If I graduated high school and decided I wanted to be a neurosurgeon, wouldn’t it be a little strange if I told you I didn’t plan to go to college? I don’t need to go to school and study. I’ll just practice brain surgery on people until I gain enough experience.
It’s kind of morbid to think about that, because we all know what the end result would be. Of COURSE I would need to go to school for many years, get a doctorate, and practice under another surgeon before I could perform surgery on a human brain!
Why is it so different when it comes to training horses? It is a trade, an art, and a science all at the same time, so why not treat it with the same respect as any other profession?
I think so many people make the fatal mistake of thinking they need to do everything themselves. They don’t want to give anyone else the credit for training their horse so they feel their way through the dark like the blind leading the blind and end up further behind.
I have made this mistake in the past as well. A few years ago I had a horse that I had trouble with being really spooky and insecure with new surroundings. I worked and worked and worked on it and it never really improved. After several months of this going on I finally reached out to two friends who had way more experience and education than me and they both were able to give me a simple solution and sum up what was going on under the surface within a few sentences!
UGH I was so frustrated with myself that I had let that issue go on so long before I got help. What a waste of time, when all I really needed was to swallow my pride and ask for some advise.
I learned a valuable lesson there, If I want to train and succeed at a high level, and grow my business quickly, I need to be the MOST teachable person and the MOST humble person to get there.
That does NOT mean that I will ask just anyone for advise, or take the advise of any joe blow that gives me an opinion, but I will actively seek out people who I respect and who I wouldn’t mind trading places with to hopefully glean from their experience.
There is absolutely no shame in getting lessons, sending your horse off to a trainer or asking for advise. We need to break that stigma! You go to the dentist when you have cavities, you call the electrician when you need your wiring fixed, and you call a lawyer when you need legal help. Why not call your trainer when you are running into problems with your horse?
If you want to grow and succeed with your horse quicker, then it is absolutely vital to your future to swallow your pride and seek out help from a trainer. You will no doubt level up your horsemanship, and work better with your horse than if you try to do it all yourself.
This brings me to my last statement on this subject, and probably the most important thing you can take away from this.
I hear statements a lot like, “I can’t afford lessons.”, “I don’t have the money to spend on a trainer.”, “Its too expensive.”
I just want to put it in to perspective for you. I have spent over 2000 hours studying horse training philosophies. And by studying I mean reading countless books from different trainers, watching any training dvds I could get my hands on, taking notes and writing out new theories.
In addition to that, I have spent almost 4000 hours in the saddle actively trying to put those philosophies into practice and mastering my timing and feel.
I have gone to clinics, taken lessons and traveled across the country to apprentice other trainers. I’ve spent a ton of my hard earned money and time to learn what I have so far.
Can you AFFORD to spend that kind of time learning what I have learned in order to save yourself a buck? Do you have that long to wait? Would you be further ahead to spend a little money on a lesson to have a trainer break down years upon years of experience into a bite size piece of knowledge to help you and your horse?
Can you afford to sacrifice your colts wellbeing and future success to experiment with breaking him out yourself? Can you afford to spend twice as much on a trainer fixing those things after it’s fallen apart?
I don’t want to sound harsh, but I do want to make a point here. Its time to re-evaulate the “do it yourself” training approach. It is worth it to invest in yourself and your horse to level up and learn new things faster. I’m afraid if you don’t take this approach you’ll be left in the dust of those that do. Swallow your pride, bite the bullet, and ask for help whenever and however you can! Instead of weighing the cost of what your trainer charges, weigh what it will cost you if you continue to struggle through it on your own.