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Assistant Trainer Spotlight – A Look Behind the Curtain

Filed under: Current Articles,Featured |     
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130 – January/February 2019


Behind every great horse trainer is a band of hard-working people, making sure everything stays afloat. You might send your horse to a trainer because of the name and brand they have established; but, in reality, your horse will spend the majority of its time with an assistant. It’s not a glamorous or lucrative job, but it’s a vital part of keeping many programs running smoothly, and these riders deserve recognition.

Age: 23
Simons Show Horses · Pilot Point, Texas
Hometown: American Fork, Utah

What is your background with horses?

“My parents trained horses, so, I’ve been involved in the industry my whole life. I showed my entire youth career at APHA shows with numerous horses under the guidance of my mother, Sandi Morgan.”

When did you know you wanted to be a horse trainer?

“I attended TCU, rode on their equestrian team, and attained my bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Political Science. Even at school, riding three to four days a week, I longed to ride more often. After I graduated from college, I looked at other jobs during the summer. I went to interviews and explored my options, but I realized that I couldn’t picture myself in an office. Although my parents knew that I didn’t have a romanticized view of what it meant to be a horse trainer, they still encouraged me to explore other options before ultimately making my decision. In late summer of 2017, RJ King of Simons Show Horses called me because they were in need of some extra help at the Paint Horse Congress. At that point, I was still thinking that I wanted to keep my Non-Pro card. I went to the show to help longe and clean stalls. I ended up having so much fun with the group that I came home with a renewed sense of purpose and began to formulate a plan. I discussed the pros and cons with my mom and dad, and we decided I would give up my Amateur card. I called the Simons and told them that I would love to come work for them if they had a place for me. Thankfully, they took me up on my offer, and I’ve been with them ever since.”

What is it like being an assistant trainer?

“It’s a lot of work, but I love what I do. I’m not always riding the broke World Champions, but I love the challenge of teaching a young horse the basics. When I do get to ride the more broke horses, I enjoy learning from them. They help me to establish a standard that I’m trying to attain with the horses that are less broke. Although horse shows can be busy and tasks include loading trailers, cleaning stalls, sweeping the aisles, early mornings, late nights, and long hours, I still love what I do. I think every job has highs and lows and good and bad days. You take the good with the bad and know that every tough time is temporary. I’ve always been, and always will be, that ‘weird horse girl,’ and the fact that I get to make a living riding horses is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Click the link below to read the full article and get the scoop on assistant trainers ADAM MATHIS, COLTON PYLMAN, HANNAH LIND, and ASHLEY DUNBAR-CLOCK!

Click here to read the complete article
130 – January/February 2019
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