The Wilde Field Horsemanship Scholarship started with long-time student and friend, Denise Wilde. When she could no longer physically participate in clinics herself, she offered to anonymously sponsor a clinic spot for a young rider with a rescue horse. All she asked for in return was a small write-up for what the young rider had learned.
Denise was so touched by the impact this had for the rider that she continued to anonymously sponsor one clinic spot for a rider and horse in need for years to come. With her generosity, along with other contributors coming on board along the way, the program grew into what is now the Wilde Field Horsemanship Scholarship Program which is making an impactful investment, on their behalf, in the right person and horse who can carry the gift of knowledge forward contributing positively to the equestrian community for years to come.
THE SCHOLARSHIP & APPLICATION PROCESS
The scholarship covers participation in a clinic, camp, one-on-one training directly with Jonathan, or a Wilde Field Scholarship Program event. This may include ongoing educational opportunities for the horse and rider as well. Funds are awarded based on need and will cover between 50%-100% of the cost of the event or training fee, depending on the needs of the scholarship recipient.
Individuals may apply for this scholarship on behalf of themselves, or a person/horse they would like to nominate. Applications will be accepted throughout the calendar year, however applications will only be reviewed every 6 months. If the number of approved applicants exceed available scholarships, we will hold a draw-based lottery to select those who will be awarded a scholarship for the upcoming spring (January-June) and fall (July-December) terms.
To apply please submit the following:
- A completed Scholarship Application Form (Click Here)
- A photo or video of the applicant/nominee and the horse. Video preferred.
- A document (500 word max) outlining their background, horsemanship goals, reason for applying, and why the individual or horse may be a good candidate for this scholarship.
* Applicants for a clinic must be willing and able to travel to an existing Jonathan Field Horsemanship event location.
The successful applicant(s) must be willing to submit a post event summary (500 word max) identifying what the event meant to them, 3 key lessons learned, how their horse has benefited from the program/education and how they plan to carry it forward. Recipients must submit a photo of themselves and their horse for use by Jonathan Field Company ltd. This is key to help celebrate the success of our participants and share with program contributors the gift of knowledge and insights they had a part in creating.
Scholarship recipients will be carefully selected by a Wilde Field Scholarship Committee. Selection will be based on one or more of the following criteria:
- An outstanding contributing individual, youth, or organization like a horse rescue. The key is the applicant would struggle to have financial means to pursue an education within the Jonathan Field Horsemanship program. Riders must be at least 16 years of age and both horse & rider must meet the minimum requirements for a Course 1 clinic.
- Preference will be given to individuals or groups who contribute within the equestrian community and have significant potential to help horses for years to come. This person/group must demonstrate a commitment to the ongoing betterment of the horse and horsemanship community.
- In the case of an equine scholarship recipient, it must be a unique horse who is not otherwise able to be helped but who has potential to develop into a partner and lead a positive life. The horse will be pre-approved by the Wilde Field Scholarship Committee, then submitted to Jonathan Field for final approval and development of a training plan.
- Scholarship recipients and/or the horse must be capable of travelling to either the Field Horsemanship Centre in British Columbia, or to another Jonathan Field Event location.
- Recipients must have the capacity to embrace ongoing learning opportunities beyond a single event.
Once a scholarship recipient has been selected, they will be contacted by the Wilde Field Scholarship Committee to confirm scholarship details, including appropriate event dates and locations.
Carol Price & “Noel”
Dearest Kind Lady,
I am writing this journal of my four day experience with Johnathan Field and what I am experiencing as I proceed through the clinic that you have so graciously given me the opportunity to experience.
The evening before the clinic began, I was able to go down to the Agriplex in Prince George and meet the young horse that will eventually be put into my care. I am nervous and excited and eager to be a parrot-the next chapter of this little creatures life. I also know I need training to accomplish this task. I need to know how to give him what he needs to be comfortable in the world he is coming to and I need to be confident that I am doing the right things to create harmony in our relationship. My desire is great, but I am nervous.
What if the horse doesn’t like me? What if even with training I am not all he needs? These thoughts run through my head and keep me awake after I am at home and·in bed and the night is quiet and I am alone with my thoughts.
The first day I watch Johnathan as he moves so fluidly through the demonstrations of the new language I am about to learn and I wonder to myself, will I be able to communicate that clearly with this young horse. It is a language I have never spoken, I want to do well and punish my self over silly mistakes like speaking my requests aloud instead of communicating through touch or showing proper intention.
Noel, the horse is very patient as I try to learn how to properly communicate to him, the tasks I am being shown. I feel encouraged with my successes and vow to myself to watch and listen more closely where I am weak.
I get ready to leave for the fairgrounds and I walk to my dresser and look at myself in the mirror, I put my hand to my heart and lay an imaginary object onto the dresser and say aloud “Ego….you stay here today, I have no need of you.” I then silently say a small prayer and ask that be an open vessel to the knowledge that is to be passed to me on this day. To be open, as a child learning a new task and able to accept correction when it is required.
I am glad had that little ritual and thought of it when I was getting frustrated trying to send my horse out and kept doing it wrong.
I also thought of you and how fortunate I am that you care enough that a stranger should know this new way of communication and it makes me more determined to succeed in my task.
Jonathan saw my struggle and sent his assistant to help me to learn the proper actions to communicate my request to Noel. Finally I GOT IT, Not as fluid and clear as Jonathan does but I know it was the whisper of progress.
Tonight my head is filled with trying to be truthful about how I am doing in the course. I think I struggle a bit and sometimes try to hard, I do things to fast, I need to slow down and itemize each step of the process I need to stand back and take a breath and say, this is new to me but I understand the concept and I see so clearly that I can do this, I am making progress. I realize and understand that training a horse is not all touch and tickle and oh well if he doesn’t want to that today…then we won’t do it. If I am to be the leader I need to be the one to dictate what we are going to do and how we are going to go about doing it and it will make Noel accept me as one he can trust and respect.
I have had a restless night with horsey dreams and I woke up a time or two as my memory goes over the difficulties I had during some of the lessons today and I know that at 56 yrs of age, I am experiencing that age old dilemma that as we age our memory retention starts to slip on us, like trying to remember a phone number in a book, I used to be able to look at the number and say it to myself and then go to the phone and just dial it. Now I must copy the number down and take it to the phone with me and dial it maybe three numbers at a time and keep looking down for the next three numbers. When I have a sequence of tasks to preform to accomplish a lesson it takes me more times to do the sequence to remember how it goes. Thank goodness for Liz, she is giving me her undivided attention to help me along and Jonathan is carrying on with the rest of the class.
Each baby step forward…I rejoice. They are trying so hard to teach me and I am trying so hard to let the old thoughts of how I did things go away and let the new teachings take hold and settle in my mind. I smile as I recall Liz patiently saying “Can I show you something?” and then she tries to explain in yet another way the very thing she was just showing me and I think to myself, no wonder she is so good at training horses she has the patients of Job, and I try again what she has shown me and that tolerant little smile just stays fixed on her face as she tries to encourage me.
I have three horsey girlfriends that are so supportive, just the kind of girls that care about my well being and of Noel’s well being and they came to observe the lessons as Johnathan was teaching us. I am glad they are here but it is yet more pressure. Why am I in the far corner doing one thing while the class is doing another. That is my thought….not theirs. I feel a bit self conscience and then wipe it away and remember……! left my ego sitting on the dresser and I take a deep breath and get back to the task at hand.
The morning session of lessons is over and I introduce the ladies to Noel and of course they love him, he has four legs and smells like a horse and he is a prankster. They are already making plans for how we will continue with his (my) training and who will haul him to the indoor riding ring and how wonderful that this brings new life into our riding experience and what a nice addition he is to our little herd, because of course…. all of us socialize and when we do it includes the horses where ever we go. We talk about them when they are not with us as if they are children we are proud of , the mischievous things they do, the cute things they do and the very naughty things they do and we are sure they talk about us as we are hauling them from place to place and having a good laugh about the thing we do and plan devious little antics that will set us all a chattering about “how to fix this situation”:·
My one friend gives me a hug and I start to cry….I think it was just a stress release because I am trying so hard to ….GET IT…. and I know I fall short. I believe in being truthful to myself about myself. I am strong in so many ways but have always been a slow learner when trying to school for something. I have dyslexia and unlike other people who instantly know left from right….I need to think about it. However my strength is that I will take what time I need and take the route that I need and learn the task. I don’t know the words….Give up.
I have my cry and release the pressure on myself and the rest of the day goes a little better, I am more relaxed after having lunch with my friends as they encourage me to listen and watch Jonathan carefully and to also listen to Noel, because he, unlike the other horses, has had the benefit of Johnathan ‘s training before he came and the other students in the clinic are doing this with horses who are new to their humans speaking horse language.
I am at home now at the end of this third day and chatter to my husband like a little magpie about the world of wonder that I am experiencing and he is very happy for me and excited that Noel is coming to join our family. He has been working for two weeks making the manger and shoring up the corral and getting hay for the winter and every night he lets me go on and on about the amazing things I am learning. He is going to come and watch for awhile tomorrow but has stayed away until now because I have told him I struggle a little and though he hasn ‘ t said it he doesn’t want me to feel the pressure of trying to learn so many new things with him looking over my shoulder.
I just went online to learn how to properly attach a litigo to my saddle, I am amazed that I found a site that showed it and was able to do it myself . I want to learn something new every day of my life. No matter how big or little it could be, no matter how many times it takes to GET IT, I still want to learn and I will.
I am eager for tomorrow, eager for Noel to come home with me. I am sure I will be in the barn until the wee hours of the night to try and comfort him in his new surroundings so he won’t feel alone. I can see him from my window whenever I want and go out to gently talk to him if he looks anxious.
I have Jonathan ‘s tapes and am going to carry on with the same system I am being taught in the clinic. I am so grateful for your sharing heart, what you have done has made a huge impact form in my upcoming years and added a new dimension to the thought of what I will do in my retirement, it will stay with me for the rest of my life… Now in the winter my horse will not be idle, there is so much for him and I to talk about… now that the basics of his language have been revealed to me through your generosity.
Somehow, someway, I will try to pass the kindness you have shown me onto another and keep this chain of giving alive. Someone who has a need that maybe I can help with.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I now have another blessing to be grateful for.
Yours very sincerely
Loren Stubbs & “Cavello”
Hello Dear Denise,
I want to sincerely thank you for the opportunity to participate in Jonathan Field’s Course One.
Here I am at 68, finding out I am definitely not too old to learn. I brought along a seven year old gelding named Cavello. He has great potential, but has been challenging and difficult to handle. After four days we both left with a different, more positive and mellow outlook on our relationship.
I have read books on communicating with horses using body language, but that is not nearly as educating, entertaining or effective as actually participating in a workshop. It was truly a life changing experience for me and Cavello. Listening to Jonathan and following his lead showed me that total control and pressure to perform is not the answer. I know I can now change things for the better, with intent and good leadership.
For example, it was a struggle to put a bridle on Cavello until Jonathan showed me how to rub his head and ears with one hand while massaging his mouth and gums with the other. Then to gently put pressure on his poll. On the fourth try he voluntarily lowered his head and opened his mouth to the bit. For me that was a huge break through. The same thing took place saddling him while not tied to anything. I did not know how much easier it was to flip the saddle on to his back gently from the right side.
I will now ask for a response with more patience as I learned what a great feeling it is to be in sync with a horse without a lead line or tether. That was another ahh moment and a highlight. I could go on, but I know you get the picture, so I will thank you again and say that I found Jonathan to be not only a trainer and a teacher but a real inspiration.
Anita Markiewicz & “Go On Red”
With humble gratitude and deep appreciation of the opportunity given to me.
There are no words to express what is going through me as I reflect on my amazing weekend with Jonathan Field. Thank you is not enough.
I was so surprised when Jonathan offered me a spot in one of his clinics, here in California. I have participated and audited several of his clinics and have always gained so much, with this generous scholarship, I was beyond ecstatic.
First off, let me introduce myself; my name is Anita Markiewicz and I run a non-profit equine transition facility. Hope for Horses, Inc. is a 501c3 Organization, our goal is to transition horses (and people) from where they were to Great Futures. We take in horses from many different situations, from Off the Track (Thoroughbreds), neglect/starvation cases, displaced/unwanted horses to unhandled Mustangs. Part of our program is teaching others (mostly teens) how to do better with these horses to help them transition into new careers and new homes. As a non-profit, where funds are hard to come by, educational opportunities like participating in this clinic are highly prized and greatly appreciated.
Go On Red is the 2009 OTTB gelding I brought to the March 9-11, 2019 Course I and Beyond Clinic located at Marsh Creek Stables, in Brentwood, CA. This was a great adventure.
The insights gleaned:
The Whys and The How’s, why we do what we do and how to do we do it. Ground Training Benefits: Understanding Leadership; being a “Good” Leader. Helping a horse build Willing Yields, a Flow. If we want our horses to be in sync with us, are we being “in-sync-able” Are we presenting a place where our horses can get in sync with us to create that flow? All of these were part of the learning. Jonathan is excellent in bringing awareness to how we are either part of the problem or part of the solution.
As I watch my horse warm up on my lead rope, I ask myself: “Would I like to ride this horse at this moment. And if not, what can I do, to influence the change needed. Using energy/focus, can the horse listen to me now? Can I create a re-connect, cues to help the horse “check back” to me? Can I create a “Listeningness” to me, a flow to me?
Horses are always looking for a place of Harmony, of Comfort. What is happening under the surface, can I look at things through a different lens? Am I being specific, not picky? Am I settling, “Good Enough Seldom Is”? Am I allowing enough time for the horse to understand, to comply. Am I being consistent? Horsemanship is more about teaching the person to make the changes needed.
We understand horses are nomadic animals, they find comfort in movement. Can I use the physical aspect of movement to gain the mental connection, providing comfort? Do I use the mental aspect to gain the physical? Am I taking in both the mental and emotional consideration of my horse, not just “Can You Sit On The Horse?”
The discussion of the difference in the mechanical aspects of riding and the “connectedness” of riding, the feel in respect of the nature of the horse (mind and emotional) was referenced all throughout both weekends. I saw and felt the changes in myself and then in my horse. Being appropriate, creating “Just Enough Pressure”, and letting them find comfort both in movement and in stillness. The “Connectedness of Feel” improved the mechanical aspect of riding.
My equestrian discipline is Classical Dressage; now being applied in many types of saddles with the adage: good riding is good riding, the original translation of dressage. Jonathan is a master, his ability to impart his knowledge in such a simple way, keeping it perfectly Classical, is incredible. The tools he gave me are easy to use, simple in their application. I worked on my timing, my position and adjusted accordingly. It is age-old and new at the same time, concepts became clearer as I saw how well my horse responded, how relaxed he became. Using many gymnastic exercises to create a learning environment for both I and my horse, I now have more tools that will be used in my programs, with my students and volunteers. The horses in and coming into the Transition Program will benefit greatly and will become better equine partners for those who adopt them. Again, Thank you, and Thank you pales in the gratitude I feel.
I was asked to speak at The Right Horse Summit in Kentucky this May and will be using examples from my experience at Jonathan Field’s Clinic.
Hope for Horses, Inc.
Mary Ellen Ajtony & “Rev”
One of the things that stood out in my mind from the weekend at Jonathan’s clinic happened after one of his entertaining and educational stories, a quote from (Tom Dorrance?)
“Well a feller could do that ….
Don’t know if he’d like the outcome.”
I am a volunteer with New Stride Thoroughbred Adoption Society, a non-profit organization that accepts thoroughbreds retiring from the race track. New Stride volunteers prepare these horses for adoption into homes where they can have new careers or even retirement. The lovely horse I was able to bring to the clinic is a 9-year-old mare who has a tendency to get a little worried and a little anxious at times, but who has a very sweet nature.
Things that stood out the most for me in this clinic have to do with our mindset as people working with horses, and have to do with creating partnership with our horses. These were best emphasized for me by things Jonathan talked about, especially the following (taken from my notes on the weekend):
To have our horses confident, curious, and listening – we have to be the ones that influence that – we have to make adaptions to make that happen. Where can I find success with this horse. Do I have to be in this part of the arena, or that part of the arena? Do I have to be on the ground or on the horse?In a quiet safe place, set the horse up for success. Start somewhere you know it will work and build from there. Don’t over challenge the horse.If you can’t swim in the pond, you’re going to drown in the lake. Get excellence in the pond and you’ll at least be good in the lake. Get excellence in the lake and you’ll at least be good in the ocean. Using the primary equine language, we can create a calmer, smarter, braver, more athletic equine partners.
It was a pleasure to work with the horse, in Jonathan’s clinic, that I was able to bring from New Stride. She allowed me the opportunity to focus on and practice the skills Jonathan was teaching us. She also provided me with a challenge here and there that allowed me to see how well, or not, I could apply the skills in those moments. Jonathan’s clinic gave me more confidence in myself, a better understanding of the primary equine language, and improved my ability to apply the skills he taught us. The horse benefitted from the clinic by having the opportunity to experience sustained relaxation in movement, a challenge for her, having extra help from Jonathan helping her find the sweet spot amidst her anxiousness, allowing her to develop better confidence and taking back to New Stride with her, a foundation she can continue to grow with. All of these things will hopefully be a demonstration of how wonderfully these horses can partner up with us and to perhaps inspire others onto a path of thoughtful horsemanship.
It was truly a privilege to be able to be part of Jonathan’s clinic. Without the scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to attend and I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who made it possible.
Carmen Kramer & “Mark It Up Mark”
This past weekend, Mark It Up Mark ‘Mark’ and I participated in a three day Course 1 Jonathan Field Horsemanship clinic at Villa Training. “We were fortunate to take part after being chosen as a recipient of the Wilde FieldScholarship program.
Jonathan is not only a very knowledgeable coach, but also a passionate horseman. He conveys information in a clear and personable manner, and it is evident that he has a deep understanding of horses and their needs. New concepts were presented clearly and accompanied by demonstrations to help us visualize our next steps. The attention to detail was distinctly visible in every aspect over the three days.
It is challenging to sum up this incredible weekend with only a single takeaway. The insight I gained into how horses learn was significant. It was wonderful to discover more information about the methods we can use when working with our horses to ensure that we convey what we are asking safely, effectively, and in a positive way which the horse understands naturally. In essence, I gained a deeper understanding of how to speak the same language as the horses I am working with, which will create a more positive working experience for them. I have learned many skills which will enable me to help Mark and all of our horses at New Stride Thoroughbred Adoption Society. Each of our horses comes to us with a unique personality and history, requiring us to design responsive training programs as they transition from racing to their new lives and activities beyond the track.
It was exciting to have one of our New Stride horses to learn and practice with as this gave me great insight into the responses I may expect to receive from a horse who is transitioning from one discipline to another. Mark took the new environment in stride and throughout the weekend learned and adapted to the activities as we progressed. It did not take long for him to be relaxed and attentive despite numerous horses moving about in the arena.
The skills and knowledge I have learned this past weekend will also be shared with our valuable volunteers who dedicate their time to help retrain our horses. I now have more ‘tools’ to share with my team which will result in more consistency in all aspects of training for our horses in transition. I look forward to observing the positive impact this new knowledge will have on our training program. On behalf of New Stride Thoroughbred Adoption Society, and all of our horses, I would like to thank Jonathan Field Horsemanship for the opportunity this scholarship program provided me.
Kate Lawrick & “Roo”
Field Of Dreams Fundraising Clinic
It was a fun day at Twisted Terrain Horse Park for our first “Field Of Dreams” Fundraising Clinic.
Riders learned how to teach a horse to think about the obstacles by creating distance away from the obstacle to engage the horse’s curiosity and confidence to sort out the problem. It’s not just about the obstacle but how a horse thinks – that’s how confidence is built!
Special thanks to Laurie Thompson for conceptualizing and hosting this clinic, and to all the riders and spectators who contributed. This event raised over $5000 which has provided scholarships and clinic experiences for some special riders and horses.