from happy horse owners!
Seyval – Judy Hunter and Alison Head
“Seyval is a 4 year old Oldenburg gelding who is over 18 hands tall. He was started under saddle last spring (2020) and was doing very, very well with his trainer. We rode him quite a bit while he was in training and he did well most of the time, but he would have moments when he was very spooky and he would latch onto what was scaring him and it was difficult to regain his attention. Sometimes, he would get very scared when exposed to something new or unexpected, but we always managed to work him through it and continue on with the ride. We brought him home and continued to ride him fairly successfully; however, there were a few times, when he would become afraid of something, usually out on the trail, and it would be difficult to get his attention and calm him down so we could ride on. Once, in particular, he was on a hill and looking down and he could hear some of my neighbors, who were walking their dogs, talking and he could see just their heads bobbing up and down. His 18+ hands suddenly felt like 22 hands and growing taller as he became more scared. That time, I dismounted and walked him away from the stimulus and took him home. In general, he was very good on the trails and in the ring, but when he did become scared, it seemed that we needed some more tools in our toolbox to use to help him learn to cope with his emotions and not ramp up his energy until his heart was pounding outside his chest wall.
I found Kelly via Google and recognized her name from my past experiences with the Parelli organization. When we contacted her and described our sweet, goofy, huge horse’s need to learn to control his emotions, she immediately said, “I can fix that.” We took him to Kelly in December 2020 and he immediately stopped eating. When a horse that large stops eating, he loses weight very quickly. As the end of December approached, he seemed very happy living out in a herd situation and Kelly was happy with his progress in training but we were concerned because he continued to lose weight even though Kelly was standing with him during feeding time to ensure he ate his food. I talked to Kelly about bringing him home and she urged me to leave him stating, “He will change a lot in during the second month in training. That is why I want new horses to stay a minimum of two months.” It was very difficult for me to leave him, but I am so happy I did.
Seyval became a different horse in the second month. His confidence soared as he became a whiz on Kelly’s obstacle, working equitation, and cross-country courses and in navigating patterns on the ground and under saddle that Kelly recommended to get and keep his attention. Kelly, then I, rode him out on her dirt roads and then trailered him a couple of times to Hitchcock Woods. He loved to lead on the trail; ride in the middle of the pack; and bring up the rear on the trail. The biggest problem we had with him was that he would act like a little kid throwing a fit when it was time to turn around and go back. He always wanted to keep exploring!
Kelly has a quiet way of establishing herself as the leader of the herd. I think because the horses understand her, they quickly come to trust her, which allows them to calm down and learn easily. We have recommended her to a few people and they have taken horses to her. We brought Seyval home at the beginning of February. Kelly came out and rode him on our trails for the first time so that we could see how she handled him when he got scared. We have been riding him in the ring (he is a future dressage horse) and on the trails since we brought him home and are very pleased with his continued progress!
“I don’t even know where to begin to discuss how amazing of a trainer Kelly really is. Not only for the horse, but for the owners as well. We were sold a 19hh Percheron that we were told was 8 years old and bomb-proof that just went through police training. Come to find out, he was only 3 years old at the time we bought him and was far from bomb-proof (mainly because he was so young). He did actually attend police school where he bucked a few officers off and that’s how we got him, but we were told that the city couldn’t “afford him”.
Long story short, my husband and I contacted Kelly and she worked all of her magical powers on our baby boy. He is the absolute best horse and we love him so much. He has so much potential and we can’t wait to see what he will learn with Kelly in the years to come. Kelly is the real Dr. Dolittle. She has an amazing bond with all of the animals on her farm and you can tell every animal respects her, as they should. Her training methods are exceptional! I loved watching her behavioral methods when working with Thor. As a professional behavior analyst myself, I can tell you that Kelly knows her stuff!! What she does with the horses is a natural talent that she has. I wouldn’t recommend anyone else other than her. If we moved all the way across the country I would still find a way for her to work with our horses, as well as school us on riding.“
“I had a really bad fall off of my German Westphalian gelding in 2019, after great care and recovery for both of us, I sent him to Kamp Kelly so that he could improve his top line and gain confidence on trails. He is a former hunter/jumper and lacked the confidence to safely be ridden on trail rides. Kelly worked with my vet/chiropractor to get him back to pain free riding and improved his topline. I was so amazed to see him on the various trails she ponied him on and eventually rode him down. And truly surprised to learn he enjoys sorting cattle, he has gone twice now and we look forward to more cattle sorting in the future. I brought him home after 3 months at Kamp Kelly and now we’re both confidently riding trails together. He is a completely different horse. Much happier and calmer on the trail!“
“When I purchased Piper, my 5 year old TB gelding, I was told that he is easy going and calm. As a beginner rider and a new owner that was exactly what I was looking for. However it turned out that my lovely Piper was the complete opposite of easy going and calm. I decided to look for a trainer who could help me with Piper and that is when I found Kelly. Believe me when I tell you, that it was the best decision I have made for Piper and I. Kelly is an exceptionally talented trainer who puts safety and welfare of the horses before anything. She is a horse whisperer!!! At that time I was not aware that Piper was also sick and required a little extra care. With Kelly’s help we were able to identify the problem and she brought him back to being healthy and happy. In a matter of couple months, Kelly has transformed my overacting and very emotional creature to calm and lovely partner that I feel safe and comfortable being around. During camp, I received constant updates and videos on Piper’s accomplishments. I was also able to visit him and Kelly worked with me and thought me how to be a strong and good leader that my horse needs. Now with Piper being back home, I have all the tools I need in order to continue what Kelly has started.
“I contacted Kelly several months after buying a new horse, Savannah , that I did not have much history on. My breaking point to reach out for help was when she kicked my farrier while getting her back hoof trimmed. As usual, she spooked at some unknown source and feeling trapped, she gave him a powerful knock down. Leading up to this moment, she was extremely disconnected, aloof, fearful of the barn and any noise in or around the arena where I rode. I certainly did not feel safe riding her outside the arena because of her constant “freezing” in fear of every object we passed or tried to pass. She seemed unhappy and disconnected because of all these fears and insecurities. And after kicking the farrier I felt she was unsafe…
A friend told me about Kelly, so I reached out. Kelly responded quickly, she came out and met Savannah and I had a spot in her training facility within a couple weeks.
Kelly’s program is amazing. Immediately Kelly began working with Savannah on the ground to assess her needs and Kelly then started taking Savannah on trips away from her facility!! trail rides, obstacle courses, indoor arena, overnight trails, and cow sorting!! Savannah went somewhere every week and sometimes twice a week. Right away I could see Savannah confidence growing. Kelly was all along working with touching Savannah all over especially her hind legs to prepare her for trims. She worked alongside the farrier to make sure it was a safe trim for all. Kelly worked with me as well, getting a hoof stand so I could safely practice putting Savannah in trimming positions.
I was able to participate in many of these outings near the end of her 2 months with Kelly and my confidence grew as I saw the amazing changes in my horse. Savannah has come back to my barn a new horse!! She is no longer bothered by random noises, wind, objects, or any other normal day to day activities. She rides in the arena and out on the trails! When she starts to show signs of getting nervous, I know what to do to bring her back to a curious state of mind verses a fearful state of mind. My horse now loves hanging out in the barn with me and has developed an inquisitive personality, she is no longer aloof. I never knew what her personality was because it was hidden so deep in fear. But I have discovered a happy, sweet and willing partner!
What a blessing for me to be able to begin this new relationship with Savannah with better foundation! Kelly has already been out to my barn to help me transition back with success. She is teaching me the tools I need to keep my horse moving forward in this confident path. I am so thankful to have found Kelly!”
“Kelly is an outstanding trainer. She takes the time and has the patience to find out exactly what your horse needs. No ‘one size fits all’ methods. Her love for horses really shines through even when working with problem sassy mares. I would highly recommend her to anyone who wants to have a better relationship with their horse.“
Amanda Russell Latham
“Apache is a different horse since returning from Camp Kelly. She is calm and a joy to ride. She no longer freaks out when she gets nervous. She has excellent ground manners and is a pleasure to ride on the trails. She is one of my favorite horses to ride now. Apache is relaxed from beginning to end now and no longer makes me nervous while riding her. I know she won’t explode on me she just stops and asks a question now… she’s the best mare.“
“Kelly Patterson is a wonderful person and awesome trainer! She is very patient and kind, and never gets upset. She has worked with all 3 of my Friesian mares who rage in age from 2-15 years old. I love that she has a goal for each lesson, and also incorporates my requests for the lesson that day. She is extremely reliable and professional. She is flexible to reschedule any lesson that cancels due to weather.
I am the owner of Top Vision, he is a 6 year old, 16.2 off the track thoroughbred. I am going to tell you a little bit about his story and what Kelly has done to help not only him, but me.
I bought Topper as a 4 year old from an eventing barn in Aiken. He had been pulled off the track as a 3 year old and put straight into training as an eventing prospect. He was born and raced in Ohio then went to NY for his post track training. His first training off the track was in dressage but shortly after that he was sent to a trainer in Aiken to work on his cross country. When I went to try him he was doing novice level eventing and seemed like a lovely horse. He was definitely sensitive, but there is nothing wrong with that. Although he was being trained for eventing, I knew he belonged in the Hunter ring.
I bought him and had decent rides on him until about a month in. I would go to mount at the block and he would lose it. Bucking/bolting and every time I hit the ground hard. Ever since then, I have had to have people hold him at the mounting block for me in order to get on because he would try to buck/bolt every time. This was his main place of trouble, but he occasionally would randomly explode and do the same thing away from the mounting block. After trying everything I could on my own: x rays, massage therapy, chiropractic, custom saddle, ulcer treatment; I decided this was not pain and he needed someone to fix his attitude because I had had enough. I started training with a “cowboy.” After six months of groundwork, we were no closer to sitting on his back.
I turned to Kelly, who had been recommended by a close friend of mine. Kelly was my last option before I gave this unruly horse away as a pasture pet. She knew he had issues from the moment she met him but assured me he was not the worst she had seen and that he was most likely fixable. She sent me messages almost every day with his progress and shortly after he first arrived, she was getting on him with almost no issues. Her combination of rewards and natural horsemanship training methods was the recipe he needed. She took her time with him, only moving forward when he gave her the go ahead. After almost two months now he is letting people get on him just fine and most of his other anxieties have shrunk as well. He is much more tolerant of stuff than he once was. I recently went to see him to get her help on my side of the partnership and she made sure I felt comfortable and reassured me that he was a very good boy. The whole experience was very fulfiling and I am excited for my future with this horse as now I finally feel like we actually have a good chance together. “
“I was introduced to Kelly Sigler-Patterson, Trainer and Owner of Looking Glass Farms about 9 months ago by a dear friend Jennifer Stoudemire, Dream Riders Head Riding Instructor.
I have a 13-year-old Thoroughbred mare named Runaway Beauty. Beauty had been on a brood mare farm in Lexington, KY for about 10 years. She came to live at her forever home around July of 2018.
Beauty is a sweet girl but needed to be restarted. We were having problems with a bit for her and standing still while being mounted along with other little issues.
Kelly method of training is Natural Horsemanship, which I really liked and wanted to learn. Kelly advise me of what equipment that was needed and pointed me in direction on where to purchase. Our first lesson was on the 7 games, which we learned just the first 3 or 4. It was on our second lesson, with a $10.00 bit Kelly told me to purchase, that Kelly had Beauty taking the bit beautifully. I think you could have pulled my mouth off the ground when I saw her bridle Beauty. I had gone though several bits and even paid $100.00 for a bit, that did not work.
After about 3 months of learning and working with Beauty on the seven games, we decided that Beauty needed to go to Kelly’s Wayward Mare Program. Before she went Beauty did not like to stand at mounting block nor did she like to jump.
However, after 3 months at Kelly’s program, Beauty has learned to stand at mounting block and jump. In fact, Beauty loves to jump now.
I wish I had meet Kelly years ago. I have learned so much from her. Just watching her work with the horse at her farm over the past 3 months has been amazing.
Thank you, Kelly!”
“All trainers are NOT created equal. Unlike other horse trainers, Kelly trains humans how to interact with their horses. I first called Kelly because I was having some safety issues with my mothers horse, Jake and I really wanted some riding lessons. I was just getting back into horse ownership after a 15 year break and I realized I needed help and that this wasn’t as easy as I remembered. I was scared that something bad would happen.
Our goal is to have good, safe and fun to ride horses and unfortunately our horses were getting unsafer by the day. This had to stop and Kelly showed us how to regain respect from our small herd. We do this thru natural horsemanship techniques and playing some fun and easy games that all of the horses already know – it’s their language after all.
I had recently worked with two different trainers who just weren’t effective and I felt like I was wasting my time and money. Kelly is different. Her methods have empowered me to be brave with my horse, to feel more confident in and out of the saddle and make learning with my horse fun. Unlike other trainers, we don’t lunge the horse to make them tired, we never are mean to our horses (one trainer hit them in the face because he could).
Our horses have learned to stand at the mounting block, I have learned the importance of pre flight checks before hitting the trails. Everything we do on the ground and playing with our horses makes them safer and more respectful when we get on their backs. I’ve noticed a difference in my horses confidence and my own.
Asking Kelly for her help was one of the best decisions and investments I’ve made in myself and my horses. I don’t have fancy horses, I just have a passion for learning and our horses now have a partnership with us and love to be around us.”
“I’ve been using Kelly Patterson to help me with my horse Rio. Rio threw me off in panic two years ago. He has always been a fractious horse and a bolter. I was at a loss as to what to do. I had owned Rio now for three years and had been through multiple trainers. When I moved to South Carolina in Nov, I found Kelly. She was certified trainer as a through Pat Parelli, and I felt she would be the best to help me with my horse.
I’ve now worked with Kelly for 6 sessions and I can see a vast improvement in Rio. I train Rio myself but I wasn’t sure how to approach certain things and my progress was very slow. I am actually riding Rio again. I never thought I would ride him again since the time he threw me. We are learning how to find the way to get him back to calm when he becomes too worried and also that I needed to become “bigger” and “louder” in my action when he was distracted and his attention was off of me. I would have never attempted to ride Rio were it not for the confidence I am gaining through working with Kelly. We still have a way to go and training never actually stops throughout a horse’s life. But can say, I would have NEVER gotten back on this horse without Kelly’s guidance.
I know that if I put him at her facility for a month he would progress much faster. I feel she is completely competent and knowledgeable and I would trust her implicitly with my horse.”
Jennifer Stoudemire and Simba
“I am so blessed to have met Kelly; she has taken my horsemanship and interaction with horses to a whole new level. I met Kelly when I was at a loss with “Simba”, one of my therapeutic riding programs special horses. Simba had developed fear and spookiness that I could not figure out. I had exhausted all of my traditional training efforts to no avail along with exploring saddle fit and vet exams. I saw Kelly’s event post for her obstacle confidence clinic in February of 2019. I was hopeful to find some help for Simba there. Not only did I find Simba help, my new journey began as well. I started taking consistent lessons with Kelly which opened up a whole new world for me. Kelly guides me through understanding the psychology of each horse I’m working with and what approach will help them confidently excel in their training. I have learned that horses need different strategies, which is why my traditional methods weren’t working for our right brained introvert Simba. My approach to handling horses and riding has completely changed. I would never have thought I would want to have the goal of working my horses at liberty and riding bridless, but I do now. Thanks to Kelly my therapeutic riding program “Dream Riders” has happy horses that are growing in their confidence with their jobs and finding pleasure doing it. I have found a joy I haven’t had with horses since I was a little girl; it’s a peaceful kind of satisfaction. I am excited to continue on with my journey, there’s so much more to learn and experience!“