Ron Pyne is a great horseman and an excellent teacher. He has a tremendous gift of communicating exquisitely the fundamentals of horsemanship to his students and their equine partners. He then helps each student build on those fundamentals to address the particular challenges facing each of us with our horses.
For many years I had simply been a horse owner who loved to ride. I had no real understanding of horsemanship and horses. When I purchased a new horse a few years ago, it became painfully obvious to me how little I knew about horsemanship and I had little or no horse savvy to draw on when I started having difficulties. The only thing I was pretty sure of at the time was that it was all the horse's fault!
Each clinic I have attended under Ron's instruction, my horse and I have always made significant progress along the road to a greater partnership. I am certain that my horse is just as thrilled with my progress toward being a real horseman as I am with her becoming a real partner.
One of the most exciting weekends for me in this journey played out with Ron helping me transform my horse from an impulsive runaway to an equine partner asking the question, "Is it time to stop yet?" All of this was at a walk, a trot and a canter! It was incredible to see the transformation and even more amazing to experience it with my horse!
Thank-you Ron for teaching me how to "keep it natural".
Thank you very much for our hospitality last week during my visit. I really had an awesome time, and I learned a lot. And I just love being in the country with all the nature and the horses - it's a great gift that you gave me.
Thank you for all your time, patience, compassion and for sharing your knowledge. The best teachers in the world are share-aholics and help their students grow. You certainly are the best I have ever had the honour of studing with.
Thanks for a terrific stay on your beautiful farm, the Horsemanship was A-one and the trail ride fantastic.
Skye's the Limit Ranch is a magical place to be a part of. Leaving with lots to practice perfectly.
Thanks.....the lst session we had has totally changed the dynamics between Illypso and me. I would have never gotten there without your knowledge and teaching.
Sue Solf and Blossom
View Their youtube Video
Making The Change For My RBE Horse
My story starts in England with a traditional horse riding back ground. By the age of 11 years I was doing Gymkhana’s, jumping and hunting most weekends and ‘teaching’ other kids to ride to help finance entry fees etc . I found it easy to direct a horse’s energy as opposed to getting them to go and got a reputation for riding crazy horses. I had started my Arabian horse Blossom when she was 4 years old and was riding her out on the trails in a snaffle bit. She was easy to go but hard to stop. All I had to do was let go of the reins and she would be in a flat out gallop and I would ask her to slow down a good 300 yards before I really needed her to come back to a trot as this is how long it would take before she even started to respond. I didn’t think this was a problem and actually liked her ‘goey-ness’. Blossom was an extreme right brain extrovert, extremely claustrophobic and very untrusting. She was starting to become dangerous to herself. She would rear up when tied, pulling back until something broke, nearly breaking her neck on one occasion as she flipped over on her back. She could not cross the yellow line on the highway or water on the trail and refusing to go near to things that looked scary. All these things were not improving with time and getting in the way of our riding.
When I was 46 my husband and I immigrated to Canada and it was here that I had firsthand experience of Parelli Natural Horsemanship that would change my life with horses for ever. My neighbor invited me to a demonstration that some friends were putting on to show their progress in PNH. They were both level 2 students and one guy had only had the experience of horses since starting the program 2 years prior to his demo. These guys were doing more with their horses and had a better relationship than I could ever hope for and at the end of their demo they pointed to the trailer and the two horses jumped in. Well I was blown away after that and ordered my level one package as soon as I got home.
I found PNH was really helping Blossom. She was starting to yield to pressure instead of over reacting. She could walk over the tarp now and touch something with her nose. All these things took forever but now she was getting more confident. Her emotions were still high and she would get on adrenalin easily and circles on line would sometimes look like flying a kite.
I had now been in the program for 3 years and was a level 2 student. Ron Pyne was giving monthly lessons nearby and I decided that I would take Blossom. Trailer loading had always been an issue. I would need to plan ahead with lots of practice before hand if I was going to take her anywhere and we now had it down to 2 hours. We arrived late but no worries we were on horse time. Ron asked if anyone was having trouble with jumping or trailer loading. Wow, it seemed like the lesson was just for me and Blossom. We played with ‘Don’t leave without your horse’ game and energy up, energy down. I didn’t realize that I always left without my horse expecting her to follow and I didn’t have a neutral. I always had my energy up which equaled pressure for my sensitive little mare. This lesson was a breakthrough in managing my energy and focus and the start to a better connection between me and my horse. We also did some riding and Ron was quick to notice that we were all go and no woe and put us onto circling close to 4 barrels until she made a connection with them and then going and standing in the centre between the barrels and relaxing. He suggested that I should not ride Blossom on the trails for more than one out of seven times that I ride her if I was going to help her to relax. I didn’t want to hear that as I loved going out exploring. I had hit a junction and had to decide if I was going to be selfish and carry on doing what I wanted or whether I was going to make the change for my horse. I took these thoughts home and worked on that pattern for nearly a month before I could let go of the reins and just use my body to communicate. I still didn’t want to give up the trail riding but this decision was made for me when I broke my collar bone. It was a blessing in disguise. I now realized how much I micro managed and forced my horse in order to get the job done. I wasn’t truly giving her the responsibility. This was my chance to concentrate on on line and take the time my horse needed. I found that I was forced to slow down due to my recent accident, by a quick reminder of pain if I didn’t and I got to spend lots of undemanding time with my horse now that I was unable to ride her. A few months later we passed our on line level 3 with a ++ .
The following Spring I had Ron to my Farm for lessons. We were making progress on line but our freestyle needed some help. I was having problems with carrot stick riding. If I was ever going to ride Blossom bareback and bridle less then we needed help sooner rather than later. Ron gave me a pattern to do that was follow the rail but using partial disengagement every time she sped up and lateral flexion after I quit riding until she could stop. This was to help Blossom relax and for me to stop grabbing at the reins. I had learned to react very quickly and I was frightening her. I did this lesson every day until she started to relax. We could now do follow the rail at the walk with hardly any corrections. It was an amazing feeling when I could get her to stop just by dropping my energy.
A month later my relationship with my horse had regressed to the point that catching and saddling was an issue again. I was starting to feel stuck and frustrated and reminding myself that the ‘darkest hour is before the dawn’ those words of “you have to be the leader your horse needs you to be” rang out in my head but I didn’t know how. Our relationship needed to be fixed before we could make any progress. It was a very wet morning when Ron arrived and not many participants so an ideal time to stop and evaluate how things were going. I spilled out my story and another student was also having saddling issues so the lesson started in the barn. When I went into her stall Ron said I didn’t have permission. Why? He had noticed a slight tip of her nose as I approached. I had been barging into her bubble without realizing. After that lesson I played with approaching other animals on the farm to see if I could read where their bubble was. I also had to work on ‘protecting my heard of two’. After a couple of weeks Blossom made her first attempt of coming to me. This was a big breakthrough. She had tolerated me catching her in the past and now she was making attempts to come to me. She managed one or two steps and then you could see the “I can’t do it” look and she would stay away looking like she wanted to come to me but couldn’t. This was huge. I knew she was trying her heart out and decided that this was more important than any other thing at the moment and if we never got to do anything else then that was OK. This went on for a few weeks before she was able to come to me to be caught.
I didn’t get to ride much and most of our time was concentrated on the relationship and taking things slowly. When I did get to ride it was like a dream come true. Everything we had done before was better, smoother and I could feel the connection. Blossom was now less impulsive and occasionally left brain. I could not believe this would last and thought that as soon as I took her out on the trails she would go back to her old ways. When I did ride her out she was amazing. She was braver and calmer and trusted that I would look after her. I noticed that she was taking in her surroundings and even the scary scrap yard that we often went by became interesting and she wanted to check out each scrap car and piece of junk instead of squirting by. When we cantered it was smooth and she came back to the trot and walk without me picking up the reins I was so happy and I knew now my dream of being able to ride her bareback and bridle less was in our sights thanks to our lessons with Ron Pyne.