The Willing Equine
"The free consent of the horse gives better results than any remedies through which we try to constrain him." — Salomon de la Broue
All our horses listed here are privately owned and live at our facility. They are not for sale unless otherwise stated. They each come from unique backgrounds and have so much to give. Click on their pictures to read more about them.
Finnegan aka "Finn"
2017 Gray Mini Pony
Finn's history during his foal years, but we do know he was born to a mare purchased from a kill pen already pregnant with him. When he was weaned he went to live with a loving family, who had hoped he would make a riding companion for their children. As time went on though, it became clear that he wasn't going to be big enough and also that he needed more physical care than they were prepared to offer at the time. There was clearly an injury of some kind to his hind end that caused uneven weight distribution and weakness behind. Not knowing the extent of the injury or how it would impact him long term, it seemed to be in Finn's best interest to find a home where he could have extensive medical and therapeutic care, and also be allowed to grow up in a horse friendly environment with companions and a suitable diet.
Since Finn's arrival early 2019 he has stolen the show here at TWE. His cute face and intelligence make him impossible to resist. A favorite of young kids, and adults alike, Finn is never far away when there may be someone willing to spare a little attention... for that people that is. The horses on the other hand tend to have a love hate relationship with Finnegan's antics. The youngsters endlessly play and rough house, despite the size difference, while the adults wish he would leave them alone. ;)
Our goals and future with Finnegan are flexible and really just as he's willing. We hope to introduce him to cart driving when he's older, but for now the focus is on finding the source of his compromised hind end movement and giving him an environment to grow and flourish in. Finn enjoys learning new things, exploring the barn at liberty, traveling to new places, and going on walks.
That Smokin Skeeter aka "Tiger"
2007 APHA Buckskin Mare
Tiger started off life on a ranch in Texas and then made her way to a training barn where, from what I can gather, she was intended to be a barrel racer. However, due to her sensitive nature and the all too common rough methods used during training, she quickly became frightened of humans. Behaviors such as bucking and rearing under saddle became an every day occurrence, refusing to be caught, shying away from a raised hand, and many nervous habits such as muscle twitches. To be honest though, I couldn't see any of this when I met her for the first time. All I knew was that this "gorgeous reject barrel racer with no name" was coming home with me. And so began a major transformation in my horsemanship journey.
Though every horse throughout my life has taught me a tremendous amount, Tiger was pivotal in changing the way I approached horse training. It took me awhile to figure out, but gradually I realized that undoing seven years of traumatic training wasn't going to happen by applying more pressure and correction. Traditional or natural horsemanship training methods just weren't going to remedy the deep seeded issues humans had caused this horse. Sure, I could force her to be obedient, but riding a frightened suppressed horse isn't my idea of a healthy partnership. Instead I wanted a willing partner that desired to do everything asked of her because I understood her, and offered her consistency, reliability, and a positive environment.
We have much work left to do, but when the horse that used to be impossible to catch now eagerly comes to me or waits at the gait for me...I know we are on the right path. And when the horse that used to dirty buck, bolt, and rear under saddle now calmly rides tack-less, I feel assured that she is a willing partner.
Our future goals include competing in western dressage, ranch riding, and cattle work, but honestly... the most important goal is that she does everything willingly and because she wants to. Which means our greatest goal is to build a mutually positive and understanding relationship. Tiger really enjoys liberty trot circles, advanced in-hand classical dressage work, and being groomed.
Shesa Spittin Image aka "Pumpkin"
2006 Red Dun ApHC Mare
Pumpkin had a good start in life, and was well cared for. She was started under saddle by a professional for sixty days then sent back to her owner where she was turned out to pasture. The goal was to breed her eventually, but that never came about. Eventually their breeding program changed directions and they were in search of a new home for miss Pumpkin.
The day we tried her out she hadn't been ridden in many years, straight out of the pasture she took good care of my novice rider husband and performed at her best. I knew right then and there that she was a keeper.
Later I discovered just how much Pumpkin had to teach me, despite being an "easy" "lesson" kind of horse. She's taken me on quite the journey, while at the same time being a willing trail mount for novice riders and a horse for my advanced students.
Pumpkin is a very quick learner, with an amazing ability to retain any training, but if you try and force her you will find an entirely different kind of horse on your hands. All the "negative" words you can think of might apply. Stubborn, dense, inflexible, and irritable are the words I used to describe Pumpkin with when ever she was asked to do something she didn't want to. At first I resisted the lessons she had to teach me about horses who respond unwillingly in this way, but as I've humbled myself and given her a choice I've watched a total transformation happen in our relationship. Her true potential has been unlocked through patient and positive training methods.
Our future goals include more liberty work, achieving riding through a consent based approach, teaching future students advanced under saddle work, and long distance trail rides. Pumpkin enjoys playing at liberty, cone targeting, and going on walks.
Blues Candy Bar aka "Candy"
1996 APHA Dark Brown Mare
My youngest sister fell in love with Candy at her first summer camp in 2014. Half blind and working on nineteen years old, it was just one of those "love at first sight" moments, and she just so happened to be going up for sale the end of that summer. Due to her age, her owner was looking to find her a new home where she wasn't required to work so often or so hard and we fit that bill perfectly. About a month later Candy came home to join the rest of the herd and never looked back.
When we first brought her home we quickly found out she had minimal if any dental care previously, she was unable to eat hay or grain and would only eat soft grass. She also had damage from poor saddle fit, bleeding open saddle wounds that left behind white marks once they healed. But despite all of this she was a reliable, patient, and as stoic as ever. Candy is just one of those horses that doesn't tell you when she is in pain. Her performance and health eventually show signs, but it's hard to ever know with her. She just happens to be a horse that won the genetic lottery and was able to cope with her lifestyle without it physically and mentally ruining her.
Candy is a very straight forward horse under saddle, and I mean that literally and figuratively. She's incredibly tolerant and willing when the job is a job she knows well. Anything out of the normal takes some time to get used to, but that's okay. Having a horse like Candy is a rare find. She's an excellent teacher and so reliable. We are very blessed to have such a wonderful horse.
The future for Candy is to maintain Candy's good health and physical condition into her later years, for her to help me teach clinics and students, and to enjoy the good life! Candy enjoys trot work with the reverse round pen, target training, and her evening soaked hay pellets.
1998 Sorrel QH/Appendix Gelding
The way Cash showed up in my life was a first for me. At the time I wasn't really looking for another horse, but when they sent me pictures of this sad, emaciated, sick horse I was horrified and knew I needed to take him home. I arranged to visit him, just thirty minutes away, and then take him home with me as soon as was possible. Unfortunately his owners at the time had now understanding of the level of cruelty they had subjected their horses to, and the authorities were useless in this case. I ended up having to pay quite a bit for him, but it was so worth it in the end. Despite his remodeled ribs, dislocated jaw, strangles, and so much more... he was so very willing to load up into a strange trailer and leave his home and his buddies. I think he knew I was there to help him, but also I know now he's just so very eager to avoid conflict, he will put up with far too much.
Thankfully Cash recovered at an amazing rate. His body and mind have taken a toll from the long years of hard work and poor care, but he is such a different horse now. Full of life and desire to please. My students have nick named him "Saint Cash" and absolutely adore him..
Cash's future goals are to continue rebuilding his health and body strength. And to live out the rest of his days in comfort. Cash really enjoys his evening soaked hay pellets, cone targeting, and being groomed.
Docs Magnolia River aka "River"
2016 Buckskin AQHA/APHA Filly
River is a horse I did not see coming my way any time soon. Mostly because finding her and buying her was extremely spontaneous, and I never thought I would own another foal again.. at least not for many many years. They are hard work! But the reward is so worth it if you can take the time to do it right.
Somehow I found myself in a position where this little filly showed up in a private message on Instagram and I instantly fell in love. I already knew two of her yearling half sisters and it just seemed meant to be. Especially since she was nearly the identical twin of my beloved mare Tiger.
River arrived home about three weeks later, directly after weaning. She was much younger than I was originally told, he weaning was too sudden, and had never been creep fed, so we went through a very rough period of depression and struggling to get her to eat. But after some initial time for her to adjust and recover, her training and personality started taking off.
Smart, sensitive, eager to learn, and with a big personality. River has a bright future ahead of here, and I'm so excited to watch both the physical and mental development using a consent based, positive reinforcement focused training approach.
My desire is for River to grow into a sound, healthy, reliable riding partner that can conquer anything before her. I feel River will strongly enjoy extreme trail riding and ranch riding when she is older, but for now she eagerly takes to the trails on hiking walks and enjoys swimming.