OK, so maybe that title is a little sensationalist. But it got your attention, didn’t it? Let’s explore the subject.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of eating lunch with a friend at our local country store. Two miles from home, this is, for our tiny town, the center of the universe. Attached to the post office and adjacent to the only stop sign in town, this is the meet, greet and eat stop for all of us. While enjoying a lunch of homemade lasagna and salad, I happened to look at the community bulletin board to discover two new posters for natural horse trainers. Each offered round pen sessions and intensive training, as well as demonstrations, for a fee. I’d never heard of either of these guys. Even in this terrifying economy, the spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and flourishing.
I’m not saying that, because I’ve never heard of them, they can’t be good at what they do, or that they have no right to advertise their services.
Their posters do, however, indicate a disturbing trend: every dude who’s watched a Parelli video or attended a Downunder Horsemanship clinic, experienced some success with the method and put his own spin on it seems to start putting out posters, advertising himself as the new natural horsemanship messiah. No wonder some horse people (and their horses) are confused.
Since I assume that they aren’t offering their help for free, I’d like to round up a few of these guys and gals and ask them some critical questions:
1. Why are you taking your skills to the masses?
Is it that
a. you have something radically new to offer?
b. you have a unique spin on the major players’ material that dovetails with the needs of your local community? how?
c. you want to cash in on the natural horsemanship training craze?
2. What makes you think you can teach other people what you do?
3. Are you ready to assume the enormous responsibility of training the horses that other people will ride?
I don’t know. What do you think they would all say if Ray Hunt lined em up and made ’em talk?