Or should I say, is your horse right for you?
Before I explain what I am going to say I have to clarify something to you. Since May of this year when I went on national television I really was apprehensive about doing so. I spoke to my sponsor and asked him, are you sure you want me to do this? He asked me why are you asking. I replied because in order to help people and their horses I am going to have to tell the truth.
I have viewed some of the trainers already on national television and I didn’t have any reason before to view other training shows. I had never done so but since I am getting ready to do these eight series I must know what is out there on T.V. land. Are there trainers out there already telling the folks what they need to hear or are they telling folks what they want to hear.
You see Mr. Sponsor I could never live with myself if I didn’t level (tell the truth) to the folks, and some little girl took my advice because I told her what she wanted to hear instead of the truth as I have experienced it in my 47 years of training and they get hurt really bad maybe crippled for life. I could never live with myself knowing I caused it simply to satisfy someone. I think it would destroy me because you see money has never been my incentive, I would not be a horse trainer if it was. If I could make some money only to pay bills that would be great but if not, that is OK to. I can honestly say I have never worked with someone and their horse and wasn’t able to help them if they kept an open mind.
Mr. Sponsor I suppose I will be very unpopular with some of the trainers out there and some of their followers. Now sir, I ask you again do you still want me to do this? Well folks he had to think about it for almost a year before he said lets try it. I would much rather you Al follow the status quo, but since you are not going to I am willing to try.
Recently I heard about the crocodile hunter that got killed doing what he believed in and that was preserving animals and accepting them for who they were and saw the beauty in it. Well, that is the way I feel about the horse, the horse has been my life time study and I can’t start to tell you what it feels like to be on top of my horse singing and he dancing to the rhythm of a song. The two of us dancing as one but I couldn’t have done it if I didn’t understand him and how he looks at life.
So you can see what I was up against, except for two of the trainers that had some type of hands on experience and maybe some type of credentials that was pretty well it.
You may ask what are credentials? Well, credentials are when you have tested your training skills against other trainers and that doesn’t mean one or two other trainers, I mean hundreds of other trainers.
Now let’s get back to the topic that I started. What I mean about the topic of this article, it is very easy to fall in love with your horse. You may feel that he loves you just as much as you love him. He loves to be petted, combed, fed, and loves your company because you make him feel good.
But when you get on his back for the first few times that all changes, he may feel that you getting on his back is not part of the deal. Now I don’t feel the same about you he may think, so please get off, it is very uncomfortable up there so get off! He doesn’t know because of his herd instincts that something jumping on his back may cause him harm.
A lady (I won’t mention names because she may not want me to) I had the opportunity to see this lady with her beautiful mare, she loves this mare and felt that the mare loves her but when she got on the mares back the mare would throw her off. She sent this mare to different trainers and the same thing would happen. She wrote me and asked me who would be a good trainer that trains my method (since I don’t train any outside horses anymore) I sent her to Larry Rodriguez and Shirley Lopez and they would tell her the truth.
My friend rode the mare and the same thing happened with him, the mare tried to buck with him. He immediately did the right thing and popped her on the rear and raised his voice to make it clear that this behavior will not be accepted. The previous trainer before Larry and Shirley had beat the mare so that is why the mare was afraid of men.
So for the rest of the month the mare never tried again. The owner was then called and rode the mare in front of the trainers and the mare never tried to buck.
The owner took the mare home and one of the first things that happened she got thrown off. She called the trainer back and he told her if you are going to ride this mare you are going to accept her for who she is and change your attitude when you are on her back and use means to make her understand that this behavior is unacceptable or get off of her and forget riding her. I was told that the owner did what she had to do and is now riding her mare everyday. But be on alert that somewhere down the line she might try it again and you may have to pop her on the rear and let her know that you are in charge because that is the nature of the horse, it is a herd animal and one of you has to be in charge.
Getting back to my topic. So the horse that you want to train may not be the one for you at this moment. You may need more experience perhaps on a more gentle horse with the safest equipment until you get the experience and confidence to start on the horse that you want to ride. A trainer can put miles on your horse to give it experience on being ridden but make no mistake about it you will have to train your own horse if you are the one that is going to ride it.
Going back to my debut on national television, I had received almost 3000 inquiries and only 3 were negative. One from a trainer and two I guess from his followers. I got 186,000 hits on my web site in six weeks, which I think proves that people for the most part want to hear the truth. It appears they want to hear from someone who’s been with hundreds of horses. I will tell you one thing I still have more to learn than I could ever teach. See you next month.