Linda Cocks, December 2011
I would like to personally thank Rory and Kerry for providing such a quality service. It was great to get Rhaine back knowing that she has had such a wide range of experiences and a fantastic education. At the end of the 4 weeks Rory took us for a hack through the forest and for a canter down the beach I just couldn’t stop smiling. I couldn’t believe how much she has matured and how laid back she was about it all.
Rory certainly has a special way with horses. After being home for 2 wks Rhaine went to her first inhand show, she never put a foot wrong. It has certainly given her the best of beginnings and set her up for an exciting career. I am very excited about the future ahead of us. Please pencil me in for another one next spring.
Thanks again, Linda Cocks
Kim and Madison Munro - July 2011
I would like to take this opportunity to say a very big thank you to Rory for the excellent job he has done with starting my daughter's young show pony “Glenmoor Lucky I Am” (aka Jack).
Young Jack has a lot of presence about him, but with that came a rather cocky attitude, yes I had spoilt my baby! I found Rory very modest and he would explain to me “he’s just a boy”. Rory soon showed Jack how he should behave, like the child’s pony he was to be and before long Jack showed respect for his handlers without losing his presence. Rory’s approach was calm, firm and consistent.
After three weeks it was time for Jack to come home, we were very apprehensive about this but my daughter Madison (13) had ridden Jack prior to coming home and really enjoyed the trek out over the farm on the last day and felt confident enough to continue Rory’s work at home.
Jack came home at the end of August 2010. We took the huge step and entered Jack in the Novice section at Canterbury A&P where he was placed 2 in the Novice “A” Pony and 2 in the Novice “A” Paced & Mannered, this was a huge thrill for us.
At the end of his first season under saddle, they achieved excellent results including, Supreme Pony at Reefton A&P, several Champions and Reserves both Novice and Open. They also took 1st place in the New Zealand Riding Pony Society’s Junior Pony National Performance Competition and were placed 3rd in the Pony Breeders Society of New Zealand in the Senior Pony section. They have also had excellent results at local dressage competitions.
I can’t thank Rory enough for the fantastic job he has done, we have a safe pony that my daughter can handle and have a lot of fun with.
Thank you, Kim and Madison Munro
Claire Aldhamland, Wairua Sporthorses (Feb, 2011)
After breeding my dream horse I was not going to take chances or shortcuts with his early education. I had a big rangey warmblood crossed with the intelligence and snap of an Anglo Arab – in short a powerful firecracker of a horse. Due to time off having a child he had very little handling except for the basics of lead and tie and even these were not well established. Rory came highly recommended and after doing a bit of digging I couldn’t find anyone with a bad thing to say about him or any of the horses he started.
My horse left me completely uneducated and a little on the arrogant side. He returned a respectful,confident and compliant animal happy in his work and knowing his place. I was impressed with the thorough training he received. He was confidently accepting the bit, easy to mount both from a mounting block and from the ground, he moved forward from my leg, halted from a very light hand and understood leg yield and rein back. He is confident on the road and great with his feet. He is still a character but he knows his place and the firm and fair training in starting with Rory has made him a pleasure to own and ride. His early training has made his transition into dressage seamless and I am looking forward his competitive career. Thank you Rory, your knowledge, professionalism and obvious love of horses comes through in the quality of your work.
Richard Osborne, Circle M Quarter Horse Stud (April, 2010)
I have known Rory for several years now through my Quarter Horse stud. To put it quite simply, Rory is the best horseman that I have had the pleasure to meet. Rory is a very genuine person of whom I have the utmost respect and trust. The results that Rory gets from his starting of horses and continued training of them is second to none. Horses respond to his relaxed, kind and effective methods whilst working with them and this is why Rory obtains trust from the horses he works with and from people like me who get Rory to train and work their horses.
I have recommended Rory to many people
who want their horses started and trained,
and will continue to do so.
Circle M Quarter Horses
Mt Thomas Rd, Rangiora
Right: Circle M 'Bronc' First Ride
Tina Abbott, Kennebrook Stud 2 (April, 2010):
Finding the right person to start off your horse or pony is the most important decision you will have to make. We have a gelding, Kennebrook Q, who had been a stallion until he was seven years old and was gelded only last February 2009. We had lots of people tell us it was too late to break him in to be a show pony but we were determined to get him under saddle. We were very lucky to find Rory McTavish who was interested in starting our pony.
Before Rory started Q, he had some issues; he was very nervous around other people and liked only one person handling him. We had been careful around him as he had been a stallion and even though he was very good for me to handle, he tended to get nervous and unpredictable around other people. We dropped Q off at Rory’s in January 2010 and after the first week we went and watched Rory working with him. They were both amazing; Q was responding to Rory and was trying hard to please him. I was amazed by how happily Q accepted things and he showed no sign of his previous nervous tendencies. I went home buzzing I had found the right man for the job.
The next two weeks could not go fast enough for us and on the third week my daughter was up in the saddle riding her prize pony around the arena like not a care in the world would bother them both. The smile on Nicola’s face was priceless, she was so excited she just wanted to ride him again and she got two more rides in before we bought Q home. The last ride was amazing for them both. Down the road, past light traffic, thought the grass lands, up and down sand dunes, walk, trot and canter, no trouble at all, it was amazing to see. Rory had Q schooled to stand while Nicola got on, to walk, trot and canter on command, turn when asked, rein back and stand still until asked to move off. His manners are perfect.
We Bought Q home on February 5 and did a lot of road riding. He never put a foot wrong, he is excellent in traffic, he was a bit scared of people walking around the block but he is well used to them now. We started light schooling but the long rides on the road were better for him and Nicola.
Q started his show season on the 20th of February and has done extremely well. He has won many novices classes and has had a couple of novice Champions and One Reserve Open Champion. We are planning to take Q to HOY next year. These wins have been wonderful, but the thing that amazed us is how relaxed he is at shows. Nothing seems to worry him, he takes the day in his stride. He has been in grand parades with no trouble, copes with other ponies behind and in front of him, other ponies play up yet he does not put a foot out of place. Friends, family and other competitors are all amazed at his behaviour for a green pony, he just loves having cuddles with anyone. The other day he had three girls he did not know unplaiting him at the same time at the show. He is just amazing, you would think he had been showing all his life. He is a real gentleman in manners and ability to just accept everything around him.
As to Rory I think he is a very talented horse man, without this man’s help we would never have the fantastic, confident pony we have. Rory has taught Q to cope with all types of situations, trust people, be a responsive, safe ride, accept situations and not to panic. Rory took excellent care of Q while in his care.Thank you very much Rory, this is a dream come true for our family.
I would highly recommend Rory to anyone to start any horse and I am more than happy for anyone to contact me, or come and see our pony being ridden.
Tina Abbott, Kennebrook Stud 2, 110 Ashley Gorge Road, Oxford RD1
Jodie Gillanders, Christchurch
I would like to thank you for the great job you have done with breaking in my 3 year old horse Puzzle (Lakeview Lone Desire). He is a pleasure to own. He copes with any situation, whether it be whilst I am riding him or just in dealing with new surroundings or atmosphere.
At his first show, 3 months after being broken in, he was calm, obedient and it was like he had been doing it for years.This was in an indoor arena that had been split into 2 rings and would have had about 20 horses going round at once. We were placed in every class and ended up coming home with Reserve Champion. Since then we have been to numerous shows and have never not been placed in or won a mannered class.
We have now purchased another horse, recently broken in 6 year old Andalusian X George, for my partner who is learning to ride. Normally this would sound like a recipe for disaster but quite the opposite. Much to our delight this horse was also broken in by Rory which made for a very easy decision when purchasing. George has not put a foot wrong and my partner is getting more and more confident. Rory has been only to happy to help with this process.
I would not hesitate in recommending you, and believe that the work you do is the foundation for a happy, willing and sensitive horse that will succeed in any chosen discipline.