Coeur du Cheval

Natural Horsemanship

From the time our horses are born, we work to build their confidence and understanding. To this end, we work directly with horses, trainers and staff to create individual training programs for each horse based on its capabilities.

The training philosophy we use is grounded in ancient principles of horsemanship, which have had a resurgence under the term "natural horsemanship." Simply put, it is the language of pressure and release of pressure. We use the lightest pressure necessary to send the desired message, and we reward the smallest try with a release of pressure. Thus, progress in small increments can yield solid, substantial results.

Every horse learns to master exercises in bravery, including overcoming obstacles on the ground, tying, bathing, trailer loading and traveling, exposure to new people, places and situations. Their introduction to saddling is gradual, and with their background in bravery skills, is typically a "non-event."

In this way, when our horses are ready physically to be started under saddle, they are also ready mentally for the challenges they will face in their training as show, sport, or companion horses. When they are ready, we offer them for sale to those who will give them the respect and support to which they are entitled.

THE HORSE'S PRAYER

 You have conquered me,
Understand how to keep me.
I will serve you:
If you are fair and respectful
and attentive to my moods;
If you speak to me compassionately,
and treat me as a brother, never forgetting
That the horse is more
Than half of the horseman, the cavalier.

This version of the horse’s prayer comes from a postcard my mother sent me when vacationing in the South of France.  It has guided me in this work.

My Journey

My journey breeding Polish Arabians began when I walked into Polish and U.S. National Champion *Emanor’s stall, and he laid his head on my shoulder. I fell in love on the spot. With the help and guidance of my friend and consultant George Zbyszewski, I leased a beautiful daughter of Polish National Champion Europezcyk, Fizyka, and bred her to *Emanor. Over the course of her pregnancy, Fizyka and I became dear friends, and her owners kindly consented to let me purchase her. Fizyka gave me a gorgeous filly whom we named Emagnifique du Coeur.

My herd now consisted of two older half-Arabian geldings, two lovely Kuhailan fillies, half-sisters, “Kharalia Suite” and “Blackberry Jammin,” and the royal lady Fizyka with her darling “Maggie”. The horses were spread out along the I-405 corridor in several different boarding facilities. It was time to buy a farm.

We found a small Thoroughbred farm on an island just across the inland sea from Seattle. It is called Vashon Island and is only accessible by boat. Thus, despite its proximity to a major metropolitan area, the island has retained its rural character. We purchased the farm in February 2000, and spent the next four months remodeling the barn for our horses. In June, 2000, we moved the horses to the farm. The herd had a grand reunion. What a joy to wake up to see our horses sweet faces calling to us from the barn!

You can guess what happened next. The herd soon grew to fill the farm. More foals, a stallion by the famous Bask son, Negatraz (my dream horse, OKW Aliage), another broodmare (Polish bred Wojslaw daughter Florita MA), more foals. Laughter, tears, lots of love. Our horses have taught us patience, courage, and humility. We continue to learn more from each other day by day.

The Future

The horse-children are doing well. Emagnifique, now seven, is showing English Pleasure with trainer Joey Canda. Florenzo, our handsome, five-year-old Goliat/Florita MA son, is enthusiastically jumping 3'3", and took blue and red ribbons in his first open show. Minuet, our five- year- old *Emanor/Kharalia Suite daughter, elegant and beautiful in every way, is training in hunter. Fidalgo, our tall and handsome three year old *Emanor/Fizyka son, will be started under saddle this summer, and will be a fine sport hunter. Firenze, our refined and intelligent two-year-old OKW Aliage/Fizyka colt has been performing many feats of bravery in his ground work and with long lines. He is a fine halter and sport horse prospect.

Now, Aliage, Fizyka, and I have retired from breeding and are spending our days enjoying the pleasures of living on a beautiful island in the Puget Sound. We are looking for the perfect homes for each of our youngsters. They are as our children.

Coeur du Cheval Arabians, LLC
21901 Vashon Highway, SW
Vashon Island, Washington 98070
Heather@heartofthehorse.com