Friday, May 4, 2012

4th May, 2012 Naming no names

I have a bit of a dilemma going on at the moment - in fact it's one that I have always faced. As an RA I represent Intelligent Horsemanship and as such I am expected to be 'professional'. But what does that mean? When I hear about, and sometimes see, other horsemen and women abusing horses, using unethical techniques especially in the name of 'natural horsemanship' am I being unprofessional if I tell other people about it?

Some years ago I was aching to warn a previous client that she was about to send her horse to someone who had some dubious practices and questionable knowledge. It can sound like professional jealousy if you diss other people and in this particular case, all the information I had was hearsay. In the event, the horse went to the trainer and he almost starved her to death.

What if you were planning to send your horse to one of these people? Would you want me to tell you?

To be clear, the only people I truly recommend are other IHRAs and other practitioners of whom I have first hand knowledge. These are fairly limited both because of geography and because the there are so few people who don't hit either with a whip, a piece of blue pipe, their hand or the end of a twirling rope. Most of them are not cheap but then you get what you pay for and they should be insured properly. It costs a lot less to get it right first time than to retrain a remedial horse.

The same old names come up for horses with a fear of the farrier and for horses with badly fitting saddles too.

If I wouldn't allow them near my horse, then I wouldn't want them near yours.