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'Mutual Horsemanship'

 

Ground Work Coaching

 

 

Hello! I’m Dawn and I'm looking forward to helping you start your 'Mutual Horsemanship' journey.

 

 Why 'Mutual Horsemanship'?

 

One of the definitions to be found of the term 'mutual' is:

 

'Two or more people, or groups,feeling the same emotion, or doing the same thing

to, or for, each other:

 

I prefer to step away from the widely used term of 'Natural Horsemanship' these days.

In my own opinion some widely promoted, popular methods labelled as such do appear to be quick & effective. They certainly create a good, crowd pleasing show, until you begin to look more closely.

Indeed, I've done it. I've bought into some of these methods myself in the past.

 

Then my horse threw me curve balls. What I was doing wasn't working any more, even though the DVD's I'd bought, or the programmes I'd watched said it SHOULD!  So I tried harder, practised longer and ended up feeling a frustrated failure with a confused and agitated horse.

Neither of us were happy and I just didn't understand why.

 

So I decided I had nothing to lose and sold DVD's, cancelled my expensive subscriptions to the various training  organisations I'd signed up for, and listened to the best instructor I could.

My horse, Maddie

Once I'd thrown away the 'agenda' I realised I'd been programmed I 'ought' to have , we started again. This was when I realised that actually knowledge and wisdom are two entirely different things. Maddie taught me the most valuable lesson ever and I will be forever grateful to her. 

.


 

Please note I am not a qualified Equine Instructor, nor do I claim to be.

 

( Purely because there don't appear to be any formal qualifications for what I specifically do ! )

I decided to start offering a personalised ground work coaching service because of the amount of requests I have received for help from  people who were struggling with their horse/human relationships.

 

Until recently I have spent many hours of my time helping people, at no charge, until things got to a point where I was spending more time with other peoples horses than my own. I also found that , after a while, the same people were coming with the same problems time and time again.

It was easier for them to get me to deal with their horses that it was for them to address what was actually going wrong . .ie: it wasn't the horse that was really 'the issue' .... !

It took a friend to point out to me  that if I didn't place a value on what I did then neither might the recipient. This was obvious by the repeat request I was getting from the same people for the same thing, counteracting the time and effort I was personally putting in to their horse.

I now charge a nominal fee of £15 per hour / pro-rata. Minimum on site visit bookable is 1 hour.

I'm happy to travel out to you and your horse within a 20 mile radius.

Minimum time bookable for an off site visit is 2 hours. Mileage will be charged at 50 pence per mile.


 

ABOUT ME ....

I am  a mature rider, at 52, and came into riding later in life, although I always wanted a pony of my owns as a child. I am now a  horse owner who is passionate about using gentle, effective, ’horse friendly’ methods of communicating and ‘being’ with horses. I have found this to be far more effective, than using force, gadgets or fear based methods. I do not subscribe to any particular training method or regime. I prefer to practice ‘mindful horsemanship’ and deal with what is happening with the horse ‘in the moment’ rather than on a ‘what if’ basis. I consider my particular skill is providing a positive natural horse handling experience, using a variety of supportive, logical and informative techniques, pitched at the appropriate level for each individual client.

 

   *  I am a certified City & Guilds Further & Adult Education Instructor, enabling me to teach adults over the age of 16. 

*  I hold Stages 1 & 2 of the British Horse Society’s Horse Ownership Course.

*   I completed a 2 day residential Equine Assisted Therapy Practitioners Course in 2010.

  •  I have worked in a Local Government law enforcement role. I  have a good working knowledge of a wide range of Animal Health and Welfare Legislation, including equine, rural and farm related issues, Biosecurity ( Infectious & notifiable disease management & control), livestock tagging & identification requirements, and all associated record keeping and due diligence procedures.

 

In respect of working with horses I  don’t claim to have all the answers.  I learn new lessons from my own horse on a daily basis! I am, however, committed to providing the best experience I can. Part of my core values are openness, honesty and integrity.  If I can’t help you, then I will say so, and put you in contact with someone I feel who can.

  I have owned my own horses since 2008, and before my daughter and I  had horses on loan. I currently have one horse, Olliean 8 year old Shire gelding who is my riding horse. I  have, sadly, recently lost my other horse, Bonnie, a 20 year Shire x Percheron rescue mare.

  My particular interests are heavy horses,  rehabbing horses from equine neglect, natural feeding, natural and holistic remedies, bit-less, treeless and bridle-less riding, and the management and care of the healthy barefoot horse.

You will commence equine groundwork (non-ridden) in a 20 x 40 outdoor sand  surface arena with my 17 hand Shire gelding Ollie, who also works as a part time Therapy Horse and has also recently just completed filming work for a local University Production. Ollie has a proven track record of being calm, patient, reliable and an excellent teacher. He particularly excels in giving people of all ages and backgrounds, confidence and a quality, enjoyable ‘horse experience'.

 I do not believe in placing human characteristics and labels onto horse behaviour (anthropomorphism) so he will never be referred to as 'naughty', 'awkward' , 'lazy' etc. At all times the horse is treated as exactly what he is, a horse. ie: He is a large, strong, obligate herbivore: a prey animal who, over millions of years of evolution, has three very basic and effective coping mechanisms to survive: Fight, Flight and Freeze.

He has a mind of his own and very effective, built in, defence mechanisms, and behaviours, for when things are not well in his world. The  way I work, and interact with him, is based upon these factors, and how he would ordinarily behave, or be allowed to behave, in a herd. 

There is a huge amount the human race can learn from horses. They do not dwell on the past, although they recall and are affected by it, both the good and the bad, just as we are. They do not judge us, or care how much we have , or have not. They seek to be in the company of that which makes them feel safe, protected and generally at ease. They have survived as a species, by living in the moment, not by worrying about what might be. They are great mirrors for our own behaviours and are excellent instructors of 'mindfulness' ie: what is happening right now, a trait we could all do with learning, and practicing more of, in this fast paced world we now live in.

When we step into the world of the horse, and expect him to work with us, in whatever we capacity we ask, I believe it is OUR responsibility to be as informed as possible about the nature of the horse, as he has evolved to be, and celebrate, and work with those factors, not to try and inherently change or supress the fact that he is, a horse.

I believe in the principles of positive reinforcement when working with both horse and clients.  I always try to treat all participants, both human and equine, how I would like to be treated myself, using clear communication and fair, firm boundaries.

I  personally do not use a food/treat based training system and the horse must never be fed, tit-bitted at any point  I believe that learning to read, and determine why, the horse is behaving a certain way, or not, is all part of good groundwork.


'What can I expect from Angel Horse Groundwork Coaching?'

·        Prior to your coaching session you will receive a New Client Questionnaire - This must be completed and returned to me beforehand. It will ask about any previous experience you have, what your goals are, what you are seeking to achieve and tells you about me. I can then pitch your coaching session at the  appropriate level, saving us time on the day. 

  •  During your coaching session you will work with my 17 hand Shire Gelding, Ollie. You will work with on the ground, both online, and at liberty ( with the horse off the rope) The session will be conducted at a pace you feel comfortable with and there will be plenty of time to ask questions and practice what you have been taught. You will be expected to adhere to all safety parameters you are asked to. You must not feed / titbit the horse at any point.  The coaching session may be photographed or video taped. Please inform me beforehand if you do not wish to happen.
  •  We will cover the following topics to the level appropriate for you. 
  • Safety for handlers and the horse 
  • Prey Animal v Predator: How  &  why the horse acts they way he does
  • Horsemanship  equipment - what we use, how we use it and why
  •  Disengaging the hind and forequarters, the back up, moving sideways, leading & halting
  • Liberty work ( when the horse is off the rope)
  •  'Shadow time' and building your own unique connection with the horse


 After your coaching session ....

 

  • You will receive an email bullet pointing all the topics we have covered so you have a record of your achievements to refer back to. 

 

  • You will also receive a Client Feedback Questionnaire which enables me to continually monitor, assess and improve my work.  Your feedback for this will be much appreciated but is completely optional.

 

  • You can book as many sessions as you feel you need,  in 1 hour sessions. Off site visits will be a minimum of 2 hours plus mileage of 50 pence per mile, max radius of 20 miles from postcode DE7.

    We are based on a small, quiet, friendly livery yard in West Hallam, Derbyshire.

( pics below were taken at our previous yard )

We have a 20 x 40 sand surface school , tea / coffee making facilities and a loo! :)

Other services I offer:

Introduction to Bitless riding - Taster session:including how different types of bitless bridles work, a practical demonstration, and an opportunity to get hands on and have a go.  

Introduction to Bareback riding - Taster session: Why and how it works so well, for you and the horse, and the opportunity to try it for yourself either completely bareback or with our luxury bareback pad.

Barefoot Hoof-care  - Taster session: Intro to barefooting, how and why it works, and the necessary factors that provide the optimum parameters required for successful transition and maintenance of the healthy, barefoot horse, Also, an opportunity to get 'hands on; with our Shire, Ollie, and our own particular hoof maintenance regime.  An ideal session if you are thinking of barefooting your horse, or just want to know more about the pros and cons of barefoot horses, from an owners ( non-professional) perspective.  

          

We're so proud of Ollie's feet we had one of his hoof photographs cast in silver!

( Jewellery created by Sarah Fox Fine Art )


                             

Ollie working with a client, Paula.

Paula was very nervous beforehand .... here is some of the lovely feedback she gave us

1.         What did you enjoy most about your coaching session?  Getting  really close to Ollie,he is so lovely

       2.        What did you enjoy least about your coaching session?  I enjoyed every minute of it

3.         Is there anything that wasn’t included today that you feel would have been of benefit?                             I  cant think of anything - it was perfect.

         4.        What did we do best

                 Helped me overcome my fear - showed me how to communicate with Ollie in a meaningful way  &                     me to feel confident working with him.  You pitched the coaching to suit me and were respectful                       of what I was  feeling and this allowed me to relax and trust your process.                      

5.        What could we improve on? You delivered way more than I thought would be possible on a first  session so I can't think of anything that could have improved that.

      6.        May I use your comments on our website / Facebook feedback pages?    Yes         

 

          7:      Are there any further comments you would like to include? Thank you - I still can't believe what   

                  was  achieved in one session - you're both awesome 😊

 Two very relaxed participants both enjoying each other's company ! :)

Photo's by kind permission of Paula x


 

Please Contact me for more information