Method or intuition?
Is it good or bad to follow a certain training method? An established procedure orchestrated by another trainer or thinker? A method in which you can find answers to all your questions?
I have split-up opinions on this subject and I never really thought about it until several people started asking me about my training methods with Alvaro & Torrin. I considered the question throughly when asked for the first time, because I had no idea what to answer. I would like to give a usable answer, but I had none. Briefly afterwards I reached a point in which I realised that the answer was not to be found.
On my travel with horses I have never come across a theory or view on horse training that I liked to the bits. There has always been things in which I did not agree. And now I was asked which training method I used? At the end of my thinking a reached a conclusion and an answer as well. My final answer to my training method was intuition. That was the most accurate answer I could come up with. It still is…
I see so many advantages in being able to pick up ideas from other ways of training, but a great difference lies between picking up ideas and picking up a whole training method. I have seen the last of the two going wrong a lot of time. One of the reasons is that some people occur to become very blind when they pick up a training method. They tend to stop thinking for themselves because they now have a precise guideline to follow. I don’t like the idea of that because I have seen it gone wrong too many times. On their way to the goal some people end up going to far from what they feel is okay, because that is how the method tells them to do. Others lose their motivation on the way because the method doesn’t fit their horse and blocks progress.
It can feel safer to chose a certain training method if you are around horses without having a lot of earlier experience, but that should never mean that you stop taking a stand on the method you use. Not even if it is made up by a trainer with a well-known name. One should always be critical and make sure that whatever they do feels okay in heart and stomach.
The way I prefer it is by hand-picking whatever I like from lots of different thinkers and trainers. This opens the opportunity of being creative and openminded. Opens the opportunity of following heart, mind and intuition. Intuition, I believe, is one of the greatest gifts in horse training.