Training With TLC by Darla



I think I was a horse in a past life!  I have always been able to “talk” to them.  When I was about 8 years old I got a pony from a rancher where my step dad worked.  He was not very friendly and he seemed to really dislike me!  He ran away with me the first time I got on his back with an old saddle with a piece of bailing rope to hold it on!  The saddle came off and so did I!  Luckily it was a short fall and I was not hurt too much!

When I told my step dad what happened he laughed at me and said, You are Crazy little girl, horses do not talk!  I said I know he can not talk with a voice dad but he says things inside of my head so I can hear him.   My step dad told me to go do my chores and stop being so crazy.  It turned out that Fury was 26 years old and had a bad abscess on his mouth from bad teeth and he had a sensitive girth area too, he said he had been abused by many owners.  I accepted that and just left him to graze until he passed away at 30! 

My next horse was a horse named Buck and boy did he.  He was a ranch horse and really was never ridden.  I went out and got him one day and spent some time grooming and saddling him.  He seemed friendly and sweet.  He did not talk to me like fury did.  He had a really soft sweet eye though.  They were big and sleepy looking.  I climbed up on the bullpen to get on his back.  He stood for a second or two and I put my heels into him.  He let out a loud snort and I landed inside of the pen with my fathers’ very unhappy bull.  He turned and looked at me rolled his eyes back and started to paw and blow his nose!  I was hurting but I got up and climbed the fence very fast!  I had two broken fingers and a skinned up face.  I finally did get to ride Buck.  He turned out to be very smooth and I am sure now he was a single-footed horse of whatever breed.  The ranch owner told me he was out of his grandfathers’ old Plantation Stallion and he was a smooth ride too.

I had many horse related jobs after that and I always sought out the gaited horses. I have attended every clinic I could get to.  There are very few I have not seen and I have a video collection that needs it’s own room!  When I came to Colorado I met a lady that had two Rocky Mountain Horses.  They were three years old and needed to be trained and ridden.  I worked with them and absolutely fell in love with them.  I have been working with and training gaited horses for a while but these two were the best natured horses I had ever met.  I went into a partner ship with a friend and we started raising them and for a few years I ran the whole operation with three stallions and 16 mares.  I learned a lot and I am still learning now.  I learned a lot from my friends in Kentucky at the Van Bert Farms.  HT Derrickson is one of the finest gaited horse trainers I have ever met and had the honor to learn from.  I know one thing for sure; the gaited horse is back and a force to be reckoned with!

Darla Nassif
Training With TLC by Darla


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