"A horse is an honest reflection. You get out what you put in. If you approach a horse with patience, and consistency, you will have a bond based on loyalty and trust."
I aim to develop and showcase the talents and abilities of every horse that comes to me. Out of respect for each horse and owner, I will never force a horse to do what it is not made to do. I will, however ask a horse for its best.
HORSEMANSHIP AS A PARTNERSHIP
Central to my training philosophy is the belief that horsemanship is a partnership based on trust. By providing consistent, patient leadership I can gain a horse's trust. Once I've got that trust, the horse starts to reward me with a willingness to be guided.
It's a beautiful partnership.
The horse was designed as a herd animal. I use this fact to position myself as the lead horse. I apply pressure to the horse for the express purpose of helping that horse find the place of release. The horse will soon begin to look to me for direction; this is the key to progress. Once my leadership is established I can begin to teach the horse to think. I don't want a horse to do what I ask it to do out of fear. I want a horse to understand what I am trying to do and then willingly join me in doing it.
I train horses to be versatile and well-rounded. I build that into my training program from day one. I want a horse to be able to compete at the highest level possible in the show pen but also be able to gather cattle off the range or pack game meat out of the mountains. A horse that is willingly guided and trusts my leadership over its own instincts while climbing a sandstone ledge, dodging a badger hole, or wading through a bog is a horse that will trust me in the arena as well. From a practical perspective, I know that not every horse has what it takes to compete in the arena, and the horses that do compete will eventually retire. These horses can still find utility in jobs such as doctoring cattle, packing in the back country or simply teaching a new generation of kids how to ride.
I train the whole horse for its whole life.