Saturday, April 4, 2009


Kelsy Smith and Chesna Klimek have been professionally training horses and ponies together since 2004. Our philosophy is that riding should be fun--a mantra we developed from growing up on horseback. Over the years we have successfully competed in dressage, three day eventing, jumpers, and some Western disciplines. With our Haflinger geldings we have performed at equine expos, fairs, and educational seminars throughout Washington and Oregon. Additionally, we have extensive experience negotiating the demanding trails and challenging terrain found in the wilderness around Nayborly Farms.

Both seniors at Western Washington University, we offer horse training services at Nayborly Farms each summer. We are proud to say that our horse training program is different from most traditional horse training philosophies. We don’t even like to think of ourselves as “horse trainers,” and that is why we call our training program Nayborly Farms Summer Camp. Almost all of the horses that have graduated from Nayborly Farms Summer Camp have come to us through word of mouth recommendations from clients and friends. We appreciate all the people and horses we have worked and played with over the years, and we look forward to future summer campers!

If you are interested in Nayborly Farms Summer Camp for the Summer of 2009, please CONTACT US:

Chesna..., (360) 584-6321
Kelsy..., (360) 280-6959

In 2005, we trained two troubled three-year-old Haflingers and recorded their Nayborly Farms Summer Camp experiences in an online journal. If you are interested in reading about their adventures, please visit:

This summer we will be chronicling the happenings at Nayborly Farms Summer Camp on this public blog. Stay tuned for more details and future posts!

ABOVE: This picture features Kelsy and her Haflinger Arron during an upper level dressage kur demonstration at the 2005 Western Haflinger Association annual event. Born at Folenhof Haflinger Farm in Vernon, B.C. and trained by Stefan Bundschuh, Arron was gifted to Nayborly Farms at the ripe age of nineteen. Arron had spent five years in pasture retirement, and the good life had taken its tole on his physical fitness. More than 150 pounds overweight and seriously out of training, Kelsy and Chesna restored Arron to his more youthful and lively self. Since joining the Nayborly Farms gang, Arron won his first Novice level event at the age of twenty, has performed at equine expos and Northwest Washington Fair, and has even packed Grandma down the trail. Arron, now twenty-six years old, is currently ridden by our friend Patti Mize. This senior citizen team can be seen competing at local events and jumper shows while Patti builds her confidence aboard her “practically perfect pony.”

ABOVE: This photo shows Chesna and then-six-year old Pippin clearing a 4’2’’ oxer. Pip stands a mere 14 hands high, but for him the sky is the limit. Our real start training horses began with Pippin. Pip was given to us by Barbara Baker and Steve Maddox of Southern City Haflingers. A timid colt at birth, Chesna did his preliminary ground training and halterbreaking. In 2002, when we were fifteen years old and Pip two years old, we started riding him bareback and bridleless around the old property in Olympia. By the age of three, Pip was carrying beginner riders, doing flying lead changes, competing at local schooling shows, and promoting the Haflinger breed. Although we joke that he was “born broke,” we have spent many hours helping him become the amazing and talented pony he is today. Look for more information about Pippin in future posts.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you accept any kind of horse for training?
YES! We enjoy diversity and have experience working with many different breeds of horses and ponies. All shapes, sizes, colors, and temperaments are welcome. We accept any age of horse but will not ride a young horse before their second birthday. For the best experience we encourage people to send us horses who are relatively fit and have good feet. We will turn a horse away if there is a physical problem (lameness, back problems, bad teeth, malnourishment, etc). It is pointless to try and fix “a problem” through training if the problem is physical. Unfortunately, due to our facilities we are unable to accept stallions.

How much does Nayborly Farms Summer Camp cost?
In total summer camp costs $650 per horse per month. This includes $150 for full care board and $500 for full time training. Also included in the total cost are two optional lessons per month with your horse. We offer barefoot hoof trimming for $25.

While in training, how often will my horse be worked?
We guarantee that each horse is worked with/ridden at least five days a week for the duration of their time at summer camp. The length of each session varies depending on the individual horse, the goals for the day, and the location of the ride. Keep in mind that all horses will be handled daily during routine care and are held to high standards of ground manners.

How will my horse be kept at Nayborly Farms?
Summer campers live like real horses during their time at Nayborly Farms. We do not stall horses or treat them like houseplants. Unless there are special circumstances, your horse will live with other horses in the fields and reap the benefits of herd life. All of our fields have shade, fresh water, good fencing, and plenty of grass. We usually divide horses up depending on their caloric intake (we have a dry lot where fatties can spend part of the day). Included in the cost of board is a daily grain feeding of beet pulp and/or cobb. If you provide us with additional supplements/vitamins for your horse, we would be more than happy to include that in their diet. We will also put on their flymask and flyspray daily. Cheryl Smith (known as "the food lady" around Nayborly Farms) is the overseer of all farm activities. An extremely knowledgeable horsewoman, Cheryl is an integral part of the day-to-day learning of each and every summer camper.

What discipline of riding do you train?
Anything! We tend to specialize in starting young horses and/or refining personal pleasure horses, but even show horses should be a pleasure to ride! Versatility is the name of our game, as we have experience with three-day eventing, dressage, show jumping, trick riding, some Western disciplines, and trail riding. We have never trained any two horses the exact same way because our training program is tailored to the specific needs of each horse and rider. Our goal with training is to develop a safe, well-rounded equine partner, and the foundation of Nayborly Farms Summer Camp training comes from the fact that we ride the horses out. ALL summer campers will be ridden up and down hills, through open fields, into the Skookumchuck river, over natural obstacles, etc. Even an Olympic champion can benefit from living like a real horse and being ridden in the great outdoors with confidence.

Do you work with problem horses?
Yes (within reason). In general, problem horses are either misunderstood or the result of problem ownership. It is the horse’s choice to view their time at Nayborly Farms as summer camp or see it as boot camp! We do reserve the right to turn a horse away in the first week if we cannot safely work with them and/or cannot meet their training needs. If you know your horse has dangerous tendencies, please be open in sharing them with us beforehand so that we may best address those issues. We are up for a training challenge and have successfully rehabilitated "problem" horses in the past.

Is my horse too old to come to camp? Is my horse too young?
We will take horses of any age at Nayborly Farms. If your horse is not ready to be started under saddle, but you would like to get them some valuable training experience, there are plenty of things we can establish on the ground (basic manners, loading, lunging, saddling, ponying down the trail, bathing, clipping, etc.). And as for an age limit, our Haflingers are proof that you can teach an old pony new tricks!

Does your training system follow the teachings of a natural horsemanship guru? A classical German instruction manual?
No! Our training philosophy is an eclectic mix of all of our equine experiences throughout the years. We learn by doing and from meeting many different types of horses and situations. We have taken lessons, attended clinics, read material, and watched videos from a wide array of equine masters. Additionally, a great deal of our knowledge comes from recognizing what NOT to do and trying to keep things as simple as possible.

Do we need to buy any of your special training products to succeed?
No way! We won’t try to sell you custom-made bridles, fan t-shirts, or magic training wands... we don’t have any! We may ask that you buy your horse a flymask or a pair of boots if necessary, but otherwise we believe you should put your money towards having fun with your horse.

Do you sell horses?
We do not sell our own personal horses (nor do we offer riding lessons with our horses). However, we occasionally assist others in marketing their horses for sale, such as creating quality pictures, advertisements, and for sale videos. Please ask if you are interested.

What other services do you offer?
Feel free to ask us about barefoot hoof trimming, riding lessons with your own horse, horse shopping help, horse selling help, educational demonstrations, horsey makeovers, showing, etc...

If Nayborly Farms Summer Camp sounds like a good fit for you and your horse(s), we are currently accepting reservations for Summer of 2009. Please contact us if you have questions, comments, or would like to reserve a spot:

Chesna..., (360) 584-6321
Kelsy..., (360) 280-6959

Alternatively, feel free to leave responses in the comments section of this blog post. We look forward to hearing from you!