Well in my day I would go to the grocery store to look for a breakfast cereal. We had a choice of Brand, Oats, Corn Flakes, and Wheat.
The same thing would happen when I needed a horse trainer. There was old Joe if you needed a horse broken to ride. That is all he did, and he did it well. He did it the old way of getting on him until he quit bucking and accepted the rider and he broke hundreds of horses this way.
Then there was Slim and Slim was a very good roper. He knew how to show your horse to rope cattle. Then there were few others that did different work. They all had one thing in common (lots of experience).
So how does this compare to looking for a box of cereal? Well they both have one thing in common, they were good for you.
Now days you go to the grocery store and when you get to the cereal isle the isle on both sides is loaded with all different kinds of cereal. Some are packaged very pretty, colorful, and have tricky words. Like for instance, one cereal says it may help your heart, you noticed (may) help your heart, it didn’t say it would.
Other cereals have famous people on the cover or a lot of tricky slogans to attempt to sell you there product. But the only way you will know for sure is for you to look carefully at the ingredients.
Some trainers today are exactly doing the same thing, and some don’t even train their horses someone else does it for them.
In other cases their only claim to fame is they like horses. Some have lots of money and can buy themselves fame. So it is like the cereal you need to look behind the box to find the truth.
The clinicians actually are showing a previously trained horse. They may say a few jokes and show some tricks to keep you entertained and the part that irritates me more (me being a performer) they ask you to applaud. I happen to be of the old school that applause should be earned and not asked for.
So you may ask why people attend these clinics, because they are exactly like me they want to see horses. But when I go home and try what I saw at the clinic on my horse it hardly ever works. Why, because all horses are different and are at different stages of their lives in training.
Let me ask you a question, of all the people you know can you show me two exactly the same with the same experience and philosophy and wanting the same thing from your horse and are in exactly the same point in their lives? I personally can’t name two nor can I name two horses that are exactly the same. That’s why I stress that you must Train Your Own Horse.
In my clinics I will only work with you and your horse. If you would like to be entertained by me I would be happy to sing a few songs and have my horses dance the rhythm of the songs. If I am to train you I need to work one on one with your horse, which does not mean that the horse that you have chosen is the right one for you at this stage. Maybe one in the barn would be better to start with and graduate to the one you want to ride.
There are a lot of good trainers out there that have hand-on experience for the discipline that you are seeking. But like the cereal you must look behind the cover. I have a friend that e-mailed me last week and told me that she had already spent over $1,300.00 learning games, and buying videos and attending clinics. The only progress that she can associate to is that she does not have her $1,300.00 and still can’t ride her horse. I find that sad. She is one of the primary reasons I am writing this article.
I want to see people get their money’s worth, learn to ride their horse safely and understand where he is coming from. I might offend some, which I have no intention of doing, I am just telling the truth as I see it, and in a small way try to change things.
I will not be on the air on TV until maybe November for lots of reasons, but I have decided to start airing videos of various stages of training on my web site dancinghorseshow.com that you can download free of charge and can view it when ever you want to until which time I am back on the air. I hope to start this right away so look at the site each week and I will announce how often I will be changing the training videos.
I feel we need to help folks understand and learn to ride their horses properly because I know of so many that have given up because maintaining a horse is very expensive and they don’t feel that they are getting anywhere. I think this is bad for the horse industry in general let alone feed stores, magazines, and any other things related to horses.
I want to thank the editors, Terry and Dianne of the Texas Horse News for having the courage and the foresight to address some of the problems out there today. They are mixing up different philosophies and letting you decide which is best for you. I see so many publications that stay with the status quo and bringing the same things over and over again. I thank them for having the courage to being different.