Bad Advice

I don't pretend to know everything. I have a lot to learn. I am constantly modifying and improving the way I do things, but I also have some pretty strongly-held beliefs about how horses should be treated and handled (namely, I believe in earning a horse's trust and respect...not making them fear me in order to get my way with them.) 

Being relatively new on the scene in the riding-instructor world, some people like to assume I don't know much and will offer up nuggets of advice. A lot of the time, these nuggets are helpful, and the advice-giver was well-meaning. In these instances I am very grateful for the help and insight. Sometimes, though, I have to bite my tongue and find the strength within to politely let the advice-giver know that I do things differently.


My favorite is when someone thinks they know how I should be handling my pony after observing us together for five seconds. 


Yes, once in a while Clay gives some resistance when I am asking him to do something that he'd really rather not. Yes, this can be frustrating, especially when I am in a hurry and he's pretending he's never seen a trailer before let alone ridden in one. But guess what–if you're not a naturally stubborn/patient person with a good sense of humor, you shouldn't own a pony. A pony is never really "broke". You may have trained them to stand still for baths last summer, but now it is this summer, and this summer is completely different from last summer, and YOU AREN'T THE BOSS OF ME LADY.


Anyway. Clay would really rather not get in a trailer by himself, or stand like a gentleman for a bath, and the same for being clipped, but he will do these things for me, when I slow my roll and go through the steps in a patient and calm way, giving him a chance to take everything in and decide for himself that he is in fact not going to die. No, hitting him with your lunge-whip will not talk him into behaving, it will piss him off ROYALLY and you now have an actual problem on your hands. Two problems. Him, and me.


What's the worst horse-related advice you've ever gotten?