Friday, December 11, 2009

They call me 'Plum Puddin'...the story of the wannabe!

Oh yes, to the wannabe horse trainer that lurks out there, this post is for you!

They come and they go, those wannabe horse trainers. They live under the rocks and old dead logs, and wait for their next victim. They talk a good game, but there is something there that you know is not right. Many of them have embedded themselves well into the Natural Horsemanship industry, selling their training appliances to people that seem to fall for the crap!

You have to ask yourself, how much would you pay for common sense?

Do you need an orange whip to train your horse, or do you sometimes need to apply a little tough love?

I have recently had the pleasure of meeting one of these wonderful people. His claim to fame? "I can turn you and your horse into one. I can help your horse with your problems............But first, I need to talk to your horse and find out what he is thinking."

Oh for #%&@%@*!^*@($ Sake!

Get a grip!

In a career that has spanned 3 decades, I have seen so many of this type out there. They have strange mystical names that make you think that they know something about you and your horse, that no other trainer will ever be able to tell. They wear hats the size of their egos and 99% of them wear chaps and spurs. They market products of their own design and tell you that you have to buy them if you want to become a trainer like them. (In case you are wondering, a carrot stick is a vegetable, not an orange whip with a bat on the end of it.)

So am I going to just tear into the naturals?

Hell no!

For those people that call themselves trainers out there, just so you know, you really need to have some knowledge of the horses that you are training. One trainer that I have heard of, actually weighs his horses. Most of us can look at a horse and we are able to give a solid estimate of the weight of the animal. This guy has to be a mental midget, or actually he may be brilliant if he has convinced the owner that he should be allowed to stay at the facility where he currently works out of.

Horse shows are a great place to get a glimpse of some of these Wannabe Wonders!

Yes, I call it like a I see it, even at the horse shows. I have made lots of friends that way!

I am amazed that there are so many trainers out there. Hell, everyone is a trainer and they all know everything. These horse show trainers are easy to spot because they all wear spurs and carry crops in their back pockets.

There again, like I have stated many times, there is such an overuse of training aids out there, that I am surprised that the horses do not tip over from the shear weight of the devices that they are forced to wear.

When I was a kid and I worked with the trainer that taught me how to start colts the right way, there was no whispering done, he just simply took his time and read the horse. He told me that the best trainers have the ability to 'read' their horses so they can predict how to best proceed. He uses nothing more than a snaffle bit in the horses mouth. I learned that the best way to start a horse is to let them do the work and you need to learn to just be the passenger and have a little faith in the horse that you are starting. I was never allowed to wear spurs and chaps just got in the way, especially in the heat of the desert. We asked the horse to soften for us and allowed them to make decisions and mistakes before we corrected them.

We have a saying here in Rotten Land, that goes like this........

When you go to a trainers barn, be it a natural trainer or an old school trainer, what happens in the barn may impress you, but what happens behind the barn may depress you!

This is not to imply that all trainers are out there beating their horses, we certainly do not, but keep in mind, when fixing some of the horses problems, it's not always pretty.


kestrel said...

Hallelujah from the choir! We actually had a wannabe in this area who marketed himself as a trainer because he had been one in a past life...and people actually gave him money! A few ruined horses later the voice from the past told him that modern day folks just would never understand his expertise...ROFLMAO

I think the first thing a real trainer learns is that theory does not trump reality, and there's no such thing as too much knowledge. My old cowboy friend said "horse training is a bag of tricks that work. The trick is figuring out which horse needs which trick!"

fernvalley01 said...

So many "trainers out there" so few are the real deal. Carrot sticks are best served with dip!
The gadjets and gimmickes are largely annoying to me , you really just need a saddle , a bridle a long rope and a HORSE. the rope is of course to hang yourself if it all goes wrong (lol)Spurs and chaps...well if you uses them , and know what you are using them for , cool , But as of now I have never died from the lack of them

TBDancer said...

Anyone who has been involved with horses for any length of time has met up with the wannabe. Some people start OUT with the wannabe ... as the person who sold them the horse.

I got started in horses by buying from someone who cared about her horse and where he was going to end up, and she guided me through the pre-purchase exam and made certain that the boarding facility owners knew I was clueless, so they helped me as well. I never felt that I was taken advantage of, and I learned a lot from them and the people they knew as well.

Was out of the horse world for about 20 years and upon my return a decade ago was alternately shocked and amazed at all the changes. These "animal communicators" are actually students of herd behavior and human psychology. Obviously if you ask them to "read" your horse, you are a caring owner, so of COURSE they will tell you your horse loves you ... BUT ... (and then you get a list of 'gotta do and gotta have' that will cost ya ;o)

Using common sense, your own God-given powers of observation, and asking questions of knowledgeable people like your vet or shoer will take you a lot further down the road to the right trainer or a happier relationship with your horse than jumping on some wannabe's bandwagon, open wallet in your hand.

1fugly human said...

Sigh where to begin. I the wonderul pleasure of meeting one. We will call him "Peaches" (that's how he introduced him self..."you can call me $%6K, $%6cky or Peaches"). I'd heard alot about him from the other boarders but due to my work schedule and the fact I sold me horse, hadn't been to the barn in awhile.

I'm grooming my friends horse and hear this "chink...chink....chink" and I'm about laughing in the isle. I also see a feather mysteriously floating..Oppss..attached to a black cowboy hat. Hmmm.....So let me paint a picture...short man (feather in his cap makes him taller), jeans tucked into cowboy boots, spurs w/a 2-3 inch shank and pizza cutters on the end. HUGE cowboy belt (was there any doubt), regular shirt but a bandana that was ironed and perfectly folded around his neck. I was desperately trying to get a picture.

In my experience..anyone who spends that much on his/her apperance when an IMMEDIATE red flag.

I'd found out this person was now the Asst Manager of the place. Impressive since he'd only been there a couple of month. Anywho. I continue to work on the mane of this horse and am listening to him talk to one of the boarders. He is bragging about buying a 21 yr old QH that weighed 2100 lbs. The boardered asked if the horse had a metabolic issue!! Gooooooooo JUDY!!!! Peaches was aghast and said "No hes stocky" So gee JR can you find me a 2100lb QH??? Cause there was one standing in the cross ties next to me. My Mom still owns one and he's 26.

So then Judy asks what sort of training Peaches does with his horses and he answers "I work with working horse" Judy "Oh Ranch horses how friend took my crazy mare and he's got a ranch and they now ride fences. She's no good at the cattle work but loves the all day work"
Peaches (with a funny look on his face) "Um..NO..I work with WORKING HORSE" Judy at this point lets it drop. I'm about peeing in my pants.

So Peaches decides to come and introduce himself to me. "Hi, I'm $%6K. I need you to sign a release" ME "Um..already did, but thanks for checking with me" Peaches "Well I don't have a record of it so I need another" ME "Hmmmm...Did you ask Trainer? It's sitting on her fridge" Peaches "Nope..need this now" ME (I read it and it's 2 sentences) "OK, no problem, give it to me"

Then Peaches procedes to talk to the horse I'm working with. I jokingly go "he doesn't understand English" Peaches" I've spoken to him in English, Spanish, French and Japanese..he doesn't understand anything" Again the loving human that I CRACKING UP!!!

I'm looking at this BOY and thinking..thank all thats holy I sold my horse b/c there is something really OFF about this person.

At this point I'm braiding this horses mane and he puffs up and says he can French Braid. And I look at him and say..Nice no one braids as well as I do. He goes why is that? And why don't you French his mane. Ummm..well dumbass...he's a 6 yr old fool. if you notice his blanket, coat and efffing NOSE your stroking..he's covered in dirt. So I go "Um..If I French the mane he'll end up tearing it off, sicne he likes to spend ALOT of time laying down" You don't french braid a horse that plays rough, rubbs their main against the boards. He then proceeds to tell me that he's got 12 horses in OK. Hmmm....why am I supposed to care?

So he walks away and is staring at my signature and looking at what I signed. Then he stops at Judy again and they start talking.

1fugly human said...

Judy later comes by and tells me that last night Peaches offered her daughter $10/head to bring horses in b/c he didn't want to. Judy told him NO but we'll bring in our two. So he goes to get the little dude I'm working on and Judy tells me that the horse starts acting up and Peaches is strong arming him. So Judy takes him to calm him down and get away this poor youngster away from Peaches.

I drop the cross ties and go to give some loving to Horse and he about sits back, eyes rolling and looking for a way to escape the blow! Oh yeah're a great effing horseman.

I got online and found his myspace page. Guy has been all over the US as a dude horse wrangler (sorry JR....I really don't know what the proper name is) Guy has a DUI and honestly....there is something else he's hiding. Phew...that was LONG...but unfortunatly TRUE

1fugly human said...

I'm debating posting the link to Peaches picture...hmmmmm...any thoughts?

GoLightly said...

I made up a new word, that describes these very humans, JR.
I haven't finished it yet, but I'll keep ya posted.
I'm still figuring out how to spell it.

Great Rant, JR!

JohnieRotten said...


I say post the Peach and expose the pits..(please do not say anything about his pits).What the hell, if he is on facebook, then he is askin for it!

We have one that lives close by. I am going to call him Poop Squip. He reminds me of that little turd that gets stuck to the bottom of your shoe and leaves a skid mark every where you step. He has had this horse in training now for over 4 months and has done nothing with him. The owners have been paying him this entire time and the horse just stands in his pen. I watched him try to work this horse,and said horsie ran all over him. He is supposed to be starting this horse under saddle and has only worked with him twice. I asked him if he was afraid of the horse, and he said that there is no horse that he is afraid of. So I told him to saddle the horse and get on. That was 2 months ago,still nothing has been done.

I have had horses in that past that cause me to use a little more caution,but atleast I can admit it. I have known the aformentioned trainer for a while now, and I am realizing that he does not know as much as he thinks he does.

Like Kestrels friend said, training is a bag of tricks. You just have to find the right one for each horse.

GL, the thing about being of colorful character, is that we can be so freakin creative!

1fugly human said...

JR..I will post tomorrow and the rest of the Peaches story.

CharlesCityCat said...

GL, colorful character, SNORK!!!

Really good post JR.

I have never really had many dealings with the true NH crowd or a trainer or clinician, for which I am eternally grateful. I have met people who had no business working with horses or instructing people on how to ride.

My motto when working with a trainer was that they better be able to get on my horse and show me what they are trying to teach me. And they damn well better ride better than I do.

I was very lucky in that I had some really good ones.

Cut-N-Jump said...

JR, I have to agree- that ain't no trainer. Just to add to the info- there have been times an intervention has been needed and granted, on behalf of the horses sake. Another will soon be granted.

And yes, Poop Squip about nails it. Too bad you can't find 'em to flush 'em before they stick to something else...

kestrel said...

The same old cowboy always said that "everybody's a horse trainer. If you want to know if they're any good, go ask their horses."
There's a woman in this area who's a trainer...only she can't use any of her horses to give lessons because they're all crazy or lame. Busted her giving kids jumping lessons on MY horse that I was boarding at the barn. Without my permission. WTflyin'F!?
I just had finished putting 30 days on him. He is a good horse and had a good background, but no way was ready to be used like that. Took me months to undo the damage.
There was purple smoke coming out my ears, the air turned blue, spectators had scorched hair... and I loaded up my horse and left. One of the moms thought I was a big meanie because I pulled my horse! Her darlin' daughter liked him so much! She got her ears blew back flat, too. Did I mention some people are nuts!?

Cut-N-Jump said...

Seriously ROFL at Kestrels comment. If it comes as any relief- I will be posting soon bout "Do NOT use my ______!" It should fit in just fine there...

GoLightly said...

snorking 14th, cause HP is late.

Dena said...

Ummm..excuse me...There is too whispering.
But that alone will never ever replace the work.
And if it is natural how come the toys are made of so much plastic?
Ooops...I mean the necessary tools.*snork*
I have spurs. CnJ remind me to post a picture of them someday.
It might take me a while.
Because I never know where to find them.
When I want to complete my look for that trip to the hay auction or a Saturday night sale.
Can't ever seem to find my hat either. And if, you ever see me in it you won't know it is me.
Because I wear those big movie star glasses.
I do not own a riding crop. I have 8' or better reins on all the bridles.
You need a refresher you gonna get it.
I have several pair of riding gloves. That I never wear. I need to be able to feel the line when I am fishing.
I am not a trainer. I am a behavior modification specialist.
And now while we all take a break to wipe the snot from our screens.
WHERE THE HELL IS THE PARTY!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Kestrel and C3D you crack me up...

fernvalley01 said...

Not to get all airy fairy here , but, I don't think you "whisper Horses" but you do Listen to them. Their responses, body language,etc. They do communicate to us if we are willing to pay attention.

horspoor said...

Uhm, I have spurs. I have an english pair, and a pair of Garcia's. Do I have any idea where either pair is? Uhm no. I think I loaned the Garcia's to somebody...can't remember who. If I had them I might hock them. lol

Oh, and I have stud chains. I know where one is a gate latch now.

OH....I have a CARROT STICK! The one I gave to Elaine for Christmas in the restaurant...that she stuffed quickly under the table, like she'd opened pornography in a public place... She got it back to me very sly...where I couldn't say anything but had to politely accept it. I will find away to gift it to her again, in a very public manner. I have to figure out a way to disguise it in wrapping.

JohnieRotten said...


I am going to do the party this Sunday night. I just had to put this one out there!

Dena said...

Sunday night? Why Sunday night? The description very clearly states Friday Night Party at The Rottens.
All dressed up. Again. Nowhere to go. Again.
JR your plans to party these days are like Peaches training methods.
*Walks off kicking dirt and mumbling cuss words.*

JohnieRotten said...

Yes Dena. But unlike Peaches, my pits are where the belong.

I know, I know. I promise you will get a Sunday night party and a Friday night party. Worry no!

Dena said...

That's okay JR. I imagine CnJ will tell you all about what I get up to when I am left unattended.
I added artwork, dropped a couple of bombs.
Jumped ship.
And now, I am looking for a good RA meeting.
No misspelling. Rescuers Anonymous. I think I need a sponser. Before someone takes out a hit contract on me.
Vegas you know.
Frank was attached. I wonder if Tony is.
Well, if they get me, just know that I thought you guys were just swell.

phaedra96 said...

I haz a loverly pair of spurs. They hang on the wall in the back room with pair of unuseable hames and a string of jingle bells and a hat. I haz a couple stud chains. I run the chain through the halter ring and clip it on itself when I cannot reach another lead rope. I haz a carrot stick. It is a driving whip that lost its lash. I use it to send Spin out of the barn when he wants to eat in today. Can I be a trainer???? Can I, can I? PLeeeeeassse!!!!! I wannna make lots of money 'cause I sure as hell do not have any. I bet JR and CNJ are going to learn alot about "behavior modification" reeeeaall soon. As soon as the Dubious Duo start walking and opening doors and cupboards and answering the phone.........Been there, done that and,OMG, doing it again!!

horspoor said...

Love the story of Peaches by the way. lol

We have a few resident 'trainers' that fall into the Peaches category. Although, I do believe Peaches may have them beat. lol

One, we'll call 'Cowboy Dan' got into horses a few years ago. He is now 'The Expert'. Jerk the rope, wave the rope, shake the rope, yard on it with the rope halter. A rope halter can be such a nasty peice of equipment. Those knots hurt, and hit pressure points, and the cord bites into the poll. Nice, and oh so 'natural'.

Well, my friend Sabrina and I were at a rodeo, or barrelrace can't remember which. We are sitting in the bleechers watching. We look over and we see 'Cowboy Dan' in a pen with two horses. He's waving his flag at these horses, moving them around this small pen. The horses are bumping into each other, and bouncing off the panels.

Sabrina and I look at each other and roll our eyes. Freaken moron, poor horses. What exactly is he trying to accomplish here. What exactly is he trying to teach these horses? I ask her as much. Sabrina shakes her head.

So, we continue to watch in morbid fascination. Both horses roll back off a panel...and freight train the guy. They just flattened him, and ran over the top. Cracked us up. Awful I know.

We start laughing. We abruptly stopped worried those around us would realize what we were laughing about and think we were cruel. All I could think was, 'well what did he expect...he kept upping the pressure until the horses felt they had nowhere else to go. Idiot.

kestrel said...

Hp, now THAt is funny! The horses learned how to play a new game!
I wind up feeling really sorry for the horses sometimes, as their human chases them around waving goofy shit at them and then wonders why they have to chase their horse down to catch it.
And then I feel sorry for myself when I have to try to fix the mess.

Crazy3dayer said... the pics of Peaches I want that turd's pic out there..also anyone ever heard of Julie Goodnight?

She scheduled to do a TV shoot and clinic at that barn...don't really know anything about her? Need a little help..I'm going to send her an EM about the lawsuits etc. want a friggin guest author for the full story? All the horses are moved.

Cut-N-Jump said...

HP- that is freakin hilarious! Funny thing about this sort of thing? People who have a clue, know their shit and use their heads- can't figure out what these Bozo's are trying to get the horse to do! Even when it's something as simple as asking a horse to back.

I have seen one of these in action. Even the owner asked me what they were trying to do and being asked of the horse. I honestly answered. "I dunno."

Cut-N-Jump said...

Ok so having thought about it a bit more... The situation isn't so much freakin hilarious since the horses will surely get blamed for 'the trainer's' idiocracy and not knowing when to stop. Or leave them alone, go away, or let someone else train them.

horspoor said...

Yup, you're right CNJ. The horse always seems to get the blame in these situations. Stupid horse. I'm so sick of hearing these wannabes blame the horse, or previous owner/breeder whatever for the idiocy they have created.

Ever notice how it is always an issue from a somebody else? It has never been created by the current owner.

kestrel said...

Also, it just infuriates me to HAVE to have a 'come to mama' meeting with some poor horse who's decided it hates humans and would rather kill them than play stupid games. It's dangerous and unnecessary, because the horse should never have been pushed that far. Usually I do not want the owner around at that point, because I'm also busy cussing their sorry selves as I'm trying to give the horse a real sense of boundaries and sanity. Those wannabees are too busy working their theory to read the horse.

GoLightly said...


er sumthin..

rosesr4evr said...

I am NOT a horse trainer.
I am NOT a horse whisperer.
I am NOT a circus ringmaster.
I am NOT a miracle worker.
I don't know HALF of what I should.

I just RIDE!!!

rosesr4evr said...

A non-horsey friend asked me one time why I didn't wear spurs, the big buckle bunny stamp, the western shirts, or chaps when I rode. I told her I wear the same thing thing that I would wear any other day and that I'm out there to ride, not for my clothing to make a statement to others that I ride. My next comment was a little snarky when I asked, "Why? Do you think I would ride better with all that crap on?"

My horse doesn't care if I have on "riding" or "cowgirl" attire. She just cares that I ride her to the very best of my ability and that I stay the hell out of her way as much as possible.


JR, You're such an ASS!! Now it's a good day!!;-) LOL

But really, on the serious side, I have put to use some of your offerings on working on our left lead departures.

It's slow, but sure, and I'm getting some good progress. Of course, it's not overnight and it does involve work (on both parts)but I am seeing a definite improvement. We can actually lope circles to the left without losing the gait/lead or any crossfiring.


I've heard it said that watching good horse training is like watching paint dry or grass grow. It's boring and uneventful. The steps of progress are at times so minimal, as to have not made any progress at all. Like layers of paint on a canvas, it's the layers that make it work, makes it rich and vibrant, a thing of beauty. Any Joe Blow can slap on some paint, but only the true artists paint masterpieces.

JohnieRotten said...


Thank you. I needed to hear those words.

To be sure. Training is slow, especially when fixing an issue. Glad to heAr you are making progress.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Roses- we went to a tack sale the other day. One of the local tack shops had their trailer out front, doors open, raffle, drawings, easy-ups with vendors...

It was quite the circus event. Especially considering the local 'Mounted Rangers' group was there, as were all the dimestore cowfolk in town.

When we pulled in, surveying the scene, I busted up laughing. Why you may ask?

JR 'decked out' in shorts a Tshirt, sunglasses & sandals. Me? Sweats, sandals with socks and a long sleeved T. About the only thing that could possibly give anyone there ANY clue as to our riding ability, discipline, ownership status or anything 'horsey' about us? That would be the small, round, blue sticker in the back window of the minivan that reads NCHA.

rosesr4evr said...

I'm such a sad sort! I don't even have any tell-tale stickers on the truck, not even the AQHA Member ones they send with your membership. I don't dress cowgirlie to go to the horse fair either, although I might wear my riding boots with the horseshit on them. Why ruin a good pair of shoes??

One of my biggest pet peeves is the idiots that stuff their jeans down into their boots!! I just can't STAND that. Okay! We get it that you have really loud, fancy boots!! Friggin toolboxes!


Yeah, I know what you mean. At one point and time she had a left shoulder issue that I had resolved by chiro. She got pretty one sided from that and it just kinda stuck, became a habit. So I have been working her up to holding that lead slowly and getting back into to shape so that she can physically do it. I realize that after having not used that side for so long she wouldn't be able to hold it for very long, even if she wanted to. Plus, she's a little hot and gets all anxious and excited, then we have to go back a few steps, get calmed down and start all over again.

She was really fast in that lead to begin with and instead of trying to make her slow down, we just went at a little faster pace for a while. I figured I could take the faster pace, then when she got better at holding it, we could work on the speed.

The last time we rode, we got nice, slow, pretty circles on the CORRECT lead, the whole time! And every time I asked for the left lead, I GOT it! YAY!!

JohnieRotten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cut-N-Jump said...

Good to hear things are working out on the horse. I know it is giving you a glowy feeling. I can see it from here. Think I may need my shades. lol

Silly Roses! lol Didn't you know they tuck their jeans into their boots to keep the pantleg clean while wading through the muck & manure? It's not for showing off the boots...

PrairieFarmer said...

These sort of dudes remind me of that saying -
Big Hat No Cattle.

fernvalley01 said...

Fbout the "outfit" Used to be you knew the "real cowboy " at the fair or the rodeo for his outfit , the old fellas uded to get out thier sunday best,jeans with a crease and no scoal can ring , clean shirt and thier best hat. Now ???? I was having a bad day years ago and said to my dad "I don't wear the right boots or jeans , I don't have a hat..." He said t"thats OK sweetie , you have a HORSE"

rosesr4evr said...

CNJ said...

Silly Roses! lol Didn't you know they tuck their jeans into their boots to keep the pantleg clean while wading through the muck & manure? It's not for showing off the boots...

Now wait just a minute CNJ, I thought that's how you knew the dudes from the real guys/gals. The real guys/gals get dirty!! Reaaally dirty!! LOL Or maybe that's just me??

Yeah, I'm a little proud of myself, so you better go get your shades!!! It's a wonderful feeling though.

1fugly human said...

OH JR..I send CNJ a copy the Effing PEACHES named names in an Email to some of the boarders as me being one of the issues in the barn!!! was the first time I was out there since August b/c of my health issue and I don't even own a horse there!

As soon as the money is returned...I'm so HIJACKING
GLOVES ARE OFF b/c i'm fecking pissed