Kathy Hoffman – Case Study

“When I decided to put my mare in foal I knew that, as a complete novice when it came to breeding horses, I was going to need help every step of the way. I had heard, all too often, the disaster stories of youngsters going badly wrong as their inexperienced breeders struggled to cope.

Fortunately whilst Rowan was still in utero I went to one of Michael’s early lecture demos and was sold on his approach. Rowan has therefore had the benefit of Michael’s input even from a foal when I remember him working with him in the field on simple leading techniques. His input continued in bits and pieces until he came to Michael to be backed age 4 and then again aged 5 to consolidate the work. I think it is fair to describe him as ‘sharp’ in those early days (I remember him jumping off the ramp landing on me!) but Michael established the ground rules and we have never looked back. With the support of Tom Goode, who took on the riding from Michael, I started hacking out initially with company and now regularly on my own. Last year, as a result of a number of fortunate coincidences, Lucy Jackson (eventer) took over riding and things have just got better and better.

Rowan goes Eventing!

Rowan goes Eventing!

As I still keep Rowan at home he boxes out at least 4 times a week to Lucy’s and for hacks/competitions and I have to laugh when I think back to the trips when I used to calculate loading time into the journey time!! When he was first shod he was so good with his front pair that my farrier did all 4 shoes at the first go and as for clipping/plaiting he just goes to sleep which is no bad thing as I am sooo slow plaiting it is painful.

I always dreamed that I would breed the horse of my dreams and I can’t say how amazing it has been to watch my gangly foal mature into the amazing creature who was 0.4pts of a rosette at his first BE Novice having only run 3 times before! Best of all is that I can ride him. Whether it’s plodding about the Chiltern Hills or, more recently, going on the gallops with the other ‘professional eventers’.

Did I make the right decision to involve Michael from the start – I think the story and the pictures say it all don’t you!”

Kathy Hoffman

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