HIGH DESERT STABLES has seen several iterations since opening at the beginning of 2000. With two young sons who were into riding, came a 4-H group. There was a barn full of young people. It was a wonderful experience for learning and an introduction to the world of competition. As the kids got older, their interest expanded to Eventing. This was an exciting and challenging time as they learned skills in dressage, stadium and cross country jumping and also financing their interest in this sport. We always worked hard to get to the best training we could. Advancing our education with the horses was always paramount. Loren and Brian home schooled in this period, becoming my partners in the boarding business. There were up to 60 head and all their owners to manage. Loren became our vet Dusti's first tech in her new mobile veterinary practice. Brian learned to trim and then shoe horses. They had project horses and gave lessons too. In the blink of an eye they were off to college! In the next stretch of time the fates presented me with two beautiful Welsh Cob brood mares and a handsome Welsh Cob stallion. From 2011-2018 we had between one and three babies each spring. In 2017 Loren graduated from Washington State as a DVM and Brian from UofA with a degree in Agricultural Engineering. And off they both moved to Idaho to work at jobs in their field.
I had started some young horses but had left "the finishing" to the kids or trainers. I thought it had to involve some "disagreements" that I didn't want to ride through. This presented me with the question of how to best raise the young Welsh Cob filly I was keeping, into a safe and dependable riding horse. I loved the ideal of dressage...that it builds a horse's body to carry a rider but couldn't find the training to follow through. After attending a symposium presented by Dr. Gerd Heushmann and Charles deKunffy today's competitive dressage training was not going to fit my personal needs. We had also studied "natural horsemanship" from a popular clinician's accredited trainer. This wasn't quite "it" either.
Through a friend I was introduced to Harry Whitney and an amazing community of horsemen who sought out a better way to understand and be with their their horses . There was actually no reason to ever have to "ride through" disagreements or "to win battles". It was the horsemanship I had been looking for my whole life. It is horsemanship that steadily builds the horse's body and mind; not by driving them around and around a round pen or under saddle, but by helping them learn to change their thought, to search for answers and develop with-you-ness as a team. I was hooked! We now host clinics for folks looking to do the same. My mare turns six in July (2019) and is doing great. I'm now contemplating starting one more baby---Mae, the 2018 filly pictured. She and I are watching, with great amusement, as our clinician Ross Jacobs explains some new principles or maybe he's requesting our attention...in which case it worked!
I had better throw in a heartfelt Thank You, to my ever suffering but oh so supportive, husband of 30+ years, Andy.
Visit Face Book at High Desert Welsh Cobs and my page; Cindy Normandeau, for what's happening lately.
"Cindy has a deep passion for all things related to good horsemanship, which she passes along to her students. Not only is Cindy a talented horse person, but also she is an inspiring and empathetic teacher. She creates the ideal atmosphere for her students to not only maximize their potential, but to enjoy the journey.
Cindy has hosted horsemanship clinics for me in recent years. Her support, kindness and generosity abounds. She has quickly become one of my favorite people to work with."
- Ross Jacobs
Horse Trainer and Clinician; Australia