about skystone farm
Skystone Farm is our homage to the horse. Dreamed and conceived to provide the ideal environment for raising and training horses with their well-being as the highest priority. As in all pursuits of knowledge, the attainment alters the perception and ultimately the destination. If you asked us to define how we would measure our success when we began, you would hear a different answer than the one we give today.
At the beginning, we were drawing on Paul's past life as a professional trainer in the Fraser Valley in BC. Having taught and competed to the highest level in showjumping his confidence was intact without any doubt that we could offer exceptional results once we got the ball rolling. While pursuing the business of earning the capital required to outfit the outfit, we got older, and we got wiser. With wisdom comes perspective and clarity.
We had a small string of normal horses that relied on us to look after them while we extracted our due from them by indoctrinating them into our agenda which was to participate in the industry epitomized by Spruce Meadows. After all, an elite venue that attracts most of the top competitors in the world has shaped our province and our thinking. Success would be measured by the victory gallop and the prestige bestowed on those that would lead it. This was our industry and we were not afraid to confront it. Except our horses were normal, and although we trained them with all our experience, commitment, and zeal, it wasn't enough to make them something they weren't and didn't want to be. While it was obvious from the start that the capacity of the horse would be the largest determinate of a measurable result in the competition arena, it wasn't so obvious that a different result in the practice arena would be as deeply satisfying.
The more we worked with our horses, addressing each of their unique qualities, the deeper we became involved with them. Skystone Farm was the perfect environment for developing the necessary capabilities and more. The breadth and variety of terrain provided optimal learning opportunities and fabulous exposure for both our horses' physical and mental refinement. The unintended consequence of having created a near perfect classroom was the depth of relationship we'd have with each horse. Originally the plan was to train, sell, and trade up until we could have top competition horses, but the deeper we involved ourselves with the horse we had, the more we learned from them. The more we learned, the less important the victory gallop became and the more we measured our success in their happiness.
Out of this our philosophy began to mature. "Love the one you're on" was something we oft repeated, but now it evolved to paying attention whether this was reciprocated or not. Of course anthropomorphism generally taints how we truly understand this, so we now generally try to "be a leader they want to follow".