Clients come to Vaughn Equestrian for many reasons, including boarding, training, lessons, or Reiki massages for their horses. But, above all, they have one thing in common: they share the Vaughn’s holistic philosophy toward equine well-being as the foundation for success.
As in all things Vaughn, we’re a team devoted to bringing our 'A' game to every client.
Our Business Services place Priority on:
• Things that our primary clients have said they need and want.
• Practicing what we preach, i.e. activities that follow our holistic philosophy of horsemanship
• Activities where we feel that we are differentiated compared with other equestrian operations
• Activities that we enjoy doing the most (a luxury that comes with experience and success)
Melissa is specialized in dressage, and enjoys teacheing students from basic to Grand Prix. Her teaching style is versatile, articulate, respectful and non-stop. Melissa readily shares her knowledge to connect the dots for her clients, explaining the “why” and the “how”, not just the “what”.
Darrell’s background on the 'A' circuit gives him insights for a broad variety of jumping instruction, including combined training, show hunters and show jumpers. His ring savvy is unparalleled. Darrell’s human clients love his eye for detail, which, coupled with his sunny personality, turns an intense, exacting lesson into an hour of fun and learning.
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Living every aspect of our philosophy of well-rounded horsemanship makes our program stand apart from other equestrian operations
- Yet, at the same time, Melissa is sensitive to physical limitations of riders, adapting riding exercises to their abilities.
- Riders who need to be energized are urged to up their game, but never in a belittling way.
- Those who obsess about their riding are soothed and helped to put things into perspective.
Many of our clients enjoy competing in equestrian shows. We go with them for coaching assistance if the client themselves are competing. We may also compete their horses to acclimate them to hectic show environments or to move the horse up to a new level of competition. For Para-Dressage, it is a safety requirement that a trainer/coach work with the horse prior to the competitor’s mounting.
- An event horse may not enjoy moving up the levels of cross country but has good dressage skills. Or, some horses prefer the freedom and variety of low level combined training.
- A jumper may have been overfaced by large jumps but, with the right encouragement and confidence building, can have a useful career as a schoolmaster with smaller jumps.
- With combined training, plus specializations in dressage and jumping, we work as a team with a horse that is in the wrong profession. We are usually able to retrain him or her by combining our knowledge into a customized program based on the horse’s issues.
Sometimes, horses find themselves in the wrong “profession”, yet can be re-trained to have happy and productive lives doing something they enjoy. Understanding this principle is one of the things that transforms a ”horse” into a “unicorn” that is successful and happy with their job.
- A horse’s body, assisted with proven medical and surgical treatments, holds the means to heal itself to the greatest possible degree when given sufficient time.
- Owners naturally want their horses back in action as soon as reasonably feasible.
- We feel we do them the greatest service by encouraging a go-slower approach, if that is the veterinarian recommendation.
- Deep, thorough healing takes longer than most people realize.
Time, and attention are the twin keys to avoiding and/or minimizing injury. True fitness must be developed in all body parts carefully over time. In the event of an injury, hopefully detected early through vigilant observation, the key to rehabilitation is also time.
- BEHAVIOR TRAINING
- Voice tone makes a huge difference, especially for imported horses that may not understand basic English commands.
- Our staff are trained to pop in at irregular times to spend a few minutes with a horse that needs attention and praise.
- Simultaneously, because they are large strong animals, horses need to understand the boundaries of what is and is not acceptable behavior.
- A correction may be a sharply worded command or minor flick of a whip, but once delivered, the session continues as if nothing happened.
- Horses live in the moment and we do well to remember that during our training.
- Again, careful exposure to the stimuli combined with lots of praise is the best way to achieve desensitization. The trainer never over-reacts, no matter what the horse may be doing.
- You will not see a horse meekly “accept” stimuli at Vaughn Equestran because they have had sensory overload and are ex-hausted by hours of exposure.
- We invite you to view videos of our latest desensitization sessions on our Facebook page, Vaughn Equestrian.
Horses have various degrees of reactivity to stimuli in their environments. The more reactive they are, the more time we spend desensitizing them to odd or unusual situations like tarps, flags, or even a haybale that’s not in its usual place.
- We know how to bring young, untrained horses along an appropriate development path. We have deep wells of patience, technique and psychological understanding to train the horse’s brain and fitness level in simultaneously.
- We demonstrate this via frequent Facebook postings of progress with our horses in training, including three yearlings.
- We are also quite adept at bringing advanced horses even further up the levels of dressage or jumping.
One of the keys is to ensure that any holes in the basics are addressed. No horse can be sustainably successful at high levels of equestrian sport if it is missing key basics in its training.