One of the great things about living in the information age is that you have the advantage of accessing virtually endless amounts of information online. Add to that the growing number of TV shows, horse expos, blogs and YouTube and it would be easy to argue that if you want to learn something; a lack of choice shouldn’t be the problem. Here are some things to consider when finding the right fit.
First thing: put some time and effort into finding someone who’s techniques, methods, and teaching style fit you.
I often tell people to study one persons methods from colt starting to finished horse…that could be Clinton Anderson, Chris Cox,Bob Avila, Pat and Linda Parelli, Richard Winters, Ken McNabb, Julie Goodnight, Josh Lyons, Guy McLean, Craig Cameron, or anyone that you admire the results of. That includes the local person giving riding lessons or the regional person who shows horses that you have been admiring from afar these last few years.
Study that one person’s methods from beginning to end because the consistence is important for the horse. If there is one disadvantage to the amount of information out there it may be that people ‘pick and choose’ from methods without looking for a ‘common thread’. Remember when you were in kindergarden? First grade? Second grade? There was a reason why you had one teacher for all of your subjects. It made finding the ‘common thread’ easier for you. It gave you consistency.
‘Pick and choose’ does have its place also. I recommend it as step one and step three.
Step One-Look around and see what is out there (pick and choose)
Step Two-study one method from beginning to end
Step Three-look around and see what will challenge your thinking (pick and choose)
The goal of this would be that you would find a teacher who 1) you like their results 2) you understand and agree with their methods.
So who is the best horse trainer or clinician to follow? The answer is the one that fits you the best.
P.S.- Other thoughts to consider: once you do this three step process….you aren’t done. (Sorry, it is true) because your needs will change as you continue to grow. This will eventually send you back through the three steps again.
Also, as you study, you should begin to realize that the vast majority of clinicians and trainers have similar methods (the common thread) running through the programs. Once you can see that similar thread (the release is the reward, etc) you will suddenly be able to study multiple programs without confusing your horse.
I could just keep writing on this subject…..maybe another blog……