About Melanie Hetfield

Just updating the page, so much has happened in the last year.

Life is a journey ours begins in 2012 with 3 little ponies; BamBam, Barney and Pye.

Prior to this section of our journey ( say our as my daughter has been an inspiration all the way through) I thought I was stupid, having struggle through schooling, I left with CSE grades C, went into a bad relationship, had children, got divorced, got married again had another child, got divorced again. This left me with big decisions to make…………..

In 2012 we started a journey, that we’d like you to become apart of. After my daughter passed one of her Pony Club exams I promised a pony, being autistic we went for a small pony that she could bond with and grow with, the one that caught my eye wasn’t very healthy looking, but something about him just said please take me. BamBam our first pony extremely underweight, feet overgrown and bloated. Now he’s a strong and very fast pony and is being trained for riders.

A year later we’d rescued 2 more ponies that had been mistreated and were extremely head shy (normally a sign that they have been hit around the head,especially if it is only to one side that they are head shy). With kindness and using the Equus language all 3 ponies have improved greatly and have a lot to give.

In July 2014 we purchased two ponies, Dakota and Sonny-Ben that needed a home together, to our delight the mare Dakota was pregnant and Sonny-Ben is the father. They’ll have a home for life with us together.

We operate a no pain policy at – no time will a whip hit the horse, just as much as it can feel a fly land on it’s back it can surely feel the sting of a whip. Our method of befriending the horse and working along with what the horse is telling us.

Unlike many horse establishment, we’ve not started this with a large income or savings. The horses have to support themselves with The Kiddy Pony Clinic and the work I do helping others with their horses.

My best pastime is watching the horses communicate with each other, it’s like learning another language and when applied with our communicating with them understanding of the horse grows.

These are our first 3 rescue ponies.

Before and after photos of our 3 boys.

Before and after photos of our 3 boys.

As part of our horse journey I help rehabilitate horses the have behaviour issues and teach owners that have lost confidence with their horses to become confident once more.  If you have got to a point where you think you’ve tried everything, drop me a line.

Seeing many horses with difficulties and owners unable to bear the growing cost of ‘issues’ with their horses, I made a decision to keep my prices as low as possible so I can help as many horses and owners as possible. Because of this, please do not expect to see big riding schools and wooden fencing, we rent a field in the middle of a field and are building things with recycling materials from the ground up. Here’s just a few pictures how it’s going at present:

This is what we started out with, 2.16 acres of grass as per Google Maps measurements ;).

The field the first day on arriving, just 3 acres and a wire fence.

The field the first day on arriving

Then winter hit! All we had was the horses shelter and it was freezing for us when we went out to attend to them.

Our first winter, ouch it was wet, soggy and cold.

Our first winter, ouch it was wet, soggy and cold.

The Farmer kindly let us have one of his rusting old trailers, so a plan was put into action to build a warm area for the next winter.

Make shift tack room IMG_1214

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All being built with recycled wood and pallets that people throw away.

 

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Horse Manure composters

 

 

 

trailer tack room nearly completed 16 4 14   That’s as far as it got on that side, still not finished painting it (Jan 2016)

IMG_3230

 

What to do with the manure was an issue too, although the farmer said make a pile and he’ll removed it, in nearly 2 years he’s never collected a pile. So.. pallets again for making composters, for the manure to compost properly you need it to be at least 1 meter high.  This then generates the heat required to rot down the manure so it can either be replaced back to fertilize the land, or you can have a bag of ready to use compost in exchange for some strong bags.

The composters then gave me an idea, why not make some sturdy fencing with the pallets, so we have and it’s working pretty well.  This is a photo below just coming out of winter, so the ground is quite worn out.  To support the fencing, we’ve built composters into the fencing, the weight of the rotting manure is enough to stop the fencing blowing away in the strong winds.  I just imagine that we’re using picket fencing 😉 The horses love it too as it provides them with shelter from the wind.

The gate you see there is made from recycling metal beds, so don’t throw them away please, I can always make use of them 😉

Pallet Fencing

 

For training of horses with behaviour issues, we needed a 50 foot round pen. The price of these can be anywhere of a £1000 upwards and not something my low cost budget was going to allow for. Remember anything I have to pay out for goes onto the cost of the rides and any training, I don’t want to charge the earth!  So the round pen is also being built out of pallets and broken security fencing. Still a working progress but we’re getting there. He’s the beginning pictures..

50 foot round pen out of pallets IMG_4288 IMG_4291

 

 

 

 

 

The ground for the 50 foot pen is on grass that’s kept short for training, but can only be used on dry days. If the ground it too hard for horses that are shoed, then copying Kelly Marks initial round pen, we put straw down for a soft landing.

IMG_4875the round pen continues 18 7 14

Something that always puzzles me is wheelbarrows, they get a puncture and get thrown on the tip. Or the bucket area breaks on one and the wheels/frame break on another, all are thrown in the skip so… I just have to take both of them, take them apart and make one completely good working wheelbarrow. Just sometimes the colours don’t match 😉 But it’s all to save on money so that I don’t have to charge the earth to help you.

broken wheel barrow 2014-08-18 15.54.04 2014-08-18 15.54.11

 

 

 

 

 

More to come, the pens, the pond, the jumps, the tyres, the growing our own grass seeds, herbs and weeds. Most importantly my education and training in horsemareship and horse whispering.

January 2016 – What a strange couple of years it’s been, won’t go into detail too much but it’s not gone to plan and we’re still stuck with 2.16 acres of land and searching for land.  As most fields go to mud over the winter where the horses hang out the most we’re no stranger to it either, in 2015 winter I  built individual pens like stables without a roof, it worked quite well except they were laying down in soggy mud and without running water it was horrendous trying to clean it off.

DSC_0015

This year 2016, we’ve gone for a corral which is working well. Having the roundels of hay in there too they can keep their herding habits up over night and have plenty of room to move around and where they make a mess with the hay roundel provides dry areas for them to lay down nicely.  Barney our Sheltland  still escapes overnight so he has his own large pen, which is near the others so he’s not separated from the herd. He’s got a cheeky neighbor at present too as a Welsh A, Coco, keeps escaping so he’s locked up at night too next to Barney. Great pals together!

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The Corral hay corner.

What’s next to move forwards, we need land which is going to be interesting sorting to say the least.

 

It’s all about the Horse!  Do you want to become involved? Just drop me a message.

Mel
Horse Whisperer and Trainer

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