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About Donald James Murtagh
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Since my early childhood, I have always had a great desire to be around horses. I recognized my true calling through this strong passion for the horse.

Like lots of kids I started with pony rides, which led to lessons and owning and competing with horses of my own.  I had great success in my early career with the hunter, jumper, and equitation rings, winning many awards, one highlight being the winning of the regional finals for the Canadian Equestrian Team Medal in Ontario.   I worked for many of Canada’s top riders, training and caring for horses from a Novice level through to the Grand Prix level.  Although I was always having success, the results in the horse's performance consistently seemed limited.

After taking a few months away from horses and competition, I was able to take a fresh look at the horse industry.  It was then I realized what I had been missing all these years…the horse's perspective.

My quest for knowledge about the horse's psychology led me to a new understanding about the horse's priorities and their longevity as a prey animal. I believe that working through the horse's nature, and creating a common language is essential in developing a willing partnership for any discipline.

I am inspired by many great horsemen for different attributes: Tom Dorrance's humility and understanding, Ray Hunt's honesty and directness, Buck Brannaman's grace and style, and Bill Dorrance's ability to teach through written words.

I am an accomplished horseman with a well-rounded, diverse background in Hunter/Jumper training and competition with over ten years of experience in show stable management and operation. Including judging/shadow judging, farm sitting, equine and canine husbandry & natural horsemanship training, working with remedial horses and colt starting as well as lessons for adults and children in natural horsemanship.

Achievements Clinics
2001 5th overall in Adult Amateur OHJA standings April ‘07 Ray Hunt
Natural Horsemanship/Colt Staring
Erin, Ontario
1997 1st in CET Ontario Regional Finals
7th in CET Finals – Royal Winter Fair
Feb ‘07 Equine Canada
Hunter/ Jumper Judging Clinic
Ottawa, Ontario
1997 Champion –Junior Amateur Jumper – Atlanta
1st USET medal- Atlanta
May ’06 Ray Hunt
Natural Horsemanship Clinic
Audited in Michigan
1995 – 2001 Competed on the “A” circuit winning and placing in numerous classes, including CET Medal, Children’s Hunter, Junior Amateur Jumper and Adult Amateur Hunter Oct ‘05 Larry Stewart
Natural Horsemanship Clinic
Halton Hills, Ontario
    Aug ‘05 Fawn Anderson
Natural Horsemanship Clinic
Uxbridge, Ontario
 
Tom Dorrance
"The best thing I try to do for myself is to try to listen to the horse.  I don't mean let him take over.  I listen to how he's operating: what he's understanding or what he doesn't understand: what's bothering him and what isn't bothering him.  I try to feel what the horse is feeling and operate from where the horse is."