In November 2015, I fell in love with a rescue horse named Zeus a 9-year-old off-track thoroughbred purchased at the sale yards. With little horse experience, I went ahead and purchased him (yeah perhaps a mid-life crisis, but I’m committed). After working with Zeus for about 8 months everything seemed to be going from good to bad and getting worse. I realised at this point I did not have the experience necessary to retrain him by myself. I did not want to send Zeus off the property, I was keen to do the training myself but needed a coach to show me what I need to do to get the best out of Zeus. With no real riding disciplines in mind, but more trail riding, a little jumping and having some horse riding fun, with a kind loving well-mannered horse.
I asked a friend to give me a name of a trainer that could assist me in developing my skills to help Zeus and retrain him before someone really gets hurt, that friend recommended Jason McInnes. In August 2016, I contacted Jason and we commenced our training sessions. Jason recommended that we start with the training basics: Horse handling on the ground, lunging, getting the horse relaxed and focused. In the saddle, keeping Zeus relaxed moving forward. He also showed me the techniques to use together so Zeus and I could practice between training visits.
Whenever I was faced with challenging behavior and needed assistance Jason would offer a technique or strategy to combat the bad behavior. With practice the unwanted behaviours are becoming less and less.
After 6 months of training and coaching sessions, and plenty of practice, I am seeing remarkable changes in Zeus and my confidence is growing in my horse handling ability, and also my riding confidence. The interactions with Zeus are way more enjoyable and fun (Tears of Joy now, not tears from frustration). Jason has helped transform us both and I have no hesitation in recommending Jason McInnes to assist you in developing and improving your skills to benefit your horse.
What a journey
Having started horse riding as an adult, and ending up being the owner of two beautiful young horses, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and the work that was involved in training and educating a horse, let alone two young horses, this left me often finding myself a little overwhelmed and out of my depth.
Since meeting Jason McInnes two years ago, that all changed, my horsemanship skills and knowledge has excelled and my confidence in handling and riding my horses has continued to reach new heights.
Jason has given me the skills, knowledge and the tools to be able to deal with any situation that may present itself particularly when working with young horses, and keeping myself and my horses safe. Jason is patient, sensitive and considerate of the rider, as well as the horses individual needs, treating both horse and rider respectfully. What never ceases to amaze me is the amount of exercises he has for any given situation making for great learning, variety and fun in our lessons.
Without a doubt Jason has been the best part of my horsemanship journey and an inspiration, I look forward to many more years with him mastering the art of schooling and riding my horses.
My promise to you….
“The horse is created with its primal value system and then it develops a belief of life in the human world (training). My responsibility is to bring the horse into equanimity where he doesn’t act on primal responses first and doesn’t have attachments to past events, people or places, so the partnership can be in the NOW not the PAST nor the FUTURE.”
Shonnie & Swampy
My name is Shonnie and I am currently embarking on a journey at Eclectic Equine with my quarter horse Swampy. Swampy and I have been working on our partnership and dabbled in various disciplines such as horsemanship, liberty work, eventing, trail riding and cow work.
I first came to Jason to address some aspects of our training in flat work, and to begin refining my seat and skills in dressage. After several lessons it became evident that I had a strong interest in classical dressage. I was drawn to learning how to train and ride a horse in a way that teaches them to use their bodies and mind in a healthy way that optimizes strength, balance and finesse. I have many dreams and aspirations that I want to achieve with Swampy. Most of them based on having a good relationship together, working as a team, a partnership and ultimately having a connection that feels like we are 100% together in the moment. The more I've delved into this style of riding, the more I've realized it's a complete form of art. Although Swampy isn't typically bred for this style of riding, I've been assured that this is a training method suitable for all types and breeds of horses (even the underdogs), to gain the best out of the horse. Although physically he may not be suitably built, he definitely has the tenacity, willingness and reliability to give me his best. I am excited to see where this journey takes us, and with a trusty mount and Jason for guidance, I'm looking very forward to the future.
What is the Eclectic School of HMS about?
If you have always had a desire to work with horses as a career we can also help you out in that area too. There are 3 career paths to choose from.
Eclectic School of Horsemanship will address those simple but necessary basics that will start for you, what we call, “The Shaping Process.”
The hours that we will spend together examining the details of horsemanship will start a whole new process of thinking.
If you start applying the principles and ideas we are about to share I can promise you your life will never be the same again. You will never have to remain who and what you are after today, except by your own choice. I want to congratulate you on making this investment in yourself. We live in an age where so many spend more money on the outside of our horse’s than they do on the inside. Let’s get started in exploring these ideas and what this might mean to your better future.
Eclectic School of Horsemanship & Classical Riding is a group of like minded horse people from various backgrounds devoted to sharing the very best concepts and ideas to benefit the schooling of the horse and the education of the rider.
We have a systematic approach to teaching riders WHEN to be, WHERE to be, WHY to be and WHAT to do when you get there.
I believe we can all have everything we desire if we:
1. Have total clarity about what it is we want that’s in line with our heartfelt VALUES.
2. We create a flexible plan to steer us on the journey.
3. We work that plan passionately every day.
“I’m a consultant not your teacher. You are your horses teacher but I work for you. I give you ideas to try but never throw your leadership away for the horse’s sake
From a young age I watched the Man from Snowy River, running the brumbies in the High Country and riding into glorious sunsets, telling myself that that’s who I would like to become one day. In fact I studied hours of John Wayne movies, anything that had horses and horsemen appearing in them.
I didn’t have a traditional up-bringing with horses, which I now cherish as a great advantage, as it gave me an open mind when I started on my journey with horses. My first formal education with riding came from local horseman and woman from the area.
Looking for more horse friendly methods, I traveled to America in 2000 to spend 3 months as a dedicated student at the Parelli Ranch in Colorado, which gave me a true understanding of why horses do what they do and how to develop the communication between horse and rider. While there i entered the arena of world renowned horsemen John and Josh Lyons and Buck Brannaman and was then fortunate enough to gain ridden places in Buck’s Australian clinics.
On my return to Australia I was hungry for more so enrolled in a colt starting course for 3 years with David Simons, John Lyons' representative in Australia. The round yard become my sanctuary, starting and re-educating hundreds of horses who had “people problems.”
In early 2001 I attended my first of many Buck Brannaman clinics, which really opened my eyes to other training methods. His timing and soft feel was like velvet, he was the first cowboy I saw who could ride with classical style and feel. Buck’s learning came heavily influenced by Ray Hunt, Tom and Bill Dorrence, who in their early years, were with the US Cavalry and trained in equitation with the French Cavalry.
Still not fulfilled on my journey, I was searching for the link between the ground work and classical timing, and the feel under saddle, without jeopardising the principles that under-pin everything we do with horses. In 2016 I was led to Ecole de Legerete (School of Lightness) classical riding taught by Philippe Karl.
I traveled to Switzerland to learn more, meet Phillipe Karl and train directly under Gabrielle Schweizer, one of Phillipe’s licensed students. I had finally found the link to further my educational journey with equitation. I commenced my student teacher training studies in late 2016 with Sylvia Stossel and Melanie Bulmahn to become a licensed instructor of the School of Lightness, which trains with the utmost respect for the horse.
To further improve and add a human dimension in understanding people better, I studied with Dr. Demartini, world renowned human behavioural expert.
My methods for educating all horses, no matter the level or discipline, are a combination of western riding, natural horsemanship and classical techniques, that all share the same principles making it easily understandable for the horse.