Now, there are plenty of people who are qualified to do their jobs. And if it appears that I am bashing the rest of the population, that is not my intention. My intention is to show that only the ones that are passionate about what they do, the ones that really love what they do, will ever really become qualified. The rest are just working because they have bills to pay. This is a problem with society not necessarily a personal problem with each individual. But that is not what I want to discuss.
The real meaning behind this topic is Qualifying for the leadership roll in our Horsemanship. Our horses need us to be the qualified leader that they expect us to be. This is the reason they test us. They want to know, "Are You Qualified?" The only way you could be is if you are truly passionate about, and love your horse enough to make sure you will become the leader they need and deserve. This includes continued learning and growth along with them. If you just want to ride them or feel obligated to take care of them, THAT is NOT, ENOUGH. They need to know that you are Mentally, Physically and Emotionally strong enough if their life should ever be in danger. And we all know, a horse always thinks they're in danger. Unless we are the leader they need. Then they relax. But only if they "KNOW" you understand and they learn to trust you.
Take this example: Many people go out and buy a horse that is already trained and doing very well. This is a good thing to do. But you can't just buy a well trained horse and expect them to be good for you. They may be doing great for their current owner, but respect is not always transferable. If you do not develop a relationship with this horse, you will not get the same results.
Now for another example: If you buy a horse that is really advanced in their training, and you are not. How is it possible for you to be Qualified to lead in this situation. If you have ever worked for someone who had less qualifications than you, then you can understand what I mean by this. It causes a lot of friction and problems. They are trying to lead you with less understanding than you. A very difficult relationship. In the human world, people get hired for many different reasons. They are good at interviewing, writing resumes, They're a friend or family member, and so on and so on. We are good at pretending and exaggerating our qualifications. This doesn't work with the horse. They won't let us in. They will make sure we are qualified before they let us take over.
So how do we become qualified?
Through knowledge, experience, and practice. Gaining understanding of all aspects of the position. We can do it on our own through trial and error, or we can take lessons and classes from someone who is more qualified. Which is a great option. Doing it alone we are sure to run into more problems. The good news is, we will learn from the problems as well. The bad news is, problems with horses can be painful or deadly. Even with a qualified trainer or instructor, there is still risk and danger.
How do we find a qualified trainer or instructor?
This is a great question. There are many trainers and instructors out there students can learn from. Some are more qualified than others. Sometimes it will depend on what it is you want to learn. You can learn from anyone. Even if they are less qualified than you are. But if your going to spend hard earned money, then you should do your homework. Find someone who has the skills you want to learn. Not just someone who says they have the skills, but someone who actually does. Like I mentioned above, people are good at faking their qualifications. Take a page out the horses book and get proof that they are what you need. You can ask around and get references. You may have to try them out for a little while. If it doesn't work out then try someone else. See if they will let you watch them give a lesson, a session with them working or riding a horse or any way you can see for yourself what they can offer you as a student before you actually get started. Some places will even do a free introductory lesson.
Just don't let convenience be your only reason, make sure your getting what you need and want.
Everyone is worth looking into. They all have something you can learn. You just need to figure out what it is you are looking for, and find that person or people who can help you get it. Often times it will be in many places, from many different people. If you are going to someone who discourages you from learning elsewhere, be weary. Often times its selfishness on their part and they will hold your progress back. It is impossible to get everything you need all in one place. Talk to anyone with skills and they will all tell you, they have many mentors.
So I encourage you to find every opportunity to qualify yourself. You owe it to yourself but most importantly, you owe it to your horse.
Remember this as well, there is always more to learn, and there is always room for improvement.
No matter how qualified you are.
Thank you for reading.