Unique = of which there is only one; unequaled; having no like, equal or parallel.
I've been training horses for a very long time. I've thrown my leg across many, many horses and, I've found that each and every one is a unique individual.
In general, people like to categorize things and trainers like to categorize horses. I do it as well. It helps clients understand their horses in a broad sense and it also helps them realize their problems are shared by other horse people. But, every time I use categorization as an aid to teaching or in a discussion, I'm aware that there is more left unsaid than said. Sometimes its so hard to really express or describe what I want to say so I fall into broad categories.
But, every horse is unique, like no other horse has been and like no other horse will be. They are individuals and when we forget this we never do the horse justice. Sure, there are lazy horses and overachievers. There are worriers and fuss-budgets. There are stubborn horses, sullen horses, fearful horses, confident horses and horses with no confidence whatsoever. But, each one has his own personality and deserves to be treated as a unique individual.
When we remember to do this, we give the horse the respect it deserves and a greater chance to succeed at whatever task we are teaching it and, we are no longer just mass producing horsees for the show ring or cow pen or whatever. We become better horsemen and our horses are just so much more fun and interesting to be around. The whole process of training and developing a horse to it's full - and unique - potential is so rewarding! Talk to you next week, JD.