By: Dr. Mike Guerini (www.dunmovinranch.com)
We all have some people in our life who we count on to help us along the journey. We sometimes call these people our “posse”, “BFF’s”, “Village”, “inner circle”, “confidants”, or “our team”. Well in Horsemanship it is really no different. We flourish and excel when we have people who help us, engage us, support us, and keep us in line. So the other day I was reflecting on the people I consider to be part of my Circle of Horsemanship and I identified 5 who are critical to me.
1) Veterinarian. In this category I actually have a few veterinarians I rely on. They all know each other and some specialize in legs, others in reproduction and some in holistic health of the horse. I am fortunate to be friends with a veterinarian who has mentored me for over 20 years. For me it is important to have a good veterinarian (or in my case a few) that I rely on and receive good medical advice from when it comes to the health of my horses.
2) Farrier. For over 20 years I had the same farrier. He was always on time, explained what he was doing, and kept my horse’s feet in top shape. When my old farrier passed away I was lucky enough to find my new farrier and he is always on time, works with me and the horses and once again does a great job. I feel fortunate and blessed to have found two great farriers in my life. Almost nothing is more important that my horse having balanced and well taken care of hooves.
3) Coach/Trainer. Without a coach or trainer to watch me ride, work on new ideas with me, and to be my second set of eyes I know I would not have made it this far in my riding career. My coach is not always a professional horseman or horsewoman, but most of the time I do have a coach who is a professional. My coach helps me better myself, offers advice on training issues, and those who I select to be my coach/trainer are always looking out for the best interest of my horses.
4) The Friend Who Helps you No matter What. I think the country singer Tracy Lawrence was thinking of my friend when he sang the song — Find Out Who Your Friends Are. This is the person who you can call in the middle of the night to come rescue you and your horse from the side of the road when your truck breaks down. This person drops everything to help you build fence, haul hay, go check out a new horse, or do anything you need…without expecting anything in return. Let us face it — owning horses can be a tough job some days and we all need a little extra help.
5) The Cheerleader. In my Circle of Horsemanship I have a friend who roots me on, encourages me, and listens. This friend does not ride, might actually be a bit afraid of horses but as soon as I start talking horse, this friend sits down and listens. I wondered if I was the only one to have this type of friend until a few weeks ago when a lady stopped by for a riding lesson. She brought along a friend who just wanted to see the world of horse lessons and cheer her friend on to success.
You might have more than 5 in your Circle of Horsemanship. We could add people like Hay person, Chiropractor, Equine Massage Therapist, Parents, Spouses, Significant others, Fellow Horse people, or Hauling/Show buddy.
Who else might you add to your Circle of Horsemanship? Is it more than 5? Take a few minutes to thank those people who are in your Circle of Horsemanship.
Right now I give a big shout out to all of you who are in my Circle of Horsemanship. Thanks friends.
Dr. Mike Guerini is a clinician, author of multiple Horsemanship books, co-inventor of the Equine Hydro-T and specializes in western performance based instruction and you can learn more about Dr. Mike and his 6 C’s of Horsemanship at www.dunmovinranch.com. Dun Movin Ranch is also home to the Equine Hydro-T (www.hydrot.com).