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tionships that we have with our horses will not always be smooth sailing. The mere presence of resistance or difficulty does not automatically indicate the need for a career change. You could just be going through a tough period in what is otherwise absolutely the right discipline for your horse. It’s not that a problem exists, but rather it’s the length of time that a problem exists that might be an indication that your horse may not be as well suited for his work as you previously thought. I want to add, that not every horse may be able to attain the highest level in its discipline. Just because an animal seems to have all of the attributes required for success in his field, does not mean that he will actually do the work. This is yet another reason that a career change may be in the cards, otherwise be happy at the level he has achieved thus far.

Sadly, trainers often know that their client should be told to consider changing their horse’s career, but do not say anything, as they would face losing money if their client would seek a new trainer in the new field. In my opinion, trainers should take the high road if this is the case, as the immediate money realized from lesson fees etc. is not worth an animal’s misery. Good advice, with the horse’s best interest at heart, will

bring more revenue down the road from referrals that previous happy clients will provide.

Breeders that have spent huge amounts of time and money breeding horses for specific endeavors are often blinded by that fact and fail to see that a change in a horse’s career would be best. If you are riding an animal that you bred yourself, be careful not to let your deep attachment to him cloud your judg- ment.

In my experience, knowing that you’ve done right by your horse can provide a great satisfaction. It may not be the same as the realization of your equestrian dreams, but remember, you want to realize those dreams while riding/driving a happy horse, well suited for the work that’s been chosen for him.

WT

About Lee Fiore: Lee has enjoyed a lifetime involved with horses. She has experienced success in a variety of equine disciplines as both a competitor and trainer. She resides in Ocala, Florida.

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