooms in each barn (as we do) and an observation room where people can watch the lessons in the indoor arena. An outstanding facility like DHF will also have an observation area by their outdoor arena so observers can have a clear view of the arena.