Thursday, May 30, 2013

Stavros Vergis, Equestrian

Stavros Vergis is a seasoned horse trainer. Mentored by famous Australian equestrian Eric Mathie, Stavros takes his time when schooling a horse. He emphasizes a light rein, a relaxed disposition and an intuitive rider for optimum results.  Now residing in Athens, Greece, Stavros answers questions about his horsemanship and he's looking to India for his next training adventure….

Welcome Stavros!

How long have you been riding?
I rode for about 25 yrs almost continually; I don't ride much anymore.

What is your riding discipline?
I don't have any particular riding discipline, my main interest in Horses when I started was to train them break them to riding, I am a bit passionate about that.

Where is your favorite place to ride?
My favorite place to ride is the Australian bush and forests.

…your favorite horse breed?
I have worked with lots of breeds but find the Arabian to my liking the most, I find them to be the easiest to work with, but everyone has there personal favorite.

What training method do you use?

The training method I use is one that I put together over the years, things I was taught by different people and some things I figured out myself. My mentor Eric Mathie from Australia, a great horseman in his day would always say to me listen to everyone, take what works for you and develop your own style; maybe I've done that.

When/how do you beginning training?
The very first thing I like to do is have the horse in a yard and work with it at liberty - no ropes, saddles, nothing except a piece of bamboo I use with some string on the end as an extension of my arm. It helps if I have to keep the horse off me, or give him some cues. Then I would have to be able to get that horses attention so where ever I go that horse is looking at me with both eyes. The horse’s brain is split down the middle, Erick would say to me. It took 2 years for me to understand what he meant. If the horse does not look at you with two eyes you don't have the whole horse. Then I have a bunch of ground work exercises I like to do, this helps untie any knots the horse may have in its learnt behavior by previous human contact. When I feel the horse is ready to proceed, I work on whatever the customer has brought the horse to me for, most of the time just with the ground work the problems have just about gone anyway.

Do you imprint your foals?

I don't imprint foals, never had them that young. But have done many after they are weaned from their mother.

[Note: Imprinting is when the mare breathes into her foal’s nostrils immediately after birth to familiarize her baby with her scent and life force. Foal imprinting allows you, the foal’s person, to create your own unique bond in the same manner.]

What's the most important thing horses have taught you?

I think the most important thing Horses have taught me is PATIENCE.

Do you have any superstitions?
I don't know if you would call it a superstition but horses that have two whirls on their foreheads always turn out very useful.

What would you like to see different in the horse business today?
The first thing that comes to mind with the horse industry today is I'd like to see the horses mature a little more before they start work. There seems to be a used by date stuck on them, if you know what I mean.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A truly amazing horseman. Steve Vergis is iconic!