My horse, Honey, was professionally 'started' by Richard 'Max' Maxwell and when she came back was great to ride and would load happily in a variety of lorries and trailers. However, the problems started when my husband and I finally realised our ambition and purchased an old lorry of our own.
After much refurbishing, including rubber matting, special non-slip covering for the ramp etc. we were ready………….. Honey, however, had other ideas and refused point blank to go anywhere near the lorry. We were patient and never punished her - instead we tried ever method we had read about or seen to persuade her up the ramp. In desperation, I would inch my way backwards up the ramp with a feed bucket while Honey did a great impersonation of an ant eater while still refusing to put a foot on the ramp.
Finally I contacted Lindsay and we arranged to take Honey round to see her (only in the same village fortunately!). First she worked with Honey in her round pen and soon achieved 'join-up' with her. After some time, she asked my husband to reverse the lorry into one side of the pen from which a section had been removed to gain access. Lindsay then proceeded to load Honey. I couldn't believe how easily she went in and felt quite emotional! She then took Honey in and out several times and then invited me to try. At first I found it hard not to tug her up the ramp but soon got the hang of leading her in positively and confidently, keeping my eyes forward and looking where we were going. We eventually drove her back to her stables in the lorry! Since the loading has been fairly trouble free and if she does have a 'wobble', it's because I forget to be positive! Honey has also recently helped my husband's new horse to overcome his fear of loading and happily leads the way up the ramp! Thanks Lindsay! ANGIE WITH HONEY
It was only when my horse Cupid was being backed that I began to realise what a nervous and complicated character he really is. Thanks to Lindsay, we were able to work through his quite often dramatic reactions, and within only 3 weeks had a horse that was happy to wear tack, could be long-lined and would carry a rider. However, it was Lindsay's continued support over the following year that really made the difference. She was able to offer advice on how to tackle the many problems we encountered and was always happy to make time to come and help us when I called! Thanks to her, I now have a horse that is confident and happy in his work. My riding, confidence and handling skills have all changed beyond belief.
My aim when I brought him was to be a pair of 'happy hackers', last summer we competed in an endurance ride! Thanks Lindsay!
EMMA WITH CUPID
It was a long time coming but when I first came across Monty Roberts many of my questions were answered. I had never been one to stick strictly to the path of traditional methods when it came to handling and keeping my horses but I lacked direction. So many parts of the jigsaw fell into place as I began to use the techniques promoted by Monty Roberts and attended the courses ran by Kelly Marks and the Intelligent Horsemanship Association. It also inspired me investigate and use other methods of non-confrontational training as well. I've found working in partnership with horses particularly when you experience moments of harmony and breakthrough in communication overcoming many issues as a result of experiencing fear and aggression, to be immensely rewarding and it can be such fun too! You never stop learning, it's a life-long journey.
I have learnt that creating Sound Foundations for any young horse is so essential to set them up for a productive and fulfilling life. Calm consistency remembering that you teach your horse all the time you are together have been the guidelines I've found most useful.
Techniques to handle horses in a professional and non-confrontational manner is an essential prerequisite for this type of work. I hope you enjoy viewing the examples below:
I purchased Arizona as a 2 1/2 year old recently gelded pure Arabian who was very successfully shown as a colt. Arizona has a strong and independent attitude and is one of the most spirited and challenging horses I have ever handled. We continue to build on a bond of mutual respect and partnership by channeling his energies into creative and interesting pursuits!
Some fun activities to view...