I have a friend who has loads of ability, plus works hard, is willing to learn and really likes horses. In short, this person is just about everything you could ask for in a successful trainer.
Slowly, we became friends just riding together, warming up horses and talking mostly about our work. We discuss training techniques, management issues, equine personalities and so on. In the process, a friendship developed, a friendship based on mutual respect. And just as older trainers helped me, I've been passing along some of my knowledge and experience to my friend.
Over time, I've been able to give this person some input on things that I've learned and I've watched this trainer come to have a much better understanding of the whole process, watched their skills improve and their techniques change when needed. I've enjoyed watching them achieve a whole new, much higher, level of training.
This is more important to me than money or winning. This is passing the baton on to a new generation, a generation that will ultimately improve the whole art of horsemanship just as every past generation has done. And what a priviledge this has been - friendship and horses make everything worthwhile! Talk to you next week. JD