Chris is a resident British horse whisperer and as such is available throughout the year come sun, rain or snow. Many other visiting horse whisperers’ often return to their country of origin after the summer season leaving a bit of a gap if you get stuck with your training.

For those of you who don’t know Chris is now fully recovered from an agricultural accident he sustained four years ago and has been back in full time work for the past year. It is interesting that old habits die hard and he has maintained and improved upon his previous ability and affinity with horses.

Understanding the British attitude towards animals and horses in particular is a huge component in teaching and communicating natural horsemanship techniques to horses and their owners. Chris natural affinity and unquestionable flare is an absolute must in helping potentially dangerous and unhappy horses, not to mention their owners! Inevitably Chris often rescues horses that are deemed too dangerous to keep and would otherwise be destroyed. Some of these horses remain in his care and have gained the status of safe riding horses.

Chris was welcomed with open arms for an informal demo at Court Farm Livery near Gloucester this month. Reeled in by Kelly and Carol who run the yard, he had a full bill of queries.  Kelly's own horse Red,now rising four,  had been  labelled as 'too difficult to back' by a traditional horse 'breaker'  recently, but he responded well to some confidence-giving groundwork.  Kelly is now so impressed by the techniques that Chris gave everyone a taster of, that she is sending him to live with Chris whilst he helps her  'restart' the 15hand coloured gelding. As Kelly bought him as a two year old with the intention of becoming her 'forever friend', she says she is delighted that Chris has given her her faith back. She says she spent the past year worrying about what to do with him. Now she is going to travel to Shropshire as many days in a week as she can , to learn more about how to take her boy forward to their new adventures together. They hope to be joining in with plenty of fun rides this summer.

Carol, who is awaiting hip surgery, is using a stick to help her get around at the moment, but is keen to carry on having daily contact with her own cob.  Chris was therefore able to show her techniques for safely going in and out of her mare's stable without the fear of being barged past for food etc. There was a queue of people who were all able to learn something from Chris's method for getting horses to stand patiently at the back of the stable, whether you are mucking out, filling water buckets, or putting in feeds. He explained how this needs to be on 'your terms' to keep stable routines safe, whether horses are handled by children or people with disabilities. ..or even for those of us who just want to have a bit of safety going on !

Chris made himself available for questions and was able to run through several techniques to do with channelling equine behaviour to create a better partnership with your horse.  One young lady who has had her horse just five weeks, had been warned that he was 'hell' to lead out of the field unless you used a chifney on the fellow.  She showed how he just 'carted' her across the yard in search of food. However, after some stable work and then some round-pen exercises, Chris had equipped her with plenty to go on with and, fingers crossed, she will be able to leave that bit of kit, the chifney,  hanging up in the tack room in future! 

As ever, Chris was keen to point out that none of these techniques are billed by him as a 'quick fix', yet there are so many little tips everyone can glean. There was certainly great enthusiasm from everyone on the yard and those visiting.  One great story is that a very pretty welsh mare, who really was in 'no man's land', after being passed from pillar to post, responded really well to some work in the round-pen set-up. It has given her owners fresh hope that, despite being injured as a foal and being seen as 'trouble' in her loan homes, it looks that  with a period of' 'restarting', she could actually find a job to do and someone to take her on and love her. We all looked at her in a new light by the end of the day.

There are already plans for Chris to run more clinics at Court Farm Livery in Twigworth, so do get in touch if you are interested in either coming to watch or bringing your own horse.

Events of interest in last year’s calendar.

Demonstration in natural horsemanship for local dignitaries; much enjoyed by all.

A three day training in Aberdeen for a mother and daughter and their horse; distance not a problem.

A large number of young horses started using natural horsemanship methods; happy riders.

A hunter that was too dangerous to shoe without sedation; a happy vet and farrier.

Lessons in leading in hand; first time in competition, gained first and second place.