Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Naive or Dumbass?

Want to get me going?
Stand there clucking, smooching, and calling a horse by it's name over and over and over, and over yet again while I am trying to get it to accept a halter that it doesn't want.
Do you not understand that you are not only in the way, but you're agitating the mare and turning what should be a two minute lesson in getting her halter on into a highly stressfull potential train wreck?
Did I mention you don't need to stick your hands between the rails and wave them around either?
OK, I'm better.
I have no problem with ignorance. I understand the knee jerk reflex that makes all of us want to jump up and down and say "I know! I know!" when we are around somebody that knows more than us.
But if you are a true horse person the first thing you need to learn is to shut the hell up.
If somebody with more experience than you is working a horse, watch and learn. Ask questions after they're done.
If you don't agree ask more questions.
Think.
Did I mention shut the hell up?

I got to be Benny Guitron's scribe at a pretty good sized horse show a few years ago.
When we met he asked, "Do you know anything about what we're doing?"
"Enough to get myself in trouble Mr. Guitron."
"Do you ride in this event?" he asked.
"Yes I do."

We started the day with him calling the scores, and being quiet. He would check my sheets here and there, just enough to make sure I was marking the right boxes and could add.
After awhile he decided to up the ante.
"Now you call out the marks to me."
"What?" I was about to have a heart attack.
We all think we can judge, say we can judge, but here was the judge calling me on it.
For the rest of the day he had me call out scores. He would change my mistakes, and explain what he saw and why.
He explained his theories on working cow horse and why. During lunch he expanded on his "old school" philosophies and why he didn't like the new rammin' jammin' style of fence work.
When we went back to work he asked if I had any questions. Of course I had a million, but I kept them to what I had learned that day.
When my sub came to take over so I could go warm up my horses he realized I showed in the open classes.
I had never said, "I'm a trainer too."
I had never done anything but listen and ask what I hoped were intelligent questions when he invited me to.
I learned so much that day.
My horses scored well and I rode with new confidence from what I had learned.
It was the coolest day ever.
Mr Guitron asked to keep me as scribe for the rest of the show.
Get my point?

1 comment:

gtyyup said...

I have to agree...that was a very cool day...it's so much better to lay low ;~)

I told you I was going to start from your beginning...I did, but just haven't gotten very far...too much work and not enough play.

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