10 May 2011

When Clients Say...

"...I don't want to mess it up..."

It's a common statement I hear all the time. The colt is coming along nicely and the client is excited to have the horse home. They are excited about the training, excited about how far the horse has come, excited about what they are going to do. And then they get that look on their face, the one that's filled with doubt. Everything is good and they don't want to mess it up.

I can understand their perspective. From where they are, sitting on the sidelines watching the progress, the horse is performing well. They question their abilities, but they don't need to. My job is to build in a foundation that can't be changed. I encourage them to "make the horse yours". I tell them to get out there and ride. I want them to enjoy what they purchased, as much as I enjoyed putting all that stuff into the horse. My hope is that the client will take the horse home and explore what the horse has been taught. Like the way that horse feels under saddle - lifting the back and neck and sitting on the hocks. I hope they explore the lightness in the mouth and how easy it is to accomplish the three "S" - starting, steering and stopping. Many clients learn for the first time what proper backing and early lateral work feels like. The horse can show them while they are fine-tuning that animal to their liking.

The foundation on the three-month horses are solid. The owner can take that foundation and build upon it any way they choose. It's all good - there is no "messing it up".

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