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So I currently go to a barn about an hour away from my house. It's considered a private farm, so really only people to contact the owner and pass the entry test can go see the horses there and such. The woman who owns the barn (and has taught me most of what I know about human psychology and horses psychology and how we interact) tells me she is a self taught trainer. She has thousands of dollars worth of books and bought training video sets (from trainers such as Buck Brannaman, Mark Rashid, Ray Hunt, etc.) which she said she used to create her own preferred way of training (though she adjusts according to what each horse responds best to). She grew up with horses as well, and she has been running a rescue, rehab, retrain, rehome type operation since her early twenties (she is now mid to late fifties) and she has made quite the name for herself in her community.

Now, I don't know if any of you consider yourselves self taught, but I was wondering, if you do consider yourself self taught, how did you get to where you are today? Do you still train horses, or are you mostly a leisure rider/trainer with a different job on the side? Are you neither of those things?
If you want to put the time into telling your story, that works. If you'd rather keep it quick and straight to the point, that works too.
 

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I think It's possible to be successfully self taught in something like horse psychology, as long as you've previously had the basic fundamentals. However, I think there is a limit to how much you can teach yourself. I also don't believe the same for riding since what is correct is not always what feels correct. I think of myself as self taught in some areas, but I've had a ton of different trainers that gave me something to build on previously and I continue to follow up with lessons.

Many concepts in this sport are difficult to grasp without experienced eyes on the ground and I've learned over the years that there can be several different methods to accomplish one activity. What works for one horse may not work for another.
 

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I would find it too difficult to accomplish things on my own without guidance. I worked with about a half a dozen trainers before I started training on my own for the public. Even then I ran into a problem, rather than try to figure it out on a client's horse, I hauled to a trainers place and paid them to show me how to accomplish what I needed to do for that horse. I might have been able to figure it out on my own but in the meantime I would have been mucking around with somebody else's horse and confusing it. If it was my own horse, I probably would have mucked around.
 

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First of all she is not self taught. If she has studied books by Ray Hunt, Mark Rashid, etc, then she learned from those guys. And the individual horses she trained apparently taught her how to tweak those fundamentals in order to best serve their needs. I'm glad it's working for her but she didn't reinvent the wheel.
 
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