Mardi and Hilda J. Keller and Megan Vanbendegon
Mardi is pending adoption at this time.
Meet Mardi our first mule competing!!
She is 8 YO and approx 13 hh. She is stout girl too. Mardi came to Hickory Hill Farm last summer. Mardi was an owner surrender. The owner had advertised her as whoever can come get her can have her. Someone saw this and reached out to us as they feared a kill buyer might go get her. Mardi had pretty much just been a pasture ornament and had NEVER had her feet worked on. Her first few appointments she had to be sedated for her back feet, but on her most recent appointment did not require sedation!!! She picks up all four feet to be picked, but the farrier does cause her some anxiety.
She is EXTREMELY friendly. When she came to rescue she could not be caught. But, she came to trust her foster and started being caught to be fed, and now, when you’re in the field you can’t get away from her. As like a lot of rescues, she has trust issues but she does work through it. She can get an attitude and anxiety when led away from her herd or separated and does have a stubborn streak! But isn’t that what makes mules so great??
We know that her trainer will gain her trust and they will have an amazing journey to give Mardi that opportunity to be a great and safe riding partner for someone. While Mules are different from horses they make great mounts and companions.
Hilda and one of our Junior trainers, Megan, are stepping up to help Mardi the Mule.
Being on a horse has been more natural to me than being on my own two feet since I was a child. I started taking lessons in South Florida as a young girl and got my first taste of the show world with Appaloosas. Although Western Pleasure, Halter and Showmanship were fun at the time, I realized that I wanted to learn and do more. It wasn’t until I moved to North Carolina that I discovered “Natural Horsmanship” and realized that these methods were very similar to what I had been doing since I was 16. I began to actively learn and study these methods with a great passion. Upon moving to Tennessee, I began using the natural methods on both horses and riders with great success. I was producing happy, respectful, confident horses and teaching riders how to communicate better with their horses. For me, it has always been about the horse. Help the horse and teach the rider how to do the same.
I am constantly learning new techniques, methods and philosophies as they apply to the equine world. Anything to make myself better so I can teach a better way, the natural way. I start colts, handle young horses and solve behavioral problems. I actively compete in EXCA (Extreme Cowboy Racing), National Working Cow Horse Association and will be competing in American Ranch Horse Association events this year. I also teach riders of all ages and will be coaching a youth rider as well as several Novices this season in EXCA. I have competed in ACTHA, Team Penning, Ranch Sorting and Timed Events as well as dabbled a bit in Roping.
I personally own several rescued horses and I strongly believe that these horses have just as much value as any other horse and deserve to have a great life.
Please find me on Facebook at Keller Horse Training.
Rally for the Rescues-Trainers Challenge, P O Box 44, Ashland City, TN 37015