RESCUE PROGRAM TESTIMONIALS
Katherine - england
I spent an unforgettable week learning all about Western horsemanship with Rafter P Training School. Chezz’s calm and direct attitude to training and handling horses is incredibly refreshing. In a field in which many horse trainers like to portray their own methods as providing an absolute, cure-all formula, it was lovely to have our opinions listened to and taken on board.
The program didn’t focus solely on horse riding as a stand-alone activity, but on every aspect of training and caring for horses. We were given a huge amount of flexibility in terms of how days at the training school went and how the time was divided between riding and groundwork. We were taught how to handle and tack-up a horse in the safest way possible, which allowed us to deal with previously wild mustangs with confidence. Within the bounds of safety, we were always allowed to try out new things and make our own mistakes without being ‘told off’.
There was a good balance between working hard to get the basics right, and doing the more ‘fun’ things, such as trail riding and learning to work cattle. Chezz has a very good understanding of how emotionally intense training horses can be. We were always given the opportunity to take breaks by playing with the dogs and pigs, or going out for ice cream!
I formed incredibly close friendships with the girls that I shared my week with and often incorporate Chezz's advice and methods into how I ride and handle my own horses at home.
ANDREA - GERMANY
My love for an abused rescue mustang, Opal, brought me to the Rafter P Training school. After my first lessons with Chezz I thought "I have no idea what I've been doing for all these years," and I've been riding for 15 years!
Every day at the Training School was a new challenge. In addition to riding, I've learned about feeding, different kinds of bits and their meanings and how to safely work around and lead a horse.
Once a week we got a yoga lesson from Nicole, an awesome yogi, to improve our seat on the horse and our aura around it. This is something I really enjoyed.
With Chezz's help I learned to saddle Opal which was impossible before because of her past history with humans. My biggest dream was to get to where I could ride her and feel like I knew what to do if she got scared or felt unsafe. Chezz supported me from the first step and talked me through situations where I felt helpless and insecure. If it wasn't for his patience and teaching I would never have been able to ride her.
I deeply recommend Rafter P Training School to anyone who wants to build a better relationship their horse.
NAOMI - ENGLAND
I came to the Rafter P Training School for five weeks in the summer of 2016. I hadn't ridden a horse, other than for trail rides, for almost twenty years, but right away I felt at ease. Chezz started with the basics of haltering and moving safely around your horse— all common sense, but things that even the more experienced students were taking for granted— and encouraged me every step of the way. Chezz is an extremely patient teacher which I appreciated.
In the five weeks I studied at Rafter P, my confidence grew massively and I got the opportunity to work with completely 'green' horses as well as some with several weeks training. At Rafter P you are encouraged to think about what you are doing, and why, and to really consider whether you're presenting information to the horse in a clear way.
I would absolutely recommend Chezz and Rafter P to anyone interested in learning how to better work with their horse, regardless of your experience level, age or background.
LAURA - GERMANY
I spent two weeks at Rafter P Training School and I can’t do anything else except recommend it to everyone who wants to learn more about how horses think, learn and react. I’ve had experience with horses before, but these two weeks helped me to sensitize my work with them. I learned not only to listen more closely to the horse, but also to plan and question my actions on a deeper level to make my language clearer and easier to understand and as a consequence of that, to create a more harmonious interaction between me and my horse.
Chezz always made each day interesting by teaching us not only riding and groundwork skills, but also elements such as feeding, different bridles and bits and general safety around all horses. Nicole, his wife, gave us yoga lessons which helped us to develop a deeper awareness of the body and an inner calmness which was so helpful while being around horses. She was a great teacher.
Chezz has a huge amount of knowledge when it comes to horses, but he is very open to new ideas and is flexible in his way of working with these animals. What made the school so much fun was being motivated to find solutions to problems on your own. Chezz was always open to our ideas, and as a consequence of that, we quickly learned how to manage difficult situations.
I had an incredible time at Rafter P Training School and I would do it again. It shaped my way of working with horses and helped me to be more patient, fairer and a more confident rider all round. Thank you again, Chezz and Nicole, it was fantastic!
SOLVEIG - DENMARK
I have ridden almost my entire life, but I have never been around wild horses before, so working with wild mustangs at Rafter P Training School was a completely new way of training horses to me.
We were given the chance to explore horse work, and if we ran into problems, we were asked how we would deal with them and given the chance to see if we could solve them, as long as Chezz considered it safe for us and the animals.
The atmosphere at the school was down-to-earth and relaxed which made it a comfortable place to learn. Chezz is very patient and is willing to explain everything as many times as needed in order for us to fully understand. You are also 'allowed' to make mistakes as part of the learning experience.
The limited amount of students at the school made it possible for us to choose what we wanted to do. Even if we wanted to do different things, for example some wanted to ride and some to work on the ground, Chezz was able to help all of us equally. We would also go on trail rides, try our luck working the cattle and go for ice cream between lessons.
Although I do not work with wild horses in Denmark I could still take many of Chezz’s principals to use on my own horses. The ground pillars of Chezz’s way of training can be used on any horse independent of its skill and type. I would love to come back to Rafter P!
ANNABELLE - FRANCE
I was really happy with the five days I worked with Chezz and Nova, a rescue mustang, because I discovered more than I expected. I realized and understood how my behavior was when I asked something of the horse, and how I could change it in order to be more fair and a better partner for my horse. I learned the basic safety rules, the ones we all should know but never do. And also, I learned how to teach my horse the most simple, but important, movements of dressage to help him to become a very good riding horse.
During my five days at Rafter P Training School, I didn't learn many things, but I learned a few important things about being a fair rider and teacher.
ALINA - GERMANY
Even though I only participated in Rafter P Training School for one week, I feel very grateful for it and I appreciated it a lot. Some people might think that this amount of time is way too short to really improve your skills or to change anything at all, but I would say it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I learned more from Chezz in one single week than I have learned from all my past trainers.
When you have lessons with Chezz, he really adapts his teaching to your personal level. Unlike many other trainers I have had before, he does not make you feel like he knows so much more than you do. He lets you find your own answers by helping you develop the ability to see it from your horse’s perspective.
What I have found to be really important when working with horses is that you do not get completely stressed out or pressure yourself to a point where everything is only getting worse. The impression I gained at Rafter P Training School was that even in tough times, Chezz tries to take away the tension and meets each situation with ease. When I had problems with trotting my horse, he would spontaneously create a trotting game to make it both less frustrating for me, and to help me stop being so hard on myself and overthinking everything.
Chezz gave me the feeling that we have all the time in the world to work things out and to find solutions together. In spite of my short stay at Rafter P Training School it felt like an infinity. I am very thankful for all I have learned and all the experience I gained in this time.