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
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
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
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.