As a trainer, I am find it interesting that people feel their questions are silly or irrelevant because it is not exactly on topic at the moment, or it is a completely beginner or basic horse question. Believe it or not, we did not just pop out of our mother’s wombs like this, we too were once beginners. Yes, many are blessed with an amazing seat, or timing that makes the rest of us look like amateurs, but all trainers have put time, sweat, equity, and possibly even many injuries into their careers. Most importantly though, we had to start somewhere!
Guess what? So did all the other equine professionals out there! At one point or another they were a beginner, they didn't know a darn thing about horses - oh no smarty pants, even you were once a baby and just surviving off the basics! When you are thinking, “I feel like this question is dumb”, “I don’t want to seem stupid”, or “I sound like an idiot to myself” think about your horse, your partner, your friend, your investment and know that he or she will very much appreciate you asking whatever it is you need to know. Every time you take a moment to learn something, it will not only benefit you, but benefit them as well and possibly someone else in the future that you may pass this knowledge onto.
The majority of the time your vet would rather you ask those “stupid” questions - oh wait, no questions are stupid - than be too afraid to do so. They would rather answer you than you get a misleading or incorrect answer from another source. If you have a decent relationship with your vet and you need them more than just on those shot, coggins and teeth visits, they are more likely to answer what you need answered and get back to you in a timely manner when possible. Building a relationship with your vet and being loyal to them is a good thing. It will benefit both you and your horses in the long run! Try to go the extra mile and be not only polite, but also respectful and considerate of their profession. Do not be afraid to ask them questions; most of them enjoy teaching in one way or another.
Farrier / Barefoot Trimmer
Talk about someone you really need to have a relationship with! Your horse’s feet are everything to them. They are flight or fight animals so when their feet hurt because they have a stone bruise, pulled a shoe or even have an abscess, being able to call your farrier or barefoot trimmer and say “Hey, can you come take a look at this?” is a very good thing. Texting them a photo or video can be quite handy when you need to know what to do. I’m going to repeat myself; try to go the extra mile and be not only polite, but also respectful and considerate of their profession. Not many people could trim a horse’s hooves properly considering their conformation, how they move and what you are doing - as in trail riding, roping, showing, or other - so be seriously thankful for all they do. They want you to ask questions about how to care for your horse’s feet so they are well maintained and looking great!
Your horse's trainer is someone you definitely need a relationship with, for not only yourself, but for the sake of maintaining and continuing your horse’s training. I have to repeat myself once more; be polite, but also respectful and considerate of their profession. They are someone you want to have in your corner as they more than likely have vet, farrier and horse experience out the wazoo. They will be able to help with most things in a pinch, even those not exactly training related. They would rather you ask them a question about your horse’s training so you can stay in tune and know specifics to their methods when it comes to your horse. It will make your whole process better and more efficient so do not be afraid to approach your trainer.
They can help you with horse and non-horse things alike. If you need someone to video or photograph you riding or training then ask for some help from a friend you want to spend time with. They will feel included and get to see just why you are so into your horse. Think about how they always ask why it takes so long and so much time; show them, and in turn let them ask you questions because if you can answer them it also expands your learning curve.
- Ask the darn question already!
- Do not be afraid to ask the question!
- Breathe and just ask the silly question you think might make you seem like a complete airhead beginner; just do it!
- Relax and remember we have all been there at one point or another and did not at one point know the answer to the question you are about to ask.