Horse Experiences, Memories and Opinions

My name is Tom Simmons. I have had Morgan horses since 1963. I have trained almost any breed you can think of. I have had a good amount of success. I have written articles for Western Horseman, The Morgan Horse, and The Carriage Journal. In the 47 years that I have worked horses, I have seen a lot. I would like to share with you some of my experiences, opinions and memories. Please feel free to email your thoughts. I will try to address them. Tom

Location: North Carolina

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Blame the Trainer

A few years back I knew a pretty good trainer, we'll call him W.D. He had lots of horses in training and used to win his share. He worked for a private stable, but he could take outside horses. He finally got tired of all the ups and downs of the horse business and quit. He took a job that paid pretty well and for the first time , he had health insurance for his wife and kids. Most horse trainers have no health insurance.

The interesting thing about his quitting was that every horse I met for about three years had been wrecked by W.D. according to their owners. He was a great trainer while he was training, but when he quit, he got blamed for everything.

I was in a driving class once and a lady driver called for a time out. She told the judge, of all people, that a piece of white plastic on a fence that was near the ring was bothering her horse. She told the judge and everyone around the ring that her horse was scared to death of white plastic because W.D. had beat him with plastic. I always just thought that her horse was crazy. I think he was born that way. For a few years, if your horse was making you look bad, just lay the blame on dear old W.D.

If you have a horse that came home from the trainer a little crazy and is still crazy after a year, your horse has a problem other than his trainer. Horses don't stay crazy without a stimulant. If given a chance, most horses want to be quiet.

A horse will change any behavior once he discovers he is wasting his time. Horses that don't change can have a deeper problem. They really aren't all born equal you know.