I loved seeing the light bulb "click on" with the horse when they understood something. That's why I couldn't figure out why other people didn't want to train horses. What's wrong with them???
As I went through high school and college, being told I wouldn't amount to anything and that I would end back up in my small home-town, working in a factory, I became more and more determined to do what my heart was set on doing. That's when I moved south and went to college and learned more at a small town college, with tons of hands on experiences and the professors knew who I was and what I wanted. Most of the kids were either ranch kids, rodeo kids or kids who just wanted to dabble in horses and see if they really wanted a profession in the industry or just to keep it a hobby. Majority of the ranch kids went back to the ranch and continued doing what their parents had done and their grandparents had done. Me, I didn't go back to the dairy farm. I did for awhile, but those horses were calling my name. I always had a "normal" job and on the side trained horses. Usually taking in a couple outside horses and maybe having a personal horse or 2.
Over the years, I've learned why most people don't want to train horses for a living. It's a lot of work. Spouses don't always like all of the work involved, long days, cold days, hot days, rainy days, etc. Getting bucked off to get back on, getting feet stepped on, getting drug through the mud, getting run over, knocked down, bit, kicked, tack and equipment breaking, spending thousands of dollars on feed, making sure the feed rations are correct, spending thousands of dollars on rent and equipment, shavings that just go into the manure pile. The getting up before the daylight so that you can feed, or at 2 am so that you can ride and get done before the heat of the day. The doctor bills from the injury 2 years ago, or telling you to find a different profession. Staying up late to go check on that sick horse, just one last time before going to before going to bed. Making sure your bills are paid but struggling when clients don't pay on time, living paycheck to paycheck waiting and hoping the next one comes in the mail the next day. Having an older vehicle that breaks down, or blows out a tire when least expected. Or the horse that decides to colic or get sick.
As trainers, we aren't just trainers. We're part vet, part barn manager, part taxi driver, part sales person, part parent, part lesson giver, part stall picker, horse turnout-er, feeder,secretary, rider, student, instructor, and trainer. We have many jobs in just one job in itself.
But overall, those of us that train, we tend to not let the little, negatives get to us. Instead we look at the positives. We love it when we can take a colt and progress them to be winning the next big class, or going down the trails as quietly as an aged horse. We love being able to take the bolting, bucking, rearing horses and turn them into nice, quick, gentle riding horses. Best of all, we love selling someone the horse of their dreams or giving a lesson to child who's smile lights up the sky. These are all great reasons we do it. And not to mention many other reasons as well. For me, its the light bulb that clicks on for the horses and for the people I give lessons to. The kids that get to go to their first show. Win their first ribbon. And pass out on the ride home.
If I missed any other reason that makes you the trainer that you are, leave a comment. I'd love to hear them. As far as to the owners of horses, the parents and people who take lessons, its not always a glamorous life, but it's so, so, so very worth it.