Deb McGuire – Trainers Corner

In this edition of “Trainers Corner”, we profile Deb McGuire, from Performance Plus Arabians.  Deb is currently serving as President for TAHSSD.   Deb graciously gave her time and input for this edition of “TRAINERS CORNER”.

-How would you describe what you do?
I am living my dream.  I was always in love with horses, and for the past 40 years have been fortunate enough to have parents that supported my passion enough to get started with my business.  I am self employed which means I handle all business decisions relating to operating our 160 acre farm, and I am a professional trainer of Arabian and Half Arabian horses for competition in all divisions.  The most rewarding part of my job is perfecting the training of show horses and coaching amateurs to become horsemen as they excel in their skills.  I am also a National Arabian Judge, President of our Arabian Club, and employ and assistant trainer, 3 riding instructors to teach beginning riders, and plan events for higher education in the local equine industry.

-What is a typical work day for Deb McGuire?
A typical work day includes looking over bookkeeping, following up on communications, overseeing the 40 horses that we take care of, riding/training for several horses, and giving lessons to my students that show their own horses.

Deb & Taco (2)

-Tell us what makes the Arabian Horse your primary breed of choice?
The Arabian Horse is the most intelligent, sensitive of the light horse breeds.  They are beautiful, and athletic and because of their sensitivity I have a great connection with them.  They are versatile and expressive, giving them a unique personality that is sometimes challenging, but ultimately rewarding when you can gain their trust.

-How did you get started?
My start was riding lessons when I was 8 years old and my dad bought my first horse when I was 10, trained my first horse when I was 13.  Self taught, but did have a few different instructors, learned to jump at an early age, took dressage training, and spent a week at a Saddle Seat camp.  I spent some time with a reining trainer but learning most of my skills from making mistakes and watching other trainers.

-Hows does one go about educating themselves on horse ownership?
Horse Ownership takes responsibility to get advice from a professional that is trusted and has a good reputation.  You can always learn from your veterinarian, farrier, and other equine professionals.

-How does a person interested in riding, adult or youth, go about learning what is involved and how to get started?
When getting started with horses, I always suggest taking lessons and asking questions.  I believe that a good start comes with an understanding of the horse, how they think and react.  Safety is ultimately important and it takes a life time to become a great horsemen, I am still learning.

-Young Horses – How does their training begin and when are they ready for competition or hard riding?
Most babies learn respect for people, and ground work starts when they are born.  Usually saddle training starts either as a late 2 or 3 year old.  Each horse matures differently both physically and mentally, a good trainer will know how much to ask each horse, but usually it takes 3 years to finish the training process for showing.  This includes show ring experience, hauling and exposing each horse to many places and experiences.  Trail riding is excellent even for the show horse for the desensitizing process. 

-How important is Horsemanship?
Horsemanship is paramount, without it there is no trust or communication.  Success depends on understanding and patience. 

-Favorite Horse Memory?
Winning the Saddle Seat Challenge Cup on a three gaited horse that I leased, rode 20 minutes before the class and defeated my trainers star studuent.  I was 16 years old.  The great Dick Wallen was my instructor.

Deb Zoo with Abe & Edgar (2)

-Lastly can you provide contact information for your services?
Deb McGuire/Performance Plus Arabians LLC /email /605-361-3334

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