Wade Parks

From: Colbert Georgia
Specialty: Pleasure

Wade Parks was born and bred to be a pleasure horse trainer.  He grew up riding and training horses with his parents, a foundation that led him to follow in their footsteps.  Originally from West Virginia, Wade met his wife and followed his heart to Georgia where he now trains along side her. Wades humble and honest approach shows his love for this lifestyle and sport.

What has been your most memorable win or experience in the show pen?

“There has been a lot of those. You know one of my favorite wins was the Equine Chronicle Color Classic there at the Reichert. It would have been 2013.”  

And why does that one stick out in your mind?

“Just a really cool horse. And me and my wife went first and second in that class on horses that I had trained.”

To whom do you credit your love of the industry?

“Oh shoot, I don’t know. You know there really isn’t one person that I can credit that to. I just, I love pleasure horses. That’s really all there is to it, there’s really no one single person I can credit that to. If you’ve ever rode a great pleasure horse you’d understand. Everybody I’ve worked for, learned from, great people. And you know the people in the horse industry are special people.” 

What is the most important thing that someone planning to enter this career should know?

“Be honest with people about their horses…I mean I am young and I started my business very young. I was always upfront with people about their horses. There’s no promises in my deal. When you send me a colt I will promise you nothing. I tell you that I hope it works out and we’ll see how it goes. I’ll never tell you ‘oh this is going to be a great one.’ I’m honest with people as in the fact that I won’t tell them ‘oh its going to make it, its going to make it’ and take their money for six months and then be like ‘ok it didn’t make it.’ I cannot stand that. I can ride one for two weeks and tell you what its going to do. And that’s a lot of what I do here. I run trough a lot of colts every year telling you what their going to make it as at two or not. I turn a bunch of colts back out that come back to me as three year olds and make show horses. I cannot stand when somebody says that. When somebody just keeps riding your horse and taking your money, and taking your money.”

What is your favorite thing about being a trainer?

“I guess the people. You know whether it’s a kid or a 70 year old man or I don’t know a regular classic amateur or anything. When you give them to a winning situation where their on top of their game, like their enthusiasm about it is amazing. You know, the smile on their face is worth it all to me. Even if their not showing and I’m showing their horse, and you can do something really good with it, you might not even win…you might be second or third they’ll be so ecstatic because their horse did well. It’s so worth it. I mean I’ve got three customers over the age of 70 and I love showing for them because they are like 10 year old kids again. They jump around screaming and hollering and having a good time, its worth it. It brings out the best in people. And the kids when they win, they’re just all over themselves. They can’t even take it.

The reason I am a horse trainer really, I always wanted to ride nice horses, we could not afford them as kids. We could afford the best we could get so in that case if I can’t afford my own, I’m just going to ride everybody else’s. I really grew up not super wealthy so we made do with the best horses we could get. We bought and sold things until the point that we could have a nice horse.”   

If you would like to ask Wade Parks a question we will feature your question in our next blog from Wade.  Questions can pertain to anything from training methods, techniques or specific challenges you are having with your horse that Wade may be able to assist with.  Email us questions at hans4374@umn.edu