|Nimrod and Judy
I’m writing this testimonial to thank Carlos for inspiring me to have fun with my riding again and for being a human that I trust and respect to handle my horses and my feelings with consistent kindness.
I'm a 59 year old Grandmother who has been addicted to horses since my Grandfather put me on the back of his cart horse as a three year old, although I didn't get to own a horse until I was 30. For over 20 years I have cared for many different horses, usually having between 10 and 20 horses at one time.
Gradually muscle and joint pain and weakness caused by arthritis and Fibromyalgia had dampened my joy for riding and my confidence in what I could handle was hitting rock bottom. My doctor said change your lifestyle and as I’d spent years dreaming of owning and breeding Morgan horses we took out a mortgage (spend the kid’s inheritance) and bought a ten year old Morgan brood mare and a three year old filly. We also leased a stallion to join with them and our non-Morgan mares.
The Morgan mares were bred on a stud that treats horses roughly by herding them into yards with dogs and whips where they are haltered in the crush and "desensitised" by tying them up short and hitting them about the head with a hat. Folie the three year old was unpredictable, froze when she was confused and I'd been hurt several times in my efforts to win her trust. I was at the stage where I could ride her out in the bush at the walk and trot but we were both fearful when I asked for a canter.
I needed help and had doubts about finding someone I would trust with my horses. I wanted a trainer who was kind and respectful, who didn't "break" horses and who believed in barefoot, bitless riding. I have attended many clinics in America and Australia with well known trainers and Equine gurus and saw things I liked and a lot I didn't. My passion for and association with horses has helped me survive more than a fair share of abuse and illness and inspired me to study horse and human behaviour and run a business combining both. The countless hours spent just "hanging out" with horses convinced me that horse problems were not about the horse but about the human and I was very stuck about asking for help.
By now you probably have the idea that I had more problems than my filly!
A friend recommended reading the Whispering Acres website and I decided it was time I let go my prejudice of horse trainers or I would never get out of this rut. I booked in with Folie and also brought my niece and her part bred Morgan filly. From the moment I arrived at Whispering Acres my confidence improved. I was impressed by the spotless paddocks and yards and the excited anticipation of the regular students was contagious. We enjoyed the ground games and Carlos's obvious delight at using unusual things such as a leaf blower to encourage bravery relaxed both horses and humans.
The fantastic lunch provided by Carlos' wife Julie put me in a great mood for the afternoon and I felt confident with the ridden activities until the feared trot-canter transition. Even with Carlos's verbal encouragement I couldn't support Folie the way she needed and came back to the centre of the arena with zero confidence and feeling close to tears. I said "I'm sorry, I've given it 100% and I've run out of endurance."
Carlos totally surprised me by hugging me and offering to ride Folie. It was just what we both needed!!!! Carlos did a fantastic job of helping Folie to balance and canter confidently, and after I brought her back to Whispering Acres for some schooling two weeks later she is predictable and confident and I am no longer nervous with her.
At the clinic I bought a copy of "Through the Eyes of the Horse" and was inspired by the message – "Believe in yourself and follow your dreams" included with Carlos's signature.
I now own Nimrod and had been dreaming of riding him bitless and eventually with just a string so I brought him along to the September 07 Clinic. I'd been riding him around the farm in a halter but not in company so was a bit apprehensive about how we would handle a group of six mares and three geldings in an arena, in a howling gale. Carlos was very supportive and with umbrellas, an exercise ball and a tyre on a rope to look at Nimrod was more interested in what I wanted than the other horses. In the afternoon riding in just a halter our canter was a bit rushed, but with some coaching from Carlos Nimrod and I performed a canter so collected we barely moved forward.
Carlos then gave me another challenge to work towards as he galloped Nimrod through the Argentinean "spear the ring with a chopstick" game. I'm having fun, enjoying the journey of my dream and have booked in for the November clinic.
Thank you Carlos, it is a privilege to meet a confident, consistent and kind leader.
Judy and Nimrod