Its all in the Consistency
Martlock has been teaching riding and training for 33 years. She started out in the British Society of Pony Clubs, attaining the
For a time after this, she competed at Hunter/Jumpers, reaching the the
Adult Amateur level 9 for a season. Unfortunately, near the end of
that season, she was kicked in the side of the knee by a horse and the
ensuing year off from competition was enough for her to realize that she
wanted to make more of a difference in young riders' and young horses'
lives, so she began focusing more on instruction and training.
She worked for a few years as a free-lance
instructor/trainer, before taking a job as trainer for Three Springs Farm, a
Hanoverian breeding/training/lesson barn and AHA inspection site, which at
that time was standing the number 1 and the number 5 rated Hanoverian
stallion in the U.S. For the next five years, she worked with all aspects of
the farm, from breeding the stallions and mares, assisting with births, to
working with foals as newborns through starting under saddle and taking them
to their first shows. Three Springs Farm was also a racetrack lay up and
retraining facility, and Laura worked with many off-the-track Thoroughbreds,
retraining them for new careers, as well as other breeds from the
surrounding area, as the facility accepted all breeds for starting under saddle and correcting problems.
After moving on from Three Springs and relocating to the
Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, near historic Staunton, Laura spent the next nine years working with one of the region's
most well-known veterinarians as the trainer/instructor of his riding and boarding stables. At Cabin Creek Riding Stable, she became involved with a therapeutic riding program
(Ride With Pride, Inc.), as well as working with more OTTB's,
since the owner's daughter was a jockey who often rescued horses at the
track that were for sale. Cabin Creek Stable was eventually sold and is
now known as Cedar Creek Stables.
During the summer months, Laura
now works as an
instructor at her home or travels to clients homes, and as well as instructs at local
camps. She currently serves on the Virginia Horse Council Board of
Learning to be an equestrian is like learning a new language. You can learn on your own, but having someone who is fluent in the language teach you is far quicker and can help prevent needless mistakes and misunderstandings. But, even more important than instruction, is spending time with the ones who's language you are trying to learn. Nothing promotes a better understanding and gives a greater grasp of the nuances of communication more than spending time with horses and constantly using and developing your new communication skills.
"Consistency is key to working with horses. To gain their trust and respect, they must know that they can count on you to be the same way, to treat them the same, to discipline the same, to reward the same way every single day. A horse won't understand that you've had a bad day, they only understand consistency."
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