As a member of the Wisconsin State Horse Council, rider participant in the 2015 Midwest Horse Fair and owner of several horses, thank you for the two new facilities, appreciation to all the clinicians and volunteers for all their hard work and genuine gratitude to all who helped plan, prepare, conduct and conclude this most epic weekend.
I wish to take a moment to express sincere appreciation for asking Ray Ainsworth to be a clinician at the 2015 Midwest Horse Fair (MWHF) held April 17-18-19 in Madison WI. This was the first time I met Ray. Both my husband and I were genuinely amazed and impressed with his keen eye and perceptive ability to quickly read, assess, diagnose and resolve issues in both horse and owner with resistance-free techniques. Seeking help with starting a 23 month old American Quarter Horse filly, I watched his first colt starting session on Friday and was amazed in what he could accomplish in short order. He’s the real deal. His ‘down home’ innate ability to inspire the owner, listen to each horse and share his knowledge with the audience in easy to follow and remember ‘You can too’ steps is ama-ZING!
Although another horse I own, an 8 year old gelding, participating in a breed demo and I arrived by 7am each day and left late each night to take care of him, I still made time to work my filly with the newly acquired knowledge absorbed by watching each of Ray’s colt starting sessions. I simply could not wait til the 45 minute drive home to try and next day’s session to verify lessons learned. I absolutely LOVED Sunday’s session where Ray made sure the youth owner demonstrated what he taught her and her horse on Saturday. It allowed her to practice ‘hands on’ and be able to replicate her newly acquired skills on her own, plus inspire each member of the audience that if a child can learn and apply the skills taught, they could go home and teach their horse(s) too! By having the session’s student become the teacher, he was able to mentor, engrain the eye – hand coordination and motor skills and reaffirm learning so she could continue on her own at home. I have not seen a clinician take the time to ensure his student could perform the steps during the allotted 1 hour session. He is a rare gift to the equine industry.
With Ray’s ability to listen and communicate with horses in their language, quick assessment and non-violent teachings, all could see horses and people learned faster and retained the information longer. When asked if he could stop by my farm after the MWHF to start my colt, he didn’t hesitate and said ‘Yes’. I am still in shock and awe that in this day and age, a clinician would accept a last minute invitation to spend a day at a private farm 45 minutes out of his way from an 11 hour return home. Ray not only taught and ensured my ability the groundwork necessary for getting the filly ready to ride, the confidence and a successful first ride in the saddle, but also provided homework of what I needed to do to prepare for each subsequent ride. Ray also resolved issues with my other horses – easy trailer loading, stopping pull back, how to regulate speed under saddle, achieving softness , lunging and directional control with minimal effort, developing the ability to ride with one hand and deworming without a fuss.
Ray is the world’s most unique and humble horseman. I am in shock and awe in his ability to teach horse and rider. Thank you for having Ray so he can help young and adult horses and riders all over the country. I am forever grateful.
Please consider asking Ray Ainsworth back next year for not only Colt Starting but also Working thru Behavioral Issues (i.e. de-worming, pull back, regulating speed, easy trailer loading, head shy, ear shy, etc.).
Thank you for making the 2015 Midwest Horse Fair a memorable and epic event.