Welcome to the Smart Start Stable website.  Feel free to browse the website and check out who we are and what we do.  The tabs on the top are of various categories of information.  The top tab that you see has it’s own page so you may click on that plus there are pages for each title on the drop down menu.

If you have any questions you can ask at the bottom of many of the pages and it goes to Suzette’s email or you can go to the contact page and it will send an email also.  The contact page is more “confidential”, the other pages act more like a blog and are visible to all who visit.

If you email and don’t receive a response within 24 hours, assume there was a technical difficulty.  If you call and don’t receive a call back within 24 hours, assume we couldn’t understand the phone number on the machine.  If we don’t have your number we can’t call you back.  This has happened more often than you would think.

Again, welcome!




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Feb 2015 Update (continued)

Here are some photos of what the horses at  Smart Start are doing that are already trained.  Always striving for perfection for both the rider/handler and the horse, we spend time making sure the horse knows how to deal with fears, learns to trust us and will go willingly wherever we want and of course, perform the best that we can…

This past week several of the horses met “The Box”.  Wayne uses a box to teach horses all the things they need to be good at trailer loading.  The first photo is of Joanne’s horse Buddy that Wayne played with to “load” onto the box.  The next two are of Krystal and Safarr, I put them on myself.  Safarr wanted to smell the box as if to see if he knew any of the horses who had been on the box.  He was more interested in the smell of it than worried about being afraid of it.  (P.S.  Krystal really is prettier than she looks on the box).  Also, I put George on the box but my phone battery was dying and it wouldn’t take a photo….

Breaking down trailer loading into smaller steps.  Wayne with Buddy on "The Box".

Breaking down trailer loading into smaller steps. Wayne with Buddy on “The Box”.

Safarr on "The Box"

Safarr on “The Box”

Krystal on "The Box"

Krystal on “The Box”

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Feb 2015 Update

I can’t believe it’s almost two months since Wayne has joined me to train at Smart Start.  Time flies when you’re having fun.  Thought I should post on update on the blog on how things are going.

You know, I always thought our horses were happy and well behaved compared to others, for example, when I was at the USDF Finals in Kentucky last November I saw upper level horses in double bridles, with their riders on, being led with lead chains.  To me that means some very basic things are missing from their training and how can they truly be great dressage horses if they don’t trust their riders to go to and from the dressage ring?

I thought I’d post some photos of the things Smart Start horses cover in the beginning of their training (even if it’s a new to the farm but well seasoned riding horse) to make sure they are safe and know how to deal with their fears and emotions.

The photos on this post are of Wayne and Oops, my 3 1/2 yr old Oldenburg gelding.  Oops is learning some basics before being started under saddle.  He’s done ground work to learn to give to pressure, respect and yield space to humans, desensitize to things touching his body and also to sensitize to yield to the pressure from the scary things.

Next Oops and Wayne head to the round pen where Oops learns to respond to Wayne, doing all the things he’s done with the halter and lead, now doing it 100% on his own free will.  Oops is continues on with his sensitize/desensitize training as shown with the lariat on his head and ears.


Ground work, desensitizing the horse

Ground work, desensitizing the horse

Oops going through a gate softly and on his own

Oops going through a gate softly and on his own



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Suzette Earns Totally Tops Trainer Again

Arabian Horse World sent an email notifying Suzette that she’s made Top Ten in the Totally Tops Trainers in the dressage division for 2014!  The points are tabulated from placings at the national Arabian shows.  When the actual placings are published we’ll put a link up on the website.

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Safarr’s Story at The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine

The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine (found only online) published about Safarr’s life and how he developed into such an amazing horse, from a difficult, almost crazy, frantic horse into a smart, talented, give 150% of what he has to give horse.  Thank you to the Arabian Sport Horse Magazine for giving Safarr the glory he deserves!

He’s on page 69….

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