In November 2016 Derbyshire Wildlife Trust bought 3 wild Konik ponies straight from the fens of Cambridgeshire to use as lawnmowers on some of their wetland nature reserves. These horses were born into a wild, unhandled herd that have to be tranquillised with a dart gun to be caught. Whilst generally a quiet, placid breed, these horses had virtually no human contact before arriving in Derbyshire and certainly no rapport or intention of 'normal' interaction with people. Despite my best efforts both the mares remained aloof and unpredictable to handle.

Whilst their main role is to help DWT manage nature reserves through their grazing, for their safety and well-being and for those of us that have to handle and move them it is important we could catch or move them safely. Ross came to meet them and within minutes had gained their interest and trust.

Within 2 sessions he was able to headcollar and lead the older mare. Her default position of quietly taking herself off to the edge of the group to avoid interaction was soon overcome by a gentle confidence and the kind, respectful relationship she realised she could have with people. The younger mare was more resistant, her nervousness manifesting itself as aggression and flash mood changes but Ross's calm and quiet manner never altered, he gently showed her the boundaries whilst being quick to pick up on the positive signs.
A few months on and we have loving, relaxed horses that lead easily, self-load, stand quietly for the farrier and actively seek people out for love and affection.

Watching Ross work has always been so interesting and inspirational, I (and the horses!) have enjoyed and learnt something new every session and his positive and can-do loving attitude has made learning such fun that we all look forward to the next time! If you want to communicate, connect and have a true partnership with your horse then Ross can help you.

Kate Lemon, Derbyshire