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Success Story - Sheri & Pony

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A MUST read;

Hi my name is Sheri,

A little over two years ago I fulfilled a lifetime dream born from an inherited love of horses bred from my late grandfather who was a jockey and horse trainer, and his father a manager at Woodlands before him. Being 39 years old my experience with horses went no further than tagging along with my Dad to the stables and track, to assuming ownership of any horse within walking distance from my home and having full patting rights of them to trail rides with my husband at various places over the years - so experience level = zero.

After a suggestion to do something we had always longed to do, we jumped in and purchased our first horses from someone we had been taking riding lessons from. Mine being a 4yo 14.2 Roan Clydie cross, Cobb Pony cross, TB (I know what your thinking and it really isn't that bad it kinda works for him) Our lessons continued on the school horses for a short time and thankfully we learnt a few ground basics from the young grooms there, grooming, hosing down ect. Unfortunately our first big lesson was not to automatically trust someone when you already had a feeling not too. It was at this time we searched for somewhere else to agist them and ceased lessons. We found a great place close to home, so we met the Transport truck at the new property, off he came and was handed to me and we were directed by the property owners to take them "out the back" which was a I guess a 500m walk past other horses galloping wildly at the prospect of new room mates, down a creek and across a cause way and back up a creek to his paddock. I had never led a horse that distance and had no idea how to do so effectively let alone safely, the owners of the property were amused and horrified at the same time. This I would say is the beginning of our journey, which is like building a brick wall, first you need the correct materials, then a good foundation, then row after row of practice held together with the morter of great knowledge from trusted people, sometimes the rows and the morter get in the wrong order but your wall is still coming along. Here we learnt firstly how to lead, making the trips "out the back" much easier, and time was put in with us and we were given lessons in lunging and basic riding, we watched everything that was going on around the property and picked up some knowledge of basic care along the way and what we learnt from these people at that time I will be forever grateful for.

My horse (who by now had a name change, not by me!) and I were row by row coming along slowly and was getting out and about in a group of experienced riders going on trail rides, lunging well in a round yard but still there were lots of gaps in our wall and many things we had to learn. This is when the property had a change of hands and great hands they were, being Roz and John. We have been blessed in being able to stay on at what is now the Australian Equine Institute. Roz had a different approach and for me everything just clicked and within the first month my confidence and riding skill greatly improved and Pony decided to rename himself Pony! I made the decision to enroll in the Certificate III in Horsemanship course by attending the monthly clinics at the property and was instantly aware that this should have been the very first step of our journey. What I have learnt through this course could have saved alot of struggling, but it is what it is and everything i have learned and will continue to learn in this course is invaluable and will make me a better rider, a better handler, a better carer, a better "trainer" and a better life partner with Pony, this coupled with the day to day tips and advise from both Roz and John along the way have helped build an unbreakable bond between me and my little Roany Pony, we both continue to grow, make mistakes and learn from them, we just completed a clinic on the weekend on ground work and floating, day one in the practical Pony was displaying his lets just say stubborn personality, with the perseverance from Roz, John and Debbie Pritchard day two practical ended with Pony and I perfectly mastering his ground work and his being loaded for the first time ever into a float going off without a hitch, using the invaluable knowledge and unwavering help and encouragement i have gained at these unique clinics lovingly run by the competent team at AEI Pony and I will continue our journey together armed with the skills and knowledge i couldn't have gotten this far without and we are both better for it, we will continue brick by brick, row by row to make a great partnership together, i would personally like to thank the team at AEI for their role in getting us this far.

Kindest regards Sheri and Pony.

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