NEGLEY, Ohio — In a sight that had to be witnessed to believe, a rescue horse got a new home.
Spectators and participants at a Peter Campbell horsemanship workshop April 19-22 at the Simmons Equestrian Center in Negley, were treated to a scene that won’t soon be recreated.
Paula Mattes, organizer of the event, said a horse got a well-deserved home and everyone in attendance got a lesson in compassion and understanding.
CANTER, the Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses, is a non-profit group that helps to find racehorses new careers by connecting them with people.
The group brought two horses to the Peter Campbell horsemanship clinic. Campbell gave them a discount price for the training because they are a non-profit organization.
One horse in particular, a 16-hand, 8-year-old chestnut gelding with the registered name, Uninvited Quest, stole the hearts of many at the show. He had been with the group for three years, but no one would adopt him because of his behavior.
Volunteers from CANTER attempted to work with the horse for the first two days of the training, but they were struggling.
Matthes described the horse as being extremely troubled. The horse was biting and kicking other horses. Volunteers could not get a saddle on him and he appeared to be out of control.
Then Campbell decided that he would attempt to work with him during the afternoon sessions April 22.
“I want to help horses become a willing partner. That horse was pretty bothered but I could see he wanted to be OK,” said Campbell.
Matthes said that within 20 minutes of Campbell’s direction and riding, the horse started displaying positive behavior, which included holding his head down and he stopped grinding his teeth.
“We watched the horse change right in front our eyes,” said Matthes.
Campbell conducted the rest of the horsemanship clinic off the horse’s back the rest of the day.
Then Campbell took his love of horses one step farther.
Campbell gave the horse a name during the clinic, “Newman.”
Campbell told the Farm and Dairy that he liked the confirmation and saw potential in him so he adopted him and has taken him to his ranch in Wheatland, Wyo.
“Newman was trying to protect himself. He needed direction,” said Campbell.
He said he will have a job as his horse and will participate in future clinics and help with ranch chores.
“The horse needed direction, not correction. He needs discipline, not punishment, then he will take care of the rest,” said Campbell.
Campbell said he teaches horses through feeling the horse and timing. He said his business is horses, but he is not a horse trainer. He is a horse readier.
He said he used his reins, body and legs to get the horse to calm down and stay with him.
“The key is not to get upset with him; instead, give him a path. Get him to understand the wrong things and make the right thing easy,” said Campbell.
Another Peter Campbell horsemanship clinic is set for Sept. 14-17 at the Simmons Equestrian Center in Negley. For more information about the clinic, contact Mattes at 724-663-5339 or check out the website at www.petercampbellhorsemanship.com.