This winter we had a horse come to Halcyon Acres® who clearly wasn’t right in the head. What we realized (after we got through a learning process that included vet bills and near hospitalization) was this horse was able and willing to process information – but there was nothing normal how he did it. Once we discovered the key to reaching him, we were delighted at how excited he became about meeting requests and tackling new challenges. The whole experience was akin to how Anne Sullivan describes the moment Helen Keller understood what was being tapped into her hand.
Getting back to Aristotle, there’s a difference between blindly accepting what others present as gospel (no matter how much media attention they get) and being humble enough to recognize that there’s a benefit to entertaining what others are doing or suggesting so you can learn from them (even if it’s what not to do) and about you. It’s OK to dismiss something you have taken the time to understand, but who gains when there’s a knee-jerk reaction to dish without time spent in understanding?
Is a forever home really the kindest decision for a horse’s happiness and welfare? Sometimes. Sadly, putting this mandate on horse and human partnerships doesn’t always work as planned.
Of course, almost every business-savvy multiple-horse-owner who has engaged vendors for training find themselves stuck with a bill that delivers a horse that is not only ill-prepared for the stated job request, but also set back by human mistakes made in the ‘schooling’ process, ONCE. What really puzzles me is why there are so many who go back for more.
Where people seem to go so wrong is when they assume what they see is all there is. If you are taken, shunned, dismissed or neglected by a vendor you’re paying or a group you’ve embraced, find another and be glad to see them gone. Most equine professionals I’ve met are kind and inclusive, in part because they’ve benefited from the kindness of others in their ascension, but mostly because they ooze integrity.
If you’re convinced it’s hard to find communities of horse owners and equine professionals that are in your corner, wanting you to excel and learn, think again. These groups are prevalent. Sometimes, though, it requires a willingness to take a little leap out of your customary zone.
There’s a whole lot of buzz – and controversy – going on right now about current popular horse training precepts. While much of the criticism is centered on one business entity . . . the hubbub isn’t the result of a single method (or individual). There has been a festering groundswell of distaste for messages that are being put out there that stop considering the horse (and the novices trying to establish an understanding and bond) and, instead, are designed to drive maximum traffic to products or services for sale.
Most who haven’t housed horses figure feed and bedding as the only costs. Some enlightened even calculate time into the mix. Maybe you can get by with this if he’s in your backyard and you don’t care about what the place looks like, but the expenses for a boarding facility are generally considerably higher.
Don’t give away time and resources. Offer an exchange of work for professional services instead, or a trade arrangement where you get something you really need to help improve your equine business. Few seem to value something that is free. Hard-earned benefits are appreciated more. Such a pact also gives you the opportunity to witness the dedication and ethic of the ‘student’ or ‘client’.
Age in horses is so relative. Many horses continue to work well into their 30s while others are deemed ancient for their initial career at six. Some breeds are best started at a much older age, while some industries are backing horses as yearlings. Of course, much depends on the horse, but the perspective of […]