Retirement was approaching and I always have a “5 yr plan” for myself
While on Vacation in West Virginia, and with my dear husband’s encouragement I went for a ride in the mountains of West Virginia.
Six months later, now age 53 or thereabout I bought a horse.
Now, my previous riding included a couple of years of doing all of my riding bareback, trail, jumping ect. so falling off is not what I am prone to do so I went to look a horse advertised “for experienced rider only”. Which I realize now that I was not, he was a young 5 yr old Missouri Foxtrotter, when I went to look at him, he was not the horse of my dreams so I decided not to buy him. But as fate would have it, as I was exiting, he stuck his head over the stall door as if he didn’t want me to leave, and well.. that was it, he came home to live with me one month later.
Ok, so I was not prone to falling off, but this horse always has a few extra tricks in his repertoire. Over the next 8 years I continued to deal with escalating issues of mutual fear and disrespect. It was not all bad, he can be an angle or a total nightmare, not much in between. I had sought out professional help on occasion, some things helped, some didn’t, nothing ever felt “quite right”. I usually had a big knot in my gut. Is anyone relating to all of this?
Then I found Evon, she was recommended by my farrier. On our first meeting or 2 I told her outright that I didn’t believe her assessment of my horse/human relationship, but I did agree to do the simple things she asked me to do. I had wasted a good bit of money previously trying to get help, so I figured I didn’t have much to loose trying her suggestions. Honestly, it only took a couple of hours over a couple of lessons! With a change-up in MY attitude and CONSISTENCY in my new routine in handling my horse in a different way, my horse/human relationship improved ! I had found my CURE, my husband and other folks have indeed noticed adifference and can’t believe it is the same horse. Now, he would follow me into the house if I asked him too. Trust me, we still have work to do, but now I have the TOOLS, and a PLAN, with my emotions under control, I feel all is well.
With a new CONFIDENCE and a gentle touch, my relationships with all of the horses I handle daily has been altered for the better. With HORSES 1, 2, 3, I am GETTING IT, NetObjects Web Design Placeholderagain I still need to practice more, but who dosen’t? Even at my age, I am still looking to improve and enjoy my horse, but I am not looking anywhere but to Evon’s program. Do I still look at other trainers and their suggestions, sure I do, but I AM NOT A TRAINER, so no longer am I trying to emulate them. I am staying out of trouble and having fun. I could have sent my horse out for training, but he would have had to come home and dealt with ME !
See or experience a clinic with Evon, and you will find that her method works with every breed and handler level. It is so much fun to ride in a clinic with Evon. To see my foxtrotter doing the same maneuvers as the Belgian draft horse and the Quarter horses is so much fun, and to see the people enjoying themselves and their horses. I love it……..THANKS Evon….Kriss D.
I just want to thank you so much for working with my horse Kaytee this spring. You were able to give her a great sense of trust in others. I don’t think that there are many people that would have been able to gain her trust as fast as you did. Your kind heartedness is what makes you such a great trainer. The horses really respect that and so do I. Also, you also made her “enjoy work” and you helped me inprove my riding skills greatly. Thanks again!!
I forgot to mention, Kaytee got 5th place in our age division and 4th place in our breed at the Stonybrook Judged Trail Ride the other weekend. I think we placed 20th out of 100 riders. I was so proud of her. I figured that is not to bad for a prior bucking horse…. The gound-tying really helped!!!! I will have to have you go over that with me again so I don’t lose it:).
Rita had not ridden her Kentucky Mountain horse Dakota, since a fall in 2008. Dakota had spooked from a bizarre incident where a deer hunting stand fell out of the tree near where Rita was riding, Dakota spooked ( most horses would have) but the incident found Rita with broken wrist and a case of amnesia, among other sore parts. After her recovery, she began riding again with us at our Saturday Saddle up Clinics in 2009. She had a goal to go camping with her Husband and their horses, here is part of their fun adventure:, camping with horses.
I had a wonderful time camping and riding Dakota at Artillery Ridge Campground. We arrived late Friday the 17. About 9 pm.Blue and Dakota had a very hilly ride on Rt. 30. They were happy to see the ground and go to their coral. Saturday we woke to a beautiful sunny day. High expected about 71˚. As we were having French toast and bacon with maple syrup for breakfast under the canopy I realized Dakota had never seen tents, swing sets and many other things. ………. We came to a bridge. Blue would not go across. Dakota would not go across. Then I remember at the clinic when we did some new things I learned to just let Dakota get comfortable one step at a time. He took one step and I praised him and let him get comfortable in that spot. We got up to the bridge and he put his head low and put a foot on. I praised him again. Next thing I new we were across and on our way. Blue was just not coming over that bridge. Ron told me to ride on ahead and Blue would not like being left and that worked for him. We saw more buses and motorcycles and there were no problems. I was so happy and proud. I am learning to sit in my saddle with my heels down, my butt in the saddle and my shoulders back. I am also using my legs to guide Dakota rather than pulling on the reins so much. Then we came to a very narrow bridge that was tilted to the side. Ron said it did not look like it was made for horses. But we thought we were on the horse trail. We waited for a group of Boy Scout to cross the bridge. One man thanked us for waiting for them to cross. We had watched them for a long time coming toward the bridge because the horses would not go near the bridge. I laughed when the man thanked us and said “no problem our horses won’t go across.” Then I went into my clinic training mode. I just let Dakota get comfortable one step and a time and across we went. I was thrilled. Later we learned we had missed the horse trail and it was a bridge for hikers only.
My boy had made me proud!!
I am so happy for all the new things we encountered and how well Dakota and I are learning to trust each other. I am thankful for the safe ride. There were some pretty dangerous places to fall of on these trails. But I managed to keep my balance in times of Dakota’s frightening moments and we had a fun ride.
I bookmarked your website. Your obstacle course event looks like so much fun.
It reminds me of when Larry was young and he was so spooky and nervous I couldn’t leave the property at him or he would just bolt home. I was taking dressage lessons on him and as a baby I don’t think it was stimulating his mind enough. He was a bored scaredy cat. So I built a dozen or so obstacles around the property and spent the next year and a half desensitizing him to anything I could get my hands on. We started having obstacle trail trails at the barn and would play follow the leader through the obstacles.
I am amazed that more people and trainers don’t think of doing this, instead of just punishing their horse for spooking at something they’re afraid of.
You’re sense of horsemanship is very inspiring to me, and I can’t wait for Eric and I to be able to visit.