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A visit with Elijah Moore, expert horseman

Published: 4/26/2010
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By Maddy Butcher

“Between the two of us, we can fix just about anything that has to do with a horse.”
That’s what horseman Elijah Moore likes to say.
The two – Moore and his wife of 27 years, Dr. Cynthia Reynolds, are an accomplished pair.
Reynolds is well-known for her work with acupuncture and chiropractic treatments on horses.
Moore particularly likes to work with troubled horses, or shall we say, troubled riders with their horses.
For most of his 70 years, Moore made it his mission to learn as much as he could from horses. He’s started and trained hundreds (if not thousands) of horses, worked as a farrier, worked on the family ranch, worked with vets, just about done it all.
“But I just keep learning,” he told me.
Moore comes from a long line of well-respected cowboys in southern Utah. His grandfather, Elijah Moore, rode until he was 94 and is a legend in those parts.
In Utah historical archives, the elder Moore's name comes up with the likes of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He wasn’t an outlaw, but a successful rancher and horseman. In the first half of the 1900's, Moore was a Texas Ranger and one of the first cattlemen to move herds into southern Utah.
“I grew up around good cowboys,” the younger Moore told me.
The grandson certainly didn’t fall far from the tree.
“He was born 100 years too late,” said Reynolds with a laugh.
The couple first moved to Maine in 1986 when Reynolds got her first veterinarian job in Belfast. Since then, they have traveled West and then back to Searsport again as work and interests moved them.
I visited Moore at his Searsport farm to learn and listen. I also wanted to show my girls some cows before next month’s ranch clinic with Martin Black. Moore helped me with some initial roping skills, too.
He and Cynthia have seven horses, several cows, sheep, chickens and dogs at their facility in Searsport. [Cynthia is an accomplished dog handler and competes in herding clinics with her cattle dogs.]
At the Flying M in Searsport, you will find nicely-outfitted indoor and outdoor arenas, trails, paddocks, and pens.
I asked Elijah about groundwork. Some trainers love it. Some don’t. Some riders always work on the ground. Some don’t have a clue.
I found his answer compelling:
“Groundwork makes the rider softer,” he told me. “It makes you understand the horse better. Also, something changes with the horse when you work him on the ground.”
The four of us (Elijah, his horse, myself, and my horse) worked in the arena. His horse was a lively Arabian yet he stayed ground tied for an hour while Elijah instructed me. But when Elijah mounted up, the gelding was as light as could be. Wow.
Elijah doesn’t call himself a clinician. He prefers to work one-on-one. That worked for me, too. I just wished I had a tape recorder to catch every word.

Interested riders may reach Elijah at his Searsport home, (207) 548-0995

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4/26/2010 Gail
Having worked with Eli can say he is super with the horses. He has clear communication with them and has a humbleness about him .A nessessity with horses!
4/27/2010 cindy
Good for you Maddy! Lige is one of my very favorite trainers. Us girls from Andwemet had the pleasure to train with him in several clinics last year. We look forward to riding again with him soon. Thanks for a great articile on a great cowboy :)
4/27/2010 Karla Flagg
Elijah is a fascinating and kind person. I have worked with him a couple of times. One would really benefit from having a tape recorder handy when Lige is speaking!
4/27/2010 Jessie
I was so happy to see you did Lige's story. I have grown leaps and bounds from what he's taught me. Especially about the crucial importance of groundwork, (an area of major weakness for me).My draft gained a whole new respect for me and it showed in the saddle,and we joined up quickly after that too, it brought us closer as partners. Lige lightheartedly told me, "you don't ever want that 2000 lb. horse to figure out he's stronger than you" lol.He gave me tools that have been priceless to our growth, and with such a kind approach. He and Cyndy really have a way of communicating with horses.Not to mention the cattle roping,penning and branding day,and the lunch he cooked for us in the old dutch ovens,bisquits, franks and beans, felt like going back in time for a day from the Old West.He is one of a kind.I did video some of his clinics, its nice to be able to watch them when I need a refresher lesson.Thanks Maddy!
4/27/2010 Kathleen
My relationship with my horse Tibb has grown in leaps and bounds since having worked with Lige on ground work. And, Lige taught us how to move cows which my horse and I both love. I always look forward to working with Lige. He is a wealth of knowledge and we are so lucky to have him and his wife Cindy here with us in Maine!!
6/5/2010 sandy
Met the man this yr. he worked with my 5yr.old appy gelding for a week at his place in searsporrt Me. his way with the horses is amazing. Learned so much in short time there, he worked w/both me and skippy and will be going back to work on how to hobble skippy. At the end of the wk when we had to go back to our place I felt like I was leaving home, such very nice people, and I really wanted to stay and be a shadow along side of them, thank-you both will see you again soon.
6/18/2010 Patti B
Lige is in the truest sense a "horse whisperer". It is amazing to watch him work with horses because you can see their whole persona change within a few minutes to one of calm content partnership. He is also a master at reading a horse's and human's personality. Before I bought my horse Pete I had Lige come over and check him out as appropriate or not for me. He has turned out to be a wonderful partner. Anyone who hasn't worked with Elijah Moore you are missing extremely valuable learning experience for you and your horse.
6/19/2010 Stephanie
I recently had the pleasure of working with Elijah. I can not wait to bring my gelding to him for 5 to 7 days!!!! What I really like is that you just don't drop your horse off for a week or two. He expects you there, to train YOU!! I am so happy that I have the opportunity to work with two true 'horse whispers' Great article!!! I'm new to!
4/19/2012 Judy
My husband, two horses and I spent 3 days with Elijah last week. I've been to lots of clinics and watched tons of DVDs which have taught me a lot, but I think I learned more about how to read a horse in the three days we spent with Elijah. This was a great experience for my husband, who is not an experienced rider (and does not take instruction very well from me...:) We even did a little bit of cattle work at the end. What fun!! I have filled pages in my notebook with insights, tidbits and new techniques that I learned. We can't wait to go back!
4/23/2012 sandy
He is a very talented man and great with any horse. I highly reccomend experiencing one of his clinics or setting up a meeting with him. From simple ground work to problems he has awesome advice. Very impressive to watch him work his magic. Thanks eli. p.s. and thanks Debi Gould for all her work setting up clinics to meet this wonderful horseman.
9/30/2014 james
thats my grandpa. greatest man alive. best horseman i known. he always told me you have to think like a horse.

"Speak kindly to your little horse, and soothe him when he wheezes, or he may turn his back on you, and kick you where he pleases" - Anonymous