When I had the incredible opportunity to create Ladd Farm as a place for Natural Horsemanship Clinics, I made the conscious decision to take the best feel from my years of attending clinics. What did I like at that barn? That arena? How were the stalls set up? Where did the horses get turned out? Where would I stay? What about meals?
I wanted to create a place that was comfortable for the horses and the people. A place that flowed naturally when you came in. A place where I could bring Natural Horsemanship instructors who inspired me like Martin Black, Dave Ellis, David Lichman, Karen Rolf, Kelly Sigler Patterson.
As a right brain introvert, I found it was really hard to get myself out the door to study. I had to decide I was going to do it no matter how hard it was. When I began studying Parelli Natural Horsemanship I wanted to ride with the best that was available to me, even if that meant seeking them out.
I went to Parelli in Pagosa Springs, Colorado a total of 20 weeks. They have cabins that are super rustic. No electric, no water. Four beds, and three of your new best friends. I had to have my plan for the whole day, because once I left the cabin in the morning I didn’t come back again until evening.
After several Colorado experiences, I continued searching for instructors. I found most clinics involved going to the barn and dropping my horse off. And of course I would worry about leaving him in a new strange place. Then inevitably I would have to drop my trailer off at a different location. Next I’d drive somewhere to a motel. And then drive somewhere else to get dinner. Oh and turnout. It usually meant there was none, or you took your chances putting your horse in with an existing herd.
This was all very stressful. And I quickly realized that for me this was not a very good learning environment—it was not setting me up for success.
I wanted a place that did everything it could to allow for a great learning experience. A place to create a community of super learners. I hope you agree with me that Ladd Farm is that place.