Horses have been my life for as long as I can remember. It was never a hobby, but a passion, a dedication, and a lifestyle.
I grew up in Calgary in the competitive Hunter/Jumper scene, and later transitioned to Dressage. Sabir Springs Farm was initially established as a Warmblood breeding business where we proudly stood two imported stallions, including the world renown Dutch Stallion, Argus. Pictured below is the last offspring of this special horse.
Although I consider myself a Dressage rider, I feel there is alot of misconception about what Dressage is. In it's simplest definition, Dressage simply means "the art of riding and training a horse in a manner that develops obedience, flexibility, and balance". And isn't this what everyone seeks to achieve no matter what tack they choose to ride in?
Thus, I prefer not to distinguish between "Western" and "English", as I believe correct riding is correct riding.
There are many philosophies and training methods today, and it is here that sets the true Horseman apart from the rest.
About 10 years ago, I was watching my son work with a horse. I saw something that I cannot adequately put into words, but he had a connection with the horse that went well beyond "training". I saw that this horse was "with" Travis on a mental level, not just a horse responding obediently to physical aids or cues. And while I had spent many years advancing up the levels in Classical Dressage, I did not feel that I had this added level of connection, and I wanted it!
It was here that I began to incorporate the teachings of Buck Branaman to all my work with horses and it was a game changer. My horses became more senstive, more focused, more relaxed! Pictured below, Travis riding his BLM Mustang Scooter.
My philosophies changed dramatically once I embraced the compliment of Horsemanship. I began asking myself:
Does my horse understand what I am asking of him?
Does my horse enjoy what we are doing together?
Am I being fair to my horse in what I am asking, or being too demanding and setting him up for failure?
These are the questions I like to keep in mind when I am working with a horse. If our work cannot be accomplished with straight forward, classical, ethical, and comfortable (gadget free) methods, something is not right, and we better dial things back and start again.
Sabir Springs Farm is a peaceful and non competitive place for both horse and rider. Our work with horses incorporates a balance of ground work, schooling, and if desired, lots of trail riding! Whether you are a novice, or already have some skills, it would be my honor and pleasure to work with you.