Regarding people's statements that I'm "over reacting" or that
I'm condemning those who ask advice, I have this question
to ask of you: why am I not entitled to my questions or
viewpoints as you are entitled to yours? I did not make an
issue specifically, I did not infer that the person was inept.
I simply stated my views as I see them.
Out here, there are lots of 30 day wonders produced every day. There are
also lots of 30 day wonders tht end up at the sale because their minds
are blown. When someone takes on a "retraining" case, those horses,
by default, require a LOT more time than the simple start from scratch
types. If you don't know that, then you are the one who should be asking
If feel that any trainer who takes a horse in who is a retraining
project, and isn't honest with the owner about the time requirement,
then that trainer should not be in the business as that trainer likes
to take money from people and nothing else. I'm tired of those types
pollutng the world for the honest trainers out there, who tell people
what to expect and paint an honest picture. If that triner is a
"spit and polish" trainer, I ask what she is doing with a retraining
case anyway when the case clearly warrants starting over. If that
person is not a trainer who gets involved with the basics, she should
have tunred the horse away.
Doctors specialize in different
fields - while some "specialize" in general practice, they send patients to
specialists when needed. Likewise, trainers come with all sorts of skills.
know some very creditable trainers that only deal with upper level horses.
Someone else gives their horses the foundations upon which these trainers
That's true Ann, but if that's the case, then starting this horse
over from scratch (which from the description is what this horse
needs) is something that this person should not have taken a client's
money for. This horse should have gone to the appropriate person for
There are no quotes more true than those from "Don't Squat with
Yer Spurs On" that say:
"Pick the right horse for the job." and "It's rare to find a
horse that everyone agrees is the best in the herd."
My issue is, and was, that trainers have an obligation to their
paying public. That obligation is this: if you are out of your
element, don't take the job. If you do, you are not serving your
paying public as well as you should. You owe your paying public
the best of your skills and you owe them results. However, if you
are so determined to get results that you cost a horse its sanity,
then again, you have provided the worst DISservice anyone has to offer.
Every retraining case I take I explain the time commitment, in detail,
so the owner can make the best decision available to him/her. I also
reduce my fees for preliminary evaluation work so that I have a good
feeling in my heart that I am being fair to my clients and the horses
in my care. I consider myself to be competent in a number of areas,
and am considered by others as competent. However, I would not
take a horse in to train it english, I specialize in problem cases
(mainly retraining horses that have mental disorders) and I specialize
in starting and finishing team roping horses. I know my limitations.
However, if you take in a horse that needs something that you are
not qualified to deliver, then you should not have taken that horse.
I give horses a couple weeks of evaluation before I commit. What
the owner gets charged for this is a feed bill. If there are not more
trainers like me out there, who do their best to be fair to their
clients and who do the best possible for the horses, then I'm really
saddened that the industry has degraded so badly.
I don't specifically remember the post you refer to, but I would tend to
that any trainer that posted a training question on this board should be
commended for seeking advice for a situation they felt they needed help
Seeking knowledge should be applauded - not criticized. I've been involved
with horses for close to 40 yrs. and I can't think of one single trainer
"knows it all". While I am a trainer/instructor myself, I am in a constant
state of learning.
Sure, it's always good to get advice, because no matter how good you
are, there's always someone better. And the day *I* stop learning about
horses will be due to my having stopped living. My post was about people
taking in horses for training who don't have the basic knowledge themselves
in the area required, to have taken the job on to begin with.
In an ideal world, anyone would do like you do.
No, in a honest world, people do what I do. I train horses, and I
have an obligation to those horses. My obligation is to give them
what *THEY* need. If I'm so worried about 2 weeks of reduced fees
to give a horse what IT needs, then I should not be in the business.
What is good for the horse, is good for the owner. If the owner
does not recognize that, I won't take the job.
Benedicte also said:
But most trainers need to get results in as
small a time as possible,
Yup, hence the 30 day wonders that I pick up cheap at the sale barn.
And guess what? When that happens, the owner's dreams are usually
shattered, and the trainer's reputation is usually shot with that
person. IMHO, that's what's wrong with the training world; so
much emphasis on making money, so little emphasis on making horses...
because their clients won't pay for the
extra 2 weeks of horsey relaxation,
That's because the owners support the 30 day wonder school of horse
training. That's because owners don't really want to spend what a
quality education takes. And what came first, the chicken or the egg?
Unfair trainer pricing, or stingy owners?
As long as those practices remain, people like me will stay in business
fixing the broken minds and broken bodies that the 30 day method turns
Also, I take issue with your use of the term "horsey relaxation".
If you knew horses, or knew a thing about training, you'd know it
was as much psychological as physical. If you don't get into a
horse's head, how can you educate it?? If you can't read a horse
and understand what its limitations and anxieties are, how can
you be successful with it? My whole point was based on "retraining'
a horse, that's usually a case of a horse that has a problem. How
can you fix a problem that you have not taken the time to understand
in the first place?
Most of the problems I see and deal with are *casued* by those who
won't spend the time necessary to understand a particular horse,
and who think that education can be crammed into a horse's head,
just like that. If you don't spend the time getting to know a horse
before you try to inject that educaton, you are setting the stage
for failure, both for you and the horse.
Each horse on this planet is an individual, just like we are. Some
horses learn well from the school of hard knocks, others need a
velvet glove. I bought a mare from a man who had sent this mare to
one of the nation's top reining horse trainers. In 60 days the trainer
called and told this man to come get his mare, it wasn't working.
The mare had blown so many gaskets that she was a mental wreck
and was no longer suitable to be around. She'd kick your brains out
if she could and did kick this man when he got her home. I bought her
for kill price because she was not safe. She had been pushed to
the "fight back or die" point, and instead of backing off, and trying
to understand that this mare needed a different approach, the trainer
pushed until the mare mentally failed. In summary, she was ruined and
was 4 years old. The man was not qualified to fix her and had
already spent a bundle to get her mind blown. I bought her for
a song, and did my usual routine, and in 2 months was using her as
a school horse. Getting into their heads can be *very* effective,
but you have to be willing to do that.
or because the horse belongs to a
school who wants to put it to work asap.
Yup,they'll put that sucker to work asap, even if the foundation
has;'t been properly laid. Afterall, it's all a matter of economics
isn't it? That's why there are broken horses, broken minds, broken
hearts, and shattered dreams.
I was reading recently in one of my english rider mags, that the
top trainers in the worl, spend plenty of time letting thier
client's horses down, and then restarting one step at a time
to overcome problems. And, as those trainers are the world's best,
and the owners are apparently high caliber, they pay it, and the
good trainer gives the horse what it *needs*. What I find most
interesting is that the world's best english and western trainers
are qualified and often do start colts and proceed to put on more
spit and polish than most of us will ever see. That's a *good* trainer.
People who spend client's money only schooling at the top make me wonder
how they got their education in the first place. Because you have
to crawl before you walk, and you walk before you run. Look at Lynn
Palm (can't remember her new name). Tell me that she isn't qualified
to take a horse back down to ground zero to fix a problem or to teach
it something new. She'd probably be the first to turn away from someone
who thought something could be accomplished in 30-60 days, or who
thought that starting over was a bad idea.
...and simply has never retrained horses with
a very high had carriage before.
Nor have I, but I'll tell ya what, the first thing that horse
needs to figure out is how to lower that high head and how to relax.
It's not a tough concept, and lots of ground work will accomplish that
pretty easily. Trying to ride it out is the wrong approach.
[...] and asked for advice, instead of trying the first thing she
could think of.
If she had a decent foundation in her own skills, she should know
that the horse needs to learn to relax and travel with its back
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