I would like to say a massive thank you to Grant, Lotte and Marco for backing Santella with such knowledge, professionalism and patience. It was absolutely the right decision to send her to them to be backed and I would not hesitate to do it again. She thoroughly enjoyed her stay with them and went from being an immature leggy horse who didn't know what to do with her body to a confident, balanced and well rounded horse ready to move on with her education. They treated her as an individual with such a deep understanding of her specific needs that I know that I now have a fabulous riding horse ready to build a true partnership. The team were also very supportive of me, answering all my questions with patience and thoroughness. My first ride was a massive thrill with Santella being so well behaved and maintaining her balance with ease. So thank you Grant, Lottie and Marco. I will be back to learn more from you and I want you to know how much I appreciated what you have done for me and Santella.
Jane Snookes, October 2015
I have never really had any great interest in the methods used in natural horsemanship, being a dressage rider I have had fairly limited exposure. I never thought it would be something I would consider as a training step for any of my horses. However in August 2013 I bought my newly backed 4year old Warmblood (Percy) and started having a number of major problems, after 5months of trying to work through the problems with no avail my trainer and I decided to seek out some much needed help!
I stumbled across Grant (Practical Horsemanship) when looking into different training methods used to deal with ‘problem horses’. Grant was very understanding and reassuring on the phone and I was able to move Percy across asap.
When I moved Percy to Grant’s, I was having a number of major issues whilst riding (that was if I could get on to start with). He was incredibly impatient, would not stand still to mount. Riding was completely unpredictable, one day he would be great, then the next day I couldn't even walk around the school, he would spin, nap, rear or refuse to move forward. This was happening both in the school and whilst out hacking.
Eight weeks later and I can not thank Grant enough for all the amazing work he has done.
Grant is a great teacher, and has a very clear logical way of explaining why the horse is reacting a certain way to the situation it faces. He takes the time to explain everything he is doing, helping to build both mine and Percy’s confidence together.
Grant spent the first couple of weeks, working with myself and Percy from the ground- helping me to understand and learn new techniques and methods of training, whilst building Percy’s confidence, trust and respect. We then moved into the ridden work, Grant was patient and an excellent teacher. He taught me a number of different techniques to apply when Percy reacted to a situation.
Percy is now like a different horse, forward thinking, trusting and his confidence is growing day by day. I understand that this isn’t an overnight fix but the difference I have witnessed over eight weeks is something incredible. From not being able to get on, to going out for a relaxing hack, working in the school and being able to mount and dismount wherever.
I am overwhelmed with what Grant has been able to achieve. I am confident in the methods Grant has taught me both on the ground and in the saddle and it is reassuring to know that Grant is just at the end of a phone.
I truly couldn’t recommend Grant highly enough whether it is to help with a problem horse or for starting/breaking a horse. Your horse could not be in better hands.
K. D. Oxford
Comment from Sara's owner, Starting/Breaking Horse
Dear Grant and all the team,
thank you all so much for the care of my mare whilst she was with you. Thank you all so very very much for giving Sara the start in life that I always dreamed of giving her.
Best wishes always.
RW, owner of Sara, Leicestershire
Comment from Jack's owner, Bucking/Napping Horse recovering from Kissing Spines operation
Just wanted to thank you both Grant and Anna for all your help with Jack. After sending him to New Leaf Equine/Practical Horsemanship Jack and I are getting on so much better. We hack out alone and I've taken him on an endurance ride, something I would never have done before. Jack has stopped his napping and refusals to go forward when hacking. Together with the confidence you have given me Jack is now definately not a problem horse anymore. I look forward to future lessons so we can carry on growing together. I would thouroughly recommend you!
SO, owner of Jack, Leicestershire
Letter from Berlington Bertie's owner, "BB" was a remedial ridden/bucking problem
Well where do I start! I am so pleased with what you have been able to achieve with BB. When we first met you back in june I really wasn't that hopeful that we would ever be able to ride him, but after the Cotswold Show my hopes where up and I hoped that one day I would be able to see him being ridden.
The last eight weeks have been the most amazing for me. I have learnt all about communicating with my ponies as well as some wonderful new techniques to school/work them. I've watched BB's progress from a scared/hurt pony to a rideable happy pony. I could watch you and Anna all day working with the horses you have come through your gates. My hope is that I'll be able to continue to work with BB and keep him as happy and content as he seems since his return from New Leaf Farm.
So once again Thank you for your time, help and support. I have a feeling you might be hearing from me on a regular basis.
Take care and best wishes,
MW, owner of BB, West Sussex
We bought clogs as a yearling. He had great breeding for showumping. He grew up with us and evetually the time came to start him. We had mostly started our own horses, but now we felt we didn’t have the time. So we found a professional trainer to start him. Or so we thought. At about the same time Monty Roberts gave a demonstration in Den Bosch. My mother had given me his book as a birthday present and I wanted to see wat he did. At that demonstration Annemarie van der Toorn advertised with the first join-up follow-up course in Holland. Marco had been to a feet trimming course so I felt that I was allowed to follow this course. Annemarie stated that if we had a horse with aproblem we could bring it along. At that time I didn;t think I had one. About a week before the course started I went to check on Clogs. I found him sedated in his stall. To make a long story short I did have a problem, and a big one. I called up Annemarie and asked her if I could still bring a horse. She said of course I could. So I did.
At that time Ian Vandenberghe was giving the course. He worked with Clogs both days. At the end of the course I asked him if he could fix the horse. He said yes no problem, but he would have to go to England. I callled Marco intears to tell him. E said we have some money saved, use it to take the horse to England. I don’t think we ever made a better decision. Annemarie accompanied us to England. I am still greatful fr that. As you can imagine it is a long exciting journey. At Ian Vandenberghe’s place Grant was the rider to restart Clog’s. We went back to Holland and waited for the phonecall that we could pick him back up. Only four weeks later Ian called. We went back to England to collect him. We stayed for a few days and I could ride him through the Englisch Landscape. I was amazed. I had to learn more, and so I did.
Back home we continued the desensitisation. A little later than I planned (we started a family) I started showjumping competitions with him. He’s doing great. I’m starting 1.20 meter courses with him now. I actually believe he is going to be amazing. He has alot of talent.
Thank you Grant for giving him is second chance and for intoducing me to a for me whole new and better way of training horses. Thanks so much.
Thomas’s Story, Remedial Starter/Bucking Horse
I first saw Thomas in a 30 acre field in Ireland three years ago. I loved him instantly and told the dealer to send him over to me, little did I know the challenge I was about to face. He was four years old and was allegedly broken and was seen jumping at Gorsbridge sales. When Thomas arrived off the transporter he was very very nervous and I was unable to get near him in the stable, after 3 weeks of working with him I put a saddle on him and his reaction was the most extreme I had ever seen. He behaved like a rodeo horse and didn’t stop bucking until the saddle was on the floor! He was lathered in sweat and shaking in the corner of my school. I couldn’t hold onto him so I stood horrified and shocked in the opposite corner. What had happened in the past to this poor horse? What do I do now?
I eventually decided that it was the saddle that was upsetting Thomas so I stupidly decided to get on him without one. I quickly learned that it wasn’t only the saddle that Thomas didn’t like on his back but also a rider!! I was propelled into the air and I was lucky not to seriously hurt myself, and my mum, who got flattened in the process!
Many people would have given up at this point but because Thomas was so frightened and extreme in his behaviour I knew that this was not his fault.
It took me 2 years to find Grant and his team. I had already taken Thomas to a couple of people claiming that they could help but I refused to leave him - I needed to feel confident that they were right for him.
After chatting to someone online & seeing Grant’s rodeo pictures on the website and reading about his methods, I decided to give him a call. A couple of weeks later I left Thomas with Grant, it was the best thing I could have done for this little horse. After seeing Grant and Dan working with him at the open day I was in tears,with what they managed to achieve in a short demonstration and new i had found the perfect place for Thomas to be trained.
Thomas came back home a totally different horse. He is more confident and finally I feel confident riding him – something that I never ever thought possible. He has his first cross country next week and to me Grant has worked nothing short of a miracle.
Thank you so much Grant, Dan and Team!
RC, owner of Thomas, Yorkshire