ONE of the Sunny Coast's best kept secrets is a local horseman with extraordinary skills teaching, re-educating, working with and resolving problems with horses.
Calling himself the "horse listener", Peter Grieve, a resident of Conondale, has spent a lifetime solving behavior and education issues for horses and their riders/owners.
Peter says he doesn't whisper - he listens. It's the conversation he looks for, where the horse will tell him, by the horse's movement, reactions or behavior, what the problem is. That's what makes Peter so good at what he does.
I was first introduced to Peter about a year ago when I was looking for help in teaching my novice racehorse some good manners.
The horse had always been aggressive when it came to food and showed no respect for me - and he was getting worse. I couldn't send him to a trainer like that so I was a bit desperate to find the right person who could change that behavior.
Peter was recommended to me (he doesn't advertise) and what a transformation he achieved. In two months he turned that horse right around to being well behaved, attentive, responsive and willing. My racehorse has since won his maiden race, run fourth and third in other races and I give credit for that turnaround, to Peter's skills.
It was only natural that once I retired and had time to get back into horse riding, I took my new horse Nugget, to Peter. I had spent 20 years involved in trail riding and was keen to get back to that.
I wanted Peter to iron out any issues and to give me the confidence to ride again. After all, I am now 65 and I want to enjoy riding without the fear of falling off.
Peter learnt his craft from some of Australia's and America's great horsemen. He studied under Dave Simons, an accredited trainer of the John Lyons system.
Ray Hunt, Pat Pirelli, Bill and Tom Dorrance, Steve Brady and Martin Black were others who influenced Peter's horse handling skills, to the point where he ran clinics demonstrating the various horsemanship techniques.
Always willing to learn something new himself, he recently attended the training and life lessons clinics run by Dr Lew Sterrett, called Sermon on the Mount.
Currently he is working with the 31st Lighthorse Woombye, educating and preparing their horses for the many parades scheduled for the Centenary of Anzac Commemorations in 2015.
He works with foals, mature horses and everything in between. He credits his gift of being able to communicate and understand horses and people to the Lord Jesus Christ and simply says that God works in mysterious ways. Its always about the horse and sorting out the right solution to the problem.
I've been amazed watching him work and seeing for myself how he can get horses and the owners or riders, to respond. He makes it look so easy, but then that is the sign of a true master horseman.
Thanks to Peter, Nugget is going really well and I am gaining in confidence. Won't be long before I can get back doing what I love - riding my horse along the bush tracks and fire trails of the Sunshine Coast.
Peter Grieve can be contacted on 07 5494 4663 or 0407 468 116.