For viewing the schooling and training facilities at Whispergreen Farm, see link to Course Slideshow, below:
for Entry, Pretraining and D-Level Pony Clubbers OR see:
for Training, Prelim, or C-Level and up Pony Clubbers
If above link does not take you there directly, go to Rural Revivals on Facebook, become a friend, and view the slide show: Whispergreen Schooling Course
With her first sentence ever being "Mommy, Mommy, Horsie Cold" when a blanket fell off her old rocking horse, Sugar, Julie has lived, breathed and tumbled from horses, the equestrian industry, and the education sector. Despite 3 back surgeries, she is still upright and kicking ON!
When she was 10, Julie was given her first pony, a stubborn Shetland named Silver, who, despite running away constantly with his rider aboard, did excel at and enjoy Western Trail Classes. Three years later, with Silver sold, Julie went GOLD! With her avid interest in her play days, not with Barbies but with the Circle X Ranch and her love of 'Josie's' palominos and buckskins, Julie sold her 'cello and acquired Valentino's Pal O Mine, her first of many gold-themed and rescued animals
(A strange young colt with a club foot, born on Valentine's Day and named Cupid, also entered her life in her teens and nearly caused arrests and a riot from a Greyhound bus at the Windsor Detroit border... but if you want to hear the rest of this odd story, you'll have to email Julie or ask her in person!)
Julie began teaching horsemanship theory as soon as she learned about Pony Club and soon took to riding English, though she once swore (to her penpal 'Connemara' ) that she'd NEVER give up being a COW-GIRL! She loved teaching theory so much that she was offered, age 17, the assistant instructor position at Too Few Acres Farm in Tillsonburg, Ontario with Marie Hearn.
In 1985 Julie completed, in Michigan, her Instructor's Certification for the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (now called PATH). She was awarded an instructor rating from the founder of Cheff Center, on a special Kellogg's Scholarship. Cheff is the largest and first purpose-built Therapeutic Riding School in North America.
Following this qualification, Julie taught at Riding for the Disabled Centres in Canada whilst attending her first year of University and acting as an assistant instructor at Camberwell Equestrian Center in St. Catharines.
In 1986, at the suggestion of former boss Marie Hearn, Julie and Pal O'Mine travelled to the Ottawa Valley to embark on a three month intensive (12 hours a day) , live-in course with Vicki Andrews and Cara Whitham, top C.E.F. instructors and international judges. It was the former who primarily wrote and designed the original Canadian Equestrian Federation (now Equine Canada) Level One and Two Coaching Manuals, and, with Jen Hamilton, the Level Three Hunter/Jumper Specialty Manual for Instructors.
From 1986- through 1996, a decade of devotion to nothing but coaching riders, training and competing horses and living the out-of-doors life ensued. Julie married another riding instructor (they met and were married on their two matching palominos!) Together, they owned and developed Goldcreek Farm in Lanark, Ontario, part of the beautiful Ottawa Valley (and only 20 minutes from Ian Millar's showjumping establishment in Perth). In the 8 years of Goldcreek, more than 60 beginner riders learned to jump and began showing hunter/jumper or dressage, many moving on to compete with Julie in one and three-day eventing. At one time, Goldcreek's youngest student was seven years old, with the oldest rider seventy-six years old! (And both were beginning to trot over trot-poles and jump a small X!)
Part of the novelty of Goldcreek was that all their animals were either gold in colour, name or both - and their motto was of course: Go For the Gold!
School Ponies were Gold Mine (Mindy), a palomino, Fool's Gold (Folly), a bay and Pot of Gold (Potsy) a tiny Shetland with whom Julie, dressed as Rainbow the Clown also gave pony rides locally. School Horses were her own Pal O'Mine, Spinning Gold, Golden Reflection, Black Gold and later, Harvest Gold, and Gold Rush her own outstanding event horses. Besides these beasts and about 8 boarders whose owners took regular lessons as well, Goldcreek boasted a petting farm with Dawson the Donkey and Klondike the yellow lab ( both named for Julie's time in the Yukon in the depths of winter working for the gold mining historical society) Rumplestiltskein the goat, Goldilocks, the lop-eared rabbit, Little Miss Myth (Myth of the Golden Fleece - a lamb who became a head-butting sheep...) Heart of Gold, the orange kitten, and several hens.
In 1996, Julie and her husband were invited to instruct at a private girls' school in Maryland, U.S.A. Her husband took this post, while Julie went back to university to finish her B.A. and her Bachelor of Education. After a divorce two years later, Julie moved to England to teach high school, and compete and instruct on weekends. At this time she met Captain Mark Phillips, argued over a breakfast sandwich with him and was amused to find his ex-wife, Princess Anne, would be pleased to "host" her in a cow-field overnight prior to their international three-day at Gatcombe.
In 1999 Julie met and married a cowboy from Montana, and left England to bring the discipline and soft subtleties of riding English to the Western ranch hands (as well as several Pony Clubs' young English-riding juniors and a smattering of adult event riders, though these were sometimes sparse - often a two-day drive was necessary for her to come together with her students!) At this time, Julie had her last event horse, McKenzie's Magician, son of her black thoroughbred stallion Black Gold. Whilst living in East Glacier, in the National Park at the northwest tip of Montana, Junior decided to join Jack Nicholson in his historic run through the gardens where he shot the exteriors for The Shining. Sadly, this was now a golf course, and it was also Julie's first day of teaching at a new high school. More on this in Riding Miscellany pages. Not long after this incident, another rather remarkable one occurred! Junior made friends with a moose cow and her calf and they stayed at Julie's log cabin for several days until they were strong enough to carry on up the mountain. When Julie taught Pony Club clinics out of Helena and Kalispell, Montana, she was surprised to learn she would be coaching alongside two-time gold medallist Mark Todd! Odd that such a big name would cross the ocean and several continents to go to a little Western place in the mountains, but there were enough eventers trailering in from all over the Rockies to ride with him, and it was a celebration!
Since Montana, Julie has returned to Ontario to coach and teach, then headed to Scotland, in Aberdeenshire - home of her roots, where she was asked to head up a riding centre and trekking establishment in the Cairngorm National Park. While here, Julie also coached the local Pony Clubbers and had several amazing 'A' levels who assisted her in her teaching in return for some dressage tips and some tricks to 'sound American'.
Now back in Ontario permanently, Julie has settled on the family farm and is assisted by several members of her close family, including her uncle, a retired show-jumper and combined driving competitor. Whispergreen is privately located, and while Julie is happy to travel to your facility, you may wish to come and test the sandy surfaces beside the lovely Progreston Waterfalls. Large rolling paddocks, a sandy riding ring, an open jump field and several cross-country jumps and trails are just a few of the opportunities you will find if you want to trailer in for coaching.