I specialize in making it easy for horses to understand what is expected of them. I help horses become safe and willing partners for all levels of rider, both in the arena and on the trail. I have focused on top quality colt starting for two decades. I will ride english or western, and am confident in my ability to prepare a young horse for any discipline.
I am happy to work with older horses needing schooling or reconditioning. For riders with competitive goals, I can work in conjunction with other competitive trainers. I have a soft spot for misunderstood horses needing a new approach , and am happy to re-educate horses and riders so that they may enjoy one another in safety. I have rehabilitated many horses that had been 'given up on' by other riders. Whether or not I am the solution, I believe that every horse can become a good riding horse with the right approach, given enough time with the right approach. I am open to discussing special arrangements for horses suffering from abusive or neglectful situations.
I have a knack for rehoming horses with their perfect match. Please let me know if I can help you find your next horse. It's really important to me that my horses are healthy and happy, and that their people stay healthy and happy, too!
After I have spent some time with a horse, he or she will understand my clearly expressed expectations. I will then need to share my methods with the person intending to ride the horse in the future, so that the horse receives consistent cues, and doesn't become confused. Owners are encouraged to take at least one lesson per week, which is included in the cost of monthly training, to allow for consistent success for both horse and rider. I will work directly with each horse and rider to ensure that clear communication is established, and that both horse and rider will continue to perform safely and consistently even when they are no longer here in training.
It is of primary importance to gain the horse’s trust so that the animal can learn from its handler. Once trust is established, my focus is on explaining cues to the horse in a way that he can understand what is being asked of him, and perform without resistance. After the horse trusts us and understands what we are asking of him, we can refine our cues to develop his physique, so that he can be sound and useful throughout his life.
Horses I work with will happily learn to behave politely, move forward, backwards, and laterally off of light aids, give softly to a light hand with a snaffle bit, and carry themselves in a properly balanced manner, all on the ground and under saddle. Of primary importance is the manner in which the horse uses its body, strengthening its topline while remaining soft, supple, and relaxed. Willing, compliant horses offer no resistance, which would compromise the integrity of the movements that they perform. The most important aspect of my job is to present the horses with cues that help them learn to use their bodies correctly, so that they will become healthier with their lifetime of work.
A ‘finished’ horse is one that is willing and capable of executing higher level maneuvers in a balanced frame. These horses look and feel as though what they are doing is effortless. They are capable of true collection, which is an engagement of the hindquarters that allows the horse to elevate his forehand. It takes many years to develop the strength to execute these collected maneuvers with quality.
I pay close attention to a horse's physical condition, and expect the horses I have in training to get the treatment that an athlete deserves. I have a great team of professionals helping diagnose and treat any issues a horse may have.
One critical aspect of my training program that differs from most is that I insist on allowing the horse freedom of movement, especially in his neck and back. I refuse to use restrictive devices, such as side reins, draw reins, martingales, etc. I ride most horses in a simple smooth snaffle, both on the ground or under saddle, and in a halter, seretta (caveson), or bosal.
Here is a link to my Facebook page, with lots of great articles: