Sally & Blue ~ Finding her Confidence
Sally Edwards has found her confidence and in doing so, has learnt to enjoy riding once again. Sally grew up in England and during her childhood enjoyed competing in pony club events and dressage. In her early 20s she came to live in Australia where life and family took precedence over horses.
After a break of about 7 years Sally purchased her horse Jango but it was not the idyllic return to riding she had hoped for. Jango was a Western horse and Sally, an English rider,
“I just thought he had no steering,” she says with a laugh. “It didn’t take me long to realise I was going to need some help.”
Sally contacted Pete of Just Equus and before long things were back on track. It was a case of Pete interpreting the language problem between Sally and Jango and teaching them how to communicate. “There is a connection between horse and rider that requires feel, timing and balance. Once that connection is established, a strong bond between horse and rider can only lead to better and more respectful communication,” Pete explains.
In some ways, that was the easy part; part of the problem Sally was experiencing was a lack of confidence. “I had always been a very nervous rider,” says Sally.
“It wasn’t a case of if I was going to die, it was when!”
She can laugh about it now, but her lack of confidence was hindering her enjoyment of riding. “I jumped at any excuse to not ride. It was too windy, it looked like rain; you name it and I found a reason to leave my horse in the paddock. I was afraid to catch my horse, saddle my horse, lead, float or ride my horse.”
Jango moved on to another home and Sally bought Blue a handsome Cremello with blue eyes and a kind nature. The lessons with Pete continued and Sally’s confidence grew. “Working with Pete has instilled in me a belief in my own abilities. Pete is always calm in every situation and so I don’t panic now when the unexpected happens.”
When Pete works with horses, nothing is rushed and nothing is forced. Pete has a way of seeing through to the heart of the situation and explaining what is happening as the horse sees it. By making small changes and taking small steps forward, he makes you believe that nothing is outside your capabilities.
“The slightest response deserves reward and positive reinforcement.” Pete says.
Sally has progressed to such an extent that she has now bought a green three year old called Bracken that she intends, with Pete’s assistance to train herself. “I now feel quite capable of handling my two horses, catching and leading both of them without any assistance; something that would have once made me very anxious. I can saddle up and load my horse on my own and have started attending riding events. Extreme cowboy racing and cowboy dressage are fun learning events that Blue and I both enjoy.”
Sally’s level of enjoyment and her new found confidence is a far cry from where she was 12 months ago when she first met Pete.
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