Hi! My name is Chelsie Kallestad. I am a Natural Horsemanship Clinician, and I currently offer “Chelsie Natural Horsemanship” Clinics and Private Lessons. I can even come to your home for Private Lessons. I have developed a gentle Natural Horsemanship program called “Chelsie Natural Horsemanship.” The principles of my program are based on 5 Components: Lightness, Politeness, Patience, Consistency, and Confidence in Both People and Horses.” All of my Natural Horsemanship Techniques are based on these principles.
1: Lightness: Be as light as possible and never fight the horse.
2: Politeness: Always try to be polite so as to never make your horse feel wrong, insulted, or unwilling.
3: Patience: Always have patience so as not to get angry or frustrated when working with horses.
4: Consistency: Consistency is Key.
5: Confidence: You need confidence to learn, and you need to build confidence in your horse.
I have developed this program because I believe that horses are wonderful creatures that are often misunderstood. It has been my lifelong passion to play with horses, learn how to communicate with them, and help other humans improve their relationships with their own horses. It is my sincere hope that we can, through our dedication to this cause, make the world a better place for horses, and the people who love them.
In addition to extensive horsemanship studies, I have also learned how to effectively teach and communicate with humans. I love to help people overcome their own obstacles, such as low self-esteem, physical limitations, or lack of confidence. This is why I always work to create a learning environment in which my students feel safe, relaxed, and free to express themselves. I never pressure my students to do anything they are not comfortable with. I have also learned that one method does not work for every horse or every human. Patience and imagination are key.
My ideal students are passionate about horses, want to learn a better way, want to develop a relationship with their horse, build confidence, and have fun!
My love affair with horses literally began in infancy. You see, I was born into a horse crazy family! When I was 8 months old, my mother began taking me on long mountain trail rides in a pouch strapped to the front of her body. Soon, I graduated to riding behindthe saddle. Before 2 years of age, I was riding my own horse on trail rides all over the Rocky Mountains in Montana.
Out of necessity, I began to figure out ways to communicate with my Arab, Cricket, early on. For example, since my legs were too short to reach past the saddle pad, it was tough to ask Cricket to break into a canter. Since I wasn’t about to let my older sister and cousins have all the fun, Cricket and I worked out a communication style all our own. When I wanted him to canter, I just wiggled the reins and he would step into his lovely rocking horse canter! My mom tells me that I could post before I could walk.
Anyway, as a child, I was exposed to the principles of natural horsemanship for the first time. Although we had always believed in gentle training and handling methods, we began learning about an even better way! The principles taught by people such as Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt, and their protégées became part of who I am.
Hearing stores of the cruelty that horses are often subjected to strengthened my resolve to make the promotion of natural horsemanship my life’s work! I soon realized that training horses wasn’t enough. A well trained horse returned to an uneducated owner quickly returns to the problems created before. So, I decided that the best way to help horses was to help people. I wanted to show people that there is a better way, and that they can have a better relationship than they ever imagined with their horse.
I have been fortunate to have a variety of challenging horses as part of my life. After my first horse, Cricket died, I inherited my sister’s Arab, Two-Son. “Tootie” was a lovely horse, but not without some trust issues to work out. He was very herd bound and refused to leave the house without his pasture buddy, Honey. By applying approach and retreat principles, as well as developing a trusting leadership with Tootie, we were soon riding off alone together with no problems at all.
Then, Shalon entered my life. This Arab had been labeled a “dangerous runaway.” His well-intentioned previous owners had tried to “break” him of this by using harsh bits and cruel training methods. By the time I met Shalon, he was a nervous wreck. His mind was dominated by fear of humans. He was difficult to saddle, bucked when cantered, was a farrier nightmare, and according to his previous owners, he was prone to just freak out and blow up. He was on his way to euthanasia when I somehow convinced my mother to let me bring him home.
I learned more from Shalon than I ever thought possible. By applying the gentle techniques I had learned from the natural horsemanship masters, Shalon and I soon developed a very close relationship. In an amazingly short period of time, I could do anything with him, to the degree of even riding him bridleless out on trails. The trustworthy leader he found in me changed him forever.
I longed to find a way to help others develop this kind of relationship with their horses. So, I began to study Natural Horsemanship in depth. I studied under Pat Parelli through level 4, but began to realize that his program was not meeting my needs because I wanted to learn the more technical aspects of horsemanship.
So, I decided to apprentice under Dennis Reis because of his dressage background. I did learn from Dennis, and became a Diamond Endorsed Dennis Reis Instructor. But as time went on, I began to develop my own style of Natural Horsemanship that was much gentler and light, and I knew it was time to strike out on my own. Thus was born… “Chelsie Natural Horsemanship!”
The 5 Components of “Chelsie Natural Horsemanship” are: Lightness, Politeness, Patience, Consistency, and Confidence in Both People and Horses.
It’s never too late to start. Horses are so forgiving. It’s never too late to change a technique and your horse will always forgive you. The wonderful partnership and relationship that you will have with your horse in the end is worth every effort.
The bases for these methods are love, trust, confidence, fun, and mutual respect and understanding. The journey will help you grow in all aspects of your life, and the joy to be found is overwhelming.