Tag Archives: Gaia do Summerwind

Meet the owners – Nel Syed

1.   How did you come to think about getting into the world of horses and horsemanship?   What drew you to the Marchador?    ​I’ve always admired horses, but it wasn’t until I met Dr Adrienne Scheck at a scientific conference in London in 2014 that I got properly introduced to them and to the world of the Marchadors. Adrienne and I hit it off straight away as we shared the same passion for our work and we talked regularly thereafter via Skype.  Adrienne had the same passion for the Marchadors as she does for her science and our conversations were very much about both subjects every time we spoke which was pretty much every week. I finally got to see them in the flesh a year later when I was invited by Adrienne to give a talk at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. I had never been to Phoenix before and all I could think about was wanting to see the Marchadors and in particular her baby, Gaia do Summerwind. Gaia was absolutely stunning and her other horses Ruger and Dixie were so sweet. I was thrilled to meet Lynn and John Kelley on my visit as I had heard so much about them from Adrienne. They were both so welcoming and showed me their herd of beautiful Marchadors. I instantly fell in love with Hawke do Summerwind, he was so gentle and I felt so calm around him. I was hooked at that moment and I hoped that some day I would be lucky enough to have a Marchador of my own. 

2.  Describe the journey so far.   Have there been any surprises along the way?   ​My journey of owning a Marchador began at another conference meeting with Adrienne in Philadelphia back in Nov 2016. She explained that she would breed Gaia when she was a little older and I just joked saying “wouldn’t it be great if I could have Gaia’s first baby”. I made this remark as I had just moved from living in London to the country side where horses are a common sight. After much apprehension mainly due to my very limited knowledge of horses this remark became a reality when Gaia was bred in 2018. (to Fole de Maripa using imported frozen semen from Agro Maripa) I had visited Phoenix a few more times before this decision and even rode a few of Lynn and John’s horses. They shared their passion for this breed and I knew this was the right decision for me, and I was excited about being part of the Marchador community. 


3.  What was the most enjoyable or funniest part so far?
​The whole experience has been enjoyable but the most memorable was when I switched on the cameras at 4am UK time on the morning of March 27th and saw Nola do Summerwind laying on the floor next to her mother being admired by Adrienne, Lynn and DJ. I had been watching all night in the hope of seeing her being born and turned the cameras off only for an instant to grab a quick nap. Even though I was so far away, I felt I was a part of the whole experience. I could see Adrienne adjusting the cameras so that I could get the best view possible of this adorable new bundle. The funniest part was when I saw Nola running off with Adrienne’s hat during an early training session which she had just pinched off her head. I knew then that Nola has a great sense of humour.


4.   Have you learned anything new?   What have you learned about yourself and horses along the way?
Everything I’ve learned about horses so far has been new and I’m learning something new almost everyday.  They are such amazing and intelligent animals that can be both gentle and powerful at the same time.  I feel really calm around them and they bring out the best in me and I know that if trained well they can be your best companion. I’m really looking forward to having that connection with Nola. 


5.  Tell us about your foal and the experience of meeting her.
Meeting Nola for the first time was the most exciting and the most daunting experience at the same time. I felt incredibly proud that I owned such a magnificent animal but also so worried that I would not do her justice as an owner.  However, those negative feelings were soon replaced by overwhelming feelings of wanting to do my best for her. Just thinking about her puts a smile on my face and I can’t help talking about her to everyone I meet. Luckily for me, I live in a horse community and they are only too happy to hear me going on about how amazing Nola is.  They are all intrigued about the Marchador breed, which they had never heard of before and really looking forward to meeting Nola.


6.   Please give us something about yourself and your life  – professional or family – whatever you wish to share.
​I live in the UK, in the country surrounded by beautiful green fields and very near to the coast in Suffolk with my partner Mark. We have 3 beautiful dogs: Simba the Alaskan Malamute, Sasha the German Shepherd and Zeus, the Shitzu. We also have 3 alpacas, Dylan, Hugo and Oscar who we rescued two years ago. Growing up in Scotland I always wanted to be a vet and live on a farm with lots of animals or be an athIete.  I loved sports at school, particularly atheletics and looked forward to sports day in the summer. I grew up with dogs, cats, chickens, goats, rabbits and guinea pigs and even had a few geese and peacocks to add to the mix. I loved looking after them and spending time with them and I would often take my pet goat Herbie for a walk in the local park, much to the amusement of passers by. My ideas of becoming a vet or athlete were soon overturned when I heard a talk in my final year at school given by a scientist about a type of cancer called Burkitt’s lymphoma. That talk really inspired me and set me on the path that I am on today, a cancer scientist. A path that has also led me to meet Adrienne and the world of the  Summerwind Marchadors. I currently head a brain tumour laboratory at Imperial College London where I am trying to find new treatments for brain tumour patients. 

More About Nel Syed PhD: As a cancer research scientist at Imperial College London I am the lead investigator of a brain tumour laboratory. My lab consists of post- doctoral scientists, PhD students, technical staff and a lab manager. We liaise closely with the clinical team which includes neuropathologists, neurosurgeons and neuro-oncologists. Together we make up the centre of excellence in brain tumour research at Imperial College London. 
The research focus of my lab is to identify novel therapies for the most aggressive type of brain tumour in adults – glioblastoma. This is a grade 4 primary brain tumour for which there is currently no cure and no effective treatment options. Upon diagnosis patients typically survive no longer than 12-15 months with current standard of care which includes maximal surgical resection and chemotherapy. My lab is interrogating the altered metabolism of this tumour to find its Achilles heel using a variety of molecular techniques.   My research is primarily funded by the Brain Tumour Research Campaign (BTRC) and Brain Tumour Research (BTR).  


Gaia’s foal is born!

Born March 26, 2019 to Gaia do Summerwind, a black filly (probably will be grey).

The sire is Fole de Maripa, using imported frozen semen from Agro Maripa, Brazil. Gaia is the first Marchador foal born in the US using imported frozen semen. Gaia’s sire was Oma de Maripa, also from Agro Maripa. This foal marks the fourth generation for Summerwind Marchadors following the mare’s line: Brisa Libertas (imported), Brasilia do Summerwind, Gaia do Summerwind and now her new filly!

Congratulations to Adrienne C. Scheck, owner of Gaia do Summerwind and to Nel Syed and Mark, owners of the new foal. This foal will be going to ENGLAND! where we think it will be the first Marchador in that country.

The added bonus is that the filly was born on Adrienne’s birthday – what a gift!

The Mane Event Photos

At Westworld, Scottsdale, AZ Memorial Day Weekend 2017.

The USMMA booth and then the 2 presentations – first one was to the GIRL FROM IPANEMA, a presentation of the Marchadors ala the Rio Olympics with the girls handing out roses to the audience.   The second presentation was a demonstration of the 2 marcha gaits under saddle.

Marchador horses there:  Gabriela do Premier, owned by Grady Willard,  Gaia do Summerwind, owned by Adrienne C. Scheck, Jedi-Knight do Summerwind, owned by Silver Stables, Seamus da Boa Fe, owned by Summerwind Marchadors.

Demo and barn volunteers : Adrienne, D.J., Grady, Elizabeth, Karen, Morgan, Scout and more.  D.J. was program manager.

Booth volunteers: Adrienne, Elizabeth, Jack, Jeff, Karen, Lynn, Phyllis, Randy, Sandy.

Training – Words for Success

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and lightning bug.” Mark Twain

Adrienne and Gralha
Adrienne and Gralha

Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt were master horse trainers and communicators. They advocated to “set the horse up for success”, “to let the horse learn it” and “to feel and listen to the horse.” We have found our own master trainer here in Arizona in Ned Leigh of Ned Leigh, Equine Focus. It is with Ned that I learned how important the words we use are in the setting up of this kind of environment.

All of Ned’s work comes with the horse in mind. Knowing that there many be many answers the horse will choose during training. The try is important. The repetition and clarity of the request is what will cause over time for the horse to choose the RIGHT answer, the one you intended. From the horse’s point of view, all the responses are valid. Ned’s words to the trainers are always horse-focused. And what a difference it makes – in your head and in the horse’s head!

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Here are 5 examples of the words that help create the mind-set for success.

1. “Help your horse”
What a difference in mindset! This is almost revolutionary – 180 degrees from “you have to win”,  “correct your horse”, “make him obey”.  If your horse is a partner, a member of the family, you’ll want to help him succeed, not get frustrated because he isn’t getting it as fast as you want.

2. “Your horse is confused”
Related to number 1 above, but what a great way to think of it. Instead of “You (the trainer) are doing it wrong”, again the focus is on the horse. Now you need to learn how to make your request easier or clearer to him. There must be 10 ways to request a backup. Maybe more. Anyone will do as long as both you and your horse understand what is being requested.

3. “Wait. Give the horse a chance to make the decision.”
Let your horse try. Let your horse discover the right answer through the process of elimination. Just keep asking in a consistent and clear manner and reward the right answer.  No need to escalate or rush. Take a deep breath and instead, watch him think. You might learn something about how your horse learns.

4. “Watch for the muscle movement to release.”
Timing is everything in the reward for doing the right thing. The earlier the release, the softer the horse. When you ask the horse to move, before the horse actually moves its feet, the muscles respond. If we build our release, the reward on the muscle movement, you are rewarding the correct thought and that speeds up the horse’s understanding.

5. “Use the backup command to establish your boundary”
The horse is a gregarious and social animal. That’s what we want too, someone to love and spend time with. However, establishing a boundary establishes your relationship with the horse with you as the leader.  It is the responsibility of the person to control their horse’s approach to the boundary and if they cross into it without permission, it is the person’s fault.  The horse should not be punished for the person’s failure to control the boundary.

The backup.  Ned, Carmen and Koyote
The backup. Ned, Carmen and Koyote

Often Ned’s teaching is broken down into at least 3 steps. This gives the horse a clear, repeatable pattern.   And it helps the trainer become clearer in his/her request and less hurried.  The horse is “set up for success”.   It will learn the request, the sequence and the right response.

The horse can choose to respond (and that’s the desired response) on the first step. This teaching makes for a soft, willing partner.  Isn’t that what we all want?

This is training from the horse’s point of view. This is training for UNDERSTANDING.

Any training with the mindset of MAKING your horse do something is totally NOT what I want for my horses.

If you are using words that don’t describe your thoughts and actions from the horse’s point of view, see if you can change them. See if that makes a difference in yourself and your horse. I’d love to hear back from you.

The partnership.  Bossa Nova de Miami and Lynn.
The partnership. Bossa Nova de Miami and Lynn.

All the photos below in the gallery from the clinics are Mangalarga Marchadors from Summerwind during a Ned Leigh Clinics.   All happy horses and happy people!   Photo credit to Lynn Kelley, Leticia Ribeiro and Laura Patterson Rosa.  Click on any of the gallery photos to make it larger or read the captions!

For more information on Ned Leigh Equine Focus or Summerwind Marchadors:  Ned Leigh Equine Focus Website  or Summerwind Marchadors Website

 

All the photos are Mangalarga Marchadors from Summerwind during a Ned Leigh Clinics.  Photo credit to Lynn Kelley, Leticia Ribeiro and Laura Patterson Rosa. For more information on Ned Leigh Equine Focus or Summerwind Marchadors:

Ned Leigh Equine Focus Website

Summerwind Marchadors Website

 

“Contrary to popular belief, horses do not get bored with basic work. If the rider (trainer) request exact responses, paying close attention to detail and quality, neither the horse nor rider will have time to get bored, rather a true sense of accomplishment will be gained.” Erik F. Herbermann.