My pony Miss Chief was owned before she was born, she was bred to be a show pony by some very good friends of mine and at that time, I was looking to upgrade as I was a regular competitor on the show circuit in Victoria and most weekends I was out and about at country agricultural shows.
It was always my dream to have the ultimate “show pony” and this time I had the opportunity to start from scratch.
Looking back now, it would of never occurred to me that our life then would take a different pathway, one that would end up committing ourselves to the pursuit of excellence but of a different kind – “horsemanship became our quest” the knowledge that takes into consideration the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing of the horse.
I was introduced to “Natural Horsemanship” by a friend, while mustering some cattle on his far North Queensland property and he was talking about things that I had never heard about and I became intrigued…
On returning to Melbourne, I was lucky enough to book myself into a horsemanship clinic the following weekend and during that forty five minute introduction, I learnt more about horses than I had learnt in the past twenty years, most of which had been from trial and error. I was hooked there and then, I always knew that I wanted to teach, as I have this innate obsession for wanting to share information with others that will benefit them in some way and this was it, this was to be my future…
At that time, Natural Horsemanship was a new movement and had been brought to Australia by Pat Parelli in the 1990’s and my research showed that the majority of Natural Horsemanship Instructors and Horse Trainers lived in Queensland and so I decided that that is where I needed to be, packing up my belongings and pony and closing down my visual merchandising business, I was on a mission to become a horseman.
In the early days, I had the privilege of studying directly with Pat and his instructors, Ken Faulkner, David Grace, Melanie Flemming and Shane and Meredith Ransley.
In the early 2000’s I continued my horsemanship journey with Shane and Meredith Ransley who had ventured out on their own to develop and create “Quantum Savvy” an online educational programme for students and future instructors and horse trainers. I owe so much to this team and in later years my friend and colleague Melinda Peacock for my own personal growth and knowledge. Their wisdom, passion and commitment to making the world a better place for horses has definitely helped mold and shape the person that I am today.
Our partnership has now spanned twenty one years and we are still pursuing the quest of knowledge in the endeavors to help others discover and enjoy the same level of partnership. As a Professional Horsemanship Coach with Miss Chief as my assistant, we have helped many students to discover a new way of communication and understanding, to have more fun, be safer and get great enjoyment from their horses – after all, isn’t that what we have our horses for?
I will be forever in debt to this amazing pony, she has changed my life on so many levels, helped me to reach my goals and to live my dreams, she asked me to step up and become a better person and trusted me many times when I did not trust myself, she waited patiently for me to learn and turned up day after day, even if she was repeating the same thing, for at times I was a slow learner. If we are lucky enough in our life time, we get the one horse above all, who will teach you more about yourself than any other human could ever do.
I hope that some of our experiences and knowledge gained along the way that I share in this blog, will in some small way add to your own journey so it will become as fulfilling and life changing as ours.