I have been a horse crazy girl for as long as I, or anyone else can remember. Watching The Black Stallion on replay over and over again at my mother's annoyance. My inner city family was sure I'd outgrow the phase, but here we are. Here is a simple summary of my experienced and why I do what I do. Please contact me with any more information you'd like.
Teaching and Instruction Experience
I started helping teach others when I was around 15, about ten years ago. Right after I began working at an equine assisted therapy and learning center, that later involved rescuing horses as well. I began training and facilitating some therapy sessions in a team at age 16. Work was with emotionally distraught youth and families, as well as kids on the spectrum who were non verbal or had severe communication issues. This helped me with my horse training and my understanding of people and their different needs. I began really looking at how interacting with horses effected both them and us. I worked at this facility for around 8 years, doing everything from helping facilitate sessions, to riding lessons, to 4H group leadership, pony parties, events. I have done it all and interacted with the public and youth in many settings, both stressful and not, since a young age.
At age 19, I began working at Nationwide Childrens Hospital in central Ohio, on their Rehab floor where spinal and brain injuries were treated. I also participated in their camp, children of all levels of functionality where in my care for periods of time. Verbal, non verbal, those with outburst, those who could never communicate "normally" again due to accidents, and those still healing who needed patience.
I have been trained in CPR and First Aid and continued my training yearly while employed with NCH for almost 5 years. My experience working with those who have special needs has prepared me for any type of rider and whatever type of adaptation (if possible) that they need. We currently don't have the ability to cater to wheelchaired riders, but hope to in the future.
I wasn't much good at teaching when I started. It has taken practice, and learning how to teach by assisting others. To date I have had around 80 students in some capacity or another.
Some long term who have followed me since the beginning, farm to farm. I have others that come and take a few lessons to work on something specific and then the move on or move up. All is okay. I am here to help those who need it, and point you in the right direction when you need more specialized expertise or a higher level of trainer. Everything is aimed at ethical and healing learning, both rider and horse. We cannot learn when stressed or scared.
I have ADHD and extreme anxiety in many areas of my life. Because of this, I understand how hard riding can be for anyone just starting out, but especially with children, those on the spectrum or with anything learning disabilities. I have extreme empathy for those trying to remember to keep their eyes up, heels down, shoulders back at all times when some of us can barely focus on writing our own name.
I cater to those wanting to learn, or those coming back to riding after years away, those who have nervousness about it, and anyone with a learning disability who needs extra help. We are not your typical barn, we are not busy, we are low key, lessons are low key. We are here for fun and correct learning.
Though I have students who do show horses, and I show myself, that is not this programs main focus. If you are a heavy competitor and that is your first priority, feel free to reach out if you need help finding adequate instructors for your discipline, as I maybe able to help connect you to some. We encourage healthy competition and challenging yourself, but for higher competitive levels we know of places that might fit better. Many riders start with me and learn good horsemanship basics, and then move up when ready.
Riding and Training Experience
I'd like to think my style mostly resembles a mix of positive reinforcement, new age holistic horsemanship, along with traditional horse management and handling that just makes sense. My philosophy and teaching style is based off such greats as Buck Brannaman, Ray Hunt, John Lyons, Chris Irwin (horseman), Guy McLean and many others. I have studied, followed, read, watched, and trained under many other names in clinics and regularly scheduled lessons. I try to remain an open book and a sponge when it comes to being a student of the horse and what they need to thrive.
At age 6 I began riding sporadically. I didn't come from a horse family, and being poor in the city, I rode whenever, wherever, and truthfully, whatever I could. Even if I was 6 years old and it was a barely saddle broke young horse with a rearing problem, or an off the track Thoroughbred who's never been retrained. From age 6-12 I did it all for the thrill and experience.
At age 13, my late grandmother bought me a weanling for my birthday. I still have Neiko, who is now 13 years old himself. I started him under saddle, trained him, and countless others since him. Including my best lesson horse, my mare Patches.
My successful records include feral horses, mustangs, rearing horses, those with chronic bucking issues, those who have lost all hope. I've worked with horses with Lyme disease, PSSM, Kissing Spine, Wobblers, and an array of other health issues that get in the way of behavior and soundness.
Between the age 13 and 19 I had countless learning opportunities. At age 15 I started working at a non-profit rescue, and saw almost all kind of horse and ailment. I was there for 8 years. I always spent years helping in the day to day operations of a Quarter horse stud farm that was at the same location.
I attend clinics and lessons all the time to continue my own education. Currently I take twice monthly lessons with a carded show judge. For education and networking with other professionals, I attend Equine Affaire, Congress, and many other equine events in the central Ohio every year.
To date, I have helped with saddle fit, muscle disorders, behavioral changes, hundreds of horses, and have started dozens of colts, My experience is wide and falls into many categories, all which has helped me train better. If I can't help you with what you need, changes are I know someone who can. Please reach out for an evaluation if you have a horse you're stuck with.
I ride almost any way and any discipline. I have experience in many disciplines, including limited experiences in mounted archery, and dressage. My horses are both trained to ride bridleless and off leg. I am all about a sensitive, responsive, yet happy horse. I do not teach or ride saddleseat in any capacity. I do show and compete locally, and have been apart of colt starting competitions, and hope to compete in the Extreme Mustang Makeover in the near future.