Andrew Hanson – Case Study

Andrew Hansen thought his daughter’s 12-year-old Gelderlander, Felix, might have been badly beaten and abused in the past.

“He was head-shy and would bolt, spin and barge on the lunge,” he explains. “Not to mention charging at people and trying to run them down. I was very concerned for my daughter’s safety”.

“Felix was also difficult to load and I was running out of ideas fast, and fearing for the safety of anyone else who had to deal with him. When we moved him to a yard nearer my house, he became totally unmanageable  so much so that the yard owner asked me to leave after he had broken out of his stable and bolted into the fields taking two other horses with him.

Michael was called in desperation as Felix was now in the field and refused to be caught. Fortunately, Michael arrived and in no time caught Felix. He assisted us loading him that same day, and helped us transport him to his previous stable where his behaviour was slightly better. I might add that Michael loaded him in 15 minutes whereas we had previously had to sedate him to load! I was so impressed that I asked Michael if he would school him.

Felix went to stay with Michael for five weeks where his confidence and trust in humans was restored. He went through numerous exercises, all the while moving him from stable to stable and always requesting the same consistent and good behaviour. He was ridden every day and we regularly visited and learnt so much in those few visits.

Since coming home Felix loads, travels, behaves at shows, can be left in, turned out and comes to a whistle. One of the most memorable moments for me was when he remained lying down allowing both my daughter and I to enter his stable!

How would I describe Michael? He¹s a bloody magician! He listens to people, has a wonderful – yet simple – approach and a quiet nature. He is unassuming and quite clearly has a gift.”

Andrew Hanson


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