Oct. 24, 2018
Strike A Long Trot
Linda Tellington-Jones signing copies of Strike A Long Trot Hungarian horse: beautiful picture of Hungarian horse, related to Three-Day Event Champion and Top-Ten Tevis Cup Ride finisher MAGYAR BRADO. These horses are still bred by Henrietta Morey.
Linda Tellington-Jones is famous for applying her Tellington TTouch method of massage/communication/healing therapy to training dressage horses, but many may not know that Linda started as an endurance rider on the famous horse Bint Gulida (Ghadaf x Gulida). Author Shannon Weill was 19 years old when she met the legendary horsewoman and her biography of Linda reveals the remarkable talent Linda had with horses that started at an early age and spans many riding disciplines. Weill describes the development of her Pacific Coast Equestrian Research Farm School of Horsemanship, of which Weill is a “graduate,” the broad spectrum of Linda’s career with horses, and the evolution of the Tellington Method.
Linda’s parents Harold “Hoodie” and Marion Hood were hardworking farm people of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. “When Hoodie first lifted his petite six-year-old daughter Linda onto the back of a reluctant mare named Trixie, little did he know that moment would become the cornerstone of her life, setting the stage for her ability decades later to revolutionize how humans relate to animals.”
At age nine she started riding at Briarcrest Stables in Gibbons, 30 miles from Edmonton, where she became best friends with another horse-crazy girl Diane Wiebe (Hemstock) and learned riding and horsemanship from riding instructor Alice Greaves-Metheral. “Alice was renowned for training top show hunters (p. 19) and it wasn’t long before Linda was riding everything in the barn, showing, and winning consistently. “Linda was always sought after to ride, winning highly sought-after equitation trophies.”
Linda married Cavalry officer Wentworth Jordan Tellington when she turned 18, despite the fact that he was 20 years her senior and it wasn’t long before both talented horse people were faculty at the Chadwick School in Rolling Hills, California. Later, they created the Pacific Coast Equestrian Research Farm and School of Horsemanship.
The next important “persona” in Linda’s life was her Endurance horse, Arabian mare Bint Gulinda. “She was some horse!” Wentworth exclaimed. She was only 14.3 hands, but had such amazing stamina that it was hard to tire her out. She taught Linda how much horses pick up the rider’s emotions, from which Linda learned how to calm herself and quiet her emotions to get the best from Gulinda, and the other horses she rode. In 1961 she and Bint Gulinda set a record time of 13 hours 36 minutes in the 100-mile Jim Shoulders Ride in Moore, Oklahoma.
Her maternal grandfather, Will Caywood, was in his 80s and retired from his winning career as a Thoroughbred racehorse trainer when Linda (and Went) got to know him. “Caywood was a very small, yet bold, rider who possessed a natural talent with horses. He was a leading jockey in the U.S. for eight years in the golden era before WWI,” Linda said, “We gratefully acknowledge the detailed, patient, guru-like influence of my grandfather Will Caywood, giving us the benefit of his uncommon skill with, and understanding of, horses.” Caywood attributed his success to two factors: First, every racehorse in his training stable was “rubbed” with a Gypsy form of equine massage for 30 minutes a day. Second, he only entered a horse in a race when the horse “told him it was feeling fit enough to win.”
Linda’s expertise was sought by Countess Margit Bessenyey, and for years Linda promoted the countess’ Hungarian horses, once revered as the finest warhorses in Europe. There is an interesting story about how Linda transformed the Hungarian stallion Brado from a U.S. Equestrian Team reject into a champion.
The book chronicles the development of the Pacific Coast Equestrian Research Farm, “from a chicken ranch into a world class equestrian center;” the eventual parting of Linda and Wentworth; Linda’s move to Westwind Barn, a historic horse facility in Los Altos Hills, California, with Margit Bessenyey as Linda’s safety net; and the changes that develop with the Westwind Hungarian Horse Farm.
But the book also reads like a “reunion” piece, reacquainting people from the various riding establishments who knew, learned from, and rode with Linda. Author Shannon Weill said she found a “wonderful quote on my Strike A Long Trot Facebook page that said, ‘We can all agree – Linda can change your life when you meet her!’ [It’s] so true and I’m sure glad I was nineteen when I met her.”
Linda Tellington-Jones will be the guest speaker at Tevis Talks 2014, March 27 at the Sierra Building, Gold County Fairgrounds in Auburn, California. For more information, visit: www.teviscup.orgThe Tevis Cup will start August 9, 2014.
Congratulations Nicole Ringler and HS Wistful Elegance (Ellie) on winning the 2013 USDF Alll breeds Intermediate 1 Champion. Ellie is the daughter of our beautiful and top producing broodmare Sumptuous and by HS Wistar.
Two Hungarian Horses: Picture from Marge Ward of 2 Hungarians that she bred, 3/4 siblings. Left is H Wistar's Elegante (HS Wistar X FF Shadow Dancer, Arabian), owned by me, and HS Bravado (HS Pik Brado X FF Shadow Dancer) owned by Cindi Wood. Bravado came here to stay for a brief time but I snapped this as he was about to go in the trailer to go home. A bit scruffy in their Winter coats, it is fun for me to see them side by side. Of course Charlene Summers owned the stallions that made this picture possible. Shadow, the dam of both, is now 26 and the is favorite of young riders after being my drill team mount for many years.
Linda galloping: photograph by Gabriele Boiselle shows Linda galloping across the desert in Jordan illustrating her ease on a horse.
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