Another discussion between hubby and I was about the type of people who get involved with their horses and why they have training problems:
On one end of the scale you have what I will label the Horse Master. The Horse Master feels horses are there to serve her needs; she comes across as authoritative, self-assured, confident and bossy. Watching the reality show Jockeys’, it was interesting to hear one of the jockey’s refer to his gelding as an IT. That is the type of mindset I am talking about.
They want a job done and they want it done now. They can be abrupt and may even be viewed by others as cruel. She is also the type that will boast about her One Great Horse Relationship. That one relationship will be the benchmark for her but also serve as a story to convince others that she really cares and isn’t a bad sort.
The Horse Master feels extremely threatened by anyone that doesn’t use her methods based upon control. Even something as simple as bitless riding, will receive her derision – usually degenerating into a mindless, Internet flamewar about who is RIGHT! (remember that rule from my earlier post – about who shouts the loudest is right?).
I’ve often found women horse trainers of a certain age generation to be Horse Masters.
The best I can say about the Horse Master is that she gets the job done. Her horses are usually well behaved and do their jobs. There are no problems such as nipping, not leading, kicking etc… The horses submit like the proper little slaves their Master has trained them to be.
The worst thing I can say about the Horse Master is that she has killed in the horse what we love most – it’s fire, independence and beauty. She will never receive the best she can because slaves simply don’t provide that.
If the Horse Master personality could gain some insight from our Fur Baby Mommy (our next horse type), she could expand her horizons, deepen her horsemanship and become a powerful role model for the entire horse community.
At the opposite side of the Spectrum is our Fur Baby Mommy.
Let me give you a human example of the Fur Baby Mommy: When my then two year old son was returned by his self indulgent grandparents screaming his bloody head off, I was told: “we don’t know what’s wrong; he’s been doing this for the last hour!”
Turned out he had a huge dirty diaper (both #1 and #2), was starving (wolfed down two ham and cheese sandwiches) and then fell over into a deep sleep! Wow! His grandparents were completely oblivious to what the kid needed and no amount of incoherent screaming on his part was going to help them understand!
This is your Fur Baby Mommy. If good intentions do pave your way to hell, she has quite the yellow brick road built. She is often seen by others as being rather incompetent around horses, has horses that are too thin – too fat – or has an environment that is dangerous (i.e. poorly built fences, gates that don’t latch) – and/or has horses that are borderline dangerous due to pushy, obnoxious behavior.
Her overindulged horses will have no manners, they will barge and push into you, or they may nip for treats. No matter how well trained the horse is, once it is in her care, it will eventually become a Trouble Child.
Her training methods are based upon popular trainers. Which is okay except she doesn’t understand the training methods she is attempting. It all gets rather muddled because she slavishly follows the trainer’s ideas – or worst, skips about indiscriminately seeking the Holy Grail of Horse Training Answers.
The worst I can say about the Fur Baby Mommy is that she is riding for a fall. Someone is going to get hurt – probably her – but also at risk could be any child in her care, friends or friends visiting.
The best I can say about the Fur Baby Mommy is that she is intuitive, creative, and she has a great deal of empathy with animals. She may be an Animal Magnet because animals instinctively sense that she emotionally cares about them. If she can temper her nature with a bit of Horse Master she can become a caring and NURTURING horse trainer. The potential is there.
Most people are somewhere in between… maybe during one period you are more Fur Baby Mommy and others (especially when I’m on my TOM) I’m a Horse Master. Knowing where you stand – when you stand – can help you become a better person for your horses… and that’s what it’s all about!