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Moved from UK to US and want to get into training clients.

Hi! I’m not sure if this is allowed but I figured I would give it a shot! I moved fro the UK to California last August and now I am settled here for good, I got married and have applied for my visa and what not. I am an ex international showjumping rider who competed at Grand Prix level Showjumping and was part of Team GB back in the day… I then moved into National Hunt racing where I was successful as a trainer before poop hit the fan with a man and I basically had to start my life over :no:, I also trained OTTB’s to go into other spheres such as showjumping or eventing. Since moving to the States, especially now I’m settled and here for good :yes: I am really missing the horse world and would love to get back into teaching and training, or even exercising horses for people who are busy at work, however I have zero clue as to how to make contacts or get involved in the horsey world over here!!
Any idea if show jumping or racehorse retraining clinics are a welcome addition around Northern California? I am willing to travel a few hours to train and would be more than happy to visit people at their own yards or whatever.

Any feedback, good or back would be much appreciated :slight_smile:


Hi! Have you looked at Yard and Groom? There may be jobs in your area. You can also find out who the TB Re Home groups are (maybe CANTER has a division in your area?) They may know of positions. It seems the groups that re train TB’s for new careers post track are growing.

Good luck!! Let us know how it goes.

OTTB retraining is getting more and more popular everywhere. I have quite a few connections in NorCal, and I could send you the names of a few people that might be able to help you or point you in a direction.

I also second was Limerick says. You seem very qualified and could easily find a job off Yard & Groom in your area. Also look at Bay Area Equestrian Network!

Find a horse show and go hang around. Watch. There are some differences in what’s usual in the UK and over here, nothing major but understanding your potential client needs and expectations will be vital to starting to build a good reputation.

There’s lots of stuff on YouTube too. Look at the major show videos at Hunters Equitation and lower level Show Jumping where your typical start up clients will be aiming. Get you a good idea of what they will expect you to turn out and how they will ride them.

I would also contact CANTER and other organizations who rehome track horses. You might even volunteer at one that restarts them as well, worst case it will get you some contacts.

Our race horses can be a bit of a different type then in the UK and are definitely handled differently, mostly stay in stalls and on the tracks, no group gallops across the grassy hills. So you will be starting with a different horse.

Good luck.

That would be great Belmont if you could send me some contacts here and much appreciated!

I’ve been looking on Yard and Groom, but there hasn’t been much so far. I will definitely check out Canter and the Bay Area Network. Thanks so much everyone for your input, some great ideas there!

What part of Northern CA are you in?

Guest teaching at Pony Club can be a great way to make connections, and acquire students.

I know when I was young, many great trainers (and I remember ones from UK and Australia who had recently relocated) would donate some time to our (large and diverse) club - and would usually end up with some full time students / training clients due to the connections made.

Let us know WHERE you are in Nor Cal (its a big place) and we might be able to point you in the right direction (are you really way out there in Volcano, CA?)

I second Pony Club - I would find the pony clubs in your genearl area and contact them and send them out a flyer or resume outlining your ideas for clinics or talks you can give. Its a great way to get clients and get back into the horse scene, and meet other clinicians and trainers in the area, as well.

Canterusa.org is the website for the Canter organization which works at the tracks getting OTTBs rehomed. Each one of the Divisions (based on areas of the US) takes on certain of the OTTBs at the tracks they serve themselves and puts them at let -down farms for retraining and adopting out of the Canter organization, so they may very well know of famrs and trainers who are retraining OTTBs and would take on some extra hands. It would be a way for you to get started, even though you certainly could manage one of those operations, probably.

Getting your feet wet and getting familiar with trainers in your area is the hardest part. Keep your reputation sparkling and look for who is doing the honest best for the horses in your fields of interest and you will soon be swimming along, I predict.

Good luck!

The Pony Club is a fantastic idea and it hadn’t even crossed my mind! Yes I am way out here in Volcano… thankfully, I don’t mind driving though!

I really am appreciating everyones ideas, I have felt like I haven’t known where to start as to where to make contacts and I really was afraid of stepping on somebody else’s toes and so this has been great and really helpful!

There are a lot of differences in the two show worlds, esp. re “hunters” and “hunners”, as they call them here. Equitation is an other key area where emphasis is placed more in US and not so much in UK.

A week hanging out and chatting to people at a major horseshow will give you the scoop. Find a good connection, and you are away to the races.

I think PC would be a great source - and I think you will find a program more suited to your UK experience, rather than “show hunters” here in the US.


Looks like there are a number of clubs that you could drive to - most have their contact info etc available on this site.

There is a small club at my barn who I am sure would LOVE the assistance of someone with your experience - but I fear we are too far away (Milpitas, CA)

Thanks for the link Appsolute! Milpitas isn’t too far away… my Husband works in San Jose / Campbell twice a week and we used to live down there so go back and forth quite a bit. If you would like to PM me and ask me any questions etc. then I’d be more than happy to give you my number, email, etc.

I find that there are lots of people who want to give lessons, but to find someone who you would like to sit on your horse and train it, or give it miles, is very difficult. I’m sure if you want to put in the work instead of sitting in the middle of an arena giving instructions, you will find clients, who will tell others.

Foxtrot, I have no problem with sitting on a horse at all… if you can’t practice what you preach then don’t preach it!! If I could have my own yard and a bunch of nice young horses to go out competing on I would but as I’m here barely a year, locked into a house lease, newly married and the horse world is very different in the aspect of barns and training centers here compared to home so I want to start off by gaining contacts and letting people see my knowledge and see how I can be beneficial to them and to enjoy their own horse for the simple fact that I have experience behind me which I have and can pass on to others. Plus I really miss the horse world and so this is why I was asking for where is the best place to make contacts here in NorCal… remember I am 6000 miles away from home and it’s not quite as simple as trotting off to the nearest show and announcing my arrival. In fact it’s been bloody hard, especially as I’ve said before I haven’t wanted to step on anyone else toes. Thank you for both of your replies though, I certainly will try to refrain from sitting in the middle of the arena whilst teaching! :lol::lol: