Host: Saltriver Horsemanship
Written by Kellie Stewart – Owner, Saltriver Horsemanship and Performance Horses.
I usually oversee the business at home when not conducting horsemanship clinics or studying horse and human behaviour. Currently I am working on our online learning course so we can assist people when we can’t physically be there. There is so much to learn about setting up websites and it takes up a lot of time.
I have conducted a few station clinics on DeGrey, Moola Bulla, and Meda, a memorable one was at Louisa. Heath and I were to be doing a colt starting clinic together when Heath got a nasty dose of gastro, confining him to bed. Being a female presenter to a group of Aboriginal men was a little daunting at first, but as they realised I was quite capable they really opened up and were a lot of fun. The funniest part was getting them to hold up a horses tail and walk around the back of the horse to cross sides. Initially they were petrified and the others on the rail were cringing waiting for the person doing it to get kicked over the rail, but as they each had a go and survived they really grew in confidence.
Another entertaining one was Moola Bulla in 2004. At the end of the clinic we suggested a group photo, and one of the boys yelled “let’s get naked!” Stripping down to just their boots and hats they posed for some hilarious “natural horsemanship” photo’s!
I love colt starting. Understanding the start is critical to understanding the foundation we want on a horse so I love teaching this to my students. I have never been that great at “hanging up” (staying on if they buck), so it has given me extra incentive to improve my feel and timing to help the horse not feel the need to buck. I love learning and have attended many clinics around the world to improve my knowledge.
I travelled to the US in 2009 when my mentor Ray Hunt invited me to stay with him and was very fortunate to participate in his final clinic before his death. One day we were all riding colts and one of the guys in front of me and I got a little close and he missed the moment to redirect her when she went to kick me. My leg popped like a sausage it was so gross watching the dogs fossick around bits of my leg! I ended up getting airlifted to Tarrant County Hospital. Thank god for travel insurance!