Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Zeliha A. Thomas, Equestrian

Crown Quarterhorses is the only FEI and NRHA recognized Western Trainer in the Netherlands. Their mission is to preserve the Dutch bred Quarter and Paint horses, as well as to promote the sport of Western Riding, and breeding new Quarter Horses, as well as teach the art of Western Riding.

Zeliha A.Thomas is one of the proprietors at Crown Quarterhorses, providing lessons, training, as well as breeding workshops. She is a member of the NRHA professionals and International Group of Equestrians, who are recognized FEI trainer/instructors.

Zeliha is an expert horsewoman and specializes in Reining, Pleasure, Trail, and Horsemanship at Stal Groene Meer in Leidschendam, or on location.

What horses do you stable? Do you have a favorite?
Names of my horses are: Angels Magic Spirit, BR Fine China, Smart Sparkle Boom and Brennas Miracle Star. I do not have a special favorite horse, I love them all as they all have their own character. But If I had to pick one, it would be Smart Sparkle Boom, she is the loveliest filly I've ever bred.

What happened when you had your accident?
18 years ago I indeed had a car accident, and with that lost a fortune on income from my not horse business back then. I was 31 at the time, and making money to buy a training facility to start for myself. All my dreams vanished with one stupid person ran into me, and caused a severe whiplash trauma. Years of legal hassle and medical treatments followed. And the only thing that kept me going was the love of my horses. Until my first bought Quarter Horse went ill and I took her to a holistic vet, and he told me without knowing of my own struggle what was wrong with my horse. And that was exactly the same as with me. I started to realize why I felt so good after riding my horse, HC Jodies Dun It. Every time I rode her I used her to get rid of my pain and sorrow and in the end it became her pain and sorrow. That is when I stopped all my medications and tried to get out of the legal fight.

After 11 yrs I came to an agreement with the insurance company myself (so not the Lawyer who I had hired, and who had me made sign a contract that I had to give him nearly 60% of the money as payment for his help). That was illegal here in the Netherlands, but I meant that I had to continue my fight to get my money, but now again my former lawyer. That took me another nearly 5 years. In the meantime I had got a little of my money bit by bit and I did the official education for Western Instructor, and I bought and bred new horses. In the end the court of Amsterdam ruled that I had to pay the 60% although it was an illegal contract. And because I couldn't pay instantly the cost, the former lawyer took my expensive Quarter Horses, and sold them on an auction for a bit over $10,000 all four of them, and let me declare bankrupt. I never gave them the owner certificates so I am still the official Owner at the AQHA and APHA.

Later in the Supreme Court, they ruled that this was not justice and that the high court should overlook this, and make me a better deal. In the meantime since, January 2014 it is allowed here in the Netherlands for legals to work with no cure no pay contract, and what they did, replace the contract of 2002 for the new rules in 2014, and I had no right to get my horses back, and nobody is guilty, although in 2012 I had contact with my former lawyer and I could get my horses back, on the condition that I would never speak in public anymore, and/or gave up all my legal rights. Which is similar as giving up all your rights and become victim of extortion, and a slave.

The people that bought the horses all 4 of them anonymously, by phone, I have found, and I wrote them a letter, that I would like to have my horses back, they refuse to answer. The AQHA advises to go there and load my horses, but here in the Netherlands that would be theft, since they do not recognize me as an owner. Owner is the person in hold of the horse, the one that feeds it and takes care of it. So legally here in the Netherlands, I apparently have no rights.

Do you have advice for new riders?
My advice on new riders is, that your horse is Everything, without your horse the best thing you can do is run around an arena yourself, and that looks rather funny. Keep that in mind, that for great things you rely on your horse. Do not spoil it rotten, but be good for your horse in any way, and treat the horse with respect. That way the horse will respect you, and together you can accomplish anything you want, within the personal boundaries of the both of you.

Do you have a favorite arena?
I do not have a special favorite arena, one is better than the other, but I do have a favorite place where all horses and riders are welcome, and the owners of the place gave me the opportunity to practice my skills, and that is Stable The Green Lake near The Hague.

Do you have a favorite brand of tack?
My favorite saddle brand is Bob's custom saddles, and for bits and spurs I like Francois Gaultier (Canadian) because he uses a lot of lightweight material, and I like to use as little as possible on a horse's mouth.
What does horsemanship mean to you?
Horsemanship means to me, the knowledge about the horse, so not only in the show arena, but more in the everyday time you spent with the horses understanding that these beautiful creatures are willing to put up with us humans, which are at the same time often their biggest problem. The moment some one realizes that they are the biggest problem a horse can have, and willing to learn not to be that, and establish the best possible relationship based on trust, tranquility and respect and responsibility, that is what horsemanship means to me.

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