Trainers, this one is for you. To our clients, please know that this is all in the spirit of good jest! (Seriously though, we hope you pick up on the underlying truth.)
Ten things every trainer is tired of hearing:
1.) "He's never done that before!"
This one's a crowd favorite! The first time the horse misbehaves, you know, from something minor like stopping for a bite of grass while to rearing up and striking, the owner is quick to assure that this is something she has never seen her horse do before. Ever.
Whenever a client tells me this, I know from years of experience and loads of studying equine behavior and psychology, it means one of three things: Either, they're lying, they've never asked the horse to do what I asked it to do, or they're lying.
2.) "He never does that with me."
Oh really? So your horse is a perfectly behaved gentleman for you, but suddenly decides to grow a set of horns and transform into the devil himself whilst in my presence? Interesting.
3.) "He knows how to do that."
Clearly he does NOT or he wouldn't be running around in circles instead of backing up like I asked. Forty-five minutes ago.
4.) "He means well."
I hope so, because if he chases me out of the roundpen again, I'm going to have my doubts.
5.) "He just loves people."
I appreciate the positivity here, but all trainers know this is code for: He has no regard for any human's personal space whatsoever.
6.) "He just started doing that the other day."
I believe this about as much as I do the first.
7.) "I've tried that and it didn't work."
This one is probably the most frustrating because it puts us in a situation where we have to tell the person they obviously didn't do it right. And that always sucks.
8.) "Can I give him a treat?"
No. Just no.
9.) "I think he may have had a bad experience one time."
Yeah, maybe. In a past life. Or maybe he's just throwing a temper tantrum right now because he's a spoiled brat. Which leads us to number ten...
10.) "I may have spoiled him some."
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