For those of you who have horses, you won’t find a better place than this for questions and answers. There is also a phone number you can call. The person behind this site is the main one responsible for my success with Carat, my own horse. After raising him from birth a bad leg injury kept me from working closely with him. As he was a stallion and growing rapidly, he did not learn about staying out of peoples’ space. I became afraid to be close to him.
“… If it weren’t for you Gwen, my passion for horses would not have grown to what it is today. I started my online lessons with Gwen in 2008 and have taken many lessons with her. She really knows her stuff. My horse is healthy. My other horse, Corado, died of cancer at 18. He may not have lived as long if it weren’t for Gwen. Both of my horses never colicked, their feet were absolutely amazing (with Gwen’s guidance), never lame. … After 5 years of following Gwen’s method, I have proof that she knows her stuff (and if she doesn’t she’ll find the information). Love you Gwen. From Québec Canada”
ALOT has changed for me for the better since working with you! My connection with my horse is back to where it was, and then some! I had been searching for quite sometime for the right training/teaching “method” that felt right to me, but could never quite find it! My mind was flooded with what “everyone” else said it should be, and how it should look. You confirmed for me that my feelings were indeed on track, and that I wasn’t crazy to think such a thing! Changing my mindset, and listening to myself and my horses is now what I try to do above anything else. Once I changed it my mind, all things started to fall into place! You tell it like it is, and you don’t sugar coat anything, but you are very fair, and non-judgmental! Our weekly classes keep me on track, and I intend to continue with them as long as it is within my means to do so!!
I am am so thankful that I listened to myself, and kept looking for right answer, as that led me to you! Your out look and perspective was the missing puzzle piece, and I look forward to all our time together. I ALWAYS come out feeling inspired, and empowered to keep on this path that is truly a never ending wonderful journey!
RONN, New York :
ANDREA, MA :
My husband and I had just bought our farm and our new Tennessee Walker, Cisco, who was supposedly trained via Natural Horsemanship and was sold to us because he couldn’t/wouldn’t do the gait. We didn’t care, we just loved his personality and figured we could use him Western/Trail with no problems. In fact, we rode him several times and he was a dream. However, having been away from horses for several decades and never owning them personally, we decided it would help all of us to hire a trainer, recommended by our tack shop, to help us get back into riding and not ruin his training.
This “trainer” was a disaster, she kicked Cisco when he didn’t understand what she asked of him, and then got on him and turned him 360 degrees a couple times so hard that he is now bit shy. She was very abusive to him, and literally “broke” him – he is very sensitive and this treatment broke his heart and made him very fearful. We fired her and got another trainer (riding only), and although we were able to ride him a bit longer, each ride was a little more nervous, and eventually a couple traumas (saddle slipping under, and bolting and unseating me) made him a complete wreck. He was so fearful and flighty, despite the calming influence of his “brother” Quarter Horse Dusty, that we were at the point of selling him and giving up.
As a last ditch effort, I went looking on the Internet for a local trainer and found Gwen. My husband and I thought we would try her before selling Cisco, but we were wary and weren’t going to let a trainer abuse him any more. We didn’t have much hope and were afraid he was ruined and would never ride again, but we loved Cisco and wanted to keep him, so we had to try.
The first time Gwen came, she said let’s work them at liberty and see what we have. She sat us down on a small wall in the paddock and moved them around. They were flying everywhere, especially Cisco, and we were afraid he would stomp on us, but Gwen said not to worry, they know what they’re doing and she could tell neither was aggressive. After a few minutes, she quieted them down and evaluated Cisco, whom she said had Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and, although she could tell he had a good heart, was completely traumatized and fully sensitized, there would be no riding for a while. When asked if there was hope and could she help, she said yes, and we decided to give Cisco a chance.
We also had some problems with Dusty, who was completely self-assured and liked to test and be stubborn, and she said she could help us with him too. He also had a good heart, but had plenty to teach us as well.
It took awhile, only because (our fault) we have so little time to spend with them having full-time jobs and full-time restoration projects (the farm was quite neglected when we got it), and it took some time to learn about energy and how to communicate with horses, but the change has been a 100% turnaround. Cisco is now at the point where he is pretty much desensitized on the ground, and I am starting to work with him on re-accepting the saddle and thinking about riding. Dusty is always going to be a challenge, but he is accepting our requests faster and cooperating better.
We are so grateful to have Gwen in our lives. Cisco and Dusty have both become partners with us, and this horse fantasy has become a reality. I have always loved horses and rode school horses when I was young, but never developed a real connection with them before. Learning their psychology, that it is “teaching” not “training”, and learning the silent world of energy, leadership and visualization has, and continues to be, a wonderful gift. As predators, it’s a wonder that these prey animals even let us in their lives and on their backs willingly, taking our direction and acknowledging our leadership. It’s this frame of mind that Gwen teaches, and the joy of these fellow beings is immeasurable.
We would recommend Gwen 1000% – she is so intuned with the horses and so willing and able to share her knowledge with their people. Gwen is patient, kind, and when she knows that her client is struggling, she is quick to reframe her teachings and work with you in different ways until she finds the one that makes sense for you. She also has broad knowledge of everything equine, from hoofcare to homeopathic remedies, diets to books. One stop shopping!
KENDAL, Massachusetts :
“Years ago I had a pony, Mitch, who suffered from chronic laminitis. I tried everything I could think of to help him with no avail. Traditional shoeing was definitely not helping him and my old farrier had pretty much given up on him. I started reading about natural hoof trimming and started a search. I came across the Penzance website and instantly felt that Gwen was the right person to contact. Within our first meeting she had Mitch walking better, had recommended some homeopathic remedies and reviewed his diet. I started him on the homeopathic remedies and within days he showed significant improvement. I couldn’t believe my eyes! Gwen was the answer to my prayers!
JOAN, FL : “My life and the health and vitality of all my animals has been forever transformed for the better. Thanks Gwen for all you give to all of us. You are a gifted healer and teacher.”
“The support I was given by you made the real difference and allowed me to look at the horse differently so I could find a New World that I never knew before. So I Thank You.”
–Leslie Pavlich, Author of “Clicker Training: Colt Starting the Natural Horse”
DONALD, ME :
“After having you resolve Little Johns trimming problem when NO ONE ELSE could help me, I have confidence in you. So, although I could get free advice somewhere else, it might not be good advice. Most trainers are fairly violent compared to you. You’re smart enough to train without resorting to whips, spurs or trying to bully the horse which doesn’t work very well anyway. I tried the first thing on your anti-biting list and already it seems to be working!”
————————————————————————————————————————————-JOHN, MA : Thank you Gwen, for your inspiring articles and ideas. Together with Mark Rashid, you are one of the greatest horsepersons of recent times.
… I actually find myself getting quite emotional over this pony since she has turned into the most amazing treasure. She also meets my daughter at the gate (all 60 lbs of her), leads loose line at any speed Rachel chooses, stands wonderfully for grooming and tacking, even dropping her head into the bridle and is very willing under saddle with no balking, bolting, bucking, or even a crop needed. Once we figured out where her issues were, she has responded with every part of her being. (And she was auction bound when we bought her.) Thanks for helping with her!
BARABARA, RI :
I met Gwenyth in late 2009 i consulted her about my horse as at that time i had a natural trimmer working on my hors and they were always lame or sore so i had found Gwen on Facebook i added her as my friend and we started to talk about natural diet and how i can help my horses! We talked for some time then i took her class NHC101 which is her online course i have learned so much great stuff from her.
Many things has changed since i worked with Gwen! Now i been trimming my own horses since last year winter time and they are seem so much better. I have learned stuff about raw vegetable diet and why it is better for my horses. My horses are 99 % sound and happy.
I feel blessed to have met this wonderful woman she has though me so much about how horses live in the wild and how they service and most of all i have happy horses. Gwen thank you so much for everything you are simply the best.
—————————————————————————————————————————————-VANESSA, NH :
“I would entrust the care and well-being of any horse, sound or lame, healthy or sick, troubled or at peace, to Gwen Santagate. I give her my highest recommendation because she is one of the most honest, wisest, and most circumspect people I have ever met. She goes the extra mile (or ten) for the horse’s sake and makes every animal’s total well-being her top priority. My horse recommends her, too -four hooves up! – because, thanks to her, and her alone, he is alive and well.”
“Gwen, I was expecting you to fish for me but, instead, you taught me how to fish. Thank you.”