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Good teachers protect their students from their own influence.
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questioning Spurs

I’ve decided I need to be more vocal and stand for my beliefs much more clearly. As an example of this I watched a video this week of a semi-famous natural horsemanship trainer extolling the virtues of lightness on the rein and never pulling on the bit which is a fine commitment to equine welfare but at the same time he was wearing a great big pair of spurs. You can of course say just because he’s wearing spurs it isn’t a bad thing, he doesn’t have to use them harshly or cause physical discomfort. In order to explore the potential for discomfort and negative association I would argue to truly gain empathy with the horses position you need to imagine the effects and feelings generated by even light pressure from repeated spur pressure in your own ribs on a regular basis during physical exercise or learning. So for me it has to be why would you ware spurs?

Now, if I just pissed you off by questioning your use of spurs and you want to dislike me, unlike me or badmouth me that’s absolutely fine, but my job is to challenge, it is to make people think, to question and to encourage peoples potential by not excepting the norm. I want to help people develop an equine centred mindset which allows equines the greatest opportunity for comfort, understanding and a deepening relationship with the human companions. So, yes if you want to use spurs that’s entirely up to you but don’t use them without questioning their use deeply and meaningfully and seeing if there use is congruent with your beliefs, principles and attitudes towards horses.

My job as a trainer of equines and people is to encourage the discomfort of truly following your own path. I’m not here to make you comfortable, to make you feel good about yourself without having first helped you challenge your thinking, your beliefs and insured that your level of self-awareness, that means what you are doing with your equine is truly an example of "walking the talk." Talking about the importance of light rein pressure and not pulling on the mouth while jabbing the horse in the ribs needs to be questioned, does it not? I want to help you reach your potential but that can only be done by questioning.

One of my key principles is that the horse always comes first and for that reason even though I want you to reach your potential we have to put the horses needs first and to do that we have to question our motives, our beliefs and our principles. I have to expose our conscience and to challenge what you’re doing in order to ensure that you are confident and comfortable and that you "walk the talk" in the way that is suitable for your journey and for you following your own path.

I’m not here to make you feel comfortable and nice about what you’re doing just because it’s easy to make money, I’m here to help truly challenge you to become congruent in your relationship with equines and if I make you uncomfortable while I’m doing that, then I am not sorry, but you know that you can trust me to help you to reach your potential honestly, ethically and safely rather than just tell you what you want to hear.

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