Trainers handbook: Taking the lead and going Pro.

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Photo credit Sarah Ebbett photography

The leap from amateur harness racing trainer to professional may seem daunting in an industry that has a reputation of being in a decline . If harness racing is to thrive it needs to start with you. Even if you’re not ready to take the professional leap these 5 tips to succeed will still benefit you and improve your reputation, gain more owners and make more money.

IMAGE IS EVERYTHING, when you take a look at the most successful stables, that are running at capacity and are presented with endless opportunities, you notice one very obvious detail. They pay attention to the little things. The horses are always washed, brushed and well presented. The stable team members are always neatly dressed and in the stalls, you can clearly define where their stable allocation starts and finishes due to noticeable details such as matching halters,  lead ropes and clean dress rugs . Quite often they will have team colours on gear bags and other items as a professional touch. Although it may seem unimportant, it’s actually vital to show your owners and potential owners that you care about the little things . And being recognisable is one of the ultimate marketing tools in life.


GET SOCIAL, wether you like it or not the majority of your owners and potential owners hang out on Twitter Facebook or Instagram. So getting a grip of these platforms will undoubtedly improve you’re brand. Set aside a small portion of time per week to update you’re business profile , celebrate wins, be relatable and show transparency. Invite your owners inside your stables via socials. Embrace technology and get the edge on the other stables . Be at the forefront of potential owners minds so that when they take the leap into ownership you will be their first thought.


WINNING ISNT EVERYTHING, did I just say that? Well winning is really important but … to run a viable business you need to make a consistent income. This income comes from satisfied owners, that feel like they are in the loop and a part of the team . Besides it will be much easier to concentrate on training winners when your owners aren’t chasing you for information.

GET YOUR BOOKS IN ORDER, if you want to get paid it helps to invoice. Be transparent and clear with costs. Send itemised lists of expenses and with a clear call for payment. Your owners will appreciate the communication.

CREATE CELEBRITY, do the industry a favour and celebrate your horses identity. If they have a story then share it. Give the public something to get excited about and follow. Stories resonate with people and there is no better way to stick in the mind of others than by storytelling.


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The great thing about these tips is that they are not necessarily industry specific. If you’re building a brand and trying to generate more income then you could definitely apply these methods.

Here are some links to stables that are getting it right…

Are you , or do you know a stable doing this well? Let us know and we will link them to our blog …

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