Happy 80th Birthday, Gincy!

Gincy, age 2, and her siblings, 1935.

Gincy teaching in Vermont, 2009

Gincy Self Bucklin was born 80 years ago today, in a 200-year-old colonial farmhouse in New Canaan, Connecticut. Here’s a short list of her accomplishments so far:

  • 68 years of teaching riding to students of all ages.
  • 30+ years of operating riding schools, including New Canaan Mounted Troop (founded by her mother, Margaret Cabell Self), The Wilton Riding Club, and Lion Hill Farm, which she founded in 1978
  • 3 published books and a 4th due out in 2013
  • Hundreds of column inches of articles and columns in newspapers and horse magazines, including her current column in Riding Instructor
  • Riding With Confidence, a Yahoo discussion group with almost 900 members, especially for horse lovers learning to deal with fear
  • What Your Horse Wants, her life’s work – an innovative and in-depth approach to riding instruction, that teaches people to ride in a way which is kind and helpful to the horse, and which develops the partnership that all horse lovers want to have with their horses.
  • Plus 2 children, 6 stepchildren, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and countless horses, dogs and cats.

Happy Birthday, Gincy!



Happy 80th Birthday, Gincy! — 19 Comments

  1. Wishing Gincy a very Happy Birthday today! I have been working on a brief outline of the history of NCMT and had found this web page and information. It is so exciting to see that Gincy is still so active and involved with horses still. Hope some day to meet her and get a chance to give her a tour of the new NCMT facility! Have a wonderful day, Gincy!

  2. Dear Gincy – I can never spend enough hours chatting with you. I wish we didn’t live so far apart. I wish I could take you to a birthday lunch – and a birthday dinner, too, since no doubt we’d never stop talking!

  3. Happy Birthday, Gincy. Thanks to you and the wonderful Riding With Confidence Yahoo group, I still have my boy and, since I didn’t give up on either of us, that I am still alive to enjoy him! Your books collectively form the horse person’s bible and should be on the bookshelves of all instructors, riders and handlers. I wish you health, wealth and happiness for the years yet to come. Have a great day.

  4. Happy Birthday, Gincy ~
    I cannot express the gratitude in a few short words for all you and Troop did for me as a kid and carried over into adulthood. When I wonder why some people are the way they are and I’m not, I think about how much I learned at Troop … mostly persistance and not giving up, not to show fear, to look people in the eye, be tough but gentle … the list goes on, but you were my main teacher … even if it wasn’t in a formal class, I would watch you ride for hours and learn what to do or not to do. That’s how I learned to ride Sky Rocket. My forever favorite hrse (pony). I still ride when I visit my older daughter who used to have 9 horses; I think it’s down to 6.
    I hope you have a fantastic day and a spectacular celebration this weekend.
    Best Wishes and many years of happiness ~

  5. Happy Birthday, Gincy!
    It’s been a long time since you gave me riding lessons at NCMT but I have never forgotten the lessons I learned from you. Much time has passed and we’ve all gotten older and wiser. It’s been fun to reconnect with you and your family once again. Who knows, maybe I’ll find my way from Maine to Vermont one of these days. Take care and have a Happy Birthday.
    Jeanie Mac (as I used to be known)

  6. A very very happy birthday to you Gincy.

    Your articles in the ARIA newsletter is how I know of you.

    Then I discovered the yahoo group site ‘Riding With Confidence’.

    I post from time to time of my achievements and enjoy the feedback I am getting from you and the other members. It seems that my ARIA certification set me on the right path to having the patience and understanding needed for working with my horse Ryn. It is wonderful to see you clarify so many things with your feedback to others.

    I do so wish you a very memorable 80th birthday.

    Big hugs

    Mags and Ryn :)
    Keep Calm and Ride On

  7. Happy Birthday Gincy!!

    In thinking back, I most remember you for your wry sense of humor, and your patience. There must have been times you wanted to throw your hands in the air and give up, but you never did. You always came back for more. Thanks for hanging in there, and thanks for all you did for us. All the shows you took us to, all the lessons you gave. I know we all appreciate how it impacted our lives. Have a wonderful day!
    Love, Carol

  8. Happy birthday Gincy.I hope you have a wonderful day and you are spoilt with
    love and warmth.
    Your sharing of your knowledge is an inspiration.
    To be able to read your books (over and over and over) and put your common
    sense and practical tips into effect has made me realise that I can ride and
    that I can do it well.It has made me understand the importance of the horse
    / rider partnership and helped me to ‘listen’ to and, understand what my
    horses are telling me both at a ridden level but also, just as importantly,
    at ground level.
    Your techniques for dealing with fear and lack of confidence, are not only
    horse skills….they are life skills.
    Thankyou for being here.
    Linda in Australia

  9. Happy birthday Gincy! Wishing you a wonderful day. At Wilton Riding Club you encouraged this timid little girl and helped her have relationships with horses.. not just ride them. Fast forward to a few years ago when I discovered your books and your web group just as I was beginning to ride again… the principles you taught me then are still sound and true today…. thank you so much…. we’re all so much better horsemen and women for having you show us the way. Again… all the best for a wonderful day.

  10. Happiest of birthdays, Gincy! Thanks to your books and the Riding with Confidence group, I learned that it was okay to be fearful at times on horseback and that riding well takes as long as it takes – it is not to be rushed with some imaginary “timeline for success.” Thank you for being here and always available with a helping hand and kind word.

  11. Gincy, you deserve the happiest of all birthdays. Ten years ago I was almost 60 and realized that if I didn’t start riding soon, I’d be too old to ever make a life long dream come true. Fortunately I found your books and read them and read them and read them. They helped me understand what was going on during my riding lessons and eventually helped me realize that I needed to switch instructors and taught me what to look for in a good instructor. Now I’m almost 70 and ride several times a week on my own horse. A dream that would never have come true without you. Thank you over and over again.

  12. Happy birthday Gincy! Great to see you are still as active with the horses as ever… though I’ve never seen you with short hair! Best to you on your birthday.

  13. I missed the day, but the wishes are heartfelt nonetheless. Thank you for all the support, information and insight you have given us. It has been invaluable for me. The most important thing I learned about myself from you is that it is OKAY to get off your horse when you don’t feel safe – even if it’s only in your own mind.

  14. Happy Birthday Gincy! Have your books and they are wonderful!!! Hope you had a wonderful day and wish you the best!!

  15. A happy belated birthday, Gincy. My birthday celebrations often run on for weeks (getting folks together can be a problem!)so with this late wish, consider your brithday still ongoing. Without your list (Riding with Confidence) I don’t think my dear horse and I would ever have developed the relationship we have today. She thanks you too@ Annalee

  16. Happy birthday and so glad you are still active with the horses and teaching….I think that keeps us young..never retire…I still think how you introduced us to our first combined training event in Lakeville, CT and didn’t see any reason at all why women shouldn’t compete in 3-day. Thank you for all the new ideas you introduced us to.

    Jay Lorenzen Dunn

  17. Thank you, everyone!

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciated your posts on my birthday. It’s so great to know that I have been able to help people and horses, and that what I am teaching really works.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    My love to you and your horses.


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