So…I don’t really have one. I’m not one to idolize much of anything and I’m certainly not a celebrity follower for any reason.
However there are a few people I really admire. One of those is my Trainer. She may not be riding around Rolex but she deserves all the accolades in the world for putting up with Gem and me.
Trainer’s entire philosophy regarding horses and training is rooted in a deep understanding of what a horse actually is and what it is we are trying to ask it to do. Everything she asks me to do is explained not only in regards to the how to do it, but also the why which I find very important in my overall understanding and execution. She never drills and she never pushes past the point of being able to learn.
What I admire the most though is her flexibility. Gem and I aren’t your typical pair and when something isn’t clicking or going well, Trainer always has something else up her sleeve to approach the problem in a different way and yet still get to the same outcome. Sure there have been less than stellar lessons throughout the last year, but all in all we keep steadily making progress towards our own nebulous goals.
Outside of her training methods, her management ideals line up with mine very closely. Her horses get to live outside except for in the worst weather, she doesn’t remove all their whiskers, ear and leg hair, she believes in a forage based diet and her horses show this off by being exceptionally healthy beasts.
Beyond even that, Trainer is the nicest person I have ever met. She has never gotten angry or flustered with Gem’s antics and my lack of ability to deal with it. My scared nature doesn’t annoy her (at least not outwardly) and she handles Wyatt’s lessons well too. When KC went cross country schooling with me and Pilgrim lost his show, Trainer didn’t hesitate to jump in her car and drive over to the h/j show to flag down a random farrier all while our time was whittling away and then she proceeded to still send 2 hours on the course with us and only charged $60 for the entire 3 hour ordeal! I don’t know anyone else who would have gone above and beyond like that for a one time client that she will likely never see again.
Is she my idol? No, but I sure would love to be more like her when I grow up and I am so very glad I met her last year.