I got some news today that hit me really hard. A really nice 3 year old colt I had worked with a year ago was just ‘removed’ from being at another trainer’s. The longer he was at this other place the worse he was getting until he was going nutty and had white spots on his all black hair by the withers to boot.

It occurs to me that there’s a lot of learning to do concerning dealing with egos. And it involves both the trainer and the owner. As trainers, we want to do the best job to turn out the horse that the owner wants. However, what the owner wants and the appropriate amount of time are not necessarily complimentary. So, if a trainer knows the owner wants ‘x’ and he has 30 days to produce it… steps might be taken to produce the result when it isn’t time for the horse.

” ’til I Came to Realize” (yes, a pun for my still unfinished book by that title) that while I usually associate too large egos for doing damage to a horse, what if it’s an ego not big enough in a certain area that is the problem. What if the trainer’s ego isn’t big enough to tell the owner “It’s too soon or too short a time, or that just isn’t right”?

This came up in a different way recently when I was giving a workshop for a trainer and some students. I didn’t like (I’m being nice) any of the bits…

that were on the horses. When I inquired as to why these bits were being used, I was told that that’s what the horses came with when they came. I get this a LOT when I meet a new potential student. Hmmmm….. horses come with bits???? Never saw a mare deliver a foal with one. BTW, if they won’t change the bit, I won’t take them as a student.

Or could we trainers have a big enough ego to say “I don’t know…”? I don’t know if I’m trained to perform that particular wish? I don’t know if the horse is ready? I don’t know if you, the owner, are able to carry this on? I don’t know that I can make it happen in that time frame? I don’t know that that tack is the best?

I don’t know but, I’m not willing to sacrifice the horse to accomplish that in that time without the horse’s consent!!!