Emirates Park has used the services of Bruce O’Dell several times. Bruce has broken in our yearlings and we have been very pleased with their education. We have received timely reports and photographs which we appreciate. Last season we sent a weanling that was very difficult to handle.
Bruce did a magnificent job with the weanling and it returned in immaculate condition and was well mannered.
Bruce O’Dell has been my farrier for a number of years and I have been impressed with his care and positive approach to the horses and his work. I have closely watched him handle and break in horses.
I am confident to HIGHLY RECOMMEND him to any person in any equine discipline looking for an exceptional breaker.
Margaret McGuiver – Dressage Olympian
NCAS LEVEL 3 DRESSAGE COACH EDUCATOR AND ASSESSOR
I first came into contact with Bruce O’Dell when the farrier I had been using let me down (yet again) and in desperation I phoned the local Equine vet clinic to ask for their recommendations for farriers. Top of their list was Bruce. Needless to say, Bruce was very busy, but said he would come to help me out. Which he did, and has been a wonderful farrier … always came, always did a good job, always returned phone calls. What more could anybody ask.
When Bruce said he was giving up shoeing horses and concentrating on breaking and/or retraining, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. As it happened I had 2 horses who needed someone like Bruce. There were both broken in, but both had problems and at my age I wasn’t prepared to cope with them myself. So off they went to Bruce’s lovely property. A couple of friends (very knowledgeable horse people) and I went to visit Bruce to see him with the horses. He has that lovely quiet, confident manner about him that immediately relaxes all horses and they happily plod around either by his side or underneath him. We were all impressed when he rode them, on the most horrible wet, wild and windy day, and they were so relaxed.
Bruce did a wonderful job with both of them … especially the one who was sour and wouldn’t go forward. I can now ride him around the paddocks, on the manege
… and he’s a lovely free-moving and forward horse. The other, a difficult 10 year old mare, is now an absolute model of decorum. I couldn’t be happier with they way they’ve turned out.
Rosemary Dalton – A Level Dressage Judge
The thing that impresses me the most about Bruce is his unflappable nature when dealing with horses. Everything that I have seen him do is done in such a relaxed manner. He is never in a hurry! I had two unhandled yearlings which he caught, gave them a basic leading lesson and had them self loading onto his float for further handling at his property.
Both horses were completely unstressed in anyway, It was truly magical to watch Bruce bond with these horses.
Just a quick note to say that Leo our little partbred gelding you started for us last year is going really well with his new owners and won his last dressage test.
Thanks for doing such a great job with Leo, he left here a cheeky little 3yo and came home a well mannered, forward moving, nicely balanced young fellow. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the job you did with him and I will be sending my up and coming endurance horses in the not so distant future. It’s great to know that when I send my horses away to be started that they will be treated with respect and kindness. Love the updates you sent through too.
Donna Freeburn – Balgower Arabians
We are situated in remote Central Queensland. In 2008, unexplained lameness affected our Stud Stallion CJ TO A TE and we wanted the best care available for him so we transported him to Victoria. The Ballarat Veterinary Clinic performed multiple sets of shock wave treatment on a suspected broken pedal bone but it was the O’Dell’s who housed him for 8 months, allowing Bruce to perform corrective shoeing.
After treatment was completed, Bruce broke him in and put solid foundations on CJ allowing us to easily take over & have him win Reserve Champion Work Horse after being under saddle for only 5 months.
His methods are stress free & the result is a soft & responsive horse. It was a bonus to regularly receive pictures and updates on CJ’s health and progress. We had not a worry in the world because we knew he was in sensible hands & kept at exceptional premises. I doubt that we would have ended up with our 100% successful outcome without the help of the O’Dells.
Thank You. Jason & Kristy Coveney – Coves Quarter Horses- Barcaldine, Qld
We breed and train Warmblood dressage horses and have tried numerous breakers over the years. It was recommened 3 years ago that we try Bruce O’Dell by clients of his at Werribee. What we find exceptional about Bruce’s Starting under Saddle is how far along in the early stages of their career his breakers are. Relisticaly, if you have a rough idea of horsemanship you can get a horse “ridden”. It just needs to be so desensentised, that it excepts you in the saddle. From there you get , pull the left rein, they go left, pull the right rein, they go right. They wind down to a stop and shake their heads with their mouthes open until they stop ! . This is what i have been excepting back from other breakers, and it then takes us 6 to 8 weeks to get the basics put on them. Bruce’s breakers come back to us, rounded up on the bit, moving hips and shoulders, holding 20 metre circles. They can be mounted off a block on a loose rein, and are ridden in an English Saddle. Bruce goes above and beyond his call of duty to do the “little things” that are essential in the big picture.
His mild patient disposition speaks through his horses. They all work relaxed, eat well, and hold their condition because they are not stressed. The e-mails we receive are reasuring. we can see exactly where our horses are up to, and exactly what is being done with them. They photos are the proof that he is true to his word. If you are seeking an “educator”, i would not hesistate in recommending Bruce and his Staff as an investment in your horses.
Regards, Scarlett Harris
Bruce has been shoeing our racehorses since 2007 and when I heard he was offering a breaking/pre-training service in 2009, I sent two yearlings to him.
I chose Bruce as he is a great horsemen and his work with horses is simply amazing to watch. He is calm, patient and the horse is not put under any pressure or any unnecessary stress. My yearlings are now confident in their work and are very well educated. I highly recommend Bruce as a breaker, pre-trainer, re-educator and farrier to anyone wanting the job done right… the first time!
I was terrified, underconfident and desparately wanted to know WHAT to do and HOW to do it”. Lessons from Jane made this process SO EASY.
One of the best clinics I have attended covering everything from ground work, float loading to riding for beginners and more advanced riders.
Lessons – as an older person learning to ride, converting the “lingo” so I could understand, and gaining confidence with my horse and my ability, has never been made more easy. NO question was too SMALL or SILLY. Jane adapted my lack of “correct horse terminology” to everyday language, so I could understand the instructions being given. No question I threw at her was ever dismissed as irrelevant. I am in my 50’s, underconfident and inexperienced, but with so much experience from so many disciplines Jane and Bruce have been invaluable in their ability to relate to me and pass on their vast knowledge to suit my ever changing needs.
We sent our 2yo QH Filly to Bruce O’Dell for breaking as I had heard good things about them through a friend. We found the level of horsemanship and professionalism by all staff second to none. When we sent the filly there she was nervy with a bit of a nasty streak and had very little ground manners! After her time with Bruce O’Dell she was a different horse!! She is calm, responsive and willing and has been educated far beyond my expections I am now confident she will make a great ponyclubber for the kids in the future. It was wonderful to watch Bruce’s calm and gentle approach to training, gaining the fillies trust. He explained everything he was doing with the filly and keep me updated regularly, which made me feel very well informed and confident I would be able to continue on with her when she arrived home.
Bruce and Jane have been true to their word and have provided ongoing support and advice, most often above and beyond the standard horse trainer.
I will be sending more young horses there in the future and regularly recommend Bruce O’Dell to friends for breaking, re-education.