My aim is to provide a website that will help and inspire horse owners to take a more natural approach to all aspects of horse ownership by developing a better understanding of the horse’s ethology and needs.
This has come from my studies of horse psychology, equine ethology, natural horsemanship and positive based training methods, keeping, feeding, treating and hoof trimming my own horses, naturally.
I would love to see all horse owners become more interested and capable in more aspects of the care and education of their horses, for the benefit of this beautiful animal who is here to teach us so much.
My Path to Instructor
From the age of 6 when I started riding school, I wished for a pony, finally getting one when I turned 8 and proved it wasn’t a passing whim!
Mum loved horses and as well as supporting my love for them, and started my interest in breeding. She had an Arabian stallion who was bred to various mares producing some nice riding horses which went onto provide me with pony club and show mounts.
Owning a property in the tourist and holiday area of the Tasman Penisula, inspired our family to put all the horses to work by offering escorted trail rides which naturally led me to instructing people in the basics of horse riding.
Then local kids sought me out to help them and before too long, I’d formed a riding club which is still going strong 20 years later.
Having bred our own young horses and handled them from birth, it was also natural that I’d start them under saddle with guidance from the ‘Tom Roberts’ books and ‘The Jeffrey Method’, both known for their horsemanship skills in Australia. Once word got out that I could do this, people were soon asking me to start their horses too.
I’d always admired Arabians so while working for a stud in Queensland, I took the opportunity to get my first purebred – a colt, who I educated and competed with to become the top performed Arabian stallion in Tasmania. There wasn’ t much we hadn’t tried and been successful in – led and ridden shows, endurance rides, dressage, picnic racing, jumping and western events.
As I gathered a small group of mares to breed with him, I also played polocrosse then started campaigning his progeny in the show ring and at endurance rides.
After such a varied equestrian career, I became very dissolusioned with the methods people were resorting to for success, and with no desire to compete and mix with them, I lost my enthusiasm for riding.
That was until I saw Pat Parelli in 1992 at his first clinic in Tasmania. I knew I’d found the way I wanted to be with horses and jumped right in, buying all the equipment, videos and registering as a student.
With enthusiasm coming in waves (mostly inspired by Linda Parelli’s newsletters and Philip Nye’s acheivements and encouragement), it took me two years to have Level 1 assessed, then I got serious about my horsemanship and aims of being an instructor.
This led to organising many clinics in Tasmania and taking on the role of Area Coordinator for the State. After reaching level 2 thanks to mentoring with Ken Faulkner, I started my annual pilgrimage to Braidwood in NSW to learn more from Pat. I then studied at his International Study Centre for 6 weeks in 1996, the first year of ISC courses.
The following year, qualified as an instructor, my career was now with horses, something I’d always dreamed of. But then a back injury forced me to stop riding for almost a year so reaching Level 3 seemed to take forever and was finally achieved mid 1999.
Now after many courses and many years of experience, I have the knowledge that I’ve always wanted to be able to offer my horses. With 13 of them (and a mule!) to play with, I have no shortage of projects to broaden my horsemanship skills.
I believe experience is the greatest teacher of all, and one of my best teachers was Royale Candyman (known as Manny) who was with me throughout my journey to becoming an instructor with Parelli Natural Horsemanship.
Manny and I were regular performers in the Agfest central arena from 1996 to 2005.
Read a tribute to Manny, my special horse partner, here.
My interest in providing as close to a natural environment for my horses as possible has led me to develop skills in hoof trimming for barefoot performance, feeding and treating most health problems naturally.
Developing more awareness for what horses prefer has led me to making my own design of Bitless Bridle, Bareback Pad and Slowfeed Haysaver Nets. I also have a Bitless Riding Basics DVD to help guide those choosing to ride bitless, but also as a guide to the exercises you would teach any horse to be a safe riding horse.
As my horsemanship awareness grows, I am exploring the various ways of communicating with horses, truly understanding what they want and how they can heal us as much as we can them.
I am now in the process of putting together all I’ve learned, much of which is published on this web site that will added to for my first book.
WHAT I DO
- Develop, market and sell the LightRider Bitless Bridle
- Operate the Natural Horse World online store.
- Conduct seminars in Tasmania and occasionally overseas.
- Teach live-in helpers
- Teach and consult on hoof trimming
- Consult on horse psychology and horse problems
- Consult on natural horse care
- Consult on property set up
- Mentor Polytechnic Equine Hoof Care Students
- Write articles & newsletters.
- Design horse friendly products.