Since Tracey started training with my daughter Lindsey and her horse Bling, they have enjoyed success in many ways. Before the training started, Lindsey was using a gag bit and was not able to safely stop her horse in any gait beyond a walk.
Tracey worked initially with Bling and Lindsey on the ground, instilling a good relationship between horse and rider. Linds has learned to communicate trust and respect with her horse by using methods such as how to lunge without a whip and the technique of touching the sensitive area under the horse’s tail to establish trust.
Lindsey had a confidence issue with control and speed on her horse which Tracey has been successful at working them through with timing and patience. The focus was removed from Lindsey’s hands and emphasis placed on balance, and seat. Lindsey is now riding with a snaffle bit only and can work him through any variety of speed transitions including a hand gallop, and back down to a walk. She can ride in a halter in our arena at any speed. Lindsey and Bling have started a foundation in jumping to approximately 2 feet. They plan to compete next year at a beginning level.
Lindsey entered several competitions this past year and won a multitude of -mostly first and second place ribbons competing in junior English equitation and junior English pleasure events. She has filled a 2’ x 3’ caulked board with many ribbons. Lindsey’s confidence has grown immensely and so has her relationship with Bling.
Tracey has a passion for teaching natural horsemanship. She conducts herself in a professional manner and is always genuine, circumspect and respectful with our concerns. Tracey has shown us that natural horsemanship isn’t as quick as other methods, but the results are rewarding. We have experienced success with Tracey’s NH training methods.
I would highly recommend Tracey’s NH training to anyone who wants to establish a positive relationship with their horses.
M Rose, British Columbia Canada
Tracey McCleave gave a one day Natural Horsemanship clinic for the Nelson and District Riding Club on August 19, 2007. All those who attended found Tracey to be very thorough and professional in her presentation of the Seven Step Safety System. Tracey demonstrated each step to the group and answered questions enthusiastically. Her answers were knowledgeable and showed an excellent understanding of horse behaviors and psychology. She then took time to work with each horse and handler individually on specific problems. Despite uncooperative cold, wet weather, the clinic went smoothly and was not hurried. Tracey spent several extra hours working through a problem with one difficult horse and explaining her approach as she went along. Tracey’s calmness and patience with horses and handlers alike was evident. Her methods were very effective. Her sense of humor was also appreciated! We look forward to scheduling follow up clinics with Tracey in 2008. Sincerely, B. Nasmyth Nelson and District Riding Club, Canada
Tracey McCleave gave a one day Natural Horsemanship clinic for the Nelson and District Riding Club on August 19, 2007. All those who attended found Tracey to be very thorough and professional in her presentation of the Seven Step Safety System.
Tracey demonstrated each step to the group and answered questions enthusiastically. Her answers were knowledgeable and showed an excellent understanding of horse behaviors and psychology. She then took time to work with each horse and handler individually on specific problems.
Despite uncooperative cold, wet weather, the clinic went smoothly and was not hurried. Tracey spent several extra hours working through a problem with one difficult horse and explaining her approach as she went along.
Tracey’s calmness and patience with horses and handlers alike was evident. Her methods were very effective. Her sense of humor was also appreciated!
We look forward to scheduling follow up clinics with Tracey in 2008.
Nelson and District Riding Club, Canada
I strongly recommend Tracey McCleave as a very knowledgeable Natural Horsemanship trainer and English riding instructor.
She has taught me so much and it reflects directly in my horses. Tracey has helped me work with Dexter my 19.2 hand tall Percheron Draft Horse. Dexter comes from a very abused past, he gets scared and startled from the smallest things. When I first got him he would jump if I just went to pet him. I worked with him on the ground for about 2 months, but I must admit that I rushed his groundwork. I didn’t realize how traumatized he actually was. I started him under saddle at 4.5 years old.
He was doing well under saddle and really seemed to enjoy the work, but when something would startle him whether it was a rabbit running across the arena, or a leaf, or a horn honking from a passing car he would bolt! The initial scare was what would send him forward but the part that made him bolt was when he felt restricted by me trying to hold him back and him not trusting me enough to stop when I asked him because he was just so scared.
I ended up having a bad fall off of him after he bolted one time and wasn’t able to get right back on. I decided I couldn’t handle him under saddle and put him out to pasture while I worked with my other horse Kahlua. I didn’t want to give him to someone else or sell him because I was afraid of where he’d end up. After all he was on his way to the slaughter house when I saved him and I didn’t want him to ever head that direction again. He was supposedly useless because he has a clubbed foot so that’s why he was going to slaughter not to mention him being so skiddish.
After about a year of having him I met Tracey and she explained to me that I needed to develop more of relationship on the ground before getting back in the saddle. We needed to get him to not bolt on the ground before it was safe to get back in the saddle. So she taught me several ground exercises to build trust, confidence and desensitize him on the ground. It has been one year now and we have made a ton of progress! I have been ground driving him, and lunging him and now when he gets startled he still jumps a little like any horse would, but when he feels me ask him to relax he does. He trusts me! He follows me around everywhere I go now! I ground drive him through the fields in the arena, anywhere, and no matter what the situation is he listens to me and respects what I ask of him.
I have ordered him a new bridle now (since he’s grown out of the last one lol) but when that comes in the mail I will be getting back on him for the first time in over a year! I am confident that all of our hard work on the ground will transfer to the saddle and will be sure to update everyone on our progress. I can’t thank Tracey enough! I didn’t think this horse would ever bond with me because of his past, but he has finally opened up to me and I see a whole new side of him.
Tracey has not only helped with gentling Dexter, but she has also taught me and Kahlua my 4.5 year old Quarab a ton. Everyone who meets Kahlua can’t believe she’s only 4.5 because she is so well behaved. She moves off of leg pressure, gives to the bit and most of all, is calm and cool under saddle and on the ground. When I tell people I have an arab cross they think I’m insane because Arabians are known for being very high strung, but then they meet Kahlua.
I attribute her calmness too not rushing her training. I have had her under saddle for a year and a half now and she’s leaps and bounds further then most horses that are years older then her and I think it’s because she truly understands what I’m asking of her because of the solid foundation we built on the ground. Kahlua is on the road to true collection instead of just a false headset because Tracey has taught me that true collection starts at the hind end and comes forward from there and it takes time to develop the muscles to stay collected and hold frame. Through Tracey’s instruction, Kahlua is able to be ridden successfully at all gaits with just a neck strap on and also with her full English attire on, which I would have never thought possible, but again because of the relationship we formed through techniques and exercises learned from Tracey we are able too.
I think anyone who has the chance to meet or talk to Tracey should take that opportunity. She is a wealth of information. You will learn so much from her and your horses will appreciate it. LOL I know mine sure do!!
Thank you Tracey for all that you have done for me and my partners!
Kelly, Missouri, USA
I started riding at 59years of age... on a tried and true western trail riding horse. This is the horse that when I led her the quarter mile to my neighbors round pen for my first lesson, only slowly circled me at the length of her lead as her saddle slid around to her belly. The rare spook was a little four-legged hop. Chica took me from the oh my god is she big and stubborn, to the come on girl, we want to lope now,stage over the next two summers. When I couldn't convince her to go faster, I started lessons with the only local I knew that taught riding...English, and the goal was to get cantering.