Customer Testismonial

About 2 months ago I bought a new horse. His name is Rugby and he's a big, 5 year old, 17.1 hand paint Percheron TB cross. I was told he was green but he seemed such a sweet and willing horse that when I tried him before buying I was impressed with how well he handled being ridden and settling in at his new home. Shortly after I bought him, things changed. The biggest incident involved me getting bucked off and his increasing herd focused behavior with the other horses at the stable.

I didn't get hurt too badly from the buck and fall but I knew something was different about why he did it. I've ridden, trained, shown and owned horses for around 38 years and ridden my share of bucks but this is the first horse who bucked me off with the intention of getting me off so he could do what HE wanted - and it really shook me up. And from what I also found out, he'd done this stuff before (and obviously been successful with it)! For the first time in all my years around horses, I was actually hesitant about getting back on a horse. This horse was more than green, he was still very unbroke.

From there it became an escalating series of issues with Rugby testing me at everything except basic grooming on cross ties. Experience told me I needed help to address the issues and get us back on track. I have a few friends who had sought Tony's help with their horses and they couldn't say enough positive things about his training and helping them work through things to be better partnered with their horses. They all told me to "not give up the ship" and talk to Tony. So a few phone calls later, Tony and I were in touch and scheduled a date for him to work with us.

Last Saturday was our first session. Tony began working with Rugby and from the beginning I could tell my horse was very aware of the different energy being directed at him through Tony. At first, Rugby tried to do the things he would to avoid having to focus and work, such as being distracted by the other horses on their way to turn out, trying to simply ignore Tony's requests for communication. But Tony's consistent persistence began to get Rugby's attention. It wasn't a simple or short process and they were both working very hard but as I watched, I could see that Rugby was GETTING IT!

He would respond faster to Tony's cues and stay focused on him for longer periods of time without letting himself be distracted by other stimuli. At one point, there was another horse being lunged in the same arena and Tony walked Rugby over to where this horse was bucking and leaping around. Rugby just stood still and worked with Tony on the softening of the neck exercises! His attention was on what Tony was going to ask next and not on the actions of the other horse!

The transformation over the course of 2 hours was incredible. My horse went from uneducated slacker to willing student. Even when Tony handed me the line to show me the basic exercises, my horse was focused on me and what we were going to do next. A different horse walked out of that arena that day and I hope with Tony's continued guidance we continue to progress back to work in the saddle.

Thank you, Tony, for restoring some of my "nerve" and giving me the help to move this partnership forward. Your teaching is clear and easy to understand and I feel so motivated knowing that with all I know, I have found something new to learn!

- Brigitte Sleiertin

Brigitte Sleiertin

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