I first saw Monty Roberts work with horses on the T.V. program Q.E.D and was intrigued by what he appeared to be able to do. I was, however, a little skeptical. In 1998 I got the chance to see him in a demonstration, and realised that I wanted to know more about this way of working with horses. It was at this demo that I got details of the Intelligent Horsemanship Association and the courses that are run by Kelly Marks. In the summer of 1999 I attended the 5 day foundation course thinking it would simply be 'a nice thing to do'. However, it changed my life! It really opened my eyes and I realised that the term 'problem horse' should in fact read 'horse with problems'.
In November 2000, whilst working my way through the remaining modules, I was asked by Bransby Horses – Rescue & Welfare near Lincoln to work with some of their 'residents'. I have visited the rescue centre many times over several years and am grateful for the experience and satisfaction of helping the horses and ponies regain their trust in humans and begin to overcome all sorts of handling issues.
After completing all the Intelligent Horsemanship courses, exams, submitting a horse psychology project and several case studies, I gained the Monty Roberts Preliminary Certificate of Horsemanship and became an Intelligent Horsemanship Recommended Trainer in 2001.
Whilst visiting Bransby I was filmed, for channel 4's 'Pet Rescue', working with several of the horses. In addition to this, I have worked with both Monty Roberts and Kelly Marks at demonstrations in the UK, including at Your Horse Live.
Intelligent Horsemanship is about being open minded and not dismissing new or different practices, providing they benefit the horse, and do not
involve violence. As horses cannot communicate with us verbally, non verbal communication is their only way of telling us that something is wrong.
Kicking, biting, bucking, moving away etc. are often signs that the horse is either confused or possibly uncomfortable/in pain. Instead of blaming the horse, I try to see things from it's point of view and accept that it is trying to tell me something.
Anyone can work with horses the way I do and get results, if you work in sympathy with their natural instincts, respect their feelings and try to understand when they are finding something difficult. In addition to this, our interactions with horses should be carried out in a calm and quiet manner.
Am I a Natural Horsemanship trainer?
To be honest I'm not sure, maybe you can be the judge of that