I am all about the phrase "Knowledge is Power!". I used it a lot when I was a librarian. I had a t-shirt with the slogan on the back. However, in my horse-life I've decided, Too Much Information, aka TMI, can be confusing and unproductive especially when it comes to figuring out what you want, or need, to do with your horse. Kind of sounds contradictory, I realize, but the past six years, I've been through tons of information and lately, I've decided I need to glean what is useful to me and my horses. Yeah, took me that long to figure it out for myself.
There comes a point where TMI can hurt your progress more than it helps. There comes a point when TMI leads to confusion. Most of the time this is in the areas of training techniques, clinicians and horse health, to name the most common concerns.
Back in 2004 I left a librarian/branch manager position at our local branch library. Too stressful. Imagine that! A library.Turned out I'm not a public oriented type. If you ever get a chance to talk to a librarian, I'm sure you'll hear similar stories. My son is working for a community college library. I have to laugh at his tales. They are similar to my experiences. Anyway, after I left that job, I decided I was going to take the time I had to make my dream come true, the one I'd had since I was a child, horses. My husband was all for it, our sons were grown, and we were in a position where one income would work for us.
We prepared the property. Learned the best fencing to put in, built a run-in type shed area, and all the other amenities needed to make a couple of horses comfortable. I took riding lessons which led to a part time job at a summer camp helping with their riding program. There I was, a 45 year old woman working with teenagers, but it was probably one of the best summers I ever spent! I learned so much about horse behavior that year. I was happy to have the opportunity. After the summer, the stable needed another assistant so I stayed on. It was a hands-on opportunity to learn more about horses and riding.
That fall I bought my two horses, brought them home and worried I wasn't doing things right for about the next 5 years. I watched clinicians. Ordered books. Watched videos. Observed one clinician (on RFDtv or video) I really liked for a couple of months then switched to another which ended up being a pattern. Finally, about a year ago I had an epiphany. I needed to find what exactly worked for me and stick to it. Not necessarily one clinician although that's a help if you can be particularly loyal, but your own consistent techniques. Since I decided I wasn't doing a cookie cutter type of training I've been more relaxed and my horses are responding in kind.
What am I getting at here? Well, you need to have all the knowledge you can acquire to pursue any goal in life. But in the getting there, don't get caught up in the right or wrong of who or what. Some people will flourish following the exact techniques of a clinician. Others will find that too restricted and will discover their own talents in following their horse's particular character and talents. We are in an age where we are extremely fortunate to have tons of information available to us. Don't allow TMI to cloud your goals. Knowledge is POWER but TMI can overwhelm.
Enjoy the journey!