I learned to clip from a halter trainer who's girlfriend was a groom at Lasma back in the high dollar days of the Arabian horse world. Back when Paradise Park was home to the Scottsdale show and Westworld was only a thought. Karho stood proudly next door with all of it's white pillars and magnificent beauty. Farms of all kinds lined both sides of Bell Road with pastures, fountains and long glorious driveways.
Jerry taught me to clip at the farm we worked out of, on a big grey gelding, because of the simple fact- Jerry hated clipping. He absolutely hated it. Thanks to him I not only learned a useful skill, but the horses didn't have to suffer through someone clipping on them while hating every minute of it. I have seen horses ruined by clip jobs like that. I have also seen lousy clip jobs coming from situations like those. Nobody wins there.
With everything in life, if you don't enjoy it, don't bother doing it. It's a waste of not only your time and money, but also a waste of time for your teacher or coach. They could be teaching someone else during the time you are wasting, while you are going through the motions. Just doing something to make someone else happy is not a way to do a good job or learn anything. On the contrary, your attitude may end up discouraging others while you are breaking things including tools and equipment, ruining it all for everyone else in the process. You get out of it what you put into it. Crappy attitudes bring half assed poor results.
When the interest is there, it makes teaching a little easier sometimes. Sometimes. Only because the talent does not always come with the interest. There are things I would like to learn how to do, but it doesn't come easy for me. I have to work a bit harder at perfecting it and it still doesn't happen as nicely as I would like or think it should. And just when I think I have it down pat, something else goes wrong, comes up, falls off, unwinds, unravels, hangs up or the wheels fall off. You get the picture. Then some days it all falls into place and works perfectly or smoothly. The next day its a completely frustrating and utter disaster! What gives???
We are our own worst critics. We want everything the way we want it and how we pictured it in our minds. While we may think we are clipping a horse to turn out flawless, there ends up being clipper lines galore. Everywhere. Making the horse look like they got into a fight with a lawnmower and lost. Aaaack!
Someone else comes along and wisks the hair away effortlessly, without any lines or mistakes to be seen. But ask them about the job they just did and their list of errors and mistakes are endless... They go back over areas you see nothing and more hair comes off. How did they see that? More importantly you ask yourself, how did I miss that?
It's the same thing with riding. The horse may be willing and giving me everything they can, but as the rider, I am still blocking their movement, restricting them in some way and not exactly helping them out. Everything may look good, but it can still look so much better.
Then someone else climbs on and Holy Smokes! Did anyone else know the horse could buck like that? Just kidding. They could get a whole new level of softness and movement from the horse making my jaw drop. Damn them! Why doesn't she move like that for me? What am I doing wrong? Or not doing at all? I couldn't see them doing anything different. What's the deal here?
And that's where the questions begin. That's where our choices come in. Do we teach them and help them or shut others down and shut them out? That's where the learning starts. That's where the horses show us when, where and how to improve. It's a process of developing an eye for these things and a way to correct them when they happen. The process never ends and sometimes you never know when or where you find the answers, let alone who's holding the keys.