Oh goodness, where do I start?
As I said, I started out as 14 year old invinci-teenager with a need to flaunt my knowledge. At the time I was working as one of the 'lowly' volunteers, mucking, turning out horses, etc- but I was being allowed to (not smart on the part of the farm owner) work with their almost 2 year old miniature horse filly Sour, and I had been working for her for 1 1/2 years already. I wasn't necessarily ruining her, considering that she was actually just going to be put down before I began working with her, but I was using less than stellar methods with no care for my own safety. By the time that I found HF, I had already been bitten four or five times by her, and kicked twice. One of those times I was bruised to badly that my entire hip and thigh turned blue and purple.
So I came onto HF all high and mighty, flaunting my 'horse saving abilities' with Sour my monster horse. At that time she let me handle her...sort of. She still bit, still tried to kick if I wasn't careful, and lunged at other people. Oh yeah, I was one great horse trainer.
And Sour wasn't the end of it. In the town where we live, even though horses are everywher, no one really understands correct horse care or training. Lying a horse down was considered to be a method anyone can use, spurs, mechanical hackamores, unfitted saddles, and sweet feed were the norm. Even at our farm we had an assortment of bike-chain bits, tomb thumbs, MH, twisted snaffles, etc. And the worst part is that we used them. If your horse acted out, you just put something stronger on it. All of our horses were ridden in tie downs or martingales to keep their heads down.
So you can imagine everyone's reaction when I come bouncing in with my inadequate knowledge and horrifying assortment of equipment. I definitely got my butt whooped more than one time, and I put quite the fuss up more often than not. (Anyone remember my first thread about two mexican trained, ewe necked, head-cranked-to-chest stallions that I thought were worth their weight in gold? xD) But I couldn't possibly be wrong! EVERYONE in my town had horses like this.
Well eventually, I realized that maybe I was POSSIBLY wrong, and started reading. What I didnt find here, I went and researched. I called and talked to vets, employed the help of a wonderful trainer to help me with Sour-the-aweful, sent letters to experts, and bought books. Everyone, to their credit, was very gracious to me and helped me learn. After a while I aquired enough knowledge to start integrating some of what I was learning into our farm, by educating everyone.
Short story short, two years later I am proud to say that thanks to all of you and the few experts (true experts, not 'experts' xD) that helped me, there isn't a bag of sweet feed to be found on our property, our hay is high quality, all of our horses are in good flesh, and you won't find a single bike-chain bit, gag, twisted wire snaffle, or tomb thumb in our tack room. Our saddles more or less fit, they're wormed correctly, and I personally manage all of their nutritional healthy. Sour is now a very well behaved (though she's still Sour...haha)r old 4 y driving pony, and everyone loves her!
Ofcourse, like I said, I still know next to nothing compared to most of you, and there is a lot to be improved on our farm. Our farrier work is less than stellar (something I unfortunately cant control and they ignore me preaching about) but its a far cry from what it was, and I KNOW that our horses than the HF and all of its members xD
now just imagine if I stayed stuck in my ways? O_o I wouldnt have had to oportunity to help an entire stable do a 180 and it would have been all my fault!
Granted, a few members could have been more tactful in critisizing me, but hey. I'll take some blame for doing that on occasion as well!
Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
them are meant to stay till the end.