Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Little Change of Pace - Decisions



I don't know about you but I can use a break from the darkness of this series of posts so I have decided to take a brief respite from the telling of my story and focus instead something else.

This past weekend we had issues with our cable and boredom was driving me crazy. I had the forethought to have Dave set up the DVD player and show me which buttons to push (since I can't read any of that tiny print and don't use the thing often enough to know).  Then I was good to go with the small stack of DVDs that are of interest to me.

I was torn between watching training material I have from Bobby Hart, Tommy Garland and then my assortment of horse movies. I have studied extensively the Hart material but I have never removed the shrink wrap from the Tommy Garland stuff since I lost all respect for the man with his treatment of my client and Rhythm.

Considering the man is dishonest and exploitative, how can I trust the material on the DVD series? I have a lot of money tied up there but who's to say it's anything more than smoke and mirrors.

I know plenty of horse trainers with talent who took shortcuts behind closed doors at the horse's expense. While Tommy Garland obviously had a lot of talent he is not the young,   eager trainer I respected 18 years ago when Dandy was young. There was a huge difference between that first clinic I attended than that one just a few years back. The first had been about helping the participants with their horses while the second had been about promoting Tommy Garland and selling those DVDs. If I had seen that at the time, maybe Rhythm and his new owner would have been saved from the destructive course they ended up on.

I will probably always kick myself for not seeing what was right in front of me. I paid big money for him to help me with two of my horses that weekend. He used my time and my horses to pitch content on his soon to be released DVDs. He did literally hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in advance sales that weekend and I did not learn one single helpful thing with either horse but didn't even see it until the glow of doing a clinic with RFD-TVs latest star had dimmed and I realized what he did with my horses was unrelated to the issue I had requested assistance with.

That seeing the red flags after the fact is one of those things I am hoping to put behind me but just the memory of this whole thing with Tommy Garland was enough to settle the discussion I was having with myself about which DVDs were worth watching. Those by Garland are still in their shrink wrap. I opted to watch Buck
instead.
....and I watched it over....and over.....and over.

Hopefully I will be able to put into words what I saw.

To be continued....

15 comments:

  1. Are you referring to the clinic when TG did desensitization exercises with Rhythm?

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  2. Yes, that would be the one. Looks like I pulled the wrong link. I will try to locate it. He did ground driving work with Legs where he had him galloping in the lines and he worked Rhythm on the rail with a plastic bag as a flag on the end of a whip.

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  3. I thought I had posted more than just pictures of that clinic but I sure can't locate posts but I must have if you remember desensitizing Rhythm.

    I do remember watching him work my horses and not having it dawn on me until later that he really hadn't helped me at all and I'd paid a couple hundred dollars in addition to buying a complete set of his videos. It was a very expensive weekend for me.

    Funny thing about it is I didn't even think about the fact that Harvey Jacobs had already done desensitizing work with Rhythm and his method was much more effective that whatever Tommy was up to but like I have said before I get stupid around trainers. That's why I don't work with them anymore. Other than my friend, Jean, I tend keep my mouth shut and not question regardless of how my poor horses are handling it. Both Legs and Rhythm got into big trouble with Garland which I accepted at the time as appropriate but Legs and even Rhythm do not fight back unless they think they are being treated unjustly. Rhythm could be naughty at times, pushing the envelope but that is different than a horse that is lashing out.

    My friend has never gotten into a fight with any of my horses even if she puts a lot of pressure on them because she is always fair. I guess that's something I should be remembering, if one of my horses is fighting back, they're trying to tell me something I need to listen to right at the time instead of taking weeks, months or even years for the light to dawn. Looking back over the years, I have been a lousy advocate for my horses and I should probably do some posts on other instances where I let them down because there sure are a pot-load of them.

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  4. Don't beat yourself up over the TG stuff. We have all been there with trainers and even though we thought something was wrong didn't say anything. I did it with my horse Erik and regret it to this day. But I thought at the time I didn't know enough to put in my two cents. After all he was the professional and I was the student. Live and learn from our mistakes I guess.

    Glad you enjoyed the Buck DVD's. Haven't watched them yet so I'll look forward to your posts.

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    1. My motivation or lack there of was probably the same as yours. I think some switch flips in my head and I automatically think they trainer knows more than me but I have sure seen enough so called trainers over the years who I wouldn't trust with anything living thing. Just because someone has a big name reputation does not mean they have actually earned it in a manner I would choose for my horses. That's the part I must get over. If I would just listen to that little voice that tells me something is wrong my horses would be much better off.

      I don't have the whole set of Buck DVDs sure wish I did. Only learned about the rest of them this weekend. Someday maybe...

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  5. It really is such a shame. I think a lot of these TV clinicians do know their stuff but it seems almost without exception that at some point they forget why they are really there. It all becomes big business and "buy my stuff". I mean, if it's all about the method, why do I need your specific brand of halter (or whatever) to make it work?!

    I must be the only horse person yet to see Buck! And I think you've said good things about those Bobby Hart DVDs before. I recently got a training DVD from Jody Strand. The quality was rather fuzzy but I did like a lot of what he said. At least I didn't think he was trying to sell me something!

    I feel I've let my horses down on a number of occasions. For how much we care about them I'm really not sure how it happens. All I know is that I may always be a step behind and have more than one training issue that I may never figure out, but after my last "trainer" I'm not sure I will ever trust one again.

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    1. Boy you are right about big business and from the looks of it Tommy got carried away with it to such a point he quit working. I hear he is gone from RFD-TV and he is no longer the golden child in the Arab show ring....but how could he be when his horses weren't being worked except when the clients showed up at the barn. The thing I never could understand about B is even seeing that she still put her trust in him. She worked there and saw his work ethic before her horse ever went to him. I don't know what made her think her horse would somehow be something special and actually get the work she was paying for. I learned a huge lesson from that experience.

      I really like Jody Strand. He wasn't selling anything at his clinic here and he was kind to the horses. Also I heard that he told a client she could leave his barn if she wasn't willing to stop being aggressive with her horse.

      I think I have learned the same lesson as you. I doubt I will trust another trainer ever again and maybe it is more I will never trust myself to select another one but eithere way I have had it with my horses paying for my mistakes.

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  6. I have yet to see Buck. I have heard it is worth watching though so maybe one of these days I will Netflix it.

    I have watched a few episodes of some show on RFD back in the day of TG and was not impressed. Maybe he was good at something at some point, but from what I seen? You could list your discs on Ebay or CL and hopefully recoup some of the loss...

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    1. Yes, I was thinking about selling them on ebay because I doubt I will ever look at them. They were made during his RFD period and I doubt they will have what I am looking for might just as well get back what I can. Don't have an idea where to even start the bidding and would like to get as much as possible. I did look on his website and he isn't even selling them anymore. Interesting, don't you think.

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  7. Hi, Now here is a really interesting article. never heard of this T Garland, I`ll google him later.

    I bought the best book ever, way back. I didnt realise it at first. It was by a guy called Buck Branaman. Its called "Ground work".
    Fantastic isnt the word, changed all my ideas, and it made me a better worker with horses.

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    1. Did you mention this on your blog at some point. Seems like I recall you making mention of this. I know when I first encountered John Lyons (he was my first experience with this type of training and also a student of Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt) it had the same effect of me.

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  8. You may be able to find something comparable on Ebay and get a ballpark idea of where your pricing should be. Or, your starting bid could be close to the amount that you paid for them. Just an idea.

    I hear you about the trainer situation. My sister has a 7-year-old mare with a great work ethic and a cheerful, people-oriented personality, and she would like someone to get her horse started under saddle. She's afraid to send her to the trainer because she doesn't want her horse abused, but she also doesn't want to do the training because she doesn't want to get hurt. It's really, really tough to find someone who can be trusted to get the job done in a kind, humane manner that's consistent with what you want.

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    1. I did check ebay and even the closed auctions but I'll get it figured out. Seems like they were in the neighborhood of $40 a piece but that seems high to begin on ebay but then with the current free listing, I guess it can't hurt to try there and now I have an app I can list from my phone so I have no excuses about pain and sitting here at the computer.

      I don't know what part of the country you are in but I was thinking after watching Buck over and over about checking out some of the people featured there. I'm thinking those long time advocators of his work probably have a network that would include some worthwhile leads.

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  9. I've watched a lot of different clinicians go through similar phases over the years. First they are helpful, then they start doing introductions so that you'll buy more later, then they just sell tickets to advertisements for their products. Eventually, the figure out that people resent that, and they learn to be helpful again, but the technique they use is to say, "Ask your horse to..." but purposefully neglect to mention the mechanics of how to ask a horse to do it. Then people feel compelled to buy their books and videos to get the details. There's an art to making the kind of living they make. They can't give everything away for free. They can only offer a taste. But those who truly are in it for the good of the horse tend to be more generous in giving out useful information.

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  10. I have never seen it either, I mean to and then time gets away, the more I hear about it the more I want to

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