I am still flying high from this weekend. I came home both days, made careful notes, and this morning practiced my new skills. I have learned more in the last two days than I ever thought possible. You really have a way of inspiring someone and making them think the process through. And, best of all, it works.
I especially enjoyed watching you ride your horse yesterday - after your brief explanation of his background, it was such a pleasure to see the two of you work together.
L. Bartfield, North Carolina
I came to Linda about six months ago with a horse that could do all the Prix St. Georges movements at home but was a nervous wreck at horse shows. Linda worked us through a series of very challenging walk exercises, which then carried over to the trot and canter, until my mare could relax and swing through her back in all three gaits. We finished the Dressage of the Sandhills show with a 64% at PSG. Thank you Linda for inspiring us to reach a higher level of thoroughness and connection!
D. Weniger, North Carolina
Linda's holistic approach to horsemanship has enabled me to take my riding skills and relationship with my horse to a whole new level. I've been riding and successfully showing hunters and jumpers for 30 years. Prior to moving to North Carolina, I'd had a series of falls and lost confidence in my abilities. This, coupled with my TB mare's innate volatility, was a train wreck waiting to happen. But, we were lucky enough to find Linda. She first addressed how some of my young mare's subtle and not so subtle physical issues were impacting her ability to respond to training. She was respectful of my new timidity. From the very first lesson, she was able to start me down a path where I began to learn how to recognize how subtle changes in my body position, hands, legs and back are reflected in my horse's responses. It's not about hunters or jumpers or dressage. It's about connection. It's about paying attention to how the pieces make up the whole and it's about building trust. Linda is a true horsewoman, someone who has true empathy for both the horse and rider, and is able to impart her knowledge with a style that is very effective and clear. The skills that Linda teaches are applicable to any and all levels and styles of riding. I wish I could go back and apologize to all my horses that came to me before I met Linda.
S. Corr, North Carolina
I had taken my horse to other trainers for their help. They didn't know what to do. He was very disrespectful and unsafe. Because they couldn't get him to respond to me, they just pretended that everything was fine. Linda saw the situation and went right to the root of the problem I was having. She helped me understand what was taking place and what was required to support changing his behavior.
R. Steinberger, Virginia
First, let me say that your clinic was one of the most rewarding and enjoyable events I have participated in with one of my horses for about as long as I can remember. The facility was absolutely top-notch and that made a difference to me, at least from a participant's perspective. But most importantly, your intuitive instruction and observation kept me locked into the task at hand and searching continuously for that next "little change." I know that I've already made a difference in Apollo's life...gone are the contraptions and gimmicks that were all he knew prior to coming to live with me. I'm sure that is a very good thing but I knew something was still missing. There was a void, an empty spot. I knew it but couldn't put a finger, a rein or a leg on it. Well, you certainly helped sort that out and fill-in at least one very important step I kept missing. Wait until the horse gives you his mind!! Talk about a light bulb. EeeGad!! What wasn't I thinking?? Funny how important that one "key thing" turned out to be. Now, I've got another starting place to help keep things going well for both of us. It always astounds me how much I forgot and how much the horse remembers. Apollo really is a nice guy and I'm in a place in my life where I can really enjoy him. Very good stuff, yes it is... I'm looking forward to the next opportunity we can work together.
W. Jenner, North Carolina
Linda Hoover has made a dramatic change in my horse, in me and my relationship with my horse. Our starting point was my horse, a Hanoverian mare who had learned to "protect" herself from the actions of the rider, and myself, a somewhat "timid" dressage rider whose main objective was to stay safe. Now, five months later, my mare and I are well on the road to working with each other instead of against each other. Linda has been very instrumental in achieving this remarkable result. Her extensive knowledge, her focus and intensity, her high energy level and ability to communicate with the horse and the rider makes every moment of every lesson extremely productive. Linda understands the nature and body mechanics of the horse and the psychology and body mechanics of the rider. This is a powerful combination that enables the concepts taught in the groundwork portion of the lesson to transfer to the under saddle portion of the lesson and vice versa. I feel as if Linda has opened a door for me that I knew existed but had always remained firmly shut. I now have a happy, relaxed horse who is curious and positive about learning new things. I am now a rider who is once again enjoying my relationship with my horse and looking forward to achieving my riding goals.
N. Piscopo, North Carolina
I went to my cousin's ranch to ride. We (Garnet and I) had both only been there once before. The day was the first winter day we had seen...rainy and wind blowing. I took Garnet out of the trailer and she was a saint the entire day! She stood quietly while being saddled even though she could hear but not see the other animals. I used a couple of groundwork exercises and then mounted. I rode her past llamas, loud baby calves and odd looking gates. She was one happy mare. We had to drive their cattle from one of the valley areas back to the barn. My cousin and I were the only ones on the horses. The others were on four wheelers. Garnet didn't mind the noise OR the cattle...even when we were ALL in a small holding pen. My cousin was very impressed. You would have thought we did this stuff every weekend. It is so cool to have a happy, polite, forward moving horse. I won't even think where we would be now if it hadn't been for you and ALL that groundwork.
R. Digneo, Texas
When I moved to another state and left behind my dressage trainers, it didn't take long to realize things were not going well with my horse, a large, powerful warmblood mare. Most rides turned into a battle I could not win and on trails she was tense and frightened of crossing water. I realized that the professional riders had ridden my horse frequently enough to keep her "tuned up" for me. On my own, we were not doing very well. When she refused to get on the trailer, I decided we needed help and called Linda. Once I saw Linda work with my horse and in a short time had us moving on and off the trailer, I knew she was the teacher my horse and I needed. Working with Linda has been a rewarding and challenging journey which I am thoroughly enjoying. I am learning to communicate with my horse in a way she can understand. My goals with my horse have changed over the time I have worked with Linda. I am concentrating on developing my skills and communication with my horse. Working with Linda has improved both, mine and my horse's, skills and confidence. Ring work and trail rides are much more fun. It is a journey we are just beginning and looking forward to seeing where it leads.
J. Allen, North Carolina
Read the delightful series of actual emails from Linda and her client, Nancy.
Like any good trainer, Linda wanted to convey to the client the on-going progress her horse, Dee Dee, was making while in Linda's training and care. In the emails, Linda takes on the persona of young Dee Dee.
..Who knows whether our love of horses is programmed into our genetic coding or we acquire it along the way?
All we know is that our lives would somehow seem incomplete without them. We have arranged our lives to include them. The sacrifices have been long and hard at times.
Why, we ask ourselves, couldn't we just be happy doing something simple like playing golf or tennis? The answer is we just can't and we don't try to justify it. Our paths were meant to be intertwined.