|Rachael and Starr
I came to know Starr in October 2006. At that time, I was looking for a young mare, as my great companion Miss Molly (a Percheron cross) is 25 years old and I know our riding time together will be coming to an end. The previous autumn, Carlos had come to the US and I had learned so much, and gained so much confidence from his clinics that I looked forward to working with an inexperienced horse.
Starr was beautiful and seemed to be very sweet, although at that point she had had no training at all. Her sad background included being taken from her mother at 14 weeks of age and, from that point till about the age of five, Starr spent her life in a pasture with an older Tennessee Walker. The only handling she experienced was walking the short distance from the paddock to the stall and back.
By December 2006, Alice (who co-owns Starr with me) and I decided there was something special about Starr and we didn't want to miss the opportunity to give her an amazing life. Within the first few days of moving barns, Starr had settled in. We decided a few weeks later to put her with our small herd of mares. Starr immediately tried to be the lead mare. She never overturned the existing lead mare, so she settled for being number two and became very protective of the lead mare. Like Carlos wrote in the beginning pages of his book, Starr is the pushy, insecure mare. Whenever another horse comes around, she pins her ears, turns and charges.
After those first few weeks, I began groundwork. As I worked with Starr, much of her frustration, insecurities, and misunderstandings came out. When I would brush or touch her belly or teats she would kick out at me. When I asked her to circle she would turn her butt to me, kick out or rear up and refuse to circle. When I would lead her, she would get into my space and step on me or, if she spooked at something, she would step into me. She would charge her stall when someone other than me, or even another horse, would walk past.
The day Carlos came back to the Rochester, NY in May 2007 was a very exciting day because I knew he could help with Starr. During the first few days, Carlos had a few clinics at our barn, one of which I was part of with my other wonderful partner, Molly. Then came the day Carlos was going to work with Starr. It was amazing to say the least.
I couldn't get over the way he communicated with Starr. She had no confidence or trust and every reaction she exhibited was her way of surviving. Carlos changed that in four one-hour long sessions with Starr, myself, and Alice. I feel blessed to have witnessed the transformation Carlos helped this horse to make. Starr went from an aggressive, insecure mare to an understanding and confident mare. Starr is much more calm in her stall, in the pasture, and when I work with her. It is amazing to see how well she reads my body language and responds to what I ASK! And that is the most important lesson I have learned. I ALWAYS ASK my horses to do something, I NEVER DEMAND!
I am not riding Starr yet, because we have much more homework to do before I can begin to think about riding. And this is okay because I would much rather have a knowledgeable horse to ride than a horse that just reacts without thinking. I continue to self reflect on my own body posture and behavior when I am with Starr because she watches my every move and I have to make sure that I am staying consistent and clear in my communication with her. Starr is a very fast learner and always there to question me but I have learned to stay calm and consistent with her. She has shown much more respect for humans and a better understanding of her world. I have learned that I must give before I can ask for anything. The biggest thing I have learned is that there is hope for any horse, no matter how difficult you may think they may be.
I look forward to Carlos' next trip to the US to learn more from him.
I would be more than happy to speak with anyone about Starr and my experience with Carlos. Feel free to email email@example.com or call me (1-585-802-6882).
Rachel and Starr
|Sam and Misty
Carlos came into my life in 2006, but unfortunately I as the student was not ready for Carlos, the teacher. I happened to be in a bookshop in June 2007 when I came across Carlos's recently published book. I bought it without hesitation and read it in a day and I keep referring to the book, as it has become my bible. Carlos has also been kind enough to answer questions when things are not going right for Misty and I. I felt at last I had found a horse whisperer who held the same beliefs as I did with regard to connecting with a horse on a spiritual, physical and emotional level.
I have been blessed with my beloved ¾ Arab mare, Misty, who has been in my life for over 3 years now and has also been a great teacher. From following Carlos's philosophy I have been able to gain Misty's trust and respect and I am now riding her bareback with just a rope halter and a lead rope as a rein. I have never used a bit or saddle on Misty and Carlos has given me the confidence to make my dream come true in riding Misty like a Native American Indian, a horse culture I greatly admire.
I have become so inspired by Carlos and his philosophy that I am organizing a clinic here in Perth in 2008.
Thank you for Carlos for your time, advice and support. You are truly a wonderful human being and gifted horseman.
Sam and Misty