I have always enjoyed training. From the time I was in the upper grades, I was always on a young horse. I spent many hours in the saddle following my dad, doing Figure 8’s and serpentines in our summer fallow fields; trailing cows, team roping and just good old fashioned miles that resulted in wet saddle blankets and good horses.
Like many people, once I went to college and got married and started raising a family, the training went by the wayside. Once the kids got a little older, though, we expanded our broodmares and started raising some foals. I was introduced by my sister to an amazing horse developer in central North Dakota. When I spent the weekend watching him, I knew that I either had to learn to do what he did or take all my horses to him…..a bit cost prohibitive with so many! But I started learning and asking questions and reading….and trying things with some success and some failure. So I’d ask more questions, read some more, try some more and most of all, practice on a lot of horses. I’ve learned a ton but I’m always on the lookout for easier and better ways. In the spring of 2014, we had the opportunity to attend a Clinton Anderson Walk-About Tour in Minneapolis, MN. We learned we were doing a lot of things right….but we also had a lot of room for refinement. We came home, joined Clinton’s No Worries Club and started watching his videos and started applying what we learned in the round pen with some dramatically excellent results! I believe that there are many trainers that we can learn a vast amount of knowledge from. Part of the trick is using what works best for YOU. Clinton’s strategic method works well for me since I’m a “details” person. I also have a few extra things I throw in from what I learned from Jason. Regardless, I believe the horses we train have an exceptional foundation and are much safer than a lot of “seasoned broke horses.” While I would never claim to have a “bombproof” horse, I believe they’re as close as we can make them in a short period of time.
Some excellent resources that I’ve found extremely helpful along the way:
Ride the Journey by Chris Cox
Communicating with Cues by John Lyons
True Horsemanship through Feel by Bill Dorrance
Believe by Buck Branaman
No Worries Club ($200/year) – Clinton Anderson