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Toby is my beautiful, smart and athletic 14-year-old paint horse that, for whatever reason, had sadly withdrawn and closed himself off to humans. He would not join up with me or anyone else from the day I bought him (3 years ago). I knew I wasn't achieving the "trust-respect" relationship with him like I had with my other horses and it seemed like everything I tried with him had little effect, so even though I knew what the problem was, I didn't know what to do about it or how to fix it. While we made some progress over the years, Toby was still overly spooky, lacked confidence and was becoming more and more unpredictable as his behavior would go from zero to 60 without warning. Things came to a head in February 2018 when, from out of nowhere, he bucked me off and I landed on my head during a cow sorting competition. Just as I was ready to give up on him, I found Robert Gonzales! Robert is an exceptional horseman who is so adept at reading horses that he developed his own method for helping those horses that have holes in their foundational training which can lead to the emotional problems that Toby had developed. It took Robert 45 days just to get Toby to “want” to be with him. This emotional work is a slow process of helping him to understand that being relaxed was a better place for him and to learn to seek out that state of mind. Robert’s patience and consistency were how Toby learned to soften his mind and body and to trust humans. Or as Robert said, “Find his smile again.” After 90-days of training, Robert successfully brought Toby out of his shell! He is a completely different horse! His eyes are bright, he is relaxed, and he is actually happy to be with me (instead of just tolerating me). I learned that having a “great horse” takes a lot of time though consistent practice and a lot of patience. Most of us want our horses “fixed” fast and that is simply not possible. We can’t be a hurry to teach our horses to think rationally, to relax and NOT to go back to their instinct to run from danger when they get scared. The trust-respect relationship that we all seek with our horses is not automatic but must be developed over time. I can’t thank Robert enough for helping me to save Toby from being sold, yet again, and labeled an unsafe horse. He is my forever horse and we have a bond that I never thought was ever possible.
Heidi McLaughlin Fallbrook, CA.
Robert has been working with ME and my horse for just over 3 months. I emphasize "ME" because he has taught me how to be a better horse handler and as a result both my horse and I are more confident, secure and happier in our relationship. My original intent was just to attend Robert’s one-day clinic, but what I learned and experienced at Robert’s first session opened my eyes to the keen insights that Robert has to the behavior and responses of horses to our energy and how he could teach me to “do things differently”. Two key things that Robert has taught me that have radically changed my relationship with my horse are 1) my awareness of how my emotions and energy level affects my horse and in turn how I can use my energy level to influence my horse and 2) opening my eyes to the small changes in my horse’s facial, muscle, body movements so that I can respond quickly and more appropriately which in turn aids my horse’s understanding and processing of my requests. One specific end result is that Robert has taught me how to change a horse that was pretty explosive (bolting and rearing) nearly every time I tried to walk him down a hill to a large jump field into a horse that walks relaxed with his nose nearly dragging on the ground to the field! The more general result is a happy horse that is confident that I will be fair and attentive when I ask him to do new things. In turn, when I ask new things of him my horse is eager to try!!Robert has so much insight to the behavior, emotions and the needs of horses. He has been an amazing resource for my horse and me and I am so grateful for his assistance with my young horse. I make more progress in one session with Robert than I have with months with other trainers because of his unique knowledge and methods. Regardless of whether you are into Western, English, dressage, jumping, working eq or trail riding, Robert's training is relevant!
Finding Robert positively changed my relationship with my horse, Mr. Morgan forever! I first met Robert at the ranch where I board my Morgan horse. I observed his training techniques at a Pony Club mounted meeting. At first glance, I was impressed with his keen understanding of the psychological and physiological aspects of horses. I had been frustrated with Mr. Morgan and decided to give Robert a try. Mr. Morgan was horrible at getting into a trailer and was so unreliable I was afraid to trailer him out for fear he would refuse to get in and I would be stranded. Once in the trailer he would scramble so badly the whole trailer would rock!!! Not loading was the worst bad habit of many!! I put Mr. Morgan in training with Robert and it was the best decision in my horsemanship career! Robert told me he would be able to get Mr. Morgan in the trailer, on a loose long line, while standing in the back of the hitched up pick up truck. I laughed and said " Of course, you could, Robert, but that doesn't help me when you are not around" He quickly said " You will be able to as well" I laughed, again, and bet him $100 I would never be able to do that......best $100 bet I ever lost! After training Mr. Morgan was diagnosed with eye cancer and had to be trailered to the hospital for surgery. He hopped right into the trailer. After the surgery, it was dark and my cabin trailer lights didn't work. Using my iphone flashlight I loaded him with NO PROBLEMS!!
Robert is AMAZING at teaching the horse confidence and learning how to release the horse's emotions in a positive, safe manner. He does this through a series of ground work exercises. These ground work sessions taught me SO MUCH!!!! Both Mr. Morgan and I learned to work together as a team. I learned how to recognize his emotions and he learned to respect me. The bad habits begin to disappear like magic......knowledge is power and Robert definitely has it!!!!!!!
Robert's methods are very calm, loving and effective. He achieves success through understanding and respect....NEVER through harsh treatment of the horse. Many months after training, Robert came back to my ranch to help another client. Mr. Morgan instantly recognized him, nickered and nuzzled him. Mr. Morgan was so happy to see Robert. This is the greatest testimony to Robert's training...straight from the horse's mouth!
Robert Gonzales has been working with my two horses for the last 5 months. From the very first day they have both gained confidence, calmness and relaxation through the techniques that Robert has at his disposal. They are both very different horses, from different circumstances, with their own sets of issues. Both have benefitted from the steady guidance that Robert has provided them. After one of my boys, an off the track that raced for 6 years, went to Robert’s “camp” for 6 weeks the change in his behavior was profound. He is a happier, calmer, relaxed and a more confident horse. In addition, Robert has been generous with his teaching and encouragement with my trainer who has been involved every step of the way. I look forward to realizing continued progress built upon everything that Robert has established with my boys. I highly recommend him!
To say Robert Gonzales is passionate about horse training and helping people understand horses and is an understatement.
Robert has been working with my 5 year old horse for the last 3 months and what a tremendous difference in her ability to connect her mind and body with my subtle requests, on the ground and now under saddle. The patience and understanding that Robert has with my horse and me is completely outstanding. Robert not only works wonders with the horse, but he has the ability to include the horse’s owner in the process of training the horse. Robert will show you techniques to help your horse find softness and suppleness that will improve their overall performance. I am a dressage and jump rider for the past 15 years and have learned so much, I often say to myself I wish I had been introduced to Robert and his training methods sooner. Robert and his staff also provided impeccable care for your horse in a calm and lovely environment.
Whatever your discipline and whether you have a young horse that needs to be started, a horse that has already been started, but needs finishing or has temperamental issues of any kind Robert will find the means to correct and improve it along with your understanding and relationship with your horse.
I have watched all kinds of horses go through his training facility and they have all come out better horses on the other end.
It has been refreshing to meet someone who conducts himself so ethically and professionally with such a friendly demeanor.
Coupling Roberts experience and expertise with the gentle training techniques will give any horse owner or trainer a positive foundation building a fantastic partnership to pursue your goals.