My wife Daphne has been an educator in both High School and College for as long as I can remember. Some people would say that’s not very long ago. Anyway, I remember when she taught High School she would come home at night telling me all about the discipline problems she would have. Having a mathematics mind, she would never leave out any details, so the stories got to be pretty lengthy. Being a big picture guy, the main take away that I got from all of these stories was pretty consistent. When she met the parents, the kid was pretty much a reflection of them. Obviously there are exceptions, but this phenomenon really got me to thinking.
In all the years I have been working with horses and their owners, it’s kind of the same phenomenon. It only takes a few minutes to watch a horse owner interact with his or her horse, to see what kind of horseman they are based on the actions of the horse. Or said another way, I can work with a horse for a couple of minutes, and pretty much tell you the experience and dedication of their owner.
It would be interesting to interview vets, farriers, stable owners, etc. and write a book on all of the excuses horse owners use to justify the behavioral issues they have with their horses. Even professional horse trainers have these issues. Have you ever watched a professional work a horse, and you can tell the horse is doing what he is asked, but not having fun doing it? We should all strive to become better horsemen, which involves educating ourselves, being committed, and having a good time.
So as we move into 2012, make it your new year’s resolution to become the kind of horseman that other horse owners, and your horse look up to.
Happy New Year!