Okay, I'll add my 2 cents, because, well why not?
Don't drink the Kool-Aid!
Don't take any one persons word or opinion as the gospel and don't follow people blindly, ever. Question everything all the time.
People will give their opinions and in a variety and often abrasive ways, but take it with a grain of salt an absorb it to make yourself better. The better you are, the better off your horses will be.
You'll hear everything from:
" OMG he has shoes on you're killing him!" to " OMG he's barefoot, you can't show he'll go lame!" you'll get the same thing about feed, stalls, bits, blankets and everything under the sun related to horses.
The truth is it's not so black and white all the time, learn from multiple sources, and never think you have all the answers.
I've done Barrel racing, trail riding, hunters, jumpers, dressage, and now I'm into eventing, I also like ranch horse versatility, cutting, reining, and the more 'rustic' western competitions. There are very few sports that I won't try my hand at, that keeps me fresh and learning.
I also don't give two flying rats rear ends about what breed a horse is. Granted I 'prefer' certain breeds, but I won't snub a grade, draft, gaited, mutt, or purebred of any kind, I love all horses. So long as the horse can soundly and sanely do it's job, who cares what breed, sex, or color it is?
Read books from multiple authors, read various websites, join multiple forums, attend clinics by well known and unknown trainers, you never know what you'll pick up. There is no one right way to train a horse.
I will however caution to stay away from trainers who cannot 'teach' without insulting, be it a gender, breed, or discipline, try to stay away from them as they tend to be more hate monger than actual trainer.
Also don't buy into the whole ' You must buy my expensive equipment or you'll fail!' speech some trainers put out there.
I've read well over 2,000 (yup I've kept track) books on horse care, breeds, breeding, sports, and history. I continue to read to learn more.
All in all, I'm saying be open to everything, the day you close your mind to a new method or opinion is the day you'll stop learning and begin to stagnate.
"They see me rollin, They hatin, Patrolling they tryin to catch me ridin dirty"