Lessons/Natural Horsemanship Help On Site Natural Horsemanship Training / Guidance / Lessons and Confidence Building for you and your horse!
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After numerous requests for lessons, training, desensitizing, or confidence building for people and/or their personal horses I am confident that this new, on-site, hands-on training and guidance for both horse and human is one of the best possible training solutions and learning opportunities available.
Be it starting out (or assisting in the starting out) of an untrained young horse, correcting problematic or dangerous issues, putting refresher time on a horse who has been sitting, guiding a person or horse new to Natural Horsemanship through lessons, helping a new owner better understand their horse, or just being a hands-on and real-time resource for someone who wants to build their bond and partnership with their horse but who may not have the confidence to begin Natural Horsemanship alone. I am a friendly, non-judgmental, and easy person to talk to. During a horse lesson/training I talk through what I am doing, step by step, and explain why we are doing it, as well as answer any questions you have. I know personally that DVD's and Free or paid Clinics are great tools and resources and they are all some people or some horses need. However sometimes, especially when we are new to it or have a more challenging horse, it can be difficult to translate what we see on DVD to reading and communicating with our horse even minutes thereafter. We also don't want a situation or behavior to become worse by using methods you are not fully familiar with and/or cannot follow through with.
When you and your horse work together, someone in the partnership has to have confidence and be the leader. If the person cannot or does not take that role in a fair and compassionate way, it is only logical that (by default or will) the horse has to assume that role in a way true to a horses instinctive nature in the given situation... and how that end results may or may not be fair or compassionate to either of you. A well trained horse will to act beyond their natural skill sets for survival out of trust, respect, confidence, and training. However if we lack the skill or confidence to be a safe and effective leader, most horse over time will regress further and further to acting out of necessity for their safety and survival. That does not mean they are bad horses, it means that they, like us, want to be safe. Sound like what you're looking for But...
Unfamiliar with or Never done Natural Horsemanship?
Heard about it but worried it may be too advanced for you or your horse's current ability?
Started with it once, but didn't get the results you saw or know others got? Or even got some good results, but then ran into new problems you didn't know how to address?
No Problem! I was in your shoes too. My only regret regarding Natural Horsemanship is that I didn't start it 10+ years sooner. I can guarantee that if you give an honest and continued effort to make these amazing tools and ideologies work for you, you will have a much better (and safer) relationship with your horse and every horse you have the pleasure to encounter in the future. It is said that any horse can learn Natural Horsemanship, but there are people who, for whatever reason, will refuse to. I know that is true as unfortunately I used to be one of them. Natural Horsemanship is a journey. The best way to get started down the path is to take your first step and I would love to help you and your horse do that.
What Methods do you use? I have studied training methods and techniques of and attended and/or ridden with National and Internationally known Professional Natural Horsemanship trainers including Pat and Linda Parelli, Buck Brannaman, Julie Goodnight, Chris Cox and more. Additionally I have 20+ years of working with and training horses myself, with kind conventional methods and Natural Horsemanship methods. That said, I do not use just one teaching or follow just one trainer.
I personally feel that by being a Big Named trainer promoting just one method actually inhibits one's ability to do the best by each horse individually in any given situation. By knowing multiple methods training techniques and reading the horse well, we as individuals have the freedom and ability to use Natural Horsemanship methodology and training tools and techniques promoted by numerous Amazing Horseman to custom fit each horse's needs. I think our goal as leaders and horsemen and women is to make things make sense for the horse. Most horses have what it takes to be great partners for us; we just have to learn what it takes to be great leaders and supporters for them.
Horses mirror their handlers abilities, confidences, and leadership... Or lack thereof and experience is often hard won but sadly, more then too often, at an innocent horse's expense. When we don't have the knowledge or experience to know where we are with a horse, how we got there, and what we need to do differently to get different results we can get uncertain, in confident, scared, ridged, angry, erratic, or too soft and often times we will bounce between a number of them, only further confusing the horse.
Knowledge IS power. The power knowledge gains us however is not something we use against the horse; rather it is something we use to better our handicap in bridging the gap in communicating efficiently with another species. Horses truly are amazing in that, time after time, they will give us their heart and soul if we know how to ask for it. The biggest problem we run into with horses is the fact that Horses are experts at being horses and people are experts at being people. When we learn how to work together however; and by balancing Trust, Confidence, and Respect, we can be Horsemen and Horsewomen.
Whymight this be better than sending my horse off for training? The short answer- Because your horse might learn some great things away at training, but you will not. Most likely if you had the time, skills, or ability to train your horse yourself you wouldn't pay upwards to $600-$700 a month to send him into an unknown environment where the trainer may or may not train the way they said they would or you hoped they would. Even under the guidance of a well-respected, knowledgeable, fair and kind trainer the horse will learn skill sets and abilities, but the rider most likely cannot learn all the skills and abilities to maintain that horse's knowledge in the few free lessons often offered in the training fee. Additionally, I don't think we should just train horses... I think we can do better than that by investing into teaching the horse to think and be a problem solver and to work as a partner. If we do that, we won't need to constantly 'refresh' them after they have been off, instead we can just start giving them the opportunity to be problem solvers again. To do that however, we need to know how to set up the problems in ways that make sense to the horse. By doing that our ideas becomes their ideas. That is part of what I can help you learn to do.
I don't have a round pen. Is that OK? I think training flexibility is very important. I can work with you and your horse in any safe working environment. Having a round-pen with good clean footing available is obviously nice, however not necessary. Eventually every horse should advance beyond the confines of a round pen anyway. If the situation demands, options are available for horses that are extremely green or a horse who may otherwise poise a threat to themselves and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
If I have horse friends or family members that want to learn too, can they come and watch? If so do you charge them? I don't think there is a horse or human that cannot benefit from Natural Horsemanship. My goal is to help as many horses as I can. I think a good way to do that is by helping as many people as I can. I love teaching and sharing this and do not mind others learning with you. No, I do not charge them. It might even be advantageous for you to consider splitting the lesson, or coordinating hauling one horse to the others place, etc. or rotating lessons to watch each other with their horse. Since every horse is different, we might ask your friends horse(s) to do the same thing, in different way. I talk throughout the lesson and by working with a couple different horses from owners in attendance I can make comparisons to how we might approach a different horse in the same situation a little differently so that everyone can learn a little bit more. Adjusting the situation or Lesson for the horse is setting the horse and human up for success, not failure... and that is our job and responsibility as good leaders.
I've never done anything like this before- What can I expect in my first lesson? First off, I am not a Magazine Cowgirl or Rodeo Queen. I don't have a glittery belt, blingy jeans, or fancy boots. That is neither who I am nor who I try to be. Beyond that, however, you can expect Horsemanship.
You and your horses experience, training level, and needs will always dictate what we will do in any lesson. I will bring all necessary tools to lessons including halters, lead ropes, handy stick or flag, surcingle’s, assortment of desensitizing objects, and saddle, etc. unless otherwise arranged. However what we use of those tools is always subject to where we are mentally and physically with your horse. As my goal is always to set the horse up for success, not failure. I encourage you to call to discuss you and your horse before our first lesson and we can at that time discuss further what we might look forward to accomplishing on our first meeting and any subsequent ones. It is important to understand that upon my first visit your horse (like any and all of mine I have taken in to work with) will have no reason to love, trust, or respect me. He or she will also have no reason to fear me in particular, however depending on previous handling/training, may at first. Whenever working with horses I like asking (and teaching people how to ask) the horse what we can accomplish on any given day; that helps build repore, confidence, respect, and trust more then anything I know. Additionally, it helps keep horse and human safe. I think Confidence, Respect and Trust in an equal balance are the three key things needed in any horse for a safe ride and partner. Achieving a balance is important though, as too much respect for the human can take away the horses trust, too much confidence in the horse, can take away his respect, etc. By always asking rather than demanding, we learn to read the horse, adjust with the horse, and ultimately achieve that balance.
With extreme Left Brained horses (often characterized by being dominate, pushy, evasive, lazy, bossy, etc.) when we ask the answer will likely be no or maybe even ABSOLUTELY NOT. But with time, consistency, and follow through those answers will begin to become maybes and eventually yes's. Extreme Right brained horses (often characterized by being timid, shy, skeptical, weary, spooky, etc.) may try to do anything to avoid conflict or pressure and may be spooky or jumpy and over reactive at first. How we ask those two different types of horses to do the same thing might be a little different, but the objective will be the same. Build a confident, willing partner who thinks for you, not against you. Not familiar with Left Brained/Right Brained, Introvert/Extrovert terminology? No Problem. What kind of horse or previous training your horse may have does not change what we do, but it may change how I and we do it. I will help teach you how to look for ques your horse gives off. Their body language is their only line of communication, so it is up to us (and important for both our and their safety) to understand it. What is your rate and how far will you drive? My hourly rate is $40.00 per hour for new clients + drive (2015 mileage rate of $.57 cents/mile) from zip code 54762. Check for long distance availability or considerations. Have close by Friends or family members who may also consider lessons/training/guidance? Trip Charges can be split when booked same day/same trip! Overnight multiple day trips may be available (contact with interest).
Contact me for Introductory Pricing and availability!
How about trail riding issues? Can you help me with my horses trail habits? I think 99.9% of any issue or problematic behavior we have with a horse (or a horse has with us) is a result of a lack or imbalance of Trust, Confidence, and/or Respect. By taking a step back and evaluating our foundation, doing the ground work, and gaining better communication and understanding with and from your horse, allot of the problems we encounter on the trail will likely already be better when we encounter them. By getting to know your horse we will see what areas he or she need the most help in (Trust, Confidence, or Respect) and work together to build on it in a somewhat controlled environment where we can set both horse and human up for success, not failure. By doing this it will allow you to have much better confidence in yourself and your abilities when external environmental factors become challenging (in addition to being much safer). Once we feel your horse is ready, I can assist you with trail issues and vices in a number of ways be it solo or partner riding, etc. However I think it is important to consider if we have issues on the trail then we have issues on the ground. Horses outweigh us by upwards or over 1/2 a ton and has 4 legs verse our 2. One of my favorite things about riding a horse is choosing when and how I get off. If we look for trouble hard enough with any horse, we can find it. That doesn't mean avoiding training areas of opportunity; it simply means establishing and/or confirming a solid and balanced level of Trust, Confidence, and Respect first and foremost. When we get that on the ground, and in a home setting, you will be amazed at what it does for your horse in any other setting presented in hand or astride under saddle.
All of this sounds pretty long, in-depth, systematic or maybe even too fluffy. How long before I would see results? How quickly you and your horse pick up on this will vary. Where you and your horse are and where you want to go will also vary. I guarantee, however, you will see good results in your very first lesson and you and your horses knowledge (as well as Trust, Confidence, and Respect both in and for each other) will improve with every subsequent one. I think Good Quality Training and Time is generally what separates what most people see as a "good" horse from what they see as a "bad" one. And horses don't have the choice to better themselves with Education. It is something we have to provide for them.
How Can I see some of your work? I have over 300 YouTube video starting in '08 and '09 and post year around. Please feel free to view any number of them at: http://www.youtube.com/user/Spabbie Also, I invite you to Subscribe to my videos; then you will get notifications when I get new videos online! Other requests/interest? Contact me : ) I want to find ways and be available to help.