Honesty and integrity go without saying. Ethical behavior must be paramount. Here are some additional things I believe.
I believe in taking care of your old clients, those who have become dear friends, first, not last. Not putting them on the back burner while you pursue new prospects.
I believe the horse and its welfare must be my primary concerns. The horse must always come first. This is how I was raised, this is what I believe.
In general, not having a private agenda that only or primarily benefits myself. I believe in a path that is in everyone's best intereste and I most certainly believe this is possible.
I believe in trying to reach everyone possible. I don't like nor endorse exclusivity in the horse business. It's not just about the 1% or 10%, but about everyone. Furthermore, I hate favoritism of any kind, both of people and horses. Yes, I have horsees that I truly loved over the years, but I don't care for them over overs. In fact, I make a point to concentrate on the horses that are struggling.
I believe horses are the most magnificent and versatile and beautiful athlete in the animal kingdom. I started training horses because I loved them for what they are. I did not start out because I only wanted to win, but rather to become the best horseman I could. It's been a very long road and I've learned so much.
I believe that in becoming a true horseman we can become better people. Horses do this for us just naturally.
I believe that the best teacher is the horse himself. You must learn to watch and listen. The horse will teach you if you are willing to learn. I don't believe in dumbing down horsemanship. It's a lifelong pursuit and an art that has been developing for over 3,000 years.
I believe in giving back to the horse community. By this, I mean helping others in the horse business. Amateurs as well as other professionals, especially those that are starting out. Many wonderful trainers helped me along the way and I want to do the same for others.
I believe in thinking things all the way through before proceeding. I have always trained by using a thoughtful process. It's easy to act before you understand the causes, often times you will never know but you must try to understand something through the horse's perspective.
Most of all, I believe in conducting my personal and professional like in a manner that reflects well not only on me but also on my family, my friends, my clients and the horse business in general. See you next week, JD.