Today I came across a kindred spirit! I just spent the last hour lost in a series of articles on being a working student. Tik Maynard is a Canadian writer/rider who’s been spending the last year traveling and working all over the world for various top trainers in the Olympic disciplines. His article “One Day With Ian Millar” is the top story on the Chronicle of the Horse today, and it’s a zinger. Once I read what Tik had to say about that ill-fated day, I clicked through to his website, where he wrote candidly and honestly about his various experiences of the last year. Those words are in italics because, let’s face it, too much horse-related writing is nothing but fluff and praise. I’ve even been known to write the occasional fluff piece myself (wink). But Tik doesn’t’ mince words about the positive and negative aspects of working for some big and famous trainers who seemed, um, a bit above making an effort to relate to him. And he’s just as honest about his positive experiences with some of the “good guys.”
Why are Tik and I one and the same? In 2007 I packed up my life and traveled to Europe to work for a couple of big riders, and I saw so many similarities between Tik’s experiences and my own. Thankfully, I was never faced with the situation he got himself into with Ian Millar, but man could I relate. My Ludo Philappaerts to his Johann Hinnemann, my Peter Wylde to his Ingrid Klimke. I’ve lived his “Lord of the Manor” article pretty much to the letter.
Like Tik, I also wrote about my working student experiences in a series of articles (click here and scroll down to I’m a Stable Girl Now!) for a horse magazine, but I have to say that my series don’t hold a candle to these articles in the bravery department. This guy does not hesitate to lay his honest thoughts out there for all to read. Better, he does it with style.
Check out Tik Maynard! He’s going to get some heat for these articles, but he’s got my respect!