Sunday, November 25, 2007

I is a trainer, see my ad says so!

There's hardly anything that makes me roll my eyeballs with skepticism as much as someone who decides to hang out their shingle and be a "trainer" or "instructor".

There's a bunch of these folks up here, happily sucking the money and time from unsuspecting saps who have bought into whatever line of bullshit they have polished up well enough to actually work. Hardly a one has any accreditation, let alone any show experience to justify their fees. A couple of them have marketed themselves so well locally that their fees surpass BNTs in certain disciplines. (As in, if I had a suitable horse, I could place it with the Flarida's for less-and if you don't know who the Flarida's are, then you need to learn more about the stock horse world)

A few I can think of are just Moms who had some small success with their own children (as coaches) and who have been convinced by their buddies it would be a great idea to teach others. Two local notables have constructed such a fine facade of bullshit that their suckers, er, students, resemble acolytes rather than pupils-complete with a hefty monthly tithe of well over $1000 a month.

I really have to give them credit for being such good snake oil sellers. I mean, where else could you earn $50 (Or more!) an hour without having any licensing, secondary education, a degree, or have to endure performance reviews?

And even better, you never have to really prove yourself to your peers, since everything connected to horses is subjective!

Got a horse in that has your number? You just can't get a handle on that one. Taking six months to get wtc down? Well, he/she just wasn't ready-baby steps, you know. Still dangerous on the ground or under saddle? Well gosh durnit, this one is just gonna take more time than we thought. And more time, of course, equals more money.

You'd think that a student or two would go on to compete, but the reality is that after paying that thousand plus a month, most folks don't have the means left to show. And of course one of the reasons trotted out for the trainer him/herself not to show is because, of course, their heavy schedule-just no time for that!

I have thought about this situation up here periodically for years. If you spend five grand with a local "trainer" of dubious ability, then you deserved to loose it. The same money could have been spent purchasing a totally finished show horse in many disciplines in the Lower 48 in a lot of cases. Heck there are show horses going to auction, some with performance ROMS and championships, to be had for way less than half that. (In Missouri a couple months ago, an APHA Ch mare, with over 260 points, sold for under $200!)

The only thing preventing me from hanging out my own shingle is my own conscience. Yes I can get a horse started. I am actually pretty good with the bare basics but in no way do I consider myself able to train, or teach. Just because I have the facility (and could make the time) doesn't mean I should do it.

I have read up quite a lot on various "methods" and taken some clinics/seminars, but the real truth is this: Whatever approach you take, it will either work, or it won't. Those that adhere to specific methodology are certain to have their egos handed to them one day, usually with a side order of arena dirt.

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