DeLeonardo Farrier Consultation Services
More About Trainer Gwen Davies DeLeonardo
I started my love affair with horses at the age of four. That was the age at which I finally convinced my mother to take me to Buck Norred Stable in Cupertino, CA. and she rented me a horse. On my very first ride, a gun went off nearby, spooking the horse, who was a big palomino gelding, and he startled forward right out from under me. As I tumbled off, my Mom screamed, " Oh My God GWENYTH!", and as I got up, I dusted myself of and said " Shhhh! Be quiet, Mommy. You will scare him more!" I guess it didn't even occur to me to be scared. And so it began.....
By the time I was six, I had my own pony, a strawberry roan Shetland/Welsh cross named Huckleberry Finn we purchased from Hope Scherf, and rode all over the Saratoga foothills like a wild indian, barefoot and bareheaded. I went in my very first horse shows on him, riding western. At 10, I got my first horse, a tall chocolate palomino half Arabian mare named Jasmine. She was three when I got her, and with the help of a local dressage trainer I started her classically and taught her all of her basics. She went on to become a fabulous all around show horse, winning many high point titles english and western, and was an extraordinary trail horse. She was also my best friend, one that would never tell me anything but the truth, taught me that kindness and patience will always be rewarded, and always did me the favor of showing me my patterns. I will be forever in her debt.
In High School, I started training and showing other people's horses, and giving lessons. I used my experience with open showing to school Arabians, Morgans, Quarter Horses, Paints and Appaloosas. I had the privilege of being discovered by Carol Mingst, whose family owned Crown Jewel Arabians, and was allowed to show her horses all over California in Class A Breed shows. Although I had shown my own horse in open shows, even going to the Cow Palace, this was a completely different world to me. I was lucky enough to learn the "long way around" creating a show horse, through foundation, compassion, and balance. No Pain, No Shortcuts, No Violence. I also developed my appreciation and love of CMK Arabians, which continues on with my herd. I got to go to famous facilities, and meet amazing trainers, which opened my eyes to a multitude of ways to keep, handle, breed and train horses. Thank You Carol, for your patience, and all of the wonderful things that I have been and continue to be exposed to because you have always believed in me. You saw things in me that I couldn't see. You are a wonderful friend and mentor.
Continuing my education is essential to what I do. I am in my 40's now, and one of the things I love most about horses is that no matter how much I know now, no matter how much I will ever know about horses, it will always be one drop in a sea of knowledge. I learn everything I can, as often as possible, and I know that I could do that for the rest of my life and always be fascinated. I think one of the most amazing things our horses bring to us is the capacity to be humble. I know that one of the most powerful things we can do as horse people is to humble ourselves at the feet of another horse person who knows something that we don't. I do that whenever possible, and I know I am a better person and horse person for it.
People often ask me what method I teach, and I simply reply that I don't teach the method, I teach the horse. A truly well rounded horse person has the ability to draw from multiple disciplines to find the best solution for each horse based on the way that horse thinks and the way it learns the best. I believe in an open line of communication between horse and rider. A relationship between the two based on equal parts of love, trust, and respect. In seeing the horse's world from the horse's perspective, and seeing each horse as unique; as an athletic physical being, a thinking and emotional creature, a personality, and as the sum of its experiences. A relationship with a horse is a long amazing journey. I hope you will allow me the privilege of being part of your journey, and that you will become part of mine.Type your paragraph here.
Gwen Davies DeLeonardo