About Marcie and Her Restless Nights

(And a small tribute to a pony named Rocky)

Marcie Sutton hadn't even spoken her first word when a teenaged girl from a nearby farm rode her horse over and asked her parents if she would like a ride. The memory of that first ride still remains with her. Not long after that day, she did speak for the first time - to say "horse".

She was given subscriptions to equine magazines before she could even read, but years went by before she'd have the opportunity to be near another real horse. She spent hours poring over each issue, and as she learned to read, studied every article over and over. She was often found practicing riding on the back of the couch, the top of the old Farmall Super A tractor, and even the family dog. Finally, for her eleventh birthday, her prayers were answered with a real horse of her own, a little black Welsh/Quarter Horse named Rocky.

Young Marcie & Rocky

Through years of family turmoil, her saving grace was galloping over the countryside with him for hours each day, bareback and often without a bridle. She still recalls with fondness the many times she had to be chased out of neighboring farmer's pastures to the sound of "Youngin! Quit runnin' my cows!" With a shrug and helpless grin she and Rocky would just ride off to the pond and have a swim.

Marcie & Rocky "Flying"

By the time she was fifteen, she found herself working horses for a local trader, who would buy skinny, wild, or otherwise problematic horses for cheap and have Marcie work with them for a few weeks. The ones she was able to get through to and save would be sold to owners, the others who were still unsuitable would end up at the slaughterhouse. Many had been mistreated or neglected and wanted nothing to do with people, which was something Marcie could personally relate to at the time. It was heartbreaking work, but it was during this time that she really started studying the many different personalities of the horses while trying to reach out to them. She carefully observed what every trainer she met did, realizing that there is something to be learned from everyone, whether it's how to do something, or (sometimes more importantly) how NOT to do something.

The tragic loss of her beloved Rocky in an auto accident was the catalyst that began her path of moving on and healing from her troubled childhood, and becoming strong enough to stand up for herself and the animals she believed in. Over the next years she worked for various trainers and farms, always feeling that most did not seem to see the world from the horse's point of view. Frustrated, she tried to help people see that often horses were reacting out of fear and misunderstanding, and that there was a better way: listen to what they were clearly saying and communicate with them in ways they would recognize.

It is Marcie's goal to help people achieve an honest, compassionate and respectful relationship with their equines, as well as the other humans in their lives. Her perspective of having shared horses' fear and confusion relating to people has helped her to be able to bring people and their animals together in a unique way.

As Marcie often says, "It's all about the relationship".