Not sure who the know-it-all is in your barn? I’ve got bad news for you…. (hint: it might be you).
Yes I am most likely my barns “know-it-all.” Am I ashamed by this? Not really.
I would never dream of pretending, suggesting, or claiming to know everything. In fact I would think it’s fair to say that I try to disclaimer stuff quite often before I say anything. Or at least mention that it’s worth trying this or trying that. Because I know that not every horse is going to respond to the same thing or that often certain issues can be influenced by a handful of factors so while trying one thing and then another might help there’s never any sure way to know that it’s going to solve the issue.
The thing of it is, and stick with me here, is that I’ve had Bella for seven years now. Five of those years I was working nearly exclusively in barns cleaning stalls and in one barn I was managing too. I’ve sat on a wide variety of horses, taken lessons with a bunch of different trainers in a few different disciplines. I’ve really focused on figuring out what path will aid what goal. Then, above and beyond that all, I also started and trained Bella on my own. That mare has never once had a professional sit on her. Never ever. I’ve taken very very few lessons on her, and I’ve worked my ass off to get her where she is.
I did it all by the same things I commonly suggest to other people. I make suggestions based off of my knowledge from years of riding and training, I also make suggestions based off of my information of the horse and rider. Does this still make me a “know-it-all?” Probably. I’m sure people find it extremely annoying (heck, one of my best-friends flat out told me she did and now we simply avoid discussing issues she’s having with her horse). I’m willing to be people thinking I’m a “know-it-all” is one of the reasons there are very few people I really communicate with at my current farm. I have a perspective coming from an entirely different background than they do. While I know that my way is not the only way my suggestions tend to be that of adding in bodywork (chiropractic) and fitness training. I don’t push shoes, I don’t push tack changes unless it seems necessary, I could care less if you ride with a helmet or not. I make suggestions that I think will improve the horse and rider’s quality of rides.
I know for a fact that everyone where I am loves their horses and that everyone is doing what they think is best. I don’t have one doubt about that. Everyone simply works off what they’ve learned over the years. What I’ve learned over the years, is that to have a functioning athlete, which I consider Bella to be, that there are extra steps that I need to take. I’ve made suggestions here and there when people seem willing and it’s always interesting to see how those suggestions play out and if I am actually able to help people. “Know-it-all” or not, all I really want to do is help the horses and their owners.
I still have moments where I text my best-friend, and sometimes contributor to the blog, Michelle with questions about one thing or another. I don’t ever want to claim that I have all of the answers. All I want is to be able to help other people by using the knowledge I’ve picked up over the years. Particularly when it comes to considering horses as athletes who deserve to be taken care of as such. Whether they’re trail horses or event horses, my opinions on fitness and bodywork never waiver. Every horse should be taken care of, have proper tack, and be given every chance possible to be fit, happy, and healthy. Call me a “know-it-all” but I’m fine with it. I brought my gangly two year old along into a powerhouse machine who’s fit, pain free, and my pride and joy.