No charge for horses, surcharge for people

With the family at the beach today (shore for Northerners) so we took advantage of the guided sea kayaking.  Hours of paddling through Mother Natures best, seagulls, pellicans and a host of other birds to admire on the route.  Listening to our guide, Gavin, identify the local wildlife reminded me of what inspired me to quit my career as an insurace agent and train horses full time.  Many years ago my mother gave my brother and I a whitewater rafting trip down the Colorado River as a gift.  We had an amazing time, some in part to a great guide that manned our raft.  He explained that in the summer time he and his guide friends escorted tourists down the beautiful Colorado River and in the winter they taught skiing at the resorts in Utah and Colorado.  I’m not sure it had ever occurred to me that life could be that perfect.  I decided that training horses all day was a real possibility.  It was what I would do even if I didn’t need money. 

Back to the current trip- while we paddled along contentedly with the current I considered Gavin’s role and thought “He shouldn’t be getting paid for this, it hardly seems fair”.  He even spoke of how he kayaked alone every morning so how is this different?  It occurred to me that many people have said this to me before.  Riding horses all day and spending my time at the barn is an enviable position for many paople. I figured what differentiated the time I train for money and the time I train for fun came down to the human element.  Horses by nature are much easier to contend with than people.  Communicating with them is far less complex than the dealings we endure with each other.  Constantly changing termperaments, moods, goals and loyalties are but a small bit of the baggage human relationships come with.  Don’t get me wrong, all of my clients are lovely people and their business is very appreciated.  So when the time comes for me to collect my fees I never charge for training and spending my time with the horse.  That’s my passion.  I only charge for his owner.

4 thoughts on “No charge for horses, surcharge for people

  1. Ah, yes. We humans haven’t quite learned how to drop our baggage at the door. I leave myself extra time before my lesson to decompress. I spend more time grooming the horse and bonding and find that it helps me shift gears if you will.

    Horses and other animals live in the moment. Ideally, that’s where I want to be as a rider. That’s when the good stuff happens.

    That’s so exciting! You’re living out your dream.

  2. Thank goodness horses are so honest and the can’t talk! Lovely sentiments from trainers perspective now what makes an ideal student?

  3. A nice canoe trip PLUS a friend that wouldn’t shut up for years pushing you to teach full time- and a LOT of monster cookies!!!!!

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