Natural Horsemanship Scotland, we also have Onsite Stabling Available
As well as providing accommodation for guests in our Pods & B&B, we can provide stabling and turnout for horses and ponies.
We also offer Horse Holidays where guests can book accommodation for their themselves, friends and family, and stabling for their horses. We offer tailor made lessons in natural horsemanship, dressage & showjumping, with a video of your stay uploaded to Youtube.
We have some of the best hacking in the country all around us, and you can find more info on our Facebook page "Horse Holidays at Mac Equestrian"
Please call Michelle on 07814 575886 to discuss your horsey requirements.
Mac Equestrian takes its name from Michelle Andrea Chalmers (Mac) who is now a professional horse trainer, and this is the story of some of her horses.
Michelle started riding when she was 6 years old at Aviemore Stables and her first pony "Mad Max" was bought when she was 10. He was a fantastic pony, but Michelle's sights were set on bigger things, so a more expensive pony Jojo was bought when she was 12. He turned out to be great, top competition pony and they ended up representing Great Britain on the Pony Eventing Squad when she was 14. It was at that time the superstar pony "Juno" was bought and they made it onto Team GB when Michelle was 15 and were part of the European Squad when she was 16 ending the year 5th in the country. They even managed to win a gold medal representing Team GB in Necarne, and Michelle is still the only Scottish Rider to have achieved this.
She then moved onto horses when she was 16 and bought Shea "Bandoshea" from a good friend in Cheshire. Unfortunately it took them a few years to get a proper partnership together as Shea was, and still is, a very opinionated mare. But when Michelle was 21 they made it to 10th in the country in the under 21 Championships at Weston Park in Shropshire. Unfortunately the following year Shea damaged a front tendon that ended up finishing her career in eventing, But we managed to eventually get her in foal, and we now have Mia to hopefully carry on her legacy.
We then looked at this cheeky 4 year old, grey mare "Tinkerbelle" when we were on one of our training trips to Cheshire, and even though she was very unpredictable, she came home with us to Scotland. We started her under saddle right away and she never looked back. She won the Scottish 4 year old eventing class that year and then the 5 year olds the following year. She then completed the international CCI* at Blair Castle as a 6 year old, and as we are running a business, and have bills to pay, we had to sell her. She went to a lovely family Yorkshire abd we were all heartbroken to see her go.
Michelle was building up her business in starting and schooling at home, and had built up a great reputation for working with native Highland Ponies. They are a breed that are well known for being quite stubborn and it takes a different approach to their training to get them onside. But using a combination of natural horsemanship and traditional methods, Michelle has found they key to get the best from these very loyal ponies. She is very lucky to have customers that own ponies and put the to her to train and compete on their behalf. So in 2020 we have the dream team of Ted & Heather returning on the spring to get in shape ready for the competing season.
Juno was bought from a good eventing friend Avril Johnson as a 5 year, and turned out to be the best pony Michelle ever sat on. They quickly came up through the ranks in eventing, and she is still is the only pony to never have had a cross country fault in her life. She would not have had the usual breeding for eventing being a Highland X Belgian Warmblood, but no matter what the circumstances, she could beat them all. Juno and Michelle won Team Gold with the British team in Necarne, Northern Ireland in 2005, and went on to be part of the European Eventing Squad in 2006. The rules then were that as soon as a rider was 16 they had to move onto horses, so we had no choice but to sell the lovely Juno. But she did go on and help another rider fulfill her dreams.
To say that Shea is a character is probably the understatment of the year. She is a big, strong opinionated mare that has a heart of gold. She has all the ability in the world once you can convince her that its a good idea to do whats being asked.
When we bought her she had been bought by an eventing friend in Cheshire from a girl as she kept on bucking her off and bolting, and she just wanted rid of her. There were a few times over the years that we did question why we then bought her, but she was anther one that made the trip from cheshire to Scotland. It was a long a rocky road to getting Shea onside, but once the penny dropped, there was no stopping her. Her and Michelle made it to the under 21 championships at Weston Park in Shropshire in 2011 and ended up 10th in the country.
The following year she overjumped a large cross country hedge and injured her front tendon, which the vet decided was worth trying to fix. We opted for Stem Cell Therapy, and she had bone marrow extracted from her sternum and cultivated into stem cells. These were injected nito the tendon, and we began the 12 month rehabilitation program to get her walking again. We got her back to full fitness and she was out competing again in 2013, only for the same tendon to give up again. This time the vets recommened putting her to sleep, as the damage was too severe. But that was never going to happen, and we nursed her back so that she could enjoy going out in the paddock, which the vets had said was impossible.
We did manage to get her in foal, but she lost it at around 5 months. So we tried again and this time she managed to give birth to the lovely Mia in March 2017. Shea will now live out the rest of her days in retirement at Laggan, and will always be known as "The Boss"
Tinkerbelle was a cheeky, cocky fun loving mare, and was probably the most talented horse we ever owned. We bought her as an unbroken 4 year old, so we had a complete blank canvas to work with.
She took to working life like a duck to water and just loved her job, especially jumping. She won the British Eventing 4 year old class in Scotland and did the same the following year when she was 5. At the end of the season when she was 6 she completed the International CCI* class at Blair Castle and was clear cross country and was inside the time as well. This was a huge achievement and from a class of over 80 she finished in the top 40.
We knew that from a business perspective, she would never be worth more than she was after her successes, so the reluctanct decision was made to sell her. She sold within a month to a lovely family in Yorkshire, and we even delivered her to her new home.
Heather Honey of Croila & Lochlands Prince Tamino
Heather came to us as a 5 year old to be started under saddle, and ended up staying for the season. She was a very easy pony to work with and just loved a lot of variation in her work. She went onto do some of our local shows just to get her out and about, and finished ger first year competing at Blair Castle International being placed in her ridden class, which was a big ask for a newly backed pony. She came back to us in 2019 and was placed at every show she went to. We will be aiming to make improvements in her way of going in 2020, and may even get her into some jumping classes.
Teddy is a real character and has that "Look at Me" presence every time he steps out of the trailer at a show. He came ot us as a 4 year old stallion to be started, which once he understood the rules of the game, went really well. He came back us as a five year old but had done a lot of maturing and had some proper stallion attitude. So the decision was made to give him a better quality of life and he visited the vets to have his bits removed. Once he had recovered from the operation, we carried on with his training and started to introduce hime to some jumps which he loved. He came back as a 6 year old and that was the first year we had a good run at getting Teddy fit enough for competing, and he has a great year ending up winning the novice ridden section at Blair Castle. He also did very well as a 7 year old with a win at the Highland Pony Breed show, another win and Champion Gelding at Blair Castle, and overall Champion at Strathallan Castle. There are lots of plans for Teddy in 2020 as he just loves his job, and is really a born show off!!
Mac Mia Amore
Our first ever foal is Mia and she was born on a frosty March morning in 2017. Her mother is Shea and dad is a stunning black Hanoverian stallion "Don Aqui". We had hoped as Shea's colouring is bay and the stallion black, that we may have bred something similar, but no, we got a chesnut mare with a big white blaze! and 4 white stockings!!
She certainly has her mothers temperament and we are going to have our hands full when it comes time to start Mia later in 2020. She even gave us problems from day one, when she was a bit too weak to get up on her legs so was too slow to get the all important first feed from her mum. So the vets did a blood test and recommended a plasma transfusion. It was pretty traumatic trying to keep Mia on the floor for the 45 minutes it took to get it all in, but she was up and abount in no time, and has never looked back.
Mia was quickly learning to lead with Shea and had her first visit from Naill our farrier. And then we moved on to doing a little bit of natural horsemanship with her which she just loved. She even showed her great natural balance by getting up on her back legs and waving with her front legs!! We have kept doing a very little amount of this with her to keep making sure she grows up with manners, and to make the job of starting her slightly easier.
As she will be 3 this March it will be time to do a little more productive work with her this year, and see how she feels about have some tack fitted to her. We are really excited to see how this one turns out, as if she has inherited her mothers ability, we could have an absolute cracker.