Andy Marcoux has been professionally training horses of all breeds and descriptions for over 20 years. A graduate of The Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts, Andy has held positions as Coachman and trainer throughout the United States. In 1997, Andy re-turned to New England to create Coachman’s Delight, inc.; “Training and Instruction for the Sport of Carriage Driving.”
Coachman’s Delight is dedicated to the education of carriage drivers and horse enthusiasts throughout the world. Andy teaches new, and veteran equestrians in one on one lessons, clinics, and online courses. His extensive writing on carriage driving and horse training can be found at www.CoachmansDelight.com, and in each issue of Driving Digest, a nationally distributed magazine devoted to horse and carriage driving.
In 2007 Andy earned his Light Harness Horse Instructor (LHHI) and Assessor certificates from the British Driving Society (BDS). With the experience of the BDS system of certification, Andy helped spearhead and develop The Carriage Association of America’s Carriage Driver Proficiency Program. This first of it’s kind program in the United State offers quantifiable standards in carriage driving achievement, from basic horsemanship skills through four-in-hand driving. Andy now serves as a Master Evaluator and instructor for the program.
As a recognized judge (r) for the American Driving Society, Andy judges throughout the United States and Canada at Combine Driving Events and Trials. As a member of the jury, Andy puts his years of experience to work with event organizers and other members of the jury to promote safe, fair, and most importantly, fun competitions. He’s well known for giving clear and accurate comments to competitors.
“As a judge, I’m there to do more than hand out scores and make sure people follow rules. I’m there to give feedback as an advocate for sport, the organizers, and the competitors, without which there would be no competition.”
His competitive experience includes Combined Driving singles and pairs through advanced level. At Pleasure Driving shows Andy has competed with singles through four-in-hands including the Coaching divisions. He has even been spotted sounding the coach horn on occasion. Andy can often be found coaching students at shows and events throughout North America.
Andy’s scope of experience as an equestrian isn’t limited to carriage driv-ing. He has studied under the training of well know dressage and three day eventing trainers as well. He has competed in ridden dressage to second level.
“I struggled with riding when I was younger. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I was able to connect my coordination to the horses I was riding. A lot of that had to do with finding the right instruction.”
In his instruction, Andy leverages the experience of his struggles in helping riders connect with their horses. He brings novel approaches to explaining the dynamics of riding to his students, that leaves the ineffective mantras of standard riding instruction behind.
With a passion for teaching, Andy is an energetic instructor who challenges students to get the most out of themselves and their horses. Combining honesty, humor, and enthusiasm, Andy clearly explains the “why” behind the “how” of each element of training, riding, and driving horses. His train-ing principles are based in the fundamentals of dressage, with safety and the longevity of the horse in mind.
“I feel strongly that the horse must learn the skills we ask of them through communica-tion, rather than being strong armed into an action.”
His approach is straight forward, with no tricks, gimmicks, or secrets. Clinic participants always appreciate Andy’s ability to meet and teach each student directly to their level of skill from the very novice, to the very advanced. Andy has students from the age of 9, to an un-disclosed number of years of wisdom and experience. Some are recreational equestrians who want to be safe, conscientious, and enjoy their horses on the most elemental level. Other students are more competitive in spirit, who have sought Andy out to advance their skills needed to achieve success.
“In all of my instruction, I challenge my students to step just beyond what they think they can do, while maintaining focus on the fun of being with horses.”
Andy’s passion for teaching and action sport carries well beyond the barns and fields. When he isn’t training horses or teaching, he can often be found skiing or skydiving.
As an avid skier, he introduces new skiers to the joy of winter each season. In any given season he can be spotted on mountains from Connecticut to Maine and beyond, skiing 20-30 days of the year.
From spring to fall, he spends his spare time teaching and recreationally skydiving. In 2015, Andy earned his U.S. Parachute Association instructor rating to help bring new skydivers into the sport. When it comes to helping people overcome their fears, you could easily say that Andy goes above and beyond!