Some Recent Success Stories
Bobby & Janie
We have been students of Shelby’s for several years and she has helped us with numerous horses. Shelby’s knowledge as a horsewoman is amazing. She is a devoted and passionate student of the horse.
Shelby is also passionate about helping and teaching others to be the best partners for their horses. Yes, she helps us to be better riders, but it is so much more than that. Shelby’s horsemanship, combined with her excellent teaching skills and her positive attitude make lesson time progressive and fun!
–Janie and Bobby Elliott
Rosemary & Patrick
Shelby is an amazing horsewoman…on the ground, in the saddle and in the barn aisle! Patrick and I would be in a very different place together if it weren’t for Shelby. Her coaching enables me to have fun with Patrick in ways that I never dreamed of…in addition to a plain hack out back!
She’s has endless patience and is truly interested in my journey regardless of how long it takes.
Roxanne and Star
Three years ago, my sister-in-law Jessica, a jockey, was riding a horse named Wild Polestar at Thistledown when he broke down on her. A track vet determined that Star could no longer race but could go on to some other career. Jessica called my husband Bill and said, “Don’t you think it’s time for Roxanne to have a horse?” And so we adopted Star.
Although I rode horses and had lessons as a kid, I never had a horse of my own. And I’d never cared for a horse who needed as much rehab as Star needed. Nor had I ever restarted a horse. Star is a very special Thoroughbred: he loves people and is extremely friendly and trusting. And so we began our journey together with four months of stall rest, in which Star’s only exercise was 30 minutes of walking up and down the shed row. He was race fit and is an extroverted horse, anyway, so learning to lead him was a challenge (he had been known to drag full-grown men on the end of a shank). My husband and I bought a round pen, gradually enlarging it and giving Star more and more time, until eventually he could be turned out in a field, and then with another horse. But then I was stuck. I had an energetic, seven-year-old OTTB who needed a leader, and I had no training skills. My husband had trained reining horses when he was younger, but he had always started them as yearlings. We both tried to teach Star to lunge without success. Finally, my vet, Martha Rodgers, suggested that I call Shelby Hume.
In less than 10 minutes, Shelby taught Star to walk nicely on a lead and to lunge to the left and right. I stood outside the round pen with my mouth open. I had struggled with just leading him for 9 months! Needless to say, I was ready to sign up for as many lessons as needed to be that kind of horsewoman. I’ve now been working with Shelby for over two years, and Star is becoming a truly wonderful partner. My own confidence has increased enough that I’ve adopted a second OTTB–a young chestnut mare named Sedona.
Shelby is a remarkable teacher. Because of my work, I live in my head all of the time. I’ve never been an athlete. The coordination and timing required to hold a rope in one hand, a carrot stick and string in the other, and to send a horse around two cones in a figure 8 was ridiculously hard for me to learn. Yet, week after week, I’ve been willing to try difficult activities like these that take me weeks or months to learn, just because Shelby asks me to. And here’s the reason: she explains why the exercise is necessary, she breaks it down for me, and she is so enthusiastic when we get it. Or even when we try! That horse that dragged grown men down shed rows will now stand ground-tied in the barn with people and horses and cats bustling around while I groom him. We go for rides around the farm and entered our first clinic together. In the arena, we’re working on bending and balance. Despite the fact that he was notorious for needing a strong bit at the track, I now ride Star in a simple side-pull bridle.
I’ve been teaching at the university level for many years and have never encountered such an effective teacher. Shelby has taught me so much about the importance of high standards and timely praise to the learning process. She has also taught me about the importance of not running myself down when I cannot get something. In many ways, working with Shelby has made me a better teacher and administrator–not simply a better horsewoman. I feel grateful to the universe that I get to work with her!
Fortunately for me (and my horses) I found Shelby about the same time that I purchased my first horse. As a beginner adult rider I had A LOT to learn. Little did I know at that time that “learning to ride” was just the beginning of an incredible life with horses. I also didn’t realize how it would enrich my life and make me a better human. I have Shelby and a couple of challenging equine buddies to thank for that.
Shelby is incredibly intuitive in reading horses and humans and serving as interpreter between the two. It’s really amazing how quickly she sees things, assesses them, breaks them down into manageable pieces and works with the partners to make positive changes. Did I say amazing?
There have been some ups and downs (literally and figuratively) over the years, even times I’ve wanted to give up because of fears, doubts and insecurities. But the love of the horse and the trust that Shelby could help me overcome my obstacles were always there.
I once read that everyone needs something that reenergizes them and being with my horses is that for me. How different my life would be if I had not met Shelby. How sad it would have been if I had given up. I would have lost what drives me.
Did I say amazing?
Marti + Mu
My young horse had bucked me off in our barn yard and I was afraid to start back up with him. Shelby totally got me out of that sticky spot by offering us a variety of safe unmounted options that got me to a new level of confidence and Mu into a more cooperative frame of mind.
You are invited to submit your thoughts too! Please contact Shelby at your convenience.