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Michelle believes that communication of all levels is important in helping both horse and rider thrive.  She works well with very sensitive horses and has trained several horses (previously considered dangerous) to the upper levels and even to become amateur friendly.

“I like to start on the ground and develop trust through natural horsemanship.  I believe this work establishes the perfect foundation for a horse under saddle.  A horse will perform at its best when it trusts you.”

Michelle believes in establishing strong groundwork, believing it is the foundation of everything in the saddle.  This work includes natural horsemanship, desensitizing, and establishing basic responses to common aids used in the saddle. 

Once in the saddle, the trust work continues.  At this point, listening to the horse is very important.  Ensuring that you push, but not past the “snapping” point is essential in ensure you continue building that trust. 

“I take pride in my conversations with the horses I work with.  Some horses are scared, some are anxious, and others are frustrated.  Knowing what kind of emotion I’m working with helps in my approach and type of training.”

This foundation establishes a level of acceptance, trust and patience from the horse, which is perfect for training.  With this base, the finishing and moving up in levels begins. 

The German Training Scale is the base of Michelle’s philosophy for training. With this guide she works with the horse through the stages to move up the levels.  Intertwined in that is jumping.  A horse's confidence over fences drives the horse's progression as to avoid scaring them.  This requires listening and working with the horse to determine how they're feeling about the training.

A confident horse is a happy and safe horse.

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