Horseplay has been developing over the last 17 years and we shape the course on an ongoing basis, because society is evolving, for good or for bad, and training needs to be current.
The interesting fact though is that whilst we get more and more technically advanced in our lives, the lessons we learn from the horses are centuries old and just plain common sense! As one of my trainers said it is so old that it is new again. Horses have been the backbone of the development of our society…where would we be if man hadn’t had the power of the horse to take him further, faster and with the strength to achieve?
So it seems fitting that the 21st century finds us going back to basics to rediscover our strengths and weaknesses, and the way forward to live and lead successfully.
meet the team
CARLENE 'CARL' BRONNER
Lead facilitator and owner
After a childhood of longing for horses, August 1996 found me living on a farm and buying 2 horses. Two years later, after many falls, runaways, bites, kicks and tears, I no longer rode as my horse just seemed to hate having anything to do with me and my saddle! Fortunately, instead of listening to the horsey folks around me who said buy a bigger bit, use a whip and teach it some manners, or smother your horse in more leather restraints, I listened to someone who said: "Change yourself first".
And so, a year later, with no falls, runaways, bites or kicks but plenty of tears, my new horses (the start of my Friesian herd) Rosa, Cole and Willow taught me that in order to have the perfect horse for me, I had to start to change some of the not so perfect aspects of me first.
Since 1999, I have been on the most incredible journey and have been privileged to see some of the world’s best horse trainers up close and personal. My very first NH course I attended was one with Kaye Thomas, Parelli instructor(Durban, 2002). I then got to be one of the support workers at a Pat Parelli seminar in Calgary in 2003 where I met the fantastic Jonathan Field. I then attended another of Pat’s seminars in Paris in 2005 (my friends asks me how on earth I always managed to find a way to get a horse activity into the itinerary of my husband’s business trip that I tagged along on!!!). In 2004 and 2005, Cynthia Cooper , from Australia, took me further on my journey, and I started to explore beyond the Parelli program, looking for more lightness and finesse. So when Steve Halfpenny from Silversands, Australia, needed a host for his KZN clinic in 2006, I jumped at the opportunity to have such a great horseman in my backyard, and then continued to have lessons with Tamasine Smith from NHZA and Pippa Arnott. In the eyes of many outsiders I might seem to be a very knowledgeable person of horse related stuff, but I keep in mind the saying” It’s what you learn AFTER you think you know it all, that counts”. And when I did start to think too highly of myself, Willow , a 650kg friesian gelding(my biggest challenge and my horsey soul-mate) would remind me that I wasn't paying attention to his needs, and oh, did I know that he had yet to let me know about chapter 21 of “Willow’s Book on Horsemanship from a Horse’s Point of View”?! (edit: this magnificent horse died in April 2019, after spending 21 years teaching me how to be a better horse owner)
So on my CV it might be written that I am:
The owner of Kilgobbin Stud which has Friesians, friesian X TB, Warlanders, Andalusian and Lusitano x TBs and 3 donkeys. And one mule!
The main facilitator in HorsePlay, an Equine Facilitated Learning program established in May 2005.
In partnership for the Savvy Leadership corporate courses run by Keith Coats from Tomorrowtoday.global
A member of the Midlands Meander Association since 1997
A member of EAPISA since 2009
I have my Parelli L1 and L2, Silversands Basic Skills 1, 2, 3, and am working on my Intermediate Level.
But the best achievement that I have on my CV is that my herd thinks that I am a great leader, with greater things to come because it is what you learn after you think you know it all that really counts, and 23 years from my first lesson, I am still learning.
THE KILGOBBIN HERD
The HorsePlay team is mostly made up of one breed and crosses of that breed, the magnificent Friesian, which is firstly known for its incredible temperament and secondly for its beauty.
Mark Rashid once wrote “Whole heart, whole horse”, and while I know he was writing about humans needing to give their whole heart in order to change their whole horse, when I see these wonderful horses working with the HorsePlay participants, I see horses giving their whole hearts to their partners for that day. Whole- hearted horses.
The team consists of :
3 friesian geldings: Troy, Casey and Abbott
9 friesian mares: Tamara, Tabitha, Damask, Abbie, Zara, Wynter, Zoe, Ella and Coco.
2 Warlanders (Andalusian-friesian cross) Griffin and Juniper
2 Friesian x TBs, Jamaica and Bailey
Teagan the QHxTB (she is the lead horse of the herd)
And last, but by no means least, Miss Moneypenny, a little grey welsh pony, who is probably the best trained of them all! Small but mighty!
Smith & Black Training EpicIT
South Coast Principals Conference
North Coast Headmasters Conference
Lynnhurst Primary School staff
St Marys’ Johannesburg Sports Dept
Danville Girls High Staff
Capitol Caterers Select
Durban Prep School
Provimi SSA Pty Ltd
Illovo Sugar Ltd
Pinetown Girls High
Std Bank, Mozambique and Angola and KZN
Power Stores, Empangeni
Partners in Development
Sugar Association of South Africa
Colenbrander Chartered Accountants
Treetops Management and Development Consultants
Ndumu Trading Pty Ltd
MSC Agencies Trust
Allan Gray Pty Ltd
Varsity College Pmb
A great learning experience, a reminder of how clear the communication needs to be when working with people, and to not assume anything. It all starts with me when dealing with people, being aware of my approach, the personality of the person I am dealing with, how they would react and feel, to be tuned into their body language and how to interpret it