Friday, October 7, 2016

The Learning Buffet

In my quest to becoming a better horse owner, and trainer, I am always looking around for pearls of wisdom. There are lots of venues to learn, great trainers, and I also find that I learn an incredible amount from "ammie" riders just like me. I read everything I can find, watch videos, read blogs and books, and peruse facebook groups. Basically I am obsessed!

Once in awhile I come across a type of person that I will call "the Cult Disciple." They are so convinced, and may I say "brainwashed," to their leader's way of training and riding that they are defensive right off the bat. And also often arrogant and self righteous. "So and so" uses only "this and that" method, and "no Gadgets," and anything else is "cruel," "abusive" and "unjust" and at best is a total "waste of time"and it will make you horse "fractious." This is a quick way to make me leave your school of thought behind. Nothing turns me off quicker than a hard sale, and the words "this is the only way...."

You know why? Cause there are 100s of ways to Rome. I will never become convinced that it is a good idea to swallow one training method, line hook and sinker, to get the best result with yourself and your horse. And the good news is that I don't have to do that; I can approach learning and training the same way I approach The Golden Corral Buffet. I can walk in, grab a plate, and fill it whatever I want. Maybe a little clicker training, with a bowl of BioMechanics and side of cowboy sauce. I don't enjoy the real crunchy Parelli stuff, and the Modern Dressage can be a little undercooked and tough, but boy I do love me some Classical Dressage. I eat that a lot, and have tried recipes from a variety of old chefs. But as I grow and mature, so does my taste buds, so I try new things, and if I still don't like it, I will just put it aside, and perhaps come back to it later on. 

The most important thing for me is to stay open minded, and ready to listen and learn. The only thing I try to judge is how the training method affects my horse, and if I am getting the desired results without causing pain or undue stress to my horse or myself. When something works I could care less if I heard it from Monty, Jane, Buck, Karen, George, Charlotte, Will, or Carl, read it in a blog, or heard it from a friend. Good Dessert is just good, no matter who first came up with the recipe. 

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