June 8, 2012 19:02
By Carol M. Upton
Nettie Barr is the founder of Canadian Natural Horsemanship Inc. and a recognized Horse Specialist, leading an extraordinarily busy life as a program developer, consultant, clinician and guest speaker for various clubs, businesses, organizations and universities. Her road to success included the challenge of a serious riding accident that saw her give up horses for a number of years. Over time, Barr’s husband introduced her to Natural Horsemanship and with his encouragement, she began taking and eventually teaching professional clinics.
As happens with so many equine businesses, one thing led to another. Before long Barr was studying Equine Behavior and not only facilitating clinics. but also speaking at conferences on such diverse topics as Natural Horsemanship principles, Equine Behavior, Effective Horsemanship and Safe Handling Procedures.
“I believe it is important to work as a team with other experts and organizations,” Nettie says, “Together we are stronger and can make a difference.”
Canadian Natural Horsemanship Inc. has the mission of setting both horse and handler up for success with lasting results. It effectively reaches all levels of equine enthusiasts and applies to all disciplines of horsemanship.
A typical day at Six-Barr Ranch includes a 5 a.m. horse feeding, office work for a few hours, back out to the horses, and into the office again from lunch until 2 pm. When there is a clinic at the ranch, it will begin at 8:30 a.m. after a busy night of greeting participants and getting their horses settled in their stalls. Clinics run on a tight schedule over 4 days. Another typical day may include catching a 7 a.m. flight from Grande Prairie to a speaking destination, perhaps being away for 3 – 5 days.
No matter what’s on her plate, Barr’s love of her work is evident. She says that everyone has a dream with their horse or their horse-related profession, and her greatest joy is to see her client dreams come true.
Time management is a huge challenge. Barr prioritizes diligently and focuses clearly on what’s next. She sees the most important quality in her work as desire to learn and keep on learning. Added to that is caring about people, maintaining focus, and remaining professional in all circumstances.
There is a misconception that Natural Horsemanship is linked to anthropomorphism, giving horses human qualities/emotions. Barr quickly clears up that dangerous notion. A horse, she says, is 1200 lbs of opinion and it’s important that the handler be the leader.
Barr rejuvenates through family time and also by going on a peaceful ride through the woods with no particular destination in mind.
Barr attributes the success of her business to the love and commitment of family and friends. She now has a certification program in place for Canadian Natural Horsemanship Inc. Future plans include having the entire program on DVD and on Audio CD, and continued speaking engagements, with the intention of reaching as many equestrians as possible.
Nettie Barr is a passionate force in the horse industry. As owner and founder of Canadian Natural Horsemanship Inc., Nettie has been conducting clinics since 1999 and has developed her own style and teaching methodologies. She is on the board of the Horse Industry Association of Alberta. For more details, please visit: www.canadiannaturalhorsemanship.com
Nettie Barr with horse in River