Here are a few comments from our clients and friends…..
- “Life and plans change!I’ve known Ginger for twelve years now, and boy, how life has changed! From being a one horse owner, to two, and back to one again. From trailering somewhere every other weekend, to months of not riding. Through at least 3 disciplines, hundreds of lessons, coming off and getting back on! Ginger has been there every step of the way! Tailoring lessons, tack, feed, care and advice, for not only my horses(s), but for me as well! She understands when to push (and why would we pay a trainer who never challenges us?!), and when to offer a hug (which is often)! She doesn’t operate on her agenda, but supports the riders aspirations, with insight, humility, encouragement, and excitement, and always putting the horses first in the equation. BEST trainer ever!”
- Ginger helped me understand and enter the world of dressage and showing…..starting at ground zero for horse and rider, Ginger taught us both the basics and beyond; we were able to successfully go from Intro A to First Level over several years.I started working with Ginger when I bought my first baby (2 1/1 year old Percheron/TB cross); despite lack of physical ability on the horse’s part (and lots to learn on the rider’s part), Ginger has hung in there with us over the years to find activities in which we can be successful. My first “Master Card moment” was when Ginger worked through my young horse’s resistance with taking the bit; there have been many, many more great moments since then…..Ginger has helped us find common ground to have a successful horse/rider partnership. The reason I stay with Ginger as my trainer is that I keep wanting to evolve as a rider; and, regardless of which discipline I decide to explore next, Ginger is always willing to work with the level of ability of both my horse and me to expand our horizons and help us become the best we can at mastering new concepts.
- Ginger has been a long time friend and my trainer for over 15 years…. She has helped keep my 21 year old Morgan healthy and sound with advice on schooling exercises, shoeing and proper body work. My Morgan also goes for visits when I am traveling and he always comes back much improved in the way that he goes. At 21 he has never had an injection and is sound…. Ginger also helped select a wonderful Hanoverian mare out for me several years ago… When I had to go back to work full time, Randi went to Ginger’s on full training board and now with Ginger’s training I I have a wonderful schoolmaster that teaches me. Thank you Ginger for everything you do for me and my horses!
- Ginger Sandy Long from Winkler Road learned to ride on Cullowhee Tumbleweed and spent summer vacations at Farnley riding and babysitting Luke Barber and Silas Barber. She has made a wonderful life with horses, and is genius at helping unhappy horses and unhappy riders become happy couples.
“After school each day Ginger Long would walk down the street and ride the Farnley Ponies at Cullowhee Spring with Amanda MacKay-Smith. Those were the greatest ponies…..Welsh Ponies. The Farnley and Shenandoah ponies are one of the first bands here in the US. She spent her summers at Farnley breaking in and training ponies. Those were the fun horse shows. The ponies ignited a passion, a spark to pursue her love of horses. Ginger represents all those little girls that didn’t own a horse. She rode the horses no one wanted to ride and learned from them. She respects horses for what they are and the language that they’ve taught her. She absorbed all the information and tools available to increase her ability to work and be successful with horses. Her experiences and travels developed her skill and understanding. Growing up this way, has allowed her the ability to explain things well and help people and their horses. She can help them overcome a variety of problems and weaknesses. Her experiences have allowed her to contribute to the lasting fitness and strength in each horse, young person and adult she encounters. Ginger helps people pursue symmetry and balance, strength and harmony with their horse.
Ginger Long has combined her exceptional horsemanship skills with an innate ability to understand the minds and bodies of both horses and humans, creating successful partnerships between riders and their mounts. Her students have claimed that she has X-ray vision…an amazing ability to see and address the miniscule problems in both horse and rider that are blocking the path to freedom and ease of movement. She communicates the ability to overcome. Overcome fear with confidence and weakness with strength. She has developed techniques that are teachable, so that others may learn the language that connects human and horse. The result is Gingers insight and ability to unite the horse and rider in working harmony. She inspires students to use the tools taught. These tools and techniques are basic to all horses and disciplines. Her techniques begin with groundwork and progress toward the athletic ability and performance goals of each horse and rider. The program includes horsemanship, correct movement, exercise , gymnastics and dressage. These skills are fundamental. Each program is developed and tailored to the needs of the individual case. As needed, a team of equine professionals such as farriers, vets, and saddle fitters are available. With this team approach, Ginger can provide you with a total horse/rider solution. You will gain the insight, understanding and skill to reach your horsemanship and performance goals. The goals of this program are to produce a freer moving, physically and mentally strong horse and thinking, feeling and therefore an effective rider.
Ginger Long is an equine professional who develops successful programs for horses and riders. She is an educator, a clinician, a trainer but mostly she has a genuine love for horses and wants to share her knowledge with others. Currently, Ginger is working on several booklets, CD’s and a video to provide insight into her fascinating partnership with horses. The first booklet titled “Ground Exercise Training For All Horses” is the first of a series unfolding the relationship that can be achieved between horse and rider. These booklets and other study aids, lead you step by step in the pursuit of harmony with your horse.”
Ginger and Megan with Lincoln
- “I came to Equetec in search of guidance and support in my riding with my horse who had soundness issues and irritability. My goal was to ride as a team with balance, harmony, and strength and have a happy horse again. Ginger has pushed me to work towards becoming the best rider that I can be for my horse. She does this with the right amount of push, support, and her variety of teaching by styles. My gelding has and continues to receive quality care and professional analysis that has greatly helped his health. Every aspect of health and wellness of your horse is considered and the results are evident in my horses happy demeanor when he is at Equetec. Finding this individual care and love for both horses and riders is unique to Equetec and I am very grateful for Ginger and Ashley both. I would highly recommend Ginger Long for any of your equine needs. Your horses will thank you for it.”
- “As a less experienced adult rider I appreciate the solid fundamentals that I and my (formerly) green horse have learned under Ashley’s tutelage. Ashley’s lesson are customized for my needs, balancing just the right amount of challenge and encouragement while also understanding my goals and limitations. Ginger and Ashley are also wonderful resources on horsemanship and equine health. 5 stars!”
- “My story”. I really wanted to share with you, and others, how pivotal it has been in my life to have met you. I’ve always been a real believer that things happen for a reason and that perfect timing sometimes just happens! Which is truly how I feel about meeting you. So, here’s my story!I tend to measure my horsey happiness based on my old mare TM (The Mare). She was a wonderful TB x Han mare that needed my rescuing. We had a great time together and she was a very bold mare that tough me a lot in our 5 years together. Unfortunately, at the age of 17 she developed a chronic lameness that forced me to retire her. I was so hurt by having to retire her that I decided my next horse would be young so that I didn’t have to go through that heartache again anytime soon. What a naive approach. I thought I could find a young green broke horse that showed lots of athletic ability that I could ride, train, compete and keep for many years. I found a really cool TB gelding and at first things went rather well. Six months down the road things were not going so well. I quickly learned I did not have the confidence and guts that are needed to guide a young inexperienced horse. I definitely was not equipped to deal properly with a young sensitive TB. It was suggested I contact Ginger Long to do an evaluation on the effectiveness of our partnership.I met with Ginger and she spent a good hour working with my guy. She’s a very gutsy lady. She didn’t know me from Adam, but, was professional enough to tell me based on our conversations, the input from my dressage instructor, and the hour that she had spent with my gelding, that this was not a good match. I could tell she really didn’t want to tell me that. She really felt badly, but, it was what I needed to hear from an unbiased professional. Don’t get me wrong, she provided me with options that we could do to see if we could form a proper and working partnership. I thanked her for her honesty and time.l I headed home knowing I needed to evaluate my time, finances, immediate and longterm horsey goals. After much thought, heartache, and discussions with other horsey friends, I determined it would be best for us both if we parted ways and started fresh with other partners.I began taking lessons with Ginger on some of the horses she had at her barn. She was able to see some of my riding habits that really drove my gelding CRAZY. I became known as “wiggle butt” around the barn! She helped me work through some of my habits that would annoy the crap out of most horses. Ginger also helped me find a lease situation that would allow me to ride more regularly until my gelding sold. Santa, the super Appy, was a true gift in my life at that point and helped me learn to have some fun riding. (Thanks Vanessa for allowing me to experience such a great horse!)Finally, my gelding sold. So, now, what did I want??? I knew I didn’t want something young…been there, wasn’t equipped to do it well! So, that must mean I need something with a little more experience. OK, got that down…. Now, do I have a breed preference?? Well, not sure I would be able to handle another TB…but, guess I should keep my options open. So, did I really want to show? Or, did I just want a good ‘ole horse that would be mainly a trail horse that could do some dressage and some jumping. Nah, not sure I would like that…but, not sure how “challenged” I wanted to feel. So, I decided to work with Ginger and Vanessa to help me find my next beast. I was in no hurry as making a hasty decision did not work the last time. I know I drove them crazy with all the internet ads!Well – The one thing I knew for sure was I wouldn’t buy the first one I rode, but…. that’s pretty much what I did!Ginger had gotten in a few horses at her barn that were for sale. One was a TB hunter, one was a well rounded QH, and the other was a TB eventer. I really thought I wanted something that could be a ready to go event, but, honestly, I had become timid and insecure in my abilities, and not sure of my own wants/needs. So, I went out to spend the day trying these horses. Someone else was at the barn looking at the same horses and she was riding the QH when I arrived, so, I started with the TB. Later I learned that Ginger REALLY thought the TB would be my pick, so, she saved him for me to ride first so I could have first option. Well, it was a smart move. I liked his walk and trot. He seemed pleasant enough. But, I was SOLD once I cantered him. What a great canter – especially for a horse that had been out of real work for a while now. Well, then the guilt of possibly buying the first one I rode creped in…so, I decided to ride the QH just to make sure. Well, I knew immediately that I preferred a TB. So, I asked Ginger if we could work together with him for a week or so before I made up my mind. She agreed and for the next week really tested me with him to make sure we could work with each other and not AGAINST each other.Next thing I know – we are off for a vet check. It’s been almost 9 months now, and I’m 100% happy and in love with this gelding!! I never thought another horse could compare to my old mare. But, I phone my husband everyday on my way home from the barn to tell him how happy I am and how much I love my Frazier. I even told him I thought he was really measuring up to my old mare…probably even passing her, as he has way more talent. I finally feel like I am really riding. That I am building confidence. All because Ginger was able to find a horse who is my perfect partner that is teaching me to RELAX, BREATHE, FEEL and most importantly TRUST and have FUN!!! THANKS GINGER!!We’ve all heard of the great stories about people who have rehabilitated horses. Well, I like to refer to myself as Frazier’s Rehab Rider. So, just for fun – here’s his story!………….Life With My
By FrazierMy life has been a great one that has led me down many adventurous paths. I began my life with a wonderful family, who not only brought me into this world, but provided me with a wonderful education. I learned all kinds of really cool things like dressage, stadium jumping and playing on the cross country course. Of course, I had to learn the not so fun things like good ground manners and maintaining my patience! I’m told it’s because of those oh so important lessons that have lead me to my newest adventure “rehabbing” my new owner.It was a yucky week in February 2006 that I found myself beginning a new chapter in my life. I was moved from my comfortable pasture with my first family and transported to this spunky lady’s barn. I learned this was Ginger and I could immediately tell this was going to be a relaxing place. I figured I would let them know I was cool with the new digs by lying flat out in my stall to take MANY LONG naps. Though from the whispers I heard I guess not many of the new guys settle in so quickly. Oh, well, that’s just my way of relaxing.
A week or so after coming to Ginger’s I met this new girl. She looked me over and I don’t get why, but, didn’t seem too impressed with me initially. Guess I better show her some of my good moves if I want to make a good impression. I did like the way she scratched my itchy spot behind my ears! J So, I decided to be on my best behavior when she rode me. Up she went and I could tell she was anxious, but, I didn’t let that get to me… I knew what to do. I wasn’t too sure if she liked me that much. That is until she got the guts to canter. That’s when I knew I may have hooked myself a new owner. She seemed pretty happy with the balanced and floaty canter I provided her. I decided she might be a good person when she gave me my carrots…yes, I had to stretch and work for them, but, she gave me CARROTS!! YUM!
I saw this new girl, who I learned was called Lann, several more times over the next week or so. I was SO happy when she let me show her my jumping abilities. I could tell she was really anxious and tense, but, that was ok, I showed her I could take care of her. And boy was it FUN.
Being the observant beast that I am, I picked up on the fact that her last horse was not a good match for her. He evidentially did not have the experience, confidence, patience, or tolerance that I have. Which I guess made her very untrusting and caused her to loose confidence in her riding abilities. I was going to have to work hard and maintain my patience in order to help this girl realize horses were fun and she CAN ride.
It was early one morning in March that Lann lead me to a new trailer. Cool, where could we possibly be going? Once we got to our destination I met a team of new people who began to poke and prod and poke some more! They flexed my legs high and tight and made me trot on the hard asphalt. I was lunged in little circles. As if that wasn’t enough – then Lann rode me in a strange ring with LOTS of wind and bags blowing. I could tell she was worried about how I would handle all the distractions. Don’t know why she was worried, it as new surrounds with lots of things to look at, but, nothing to worry about in my mind. They even pulled my shoes off and took lots of pictures of my feet and legs. Thank goodness they wrapped up my ouchy feet for the ride back home. I think I behaved well…just hope the pictures came out good!
Guess I did well, because next thing I know, Ginger and Lann are excited to tell me that she will be my new Mom. But, I’m more excited because I get to work with my very first “rehab” rider. What a challenge…but, I’m up for it!
I spent the next few months living with Ginger while she worked my butt good and got me back in shape. That was great because it made it much easier for me to be the best boy I could be for Lann. Lann came out twice a week to learn more about me and love on me. Boy did she need some work! But, each time she came I was able to release more of her tension. I could tell she was going to get it in time.
May brought about my next trip onto Lann’s trailer. This time, I could tell it was different, as there was a lot of excitement. Ginger also gave me a hint when she told me to stay on my best behavior and keep my patience with Lann. She reminded me that my new job was to take care of Lann and teach her what life with a true equine partner could be like. It was going to be a big challenge, probably more than any of the Training level events I had been to, but, I was ready! As I loaded up, I whispered to Ginger it would all be ok, but, somehow, I think she already knew that. So, off we went to settle me into my new home.
SWEET!! What nice digs I have at this place. There are wonderful large pasture with lots of space to run and a cozy stall to take my “lay all out” naps. And WOW LOTS of sweet feed and pellet feed and fat supplement … oh, AND hay!! YIPPEEE!!! Boy was I glad when Lann figured out my mind couldn’t handle all the new carbohydrates. I thought she was going to give up on me and take me back to Gingers. Not that I didn’t like Gingers, it was great, and I’m always relaxed there, but, I really wanted to stay with Lann and watch her grow.
It’s been about 8 months since I moved here with Lann. She’s doing GREAT. She has gotten the confidence to take me to all kinds of new places. We’re taking lots of lessons. There’s a hunter person that comes to the barn and she’s really happy with the work I have done with Lann. She sees the results and relaxation that’s starting to come in her riding style. We’ve gone to lessons with Ginger at her place and at another barn that has a cool covered arena that pings as the sun heats it. Ginger seems pleased with what I have been able to do for Lann as well. We also met up with an instructor that has worked with Lann as she has ridden other horses. I heard her tell Lann I was the perfect horse for her. That I was going to teach her a lot. She seemed to notice that I don’t really like it when Lann rides me with tense arms, but, also noted that I wasn’t protesting too much. She realized I wasn’t going to hurt my new Mom. Oh, we’ve also been on a cool trail ride at a place called Umstead Park with one of Lann’s best friends. I was excited that I heard her laugh and giggle as we trotted and cantered around the park. I knew I was teaching her well if she could do that!
I have no idea where we will go next. I’m really hoping Lann will get the confidence to take me to a schooling show or two. Maybe one day a real recognized show or event. I love all the fun that can be had at a show! But, I’m really happy to know I’ve made such a difference in my owner’s life. She tells me every day how much she loves me and that I’m wonderful. What I like hearing most is happiness in her voice when she tells me I’m her partner. What I’m most proud of is that she has the confidence to play with me over fences when we are at home alone! I’m so thankful to my first family for giving me the tools I needed to be a proper horse to rehab my owner. And even more grateful to Ginger for finding the perfect “rehab” rider for me to play with!
- Ginger Long has been the most powerful influence on my life with horses than has anyone else.I have ridden for nearly 40 years, initially just for pleasure around my family’s cow farm. I became more serious about learning to ride well and competing 16 years ago. Combined training was my chosen sport and I advanced to the preliminary 3-day level. I also competed successfully in dressage through third level. And I began teaching a few students and training a few horses in addition to my regular job outside the horse world.However, when my thoroughbred dressage horse had two lameness episodes within about a year, I began to question the traditional approach to training. And I was not making consistent progress with a mare that I had obtained as an unrideable horse. We seemed to make progress and then backslide. While I had been working with very good, experienced, classically trained instructors, who had all advanced to the highest levels of their sport, and taken a number of horses and students to these levels, we couldn’t seem to find the right formula for this mare. And she seemed grouchy and unhappy with life most of the time. This was despite my efforts to make her more comfortable through better shoeing, having her teeth floated by possibly the best dentist in the country, having her saddle custom fitted on a regular basis and frequent bodywork to loosen her too-tense muscles. And there were times in my teaching and training when I was searching for another way of explaining or showing something to a horse or rider, but not quite coming up with an optimal exercise.When Ginger came into my life, I hoped she could help my dressage horse, Dodger, regain soundness and stay sound – at a reduced level of work if need be. And I hoped she could help transform my mare, Alie, into a more submissive cooperative horse.A little more than a year later, my dressage horse is looking and moving better than he has ever in his life. He is stronger, more supple, more confident and more balanced. And he is happy. And while we have decided that he has reached the highest level of performance at which his body will allow him to comfortably work, the benefits of Ginger’s program will remain with him for the rest of his life. Those include a new, more efficient way of using his body, which will help ensure his long-term soundness, and it includes a more relaxed mind, which will enable him to remain a happy, content horse that is at ease with the world around him.And my mare is now not only safe to ride, but is gorgeous to watch. Her muscles – no longer stiff from tension and discomfort – are well defined. Her coat glimmers with the radiance of a healthy, happy horse. There have been multiple rides when I have shed tears of joy that she had willingly executed a movement that had once caused shear panic within her. And she did it because I asked her, not because I forced her. These moments could not have come without Ginger’s program, which produced a strong, supple body along with a strong, supple mind.Ginger succeeds where others do not because she is not focused on just dressage training, or event training, or hunter training or western pleasure training. She is focused on life training for the horse and rider – horsemanship. She addresses every aspect of the horse’s care and management as well as its specific training to develop a plan that will make that horse and rider successful. And she is not afraid to say that in order for a horse to progress further, it needs to go backwards and learn how to do something correctly that it should have learned in its early years. This can be hard to accept, but her recommendations are always for the benefit of the horse.Ginger’s other reason for success is her inventive mind and highly developed skills of observation. When I first met her, I was certain she must stay up all night with a pot of coffee coming up with ingenious exercises to address a particular horse’s problem. But as I work with her more, I realize her inventiveness is a product of a quick, analytical mind. Any problem that surfaces in the program can be addressed with another inventive exercise. Many of these exercises are performed on the ground, where both horse and rider are safe. Then the ground exercise, once learned well by horse and rider, is transferred to an exercise performed on the horse’s back.For instance, Ginger immediately zeroed in on Alie’s primary problem, weak stifles that would collapse and cause her to panic. This had contributed to the significant behavior problems that had caused her to become an “unrideable” horse. Ginger’s plan for Alie was multifaceted – follow a program intended to gradually strengthen her stifles, teach her to cope if her stifles did “wobble,” and change how I interacted with Alie so that we could gradually extinguish the undesirable behaviors. While the work was tedious, and was mostly done on the ground and at the walk under saddle, I began to see changes in her behavior almost immediately. We still had setbacks, but each time, Ginger was able to get us through those periods by addressing another aspect of Alie’s physical or mental needs. For instance, Ginger could see that there were still problems with Alie’s shoeing that were causing her discomfort, so she facilitated me working with Dr. Richard Mannsman to develop the best shoeing solution for Alie. On another occasion when Alie seemed to be going through some sort of discomfort, Ginger suggested asking my veterinarian to see if she had a uterine infection, or perhaps, a painful ovary. I followed through and Alie did indeed have a uterine infection. I have not before met anyone with Ginger’s keen sense of observation and intuition. That, combined with her intense desire to help horses and riders, has enabled me to reach an entirely different plane of horsemanship.Ginger’s keen sense of observation is not just related to the horse. She can also see minor flaws in a rider’s position that are interfering with the horse’s movement. She then develops exercises for the rider, both on and off the horse, to correct her position so as to be more in harmony with the horse.
Although I had successfully advanced to the upper levels of my sport, I still had position flaws that were interfering with my communication with my horses – flaws that many others had overlooked or thought were minor enough to not need addressing at that time.I feel so strongly about Ginger’s work that I make certain all of the riders that I teach and all of the horses that I train regularly check in with Ginger. We then all, as a team, address problems that I may not be aware of or make a decision as to whether or not a particular horse and rider are ready to move to a higher level. If they are ready to move up, we decide the path that will get them there, a path that will keep the horse sound and the rider safe.
One of the horse/rider teams we work together with is a team made up of a student of mine and a 20-year old horse of mine that I had retired from eventing. With Ginger’s program, this horse and rider team are now competing successfully at novice level, having placed second in their last outing at a USEA horse trials. Another horse we worked together with arrived with very serious soundness issues, which at least one veterinarian was unsure if he would ever overcome. Together with the horse’s owner, we successfully brought this horse back to soundness and competing successfully at the novice level of eventing. Both of these horses are happy with life and content with their current work.
What I thought would be a short-term relationship with Ginger has turned into a partnership and friendship that I hope will last a lifetime and will involve many more horses and riders.
- I have Ray Morris to thank for referring me to Ginger, and Rose Britton to thank for first introducing us. Ray worked on my little grey Spanish arab who had foundered in a boarding situation. Based on the many unhappy outcomes of any foundering Ray referred us to Ginger for an ongoing program of restoration. Ginger introduced us to the Basic 5 and we practiced as life allowed, which is to say not enough. Nevertheless, within weeks of beginning our program of exercise, my guy was more flexible, lines of pain in his face subsided, and he began to pick up his back . This began a happy cascade of improvements that other owners and riders commented on. One of the outcomes thus far is my 21 year old is 12 again ! And I say thus far because one of the beauties of the work is that you can improve and then keep on going -probably farther and better than you may imagine.Based on what appeared to me to be the logic and tranportability and beauty of the Basic 5 and how Ginger applied them I asked her to take a look at my young horse, who had been casually flipped over in the cross ties by an annoyed farrier. Being flipped over knocked his ilium out of place, and he no longer wanted to move forward, or to back freely, and he had done both so willingly and so beautifully that other owners and riders commented on his free beautiful movement. Ray Morris worked on the young horse, and Jim Myer performed chiropractic adjustments, but what supported all that and made it stick was Ginger’s plan for the restoration and renewal of the injured young horse.While Ginger worked a plan to apply the foundation Basic 5 to restore the healthy free movement she started the youngster under saddle. Then came another happy surprise : the Basic 5 are not just for the body, but for the mind, heart, and soul as well. The Basic 5 are not just for doing ground work, but are completely transportable to the saddle.Back to that happy cascade of events: one of the greatest things is that all the work you do counts.For example, I have learned from Ginger to see when and where my young horse may be stuck in his body and or mind. I have learned from Ginger the connection of the young horse being stuck to the young horse giving me a buck I don’t want – whether on the ground or in the saddle. If the correction is to correctly apply the ground aids to get my young horse to cross over freely behind then a whole series of benefits unfold: The young horse becomes free from his stuck place. He becomes free from his physical stuck place and then relaxes in his body and in his mind. The buck “resolves itself into a mist”, and we can proceed to the next ground-check and ground exercise. As we proceed I am finding that the ground aids are identical to the aids I use in the saddle to unstick my young horse, prevent a buck, prevent an injury, and set the stage for some work for us both that will contribute to our ongoing progress. In Ginger’s world I use in the saddle my body, my legs, my seat, my hands in synchrony with their same use on the ground.That’s why I say everything counts and nothing is wasted. Why isn’t everything that productive and happy ?
Part of the reason more of riding and horse ownership and the rest of life is not more productive and happy is because it takes resources and qualities vanishing or absent in our time-sick world:
>> 1 time – the effort has to be applied over time to get the excellent results we want
>> 2 judgement – we have to be devoted enough and spend enough time to develop the judgement to identify a problem and to choose the right solution. Judgement requires all our senses and all our intelligence bundled up into “feel”. Judgement requires feel.
>> 3 timing – we have to practice enough to apply the right solution at the right time. Judgement is involved here again, and if judgement is involved, once again time is involved.
>> 4 correct steady consistent application – flows out of 1 and 2 and 3 above, but note the word correct. Without the practice and the work being done correctly we won’t get the results we want.I took Ray’s and Rose’s advice and got in touch with Ginger. Ginger studied all the information on the horses and then evaluated what they needed and what her part could be in that. She included me every step of the way in a way where I could succeed and make progress – same as my horses. Every element had to be tailored to the individuals involved, of whom I am one. As we improved sometimes a horse would progress ahead of me. Ginger gave me time to catch up. Then Ginger would develop the next chapter for all of us. Ginger continually hears, sees, assesses, evaluates, creates, and applies solutions in the form of physical and mental exercises.
Things are making sense now. My horses are the happiest and healthiest ever. For me the time I get to spend with my horses and with Ginger improves me as a rider, an owner, and is just a joy. I think it’s very funny that I went for a couple of fixes, and stumbled into something wonderful I can do and build on for the rest of my life. I will close now with thanks to Ray, thanks to Rose, and thank you Ginger Long from the bottom of my heart.
- I first heard of Ginger S. Long from Cathy Wells, a friend with whom I’d ridden Duke Forest trails, the Hunter Paces of the Red Mountain Hounds, and moved from Training to First level in dressage. When I found myself totally unable to ride a horse I sincerely believed to be a fundamentally good animal, I called Ginger. As it happened, there was a stall coming available in the barn Ginger managed, and she agreed to take a look at my youngster.I don’t fully recall the terms of the trial period, but I told Ginger all I could about this horse, including that he had struck a man who ran him backwards into a corner, swinging the lead rope at his chest, that I’d been to the emergency room and doctor’s office from riding accidents far too often, and that we needed help but I didn’t want her to get hurt. Ginger brought her bigger trailer to the farm where my horses were boarding, and started work with Ace with a trailer loading lesson. For the first several weeks, Ginger kept the horse and sent me away.The next thing I remember Ginger’s teaching Ace was how to load himself onto my trailer, and unload quietly and safely. Funniest thing was, she taught the same thing to Fred, my school master. Do you see a pattern here? My first Lipizzan hadn’t loaded well, either. OK, maybe I should have been sent far, far away from horses, but I wanted to stick around. Since Ace was nicknamed for the quantities of ace promazine it had taken to get him loaded to bring him home from a lay over in Virginia, Ginger gave him a more positive barn name, and he became Arnie, for Arnold Schwarzeneger another heavily muscled individual.Once she had established a working relationship with Arnie, Ginger began to teach me some of the ground exercises, and I brought Fred over for some lessons. Both the ground work and taking Fred out of collection so that he could use his great head and neck for balance were great help to him, and extended his comfortable life. Both horses improved steadily.When Ginger and her husband Gary bought property at Prospect Hill and started building a house, I asked if I could have my horses in training with them. As things worked out, Arnie and Ginger’s mare Avie shared a run-in shed while the barn was being built. Fred moved to Prospect Hill when the barn was ready. Ginger continued training Arnie, and again changed his barn name. He’s been Allemande for a good, long while now — for the dance he does.Better than any particular pattern or movement is what Ginger’s methods and training have done for Allemande’s brain. When she saw that I was frightening the horse by losing my balance, she worked with me to improve my flexibility and strength, and taught him to slow down when I flopped. Between our two and only two horse shows in 2003, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. My rheumatologist, Dr. Kinga Porter, had been a member of her national basketball and alpine skiing teams before med school, and pledged to keep me riding for a good long time. Ginger has focused even more on rideability with Allemande than on developing dressage movements.As much as I might hope to show Allemande again, I am deeply grateful that I can fly home from a business trip today, and go to the barn tomorrow, to ride around the roads and fields, because my horse is a reliable companion. Could we agree to call this the everyday magic, resulting from both excellent horse training and modern medicine?
- My 5 year old gelding, Andy was recovering from a severe case of white line disease, requiring numerous trips to the vet clinic. He became increasingly difficult to load in the trailer. He was also acting rather pushy at times. My vet, Dr.Richard Mannsman, kindly referred us to Ginger Long. She was quick in evaluating our problems. Andy was “stuck” at the halfway in-halfway out point of loading-and even worse with unloading. It was nothing to do with going to the vet clinic! Once Ginger taught Andy to move his body and feet in response to her gentle ques, he was able to stand at the halfway in point calmly, then go in or out without much fuss.She started by teaching us the basics of ground excersise therapy. Andy and I worked almost every day. Within a few weeks I began to notice that his entire way of going was becoming easier, more fluid. And perhaps more importantly, his attitude had been adjusted significantly! My confidence was restored too. We are continuing this regimine daily when possible and before every work session as both a mental and physical warmup. I am also using the ground excersises with my yearling colt and weanling filly .They are both respectful and confident when being handled-all this acheived through quiet repetition of these simple basics.Now Ginger, We are ready to load the babies too!
- I’ve always wanted a successful, respectful, safe, and mutually enjoyable relationship with my horses. In striving to achieve the ultimate goal of being a true horseman, which includes being an effective and truly influencing rider, I have had quite a journey. It seems I have arrived at a paramount state of learning all the pieces that I always felt were missing but could not seem to find. I am so lucky to have met and began training with Ginger Long. Right from the beginning, I knew I would learn alot of what I was striving for, but I am continuously amazed with just how much I get from my lessons with Ginger. I am also fortuante enough to have a great friend, Jo Lapp, who has followed the same way of working with the whole horse, and has worked with Ginger for over a year to help me solidify and fast track my learning. This is an incredibly exciting time of truly reaching toward my ultimate riding & training goals with all of my current horses and any horses of my future too.. This is taking a ton of work, and forcing me to get focused and independent. Is’nt it funny how horses can bring about positive change in all the aspects of our lives? There have already been a few climaxes in this incredible journey where it seems Ginger is the oracle and I am soaking up some of the keys of being a true horseman. This may sound crazy, but it is true!A few weeks back, I attended a clinic with my broodmare turned riding horse.Niki is an incredible talented mare. She is smart and quick and a challenge in that she is “hot”. Even more challenging is overcoming an injury that she suffered during her last foaling.Her injury and hot nature gave me the inspiration to seek instruction where I could be sucessful and happy with Niki instead of having to hand her to a pro. Ginger is incredible with rehabbing horses, which is in fact her specialty. However, Ginger’s expertise goes way beyond that! She has an incredible eye to see waeknesses in horses immediatly. and the ability to know how to help any level owner build up the muscels in their horses to keep a horse sound throughout their career. She often works with the best equine lameness vet, Dr Mansman, and a stellar farrier, and saddle fitter as well. The whole picture is so important even though so many people leave out one piece or another.What Ginger doessounds simple or maybe even trivial at first, but literally strengthening a weak stifle in a horse like my Domani, can make the differnece of having only 10 years of soundness to 20 + years!!! So even a horse without an injury benefits greatly from someone like Ginger. Back to my lesson with Niki: Ginger helped me with a series of ground exercises with Niki. Not just natural horsemanship type things, but true body work which goes hand and hand with attentiveness and relaxation from the horse. It is truly like pilates for horses. I would never have realized how much some simple exercises done correctly can help buld up a horses muscles properly. I have already began developing a better eye. For example, when working on hind crossovers, the horse uses their abs, and with backing exercises, they use their necks, back muscles, and abs when theypick up their feet to make it a true exercise instaed of just the act of doing the movement. Each exercise can be varied in intensity. I feel good about the lesson with Niki, and have just over a month to work on building her proper muscles before she goes to training with Ginger. As good as my lesson was, I went back to the clinic after bringing Niki home, and had the privlige of observing a lesson that was a truly an epiphany of these methods.The lesson was with a delightful young Lady, and at the beginning, an unsound, dangerous behaving horse. The rider had a previous back injury and could not ride through the antics without pain. The horse was acting like a jerk, head stuck way up, traveling crooked, and looking for an excuse to spook. The riders discomfort, and horses behavior led Ginger to get on. It was a tense moment at first and I got to see how good Gingers seat is. She stuck with the unruly horse and got his attention so she could begin to work him correctly(straight) for maybe the first time in his like. This is a teen-aged horse BTW. He would absolutely panic at first when Ginger took her leg off, as he expected the security of being held. His rider has constantly worked on asymmetry, but it became apparent that much of this lies in the way the horse carries himself. It was amazing to watch Ginger in ONE short session completely transform this horse to a happy, obedient, confident, sound and straight moving horse. It was a beautiful thing to see. The horse completely changed in every sense. The best yet was that his rider was able to remount and get the same thing. Only a rider can understand how monumental this is. She was able to ride her horse straight for the first time. A gigantic breakthrough that will open many doors for them. I felt a bit foolish as I had tears in my eyes as I watched. I also heard that she was able to get it again the next Morning in a lesson with Jo. Just awesome!I am hungry for more and hooked on developing my eye and truly helping my horses achieve their potential. I am getting lots of bits and pieces and wish I could learn it all faster. I am determined, which I need to keep me focused and not let myself become lackadaisical.
My program includes getting myself in shape with core work through pilates etc. It is hard work but necessary. The horses need to be worked/ridden daily. I will not reach my goals otherwise. It is a new way of life, as a mother of a 2 year old Son, I have to learn to balance my life.
- Miracles DO Happen!
For the last three years I’ve had the opportunity to ride and show a beautiful bay Quarter horse mare named Katie. I fell in love with her immediately, before I had even sat on her….it was fate….she had the same name as my daughter!I had taken lessons as a child, but through the years only managed to fit in a trail ride every once in a while. When I started back in a lesson program in my early 40’s, that childhood passion was renewed and as strong as ever. During a lesson one day, Katie and I started going over some cross rails…my very first jumping experience! I was hooked! The barn allowed me to lease Katie and our love affair continued. I had dreamed of having my own horse since I was 5 years old, and this was as close as I thought I’d ever get.Because Katie was still in the lesson program, several other girls rode and showed her as well. But there was something special between her and her ‘mom’. She would do things for me she wouldn’t do for the other girls. I was beginning to believe she was a one person horse, and I desperately wanted that person to be me! But she also started acting like she didn’t feel quite right. After months of no improvement and numerous strategies….a masseuse, a chiropractor, a saddle fitter, a trainer, new pads, new shoes, no shoes, supplements, hormones, etc. etc., Katie was put out to pasture. (During this time Katie was sent to Equetec for a brief period, but circumstances didn’t work out that she could stay, though I believed in my heart that’s where she needed to be.) At one point in this saga, I approached the owner of the barn and begged him to sell Katie to me. I felt, whether naively or not, that I could fix her and she needed me to rescue her. But to my dismay, she wasn’t for sale. Too many other girls loved her too. I wept for days. Katie didn’t seem to care if she was working or not, but my heart was breaking….I missed my partner.As fate would have it, during the time she was ‘recuperating’, I had to have rotator cuff surgery and spent 4 months in rehab. My husband (NOT a horse person) was convinced I hurt my shoulder during one of my many falls jumping and begged me to give it up. Another heartbreak…no horse to ride, no jumps to jump. For months I moped around. I was beginning to feel old. Then a couple of good friends at work who own horses and ride dressage gently convinced me to give dressage a try. I was open to it…I HAD to get back on a horse before I shriveled up and died! I took a couple of lessons and attended some clinics and soon began to feel like I was up for this new and difficult challenge. I also realized to pursue dressage, you need a consistent partner to work with. So, with a reluctant heart which still had a very big hole in it, I started looking at the sale ads. Even though there are hundreds and hundreds of perfectly beautiful horses out there, I continued to feel as if I was betraying my Katie. I was assured I could and would love another horse as much as her, but I didn’t believe it. I wasn’t ready to give up on her and that’s what I felt I was doing.
A few months passed and I continued to look through the sale ads, and will admit, deep down I began to feel the stirrings of excitement over the possibility of owning my own horse. All this time I was still going to the barn and spending time with Katie…brushing her, feeding her treats, and doing her stretching exercises (it made me feel better too).
The time came when I realized a decision needed to be made….do I stick with the barn and resort to being a ‘helper’ since I could no longer jump, or do I move on and pursue dressage and find a horse. The bottom line was I wanted to be riding….so I lined up a couple of horses in Georgia to go check out. In the meantime, I felt I needed to tell the owner of the barn of my plans. He had been so good to me over the years and all the girls were like family to me. I would miss them all terribly and was reduced to tears every time I thought of leaving Katie. But the time had come to move on.
After a long story, here’s the miracle. I told the owner of my plans and how hard it was going to be for me to leave the barn, the girls, and especially Katie. What happened next I never could have imagined in my wildest dreams…. he said he couldn’t imagine any one else riding Katie but me, that he believed she had become a one person horse too, and that she needed me and I needed her….to consider her mine. CONSIDER HER MINE!!! No need to go to Georgia, no need to scour ads, no more guilt of abandoning her…..she was mine!! Yes, there are truly good hearted horse people out there and yes, miracles DO happen.
Katie is back at Equetec getting everything she needs to become the best horse she can be. If it happens that dressage is not her thing, that’s fine by me….she’s the only horse I want and she’s mine, ALL mine….at last!!
Congratulations Becky and Katie. We can all have hope and learn from a success story like yours. Thank you to all those involved in the Equetec team to produce these results. Thank you to Dr. Kirsten Tillotson, DVM, MS, DAVIM, Dr. Richard A. Mansmann, VMD, PhD, Kurt Vom Orde, David Brooks and Bailey Cook for recognizing and approving the results. Thank you to Becky and Katie most of all for the opportunity and patience. You are both a joy and privilege to work and teach.
- I walked away from riding in my early twenties because I was deeply disappointed with the business side of the horse world and some of the personalities that went along with it.In my late thirties, I started re-evaluating where I was spending my time. I asked the question: At what time did I feel the most joy and where did I feel at peace? As I searched my past, I remembered the joy that my relationship with my horse brought me and with that I began my search.I started riding other people’s horses and meeting trainers and riding at lesson barns but I didn’t find what I was looking for until my good friend Linda introduced me to Ginger. Finding Ginger and Equetec has opened an entirely new and wonderful world. Ginger’s personality is engaging and positive. I always look forward to my lessons and our horse related and personal conversations. Ginger takes the time to really teach me and she is the first trainer who I have met that wants to transfer her knowledge to her riders. I have learned more in the last four months than I ever had in 15 years of riding. Ginger knows when to push, when to back off, and when to ask questions.Ginger is very honest with her communications and her actions and that is important. Especially, in an industry that doesn’t always operate in the best interest of people or horses. When I started looking for a horse I approached Ginger and she introduced me to Corey. Ginger was very honest with what it would take and what I needed to do to be successful in my riding. I had to relearn how to ride and that was the feedback I was looking for. That feedback told me that Ginger took my riding goals seriously.I have progressed nicely in my riding and it has been worth every minute. I have learned so much about how horses and should carry themselves so that they are using their entire body. I have learned the importance of preparing my horse for our ride (i.e., stretching exercises). Ginger has taught me horse care and barn management concepts as well. The amazing thing about Ginger is that she uses the time in the barn and in the ring as a teaching opportunity.Knowledge is powerful and provides the basis for good decision making. The passing on of knowledge to her students is something that comes so easily to Ginger. This is one of the many attributes that makes Ginger special. She is one of the best trainers and instructors I have ever worked with.I am very fortunate to have my horse at Ginger’s farm. Corey and I will be moving out of the area soon and I know when that day comes that I will be prepared and I will confident. This I owe to Ginger.
- Making a Difference…God is good and feels good to know you really were making a difference doing the right thing when everything may or may not feel that way.One other time I received an award for making a difference in a childs life and was invited to an awards ceremony for presentation but this letter sure shows the heart and impact one can make on a young person……….I know this essay won’t mean as much to you as it does me but I thought I’d share it because it isn’t everyday that someone says thanks you…..so its good to share with the people you love….This is by Sarah Didow…..Throughout my life, many people have influenced my decisions and ways of thinking. However, only a few have significantly impacted me, changed my life, and shaped who I am and how I handle various achievements and setbacks. One such person is my horseback trainer, Ginger, who has taught me perseverance, responsibility, and honesty. She has been a prominent figure in my life since I was a scrawny six-year old atop a fiery pony named Shady Lady. Ginger, my trainer for over a decade, taught me more about life through horseback riding than I ever imagined possible.
Through refusals by my horse, occasional falls, errors in dressage tests, and wayward jumping rounds, I have learned perseverance. Ginger urged me to get back on after every challenging ride and find the courage to keep going. She would tell me to accept my mistakes, learn from them and move on. When you ride a fence poorly, you should not blame anyone else. Rather, you recognize your mistake and give it another attempt.
I have learned the true meaning of responsibility from riding under Ginger’s guidance. Being expected to take care of my horse faithfully quickly taught me this. After a severe back injury from a fall in competition, I was forced to take almost a year off. I learned that if you love something enough a serious setback can merely be a temporary speed bump in the path to success, and even a major injury is no excuse to avoid responsibility. During my recovery, Ginger encouraged me to spend every minute possible at the barn, nourishing my passion by being around the things that I love, and being responsible for training and daily care of my horse even during a period of personal hardship.
Horseback riding is a very humbling sport. To accomplish goals and advance, you must be honest with yourself and dedicated to learning to do things the right way. In training, you move forward to a harder level of competition that often leaves you lying in the dust. Ginger has taught me to appreciate these humbling experiences and to learn that accomplishments are more meaningful when they have been hard earned and honestly performed. I have learned that it is crucial to give everything your best effort and to be true to yourself, even if that means taking more time or having to deal with various setbacks, because in the end the honest reward is greater and more satisfying. I apply this to school and to my life in general by giving myself every possible chance to succeed through diligent, hard work.
Certainly there have been many people who have had an influence on my life. However, what I have learned from Ginger has shaped me in a significant manner. Her lessons in perseverance, responsibility, and honesty have had a profound and lasting effect on me that I am proud to carry forward into my college career.