Chelsea started Diversity Horsemanship in 2011, as a freelance instructor driving around to different facilities, but mostly running out of Meadowview Ranch, near Anola Manitoba. She had already worked for 10 years prior as an english and western CHA certified instructor and trainer at a very busy facility, looking after 80 plus horses, so she already had considerable industry experience before going out on her own (see "About Chelsea"). The new business provided horse boarding services, lessons for all levels, and training for english and western horses. The focus was largely hunter/ jumper, and all around light horse shows. Chelsea and her students showed successfully at many CWHA shows in all disciplines, and MHJA shows in hunter, jumper, and flat classes. Diversity Horsemanship had a strong beginner lesson program, and developed a small fleet of safe, quiet, lesson horses.
In 2014, Chelsea purchased the facility with heated indoor arena, near Stonewall, MB, where Diversity Horsemanship operates today. For the first 6 years, the lesson program became huge, with a large beginner base, and 13 lesson horses. Diversity Horsemanship became known for producing top notch lesson horses: extremely safe, but highly responsive, and versatile. The lesson horses were so well trained that students could learn advanced movements with ease on them, but the most nervous beginner could also safely learn the basics on them and build confidence abord them. The program was operating with 65 or more students a week, boarders, a few training horses, in house schooling shows, as well as travelling to shows with students, show coaching, hosting clinics, rider fitness classes, educational theory workshops, and hosting haul- in riders. Chelsea began showing in CCRHA/ NRHA reining shows in 2017 and started giving students opportunities to go to these shows in subsequent years. Dressage and working equitation also became more of an interest of Chelsea and many of the DH riders, and more dressage- based clinics and schooling shows got added to Diversity's disciplines list. During these years, Brittany Doerksen took over a lot of training horses, and taught many lessons. Learn more about our team member Brittany here.
In 2020- 2022, Chelsea- along with the business- evolved, with help from the perspective of the lock- downs due to covid- 19. Up until now, the business objective was to help anyone who wanted to be around horses to learn about horses in a safe environment, and many, many, beginner riders acheived that with the help of Diversity Horsemanship. At this point, Chelsea decided she would like to downsize her program, not offer so many lesson horses/ beginner lessons, and instead focus on helping more dedicated riders- mostly horse owners- to greatly improve their horsemanship. She had gained more education and skill, and realized that she wanted to help fewer people, but in a higher quality way, and share her new knoweldge with interested others. Diversity Horsemanship sold over half of the lesson horses, keeping a handful of the oldest, most special horses that had been with the business from the early days, and reduced their workload to semi-retirement hours, and light weight riders only- to preserve their aging backs and joints. Chelsea pursued her NCCPT/ ISSA Personal Trainer certification, and her NASAM Corrective Exercise Specialist certifications- with her extra time, so she could offer these services to her riders. This enabled her to help students find the missing pieces they needed to really take their riding further, and help them be better riders for their horses. The older lesson horses are complete unicorns- super safe, and trained to a high level- and still continue to help introduce a few keen, horse- crazy youth to horses, and fill in some school- master roles for some adult students as well. Chelsea also rode- a LOT- during the pandemic (out of necessity). This reminded her how much she enjoyed training. It was also clear that the horse's really benefited from her skills in helping them unlock beautiful movement that no one knew they were capable of, becomming more even (symmetrical) in their movement through her straightness training programs, developing increased responsiveness and "try" through her way of training, and learning impressive lateral movements and more advanced training. Chelsea decided that after the pandemic she would keep a few spots for client training horses- for refinement training. Prior to this, the last several years Chelsea had reduced her training to just her own show horses. However, riding all the client horses in the pandemic caused a realization that offering a bit more training would serve the horses and clients better, and keep a better balance for Chelsea. As a result, the horse training service became very busy, with horses on a wait list to come for training. Brittany continues to help with riding part time, and we have added another trainer to help lighten the load, Tracey MacIntyre. Learn more about our team member Tracey here. Both Brittany and Tracey bring a lot of talent, experience, education, and unique gifts to the table to give our horses and riders even more tools and knowledge!
The program continues to have a strong reining and dressage base, catering to riders who want to be the best riders that they can be for their horses. Competition prep is also available. Any level of rider who wants to really work on and improve their horsemanship is welcome, although we are continuing to move toward riders who supply their own horses as we phase out of supplying lesson horses to people.
As Chelsea continues her education in equine movement, as well as human movement, she is looking forward to combining more ways horses and riders can move better together, for increased health, soundness, and performance.
"Unlocking Horse's and Rider's Possibilities"