Debbie Daniel and Her Heart's Dezire (Dez)
In May 2011, I owned a 17 year old retired TB (Dez) who could
barely walk toward me in the pasture for a carrot. Dez suffered
from an arthritic knee due to a bone chip from his early race
training. My daughters had competed him as a younger horse at
low level three day eventing until a well respected veterinarian
recommended his permanent retirement, due to his aggravated
and chronic knee condition. We pastured him for the next four
years at different farms, and his condition deteriorated. He was
thin, with poor coat condition, and obviously lame.
Due to the barn closing where Dez was pastured, I could see no
options open for him. However, the barn manager suggested that
I ask Jennifer Fulton to board him at least temporarily until I
returned from a trip. I had never met Jennifer, but I had no other choice.
I had no clue how that move would change not only my horse's future, but mine as well!
When I returned from my trip, Jennifer had hauled Dez to her place and began a new regimen of improved diet and new front shoes. The change was almost immediate. She explained to me that Dez needed also to have light exercise regularly or he would continue to decline. I hadn't ridden in many years, but she convinced me to try riding again. I began training with her once a week and her assistant rode him on another day of the week. The rides were short and slow, with a loose rein only. Jennifer introduced me to a new veterinarian, who prescribed a specialized treatment plan. The new treatments, the new diet, the new shoes, and the new exercise routine transformed my previously lame horse beyond my expectations over the next few months.
Jennifer displayed the most amazing patience as she worked with me over the years through his lameness and my fears. We have progressed to the point of participating in a trail ride with Jennifer and some other friends in a public place! We could actually walk, trot, and canter with some control! Dez became so sound, I couldn't tell any difference between the left and right rein at the trot. Jennifer loaned me equipment to ride, helped me buy equipment, and worked tirelessly so that every lesson is as successful as possible for both Dez and me. She treated Dez for minor injuries which helped my costs and cared for him as though he was her own. I could not ask for a better caretaker for him or trainer for me.
My time at Jennifer's barn each week was one of the highlights of my week and I never wanted to miss it. I have learned so much about riding and many other subjects! Because of Jennifer's patience and expertise, I have seen a lame horse recover and a fearful rider gain confidence and love riding again. Thank you Jennifer..Dez and Debbie are so grateful......
Dona Claunch and Scotty
Ironstar Farm is a beautiful, safe, and fun environment for horses and their
owners, but this beauty isn’t just skin deep! The care and concern Jennifer
Fulton offers is fathomless, and it started themoment Scotty and I arrived.
Jennifer immediately noticed that his saddle didn’t fit and was causing
severe back issues. She spent time helping me by generously offering the
use of her Thinline pad, which she shimmed to fit Scotty’s back, and the use
of one of her saddles that gave him a better fit. She then began exercises
that would help his back develop and heal. That was just the beginning of
Scotty’s metamorphosis. Scotty has developed confidence in stretching
forward and down, working through his back and developing a push
from his hind end. Jennifer has patiently guided me in ways that are
helping Scotty develop correctly.
Jennifer 's program promotes relationship-based practices. We have
participated in several groundwork lessons that have helped my
relationship with Scotty to deepen and grow. These experiences
easily translate to successful communication in the saddle as well.
Not only is Jennifer helping Scotty, but she has tirelessly worked with me to
be an empathetic, sensitive rider. She plans out each lesson according to our
development, but is always flexible to change her plan if she sees something
that should be addressed. Jennifer is very involved in each lesson. She is
physically in the arena where she has a good view of both horse and rider
and is quick with her corrections and encouragement. Because I have
proprioception challenges, she has walked beside me during lessons to help
me maintain the correct position.
I feel I have learned more, developed more, and grown more in the time I have been at Ironstar than anywhere else! Jennifer isn’t just accessible during scheduled lessons. She gives of her time freely whether it’s to answer questions, listen to concerns, or offer suggestions. She truly wants to see those under her care to blossom and succeed!
Ironstar Farm is made up of riders who deeply love their horses, have a strong desire to learn, and love encouraging each other. It has such a “family” feel to it. Jennifer strives to attain cohesiveness. She organizes trail rides on Lake Mineral Wells State Trailway, we enjoy barn lunches, shopping sprees to Dover, and just recently she hosted a client appreciation dinner with spouses and significant others included.
Coming to Ironstar was the best decision for me and for Scotty! Thank you, Jennifer!
Valerie Terrell and Brownie
I cannot believe that it has been six years ago this very week since you found Brownie for us, I knew not where that purchase would lead us, nor ever dreamed the course it would take, but I do know that is was a very fortunate event.
From that first visit until now, and hopefully to continue, you have been my mentor, friend, sister, counselor and, oh yeah, my equine instructor. :-) Being at Ironstar Farm with you has been such a privilege. I completely lucked into it, and out of your shear patience with me have been able to stay and learn and grow. Brownie and I have not fit the profile, yet you took the challenge of a pre-AARP kinesthetically unaware woman who had not loved horses since she was 4 and poured everything you had into her. I am so grateful.
I like to think you consider me a success story because I consider you a major
success. You showed me another way; one that intrigues me, challenges me,
and makes me want to continue. My heart is filled with appreciation.
Brownie and I will continue to grow, learn, and have fun.
Betsy and Wyatt
Here are a few things I have learned from being your student:
Relax to learn; learn to relax, reward the right response, make a change when frustrated,
find what works, listen to your horse, don't rush progress, appreciate improvement,
try again later, get balanced, spend time with your horse, ride your horse,
enjoy your horse, set the tempo, pain or fear can be the cause of misbehavior, and
never listen to the voices that say you aren't good enough.
You let love guide you so that every activity is
full of joy and every person is made to feel important.
You have a gift of making people feel like coming to Ironstar is like coming home.
Dawn and Nolan
Jennifer's understanding has made an impression on me. She is so welcoming,
so full of knowledge and information that I could listen all day. She is always being so gracious,
kind, and welcoming, so willing to impart what she has learned and is an encourager...
it means so very much.
Paige and Ford
In July 2013, D Daniel took me to viist Ironstar Farm. There I met a feisty redhead standing in
front of a "my Barn, My Rules" sign, flanked by two llamas. I was hooked. In short order, I
owned Dudley Do Right, an elderly Arabian/welsh pony and a Wintec saddle.
So began one of the most meaningful, mind-expanding, happy relationships of my life. Even though I have had a h horse off and on since I was five,
Jennifer has opened an entirely new world for me. She has taught me (or is trying really hard) a better way to ride. She has taught me a more effective way to relate to my horse. She has taught me immeasurable things about equine anatomy and management and tack. And she has taught me how important it is to let my horse be a horse. Way beyond all that, she is my friend. We have laughed hysterically as we shopped for a new horse (I quickly outgrew Dudley and my starter saddle!) or drove to a clinic. We have done Sunday at Nippers. We have grieved the loss of her horses and mine. She opened her heart and her barn apartment to our younger daughter. We have solved most of the world's problems. Jennifer has been a true friend as well as a dedicated and patient teacher and I am blessed to have her in my life.
Olivia and Reverie, Blitz, and Hudson
Jennifer was brought into my life exactly when my horses and I needed her most.
She continues to guide my journey to be the best horsewoman I can be.
The desire she has to give her time and energy to those around her is truly amazing.
She is an incredible friend and I look forward to sharing many more adventures.