Pic: My girl Trudi. 7/8 TBxID
At the age of 2 my Grandad sat me on my first horse and I have been in love with them ever since.
As I have grown so has my love and understanding for horses grown and developed. Today, I feel very lucky and honoured in that I have found that most of the horses I meet like and trust me, which makes working together much easier. However, some horses have had such a bad start in life or have been so badly treated by other people that working with them can be dangerous, in cases like these we may have no other choice but to have them sedated in some way in order to help them.
After completing a 22 year career in the Army, I decided that I would spend the rest of my working life doing the one thing that I have a passion for and that passion is working with, and helping horses.
Pic: Me and Lucifer jumping at the Defence Animal Centre, Melton Mowbray.
I was given a book called ''Emotional healing for horses and ponies'' by Judy Howard. This is a book about Bach Flower Remedies and how they can help horses with problems. After reading just the introduction and first few pages I thought I would try these remedies on a horse that I had just taken on.
Trudi constantly box walked and would never relax, she was a pain in the butt for everyone and was really difficult to work with.
The results were amazing and totally changed her attitude to life and because of this I have become an advanced flower remedies practitioner and have also done other holistic healing courses in order to allow me to help all the animals and people I meet to enjoy a better life.
Pic: Ikie, owned by Mac McKenny of Homeplace Ranch, Alberta, Canada. One of the best horses I have ever had the pleasure to ride.
I met my first Equine Dental Technician (EDT) when he came to a yard I was running to work with some horses and I was fascinated with the work he was doing.
That meeting changed my life and I decided there and then that I wanted to know and learn more about dentistry. He told me that I could train in the UK, but that the best place in the world to learn was America. After a lot of research I went to Glenns Ferry in Idaho to the Academy of Equine Dentistry in Glenns Ferry, Idaho and it was there that I started my training and a few years later certified as an Equine Dentist (CEqD) and became a member of the International Association of Equine Dentists (IAED). The IAED is the bigest dental association in the world but is not widely known of here at home. In the UK we have the World Wide Association of Equine Dentists (WWAED) and the British Association of Equine Dental Technicians (BAEDT). I researched both of these associations and what they had to offer me. I talked to members of both associations and attended some of their training events. I chose to take the exams of the WWAED and join that association, which is the only association recognised by DEFRA as tainers and provides of level 2 dental exams.
Pic: Winchester, Owned by the White Stallion Ranch in Tucson Arizona. (www.whitestallionranch.com)
I went to Alberta in Canada to learn about Western Riding. It was a rancher named Mac Makenny and his foreman Brad at the Homeplace Ranch www.homeplaceranch.com who taught me the skills required to be a wrangler.
They must have thought I was good for something as Mac offered me a job and I worked for him for two seasons.
While I was at the ranch I got to meet guests from all over the world including the USA, Europe and the UK. Having watched the way I work with horses and the respect and love I have for them, a lot of these people have become good friends and I am honoured to visit them and work with them and their horses.