The hardest people to teach are the ones who adhere to a tradition or system. Not all traditions are all good or all bad – but an open mind makes the best deal for the horse. Some traditions prove effective over time, while pieces of it come into question as we learn more about horses bodies and minds. Some people are still unwilling to change their ideas even when disproven with data and hard scientific research. Just because it’s been done a certain way for a long time, doesn’t mean it can’t be changed.
That being said, you don’t have to throw the baby out with the bath water. I let the health and well-being of my horses over time be my guide, with an eye out for new research toward best practices for care, keeping, and training.
On the other hand, it’s hard to teach people who don’t have a guidepost and are swayed by every YouTube horse trainer and magazine article, because they don’t have an understanding of basic principles. As with everything, there is a nice middle ground – open minded to new ideas, even if they contradict the ones you spent a lot of time building, but steadfast in principle – as with everything, doing what’s best for the horse.