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Kemo Sabi - Arabian
Pasha - Anglo-Arab
Jumanah - Thoroughbred
Thorava - Arabian

Where did you live when working with Michael?
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Where do you live currently? 
Bethel, Vermont

What riding discipline do you or did you do most with these horses?
Hunter / Jumper Kemo, Jumanah
Dressage Kemo, Pasha, Jumanah
Pleasure/Trail Kemo, Pasha, Thoraya

Briefly describe why you began working with Michael?
Although, I was able to ride other horses somewhat at three gaits, Kemo consistently showed signs of discomfort at any gait faster than a walk when I was riding. No one else would ride him, including previous instructors, so I had been trotting him in hand and working him from the ground in addition to long trail rides at the walk. Also, I was terrified of riding due to a string of accidents, and a concussion.

I had actually been told by some other riders that I wouldn’t benefit from lessons and should just keep on hacking out like I had been, so I ran that by Michael one day, and he said, “Well, if you don’t improve, you’ll deeply ingrain bad habits, but the only way to tell if lessons will help you is to try it, and if you don’t like it then stop, and if you do…” I did want to be a better rider, so I gave lessons another try with Michael.


What have you accomplished or been especially proud of since your lessons with Michael, that you feel are specifically related to what he taught you?
The best gift that Michael gave to Kemo and me, was the ability to communicate with each other, trust each other and enjoy the ride. We were able to walk, trot and canter, ride in circles, serpentines, and out on the trails because Michael had taught me how to bring him back into work slowly and always listen to and respect Kemo. Here in Vermont, I rode an Arabian on a three hour trail ride across Mount Cushman, trusted on a neighbor's mount who only a few other people have been allowed to ride.

What one thing, that you find most relevant in your associating positively with your horse, did Michael teach to you?
Listen to the horse, put the horse’s health and safety first, set my ego aside, take responsibility for my mistakes. If you don’t get it right, try again, and keep trying. Listen to the horse.

Anything else that you would like to add?
To this day, since the last day I trained with Michael three years ago, I still wish I were training with him. Everything I learned from him is something I treasure, and I and every horse with whom I come into contact continue to benefit from my lessons with Michael.

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