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Sam with Glascia

Our first show at Cottenham

 

Hi, I'm Sam Clarke, 27 years old.  I live in Cambourne (west of Cambridge) with my fiancée, Steve.  I am a scientist working for a Drug Discovery Company based south of Cambridge.

I have been riding since I was three and in my past I  have worked (paid as well as voluntarily) on BHS, polo, private and DIY yards.  Having experienced some very different approaches to horsemanship (some I would never want to be involved in again) I have finally found a way of horsemanship that suits me and, I think, my horses.

 

It was mainly fuelled after seeing a Parelli Demo at Equus a couple of years back.  I knew of Monty Roberts and his approach to horses but after seeing two Friesians (my favourite breed in the world!) working so gracefully online with a beautiful connection and bond to their owner, I realised this was something I wanted with my horses in the future.  I met with the usual comments of "it's just tricks" and "it's a con" from a lot of closed minded people but I was determined to achieve my dream.

After signing up as a Parelli member it was not until January, 2004 that I had the best opportunity to actually achieve my dream.  I took on my best friend's horse, Kate, a 9 year old bay TB mare by Le Moss.

She was a lovely mare but had issues with loading, catching and would suddenly, for no reason, flip out.  All the challenges were there to work on but it was another twist of fate (helped by Sîan with Bob) that I met Denise Nisbet and ended up keeping Kate at her yard.  

Denise is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to Natural Horsemanship and helped me work through Kate's issues.  After about a month, Kate and I had the seven games pegged.  By March, Kate was loading herself into a trailer, even in the dark!  Kate was getting easier to catch and I was so pleased with her, we had come so far.

In May, 2004, we went to our first show together where she totally amazed me with how far she had come in such a small amount of time.  She took the whole day in her stride and we came away with ribbons, which was more than I could have dreamed of.  She stood by the trailer between her classes and, when it came to go, she loaded herself and we were on our way home!

Glascia

Whilst at Denise's, I had the opportunity to take on and train Glascia, a 16.2hh Coloured IDX. She was very green and was frightened of jump poles.

I worked with Glascia to get her thinking more by teaching and playing the seven games and after some trust building, she broke through her fear of jumping poles and what a jump she now has!  We both made great progress in our learning and, due to Kate injuring her neck, I worked with Glascia at a Rio Baker clinic last summer which helped us both tremendously.

A lot happened last summer and after a few emotional moments where Glascia was eventually sold to a great home and Kate also moving to a new great home, I was offered a great chance.

Denise was moving back to South Africa and asked me if I would consider taking on Beach and, after some time thinking it over, I finally said yes!

Beach is a 16.3hh IDxTB and he is my dearest boy, I love him to bits.  I feel like we have a very strong bond and we get where each other are coming from.  I can't explain it but for those of you that have it with your horses, you'll know what I mean, he even knows when I have had a bad day!!.  Beach is a chilled out gentleman and I love working with him.  Our ground skills are going well and I most definitely love riding him.  I find that Parelli is not always the best way forward for Beach and we have started to look at other ways of learning (eg ANH, Mark Rashid, etc.) to help us achieve our goals, no matter how long it takes! 

Beach

I have been fortunate enough for Denise to ask me to manage her yard up until her house is sold and I am loving this opportunity.  I have also tried my best to offer the same sort of advice and support for the current liveries in the same way Denise so willingly offered hers when I came to the yard.  This whole experience has been so rewarding I cannot believe how lucky I have been.

Beach and I have been out and about competing at Dressage, Cross Country and Showing.  All in all, we have done extremely well and I am so proud of our achievements.

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* Courtesy of Phillips Photography
 

On the 11th of June, 2005 Beach and I were placed second in our first Prelim18 test and qualified for the 2nd Round of the National Dressage Trailblazers competition after getting a result of 60%, our highest percentage ever!  This is the first national competition we have ever qualified for (well, for me at least!)

Summer Camp -August, 2005

Beach at Tetworth March 25th, 2007

See video clips of Beach:

Beach and I at playday practicing liberty
Cross country - Beach and Pike

As you aware, I took on Beach in November, 200404 from Denise.  Denise contacted me in May, 2007 and asked me if I would like to have Beach as they would not be returning to the UK.  I was so very humbled and truly honoured by this offer; I of course accepted immediately.  Beach and I officially belong to each other as of the 22nd May, 2007.  I am now the proud owner of two very, very special horses.”

 

Update Dec 06
Since my last ramblings, we have moved the horses.  We are still in Little Gransden and keep the horses at a lovely 10 acre field (for summer) as well a very secluded 4 acre field (for winter).  I am lucky enough to share these fields with Sharon and her 2 horses Stilton and Mr Jones.

I have been on an incredible journey over the last 2 years with a lot of highs and its fair share of lows.  With one thing and another I have followed paths that have opened up some wonderful opportunities for me.

Enlightened Equitation Student
Due to Beach’s ill fitting saddle, I investigated saddles (treed and treeless) which lead me to the door of Heather Moffett.  Heather has been extremely helpful advising me on many areas of saddle fitting and after trialling her range of saddles I bought the Suberpanel Fheonix.  I have also been looking in to her style of riding and I have now been accepted on Heather’s Enlightened Equitation Teacher Training Program.  I was due to start Oct 06 but due to a run of back luck, this wasn’t able to happen so I will be starting my training with Heather in Oct 07.

EP Student
I keep Beach barefoot and, after a series of poor trims after our farrier retired, Sharon and I were left feeling very unhappy with how are horses feet were looking.  After further research into trims and trimming (must be the scientist in me), Sharon and I decided to try out an EP (Equine Podiatrist).  Adi Pratt came highly recommended and start trimming for us in April 06.  I was so impressed with the change and over all improvement in all the horses feet that I am now training to become a fully qualified EP, which I started in July 06.

Trinity

Introducing Trinity
 In June 06, I took on a youngster originally called Flossy.  She was not a “Flossy” girl at all and after much deliberating we chose to call her Trinity and it really does suit her!

Trin turned out to have a complicated past.  With one thing another Trin ended up being reported STOLEN by her previous owners and, after a very traumatic time in both our lives, everything was sorted out when my parents offered to buy her for me.  Trin is my Birthday and Christmas present for the next 10 years and I so please that she is well and truly mine ... what a fantastic present!

Trin is Dutch Warmblood X Irish Draught, born in May 2002, currently standing close to 17.2hh.  It turns out that she is very well bred (her old passport showed “Breed Unknown” as she was registered with the Horse Passport Agency).  After a few letters, I had contacted the gentleman that bred Trin and I even managed tracked down the owner of the stallion that Trin was by.  I visited both parties, met Trin’s parents, who were lovely, and their owners supplied me with all the paperwork I needed to upgrade Trinity’s passport.  I have now registered her, including her lineage, with the Sport Horse Breeding Society.

 
Trinity’s Pedigree.

TRINITY  M, DUTCH WARMBLOOD, 2002

TRINITY*
gr/r 17.1hh 2002
DUTCH WARMBLOOD

CYRUS
gr 17.2hh 1984
DUTCH WARMBLOOD

RAMIRO Z*
dkb/br 175 cm 1965
HOLSTEINER

RAIMOND*
gr 166 cm 1960
HOLSTEINER

RAMZES*
gr 166 cm 1937

RITTERSPORN

 

gr 1917

JORDI

gr 1928

INFRA
br 159 cm 1950

FANATIKER*

br 1940

LINING

br 1934

VALINE*
dkb/br 161 cm 1961
HOLSTEINER

COTTAGE SON*
blk/br 164 cm 1944

YOUNG LOVER

br 1930

WAIT NOT

br 1925

HOLLE
br 159 cm 1949

LOGENSCHLIESSER

br 160 cm 1943

ILONA

br 1932

RASTANORA
WESTPHALIAN

RUBIN
gr 1.73 m 1961
WARMBLOOD

RUMIAN
gr 1936

RITTERSPORN

 

gr 1917

PESTKA II

gr 1925

HAPPY
b 166-197-21,5 1944

FERNRITT

br 1939

FOLIA

br  

ASTA

AAR
br 164 cm 1955

ABSCHAUM

dk ch 1942

FLUTWELLE

b 1936

GOLDFEEH

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MEGAN
ro ~16hh ~1994
IRISH DRAUGHT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trin has settled in brilliantly with our little herd.  Beach is very much in love with her and they have pair bonded extremely well.

Trin was not backed when she came to me and I have chosen to back her myself taking as long as it takes.  With that in mind, we have already started our journey together and Trin is coming on in leaps and bounds (see video clip).

Since this was filmed, Trin has learnt to trot and to be ridden in a saddle; she is progressing very well.

Trinity at her first ever show
(The Melbourne Show 2007)

After a tough winter with two abscesses in her back feet, Trinity is going from strength to strength, we are now hacking out and we have started on her ridden schooling.  We have done a little bit of jumping and her canter work is improving (the joys of having a massive field to practice in!!!).  I managed to film a bit of our first ever schooling session so if you want to see how she is coming along follow this link: Trinity’s first schooling session May, 2007.


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