We currently have 7 horses and 6 horse owners. The 15 acre facility has a covered arena and seasonal outdoor riding opportunities. We try to keep our horses barefoot and blanket free when possible. We do not participate in competitions of any sort. Our members include an eclectic group of folks ages 18-70+. We regret that humans under 18 are not invited to participate at this time.
For a monthly fee ($100), members are encouraged to come out to the farm (Lawnacres) as often as they can to create the horse experience they dream of. For some that means twice a month, for others it’s twice a week. We are inviting you into a community where all the members know all the horses (and chickens and geese).
Creating a good partnership takes time and grows in steps. This model of open ended time allows us to build our partnerships organically and respectfully, with kindness as our guiding principal. We’re aligned with the point of view of the IAABC (International Association of Animal Behavioral Consultants) , “Dominance is not a natural order of power between us and our pets, nor is it a healthy or scientifically supported way to approach training and behavior consulting. It certainly doesn’t justify the use of punishment in training. An animal does not have to be dominant or submissive in order to learn—animals learn from what reinforces or punishes their behavior. They can learn from other animals in their group, from other species, and by interacting with the environment.” https://m.iaabc.org/about/position-statements/dominance/
If you’re wondering how to do this with horses, we have a lot of ideas. We’ve spent uncountable hours working with our horses at liberty. We’ve had the magical experience of having their eyes light up when we come in the barn. Having a free horse voluntarily walk at your side across a grassy pasture is a thrill unlike any other. While both human and equine members are expected to respect boundaries, rules and safety, we are about persuasion over coercion. The practitioners we link to on our “Inspirations” tab provide great examples of the philosophies we’re exploring.
When you initially join the Herd, expect to spend the first several hours with another human member as well as the equine members. We want to get to know you. We want to share our impressions and experience of each horse. And of course, there are some practical things like where the tack goes, where the outhouse is, where to park and hang your coat, and most importantly, where the cookie jar is. The length of the introductory period depends on your experience, your goals and your availability.
Just one of the things we do besides ride...