Post by Kelly Marks on Aug 13, 2007 15:02:48 GMT 1
Hi Would anyone that has ever been on an IH course like to put their experiences down on this thread? I admit to a bit of an 'agenda' - I get so many nice emails and I wouldn't use them without permission so it would be nice if regular DGers found the time to put about their experiences here. I know so many people are nervous when they first arrive and something like this could help them (Or not! Just depends I guess!!!) Many thanks Kelly x
o.k here goes... I was actually quite terrified driving to Hartsop worrying about everything and whether I'd practiced enough throwing of my rope for Join Up with my husband to be at the time acting as the horse... However, I got there and everyone was lovely..phew! I sat myself down next to a girl with a friendly face who incidently is now my best friend (so well worth doing the course just for that!) and wondered if I was capable for what lay ahead. Listening to everyone's reasons for being there was interesting, though I began to feel out of my depth having not had my own horse and that I had less experience than alot of the group (or so I thought), however as the week went by it became apparent that this didn't matter, it was about the 'now' not the past, and as we were all learning new skills together it was a great leveller and one of the best experiences of my life. Five years later I have completed all the courses and am working towards being an RA so yes, it has been life changing and I would recommend 'feeling the fear and doing it anyway'!
April 2003: a vet, a lorry driver, an astro physicist, a psychiatric nurse, a care worker, a model from Greece, two swedish showjumpers, two Surrey housewives, a swiss student, a trombonist and his singing wife and then there was me. I had an interest and an expectation that I would be able to understand my horse a bit better; five days later I had the confidence that I could change the world for the horses that I knew; I soon did and now still do.
Over the winter of 2003-4, I did the rest of the stage one courses and it has changed my life and that of so many people and horses that I meet. I can speak with authority about aspects of horse care that I somehow knew for a long time were best, knowing now why they are best and that I have a method that is proven to be true.
But you never stop learning and each year I have been back as a helper to top up my skills and knowledge - last week was my fourth repeat. I learned new things about saddles, riding bucking horses, calming frightened ones, slovakian vocabulary and how to put up a tent.
My next learning opportunity will be at a demo in September, but next August, I shall be doing the Stage One course again.
My first course was the feeding and nutrition/athelete weekend. I thought it would be all digestive systems and grain, so was thrilled to find it was that plus so much more. Some people had been on courses before and some knew each other so you can feel a bit of a newbie for the first, well, 2 or 3 minutes. But then everyone starts relaxing and you know you're all there with your love of the horse in common, so after that it's just amazingly friendly. I've done all the courses and have been back as helper (though not as often as Catrin) and can't think of a single occasion that anyone looked at all left out.
Part of this, of course, is that the tutors and helpers are just so good at making everyone feel at ease. If you think about it, it's what they are so good at doing with horses and clients, so it really shouldn't come as a surprise to find that they're good at doing it with students.
What still amazes me, though, is the ability of everyone to make you feel individual. With all the students passing through on the different courses, it wouldn't be a surprise if Kelly forgot the odd name or two but she never seems to, even when you meet her again months later. Kelly, how do you do it? Everyone is made to feel special and valuable.
I've also done all the courses and have also met some thoroughly brilliant people along the way. I have friends I keep in touch with regularly and others who are just there for the odd chat. There are also those with expertise to draw on when you're stuck, from reiki practitioners to saddlers to.... well, whoever happened to be on each course with you.
Live since has been extraordinary. I've had the privilege of working with some beautiful horses and some wonderful owners. I still pinch myself to belive it's me doing this.
Whatever happens in the future, I know that the IH courses were the start of my real life with horses.
Kelly, I don't know I've ever properly said thank you. I'm just not sure there are words enough to say how much I appreciate the opportunity you, Ian and the RAs have given me.
April 2005 changed my life! (corny i know) Also that of hubby who is a BHSII instructor. We always felt we where "knocking on the door" but didnt have the right key & now we have! I dragged a reluctant hubby to a weekend course after id done my 5 day (promise of lots of beer/food at Royal Oak helped!) Now i can honestly say we are through the door & found the keys are golden & there are lots more doors to open! each horse we help makes us gratefull for the gift of this knowledge hopefully one or both uf us (God help Ian & Kelly lol ;D) will become RA's in the not to distant future!
I loved the psychology course I attended. It opened my eyes to things that had never occured to me previously when being around horses. I found that the knowledge the course imparted challenged me to question myself and others before coming to any conclusions as to why a horse was behaving in a certain way. It was great to meet Kelly too!
It was also a great way of meeting many like minded people from all walks of the horse world, and the pub grub was great too!
nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something!
Everyone has to remember that whatever they feel like on that first morning, just about everybody else is feeling the same thing! It just happens, that just like you, they are hiding it!!!
You might think you do not have enough horsey experience - remember that each new horse teaches us something new!
Don't know as much as all the others who seem to have shedloads of knowledge and experience! Remember that during the course you will get to know the person behind the mask and know that you are just as experienced as they are and maybe, in some areas, more so.
Whatever course it is, get in there and talk to the others and you will find so many other people feeling exactly the same as you!
Kelly and all of the helpers etc are all there to help you and ensure you get the most from the course, and they are lovely people as well!!!
I would say to anyone to get on a course and not be afraid at all! Even the introductions are very easy and friendly!
Diploma in Equine Podiatry
Diploma in Equine Science (Dist)
Had a really fabulous time.. wonderful wonderful people (that's both those who were teaching and the students).. I remember nights down the pub.. sneaking back to b & b at closing time with another student (where are you Wendy?) feeling like two miscreants who had broken curfew.. boiling hot dusty days in and around the round pen .. being told I needed to be more purposeful by Kelly .. who is a fabulous communicator, coach, teacher.. not forgetting the other teaching team.. watching a difficult loading situation at the end and just lapping up the increadibly sensitive and expert handling.. Seeing Dan and Ian re back a humungous very expensive continental WB that had been sent over as it had started bucking everyone off.. learning so much and feeling so ennervated .. my own first experience of Join Up which was very moving and will live with me forever.. but mostly it was the companionship and support from everyone teachers and students.. It will change your life.... The Foundation course is the most fantastic horse holiday.. and i didn't even ride! .. and increadibly good value for money considering how much practical you get with excellent tuition.
Horse Pyschology course was fantastic too but is 2 days theory and great (and very useful) to do but it is very very hard to beat the wonderful practicall experience of The Foundation
Well Kelly, I'm glad to finally say something about it as I have never had the courage befor.....
I was told all my life by "experienced" horse folk that as I knew nothing about horses, I should do things their way....which usually ended up with the horse being beaten, abused and generally misunderstood. I didn't believe this to be a good way, but who was I to say? As was often pointed out, I was only a child, or I didn't have my own horse, or in later life I kept hearing this " I am an..." IA or AA thing so "we must know better!!"
Well finally I met a beautiful young mare at a Connie stud that I was helping out casually on week ends, who's rider was told by a self professed experienced horse person, to give her a good smack with a stick if she wont lead the hack. This eventually built up to chronic beatings leaving the poor pair in a right mess, and the mare was eventually sent away as a brood mare, because "she's obviously tapped" said the experienced horse person.
This lady turns her attention to me, insisting that my ride should lead the hack also, but she wouldn't and I knew I was not a good enough trainer rider to teach her how and soon the experienced lady asked me to whip her. I refused and for the first time in my life I stuck up for my self and my mount and said "if you want this green young mare hit because doesn't want to lead past the scary log on the ground, you do it" And I got off.
I went on the five day as a blank canvas. I had no "way" of doing anything, so I was really looking forward to finally learning a kinder way from some top horse trainers. I was very nervous, wondering what to expect, would I get laughed at for having so little experience with equine training?? No. I enjoyed the course allot. I got so much information from it. Good practical advice on day to day things. The way the information was presented was really good and helped the learning process. The analogies have stuck in my head and help me to explain things to others. I had so many light bulb AhHaaaa!! moments it was unbelievable. So much of the course was common sense but given to me in a way I could understand. And then to have a go as well helped it all sink in. I became much more confident in my own ability and realized I could do this too!! I felt like my eyes were finally open to what was really going on with allot of people and their horses and now I knew a better way.
I have also attended the psychology week end and found it to very informative. I took notes the whole way through and learned so much stuff that I don't just apply to horses.
I am now a much more confident person, out going and not afraid to try things. I put this down to the fact that since I was a very small child i have wanted to get on better with horses but did not know how. I now have achieved some gob smacking results through my own doing and I feel like I am becoming an experienced horse person in my own right.
I still have a fair way to go, back to Whitney a few time too.
So thanks for all that Kelly!
(if you could just find a way of teaching me to spell I would be greatful)
Last Edit: Aug 14, 2007 13:27:20 GMT 1 by pinkpony
We are the angry mob, we read the papers every day, we like who we like, we hate who we hate but we're all so easily swayed
Well, what can I say? The 5 day foundation course is the best thing I have ever done involving horses. I had such a fantastic time, I went from being very nervous on the first morning to feeling immediately at ease from the wonderful, friendly welcome from everyone at Hartsop. I didn't want it to end on the Friday afternoon and was really sad to go home.
The teaching, the lectures, the coaching, the hands on practice, all the trainers and the facilities are brilliant. All the tutors on the course are very encouraging, very knowledgeable and clearly want to share that knowledge to try and make the world a better place for horses.
I can't think of one single thing that I didn't enjoy during the week, and I can't wait to go back for more.
"Keep on doing what you always do and you'll always get what you always got."
I was pretty desperate when I found IH, having problems with my new horse (Odessa) who I'd had for a year. In that first year I had tried 3 different experienced teachers already, who were mostly traditionalists, to no avail. I was not at all happy with their methods, which sat uncomfortably with me and Odessa. I spoke to Kelly, after Monty's demonstration which I attended at Patchetts earlier this year, about my problems and was passed onto the RA for my area Julia Fisher. About a month later I had a nasty riding accident and fractured my pelvis. Things seemed to be going from bad to worse. The help I received from Julia was so supportive and after some initial ground work with Odessa she was shipped off to Grant Bazin RA, for further ridden remedial work, whilst I was trying to recover. I add this as I feel that my experiences of the courses and the way in which I came to them may resound with other students. Once I was more mobile I decided to do the 5 Day Foundation course, I needed to know and learn more, having watched, when able to visit Odessa working with Julia and then up at Grant's. The time had come and I was mobile enough, and a very good friend from our yard also came with her horse, "Tommy", to the course, she had also been impressed with the IH way, and had a couple of lessons with Julia before the course. I think what I am trying to say is, it's like a journey for me and a lot of personal development on the way. We were warned from the outset of the course by Kelly that some people had felt quite emotional at times on the courses, and this was true for many of us. For me it was a feeling of coming home a place to learn and meet some like minded people wanting to improve their understanding of horses and their horsemanship. I remember on the first day when we were asked "Why we had decided to do the course" I thought about it, and felt that it was Odessa that had brought me here. Yes Odessa, she had caused me to want to find a better way. The courses are so helpful and informative and the people teaching you are encouraging, caring and kind, they really want you to get it, no matter what perspective you are coming from. I have since done the Stud Practice and Foal Handling course which was also great, a lot of classroom work with some practical foal handling, marvellous. Before my accident I had been looking to buy and run a livery yard and was also training through the BHS to become a riding Instructor, which although having to be put on the back boiler for a while, I intend to continue with, although I am now also hoping to progress to becoming an RA myself one day. I've booked myself onto the Horse Psychology and the Feeding and Nutrition course and am really looking forward to them. This is a life changing journey for me it has caused me to stop, take stock and re-evaluate. I have just started to ride again this week taking things slowly on some safer, diamond horses from my yard, The ones that really look after you and give you confidence. Odessa is still at Grant's and doing well, Grant has ridden her a couple of times without the pacifiers now, without too much fuss but we still have a way to go. I was allowed to sit on her yesterday and walked her in the round pen for the first time since the accident. I am thrilled to be back in the saddle, though a little stiff and sore. I am currently facing those concerns for my safety from those who are close to me as well as my own. However I must add, I have had and am still getting invaluable help and support from IH and the RA's who have worked with me, "Julia and Grant " and can not thank them enough. And so the journey continues! To anyone thinking of doing a course, I would definitely recommend. In our group on the 5 Day Foundation course, one lady was a dog trainer, she was mostly interested in the communication and training methods. So whatever your perspective there is sure to be something for you. Thankyou Monty, and thankyou Kelly for creating this organization and the work you do. The motives of which are impeccable, all strength to you and may it grow. Best Regards students Odessa & Janco.
Hi, My horse, Rudy, and I went on the Perfect Manners course last weekend, and I cannot emphasize enough how great it was. I had HUGE expectations, so it was pretty hard for the course to live up to them, but it did! Kelly was everything a good teacher should be - as far as I could tell she related to everyone on the course at their own level, as did the two RAs there, Sandra and Rosie. Many thanks to all. I was thrilled when Kelly chose to use Rudy for a Join Up demonstration - it was fantastic that she worked with him, and also incredibly useful to sit and watch how he responded to her. The two join up sessions I subsequently had with Rudy were almost too wonderful to describe - the first one was good, but the second one just left me on cloud nine. I had a pretty good relationship with him before the course, but he seems to really want to be around me know, whether I turn up in the field with a wheelbarrow, a bucket, a headcollar or just me! We were also able to use Rudy in a long lining session, and once again Kelly showed her skill in reading people - selecting the two other people I would have chosen myself to work with him. Once again, watching other people work with Rudy was hugely informative for me, and I believe very helpful for him. He was visibly thinking and learning. I couldn't recommend this course strongly enough - if you are lucky enough to be able to take your own horse, do so, it's great. But if not (and there were only two of us on this course with our own) you will still find it invaluable in terms of understanding how you affect the horses around you. Thanks Kelly, Sandra and Rosie - we'll both be back next year for the five day course! Ruth and Rudy.
"I treat horses good and I'm friendly to strangers." - Woodie Guthrie
My brand new appaloosa and I travelled together for the first time up to Hartsop, having only owned him for about 4 weeks. Although we got on fine and had no major issues, there were a few things that I wanted to tweak whilst I was up there.
We arrived and were instantly made to feel at home, with my special boy having a nice box looking out at everyone and the ability to put him into a round pen if he preferred it. He settled in immediately and I then settled to have a cuppa!
The people were lovely and the lessons informative and I got to use my boy in lots of join up sessions, as well as watching others work with him - all in all it gave me a better feel for him as a horse and his personality.
I have many photos and videos of him and others on the 5 day course and loved every second. I wouldn't hesitate to go back and do more courses with him next year and indeed hope to do so!
I now have a horse that loads all the time, thanks to Kelly's special loading session with him where she had my dear Embers running into the trailer after her, and a horse that I have such a close bond with that he is more than just a pet, he is part of my family and also of me.
We have had so many good times together in the 2.5 years I have now owned him and i know that there will be many more to come. I could not wish for a better horse and certainly could not wish that I had brought him on with any other methods, other than the ones I picked up from Kelly herself.
Love Lucy and Royal Embassy! xxx
We are all of us lying in the gutter, but some of us are looking up at the stars!
was allright. didn't change me much apart from the 3 years afterword's were the best of my life ;D the first day i was terrified the second i had found freinds nobody was at any different status than you.from the person that had a pony to the person with the string of polo ponies. we were all there for the same reason and so were the teachers. we all learned together .(here we go the catch fraize)its up to the student to draw in knowledge not the teacher to force knowledge in to the student .and what a fantastic opportunity to draw knowledge and with the support of others who really do wish you well. like i said it was alright. ps most memorable moments : i was in the round pen doing a join up in front of monty and just a little bit under pressure and monty asked me to turn the horse in a different direction and as i was a little nervous and telling the horse please be good didnt hear.so monty said it louder and despite numerous finger pointing the opposite direction i was still with the horse then .the the husky voice of a angel said other way .and and it all came together. god bless that chip fryer
for every reason you can think of not to do a course i can only think of one no i cant .