A Trainer with a Feral Horse expertise: Nelson Detweiler

“A man best describes himself with remarkable actions, not by persuasive words.”― Bradley B. Dalina

Since Heart of Phoenix has existed, we have depended on people.

People to serve and give and go. We can’t exists without those who give their time and knowledge. Most of the things we need, all people can offer: help with fundraising, sharing what we do, helping with data collection, cleaning up around the barn, posting adoptable horses on our sites, aiding with application processing. There is plenty beyond those things.

After those obvious tasks, most all experienced horse people can help with: fostering, cleaning stalls, grooming horses, hauling and transport, attending fundraisers, donating tack and equine items. . .again, just touching the surface.

But sometimes, what we need is unique and almost impossible to come by.

In this instance, enter Nelson Detweiler.

From the time we met him, he filled a need our organization long had, and more than that, he opened doors to allow us to say, “Yes” to horses we could not help before because we knew he would be there when needed.

The ability to effectively gentle and train a feral horse is exceeding hard to come by, and it is something where, we’ve found, even most professional trainers tend to struggle.

Nelson brought HOP quite a gift for the feral horse when he decided to give his time to our cause, but the additionally, he brought quite a natural ability and desire to teach others. This means that the impact of his knowledge grows and can go beyond him, in time.

Year after year, we ask for his help with horses that are unhandled or dangerous. And he always finds a way to make it possible to be there. Rarely has an Appalachian Trainer Face Off passed that he hasn’t gone at our request to help a trainer who has met a roadblock with a previously unhandled horse, either.

This year, #HOPTEAMALLERIA’s Libby reached out to me feeling very defeated. She didn’t feel she could progress with this Texas feral mare. She actually felt they were going backwards. I said I knew someone who would help and assured her, in the end, it would be ok.

Nelson made an 8+ hour trip one way, bringing his own horse along to aid in the training, to spend 4+ days working with this team.

He changed everything for Libby and “Larry” (Alleria’s new nickname). In less than a week, the whole course has changed.

From a scared mare unsure of what was being asked and a trainer not yet able to even sit on her horse, to a pair able to independently begin to ride by the end . . .It is what I expected to see, but to actually see it. . .well, that is incredible. I’m thankful I get to see such things.

And so, thank you, Nelson, for making time in a life busier by far than most. . .with more people asking you to do things than anyone I know. . .The difference we can make because you’re on our side is remarkable. I’m so glad that people understand asking questions, learning and helping others is paramount and a huge part of what we believe and of the ATFO.

I’m sure glad Morgan dragged you along on that feral mine horse round up way back when.

“A busy man giving you his time means everything.”

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