I was talking to a client the other day, we were just chatting about a variety of topics and, somewhere along the way she related to me that someone had commented that I made my students think and that I was a thoughtful trainer. Now I think that is a very high compliment indeed!
I believe strongly in teaching about the "whys" and not just the dos and don'ts. So often, this business functions on "monkey see - monkey do" principles and that's just not good enough in my opinion. Firstly, all horses are different, different in personalities, background and abilities. One size does not fit all. Second, a rider must be given the opportunity to understand why things work and why, sometimes, they do not. Unfortunately, many trainers train by the cookie cutter method - leaving behind many good and talented horses that just didn't quite fit.
I see people - amateurs and pros alike - who attempt methods and maneuvers and techniques they really don't understand. I think it's so unfortunate because it hinders rather than helps. We must know and understand the principles of horsemanship to work to the best of our abilities.
We do our students an injustice if we don't fully teach them. I want my students to be excellent horsemen - not just pretty riders. Teaching them to think for themselves is a key component to that end. See you next week! JD