Cindy and Jack – Building Trust

“Jack is a Thoroughbred Cross Standard bred gelding and is basically a quiet natured horse but he could be stubborn and unresponsive at times and I felt there was no trust between us.”

As a child living in South Africa, Cindy Leyland was encouraged to ride by her father who enrolled his children in a nearby riding club that also stabled their horses. There were never any beginner’s ponies for Cindy and her siblings. From about the age of 10, Cindy learnt show jumping and dressage at riding club and like most young people who began riding at a young age, she had no fear of horses or riding.

As a young woman, Cindy lived on a farm in South Africa with her husband who bought her a horse as a gift. She rode regularly, gave friends riding lessons and even rescued an injured race horse. Years later, after Cindy had moved to Australia and no longer had a horse of her own, she missed the joy of riding so much, she would volunteer to ride friends’ horses.

The thought occurred to her that maybe there were other people who would be happy for her to ride their horse too. She searched the internet and found Jackie, pregnant and no longer able to ride her horse Jack. “I was thrilled to find Jackie. I needed a horse to ride and she needed someone to continue exercising her horse. It was the perfect fit for both us.”

“Jack is a Thoroughbred cross Standard bred gelding and is basically a quiet natured horse but he could be stubborn and unresponsive at times and I felt there was no trust between us.”

“I looked to Natural Horsemanship to further Jack’s education and to improve our communication skills but was unhappy with the trainer I found. His methods seemed rough and unsympathetic to the horse and Jack was very tense around him,” Cindy says.

Cindy asked around and was told about Peter Biggs and Just Equus. “I love the lessons I am having with Pete,” she says. “I am getting such a good response from Jack as a result of the ground work exercises we do, and it’s fun for both of us. The training we do builds trust between us and Jack is a much calmer horse because of it. I see it in his stance and his quieter temperament; he is much more in tune with me. Jack has never been a difficult horse but through our training with Pete he has become much easier to handle.”

Pete’s training methods go far beyond all Cindy’s expectations. “I knew it was important for the horse and rider to feel comfortable with their trainer but I didn’t expect the amazing results we are getting with Pete. It is all due to his patient and gentle approach to horses. Pete is completely relaxed around horses and they respond to him in the same manner. Now that I’m learning Pete’s holistic approach to training I can see what a huge difference being this way with horses can make. One of my biggest thrills is to have Jack call out me when he sees me. It is proof of the bond we now share. ”

Recently Cindy and Jack have reached an even higher level of training. Jack responds to Cindy’s groundwork exercises without a halter or any form of control other than her voice and body language. In a show of complete trust, Jack allowed Cindy to drape his whole body and head under a tarp. “I am amazed at what we have achieved together,” Cindy says “and I can’t wait to show Jackie how far we have come. She will be thrilled too.”

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One Response to “Cindy and Jack – Building Trust”

  1. It iis a beautiful picture with very good light 🙂

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