it to say, I have always known horses are exalted beings. This
knowledge has guided me on a journey through life to know and
understand them. To speak out and defend them. To respect as well as
admire them. To care for and heal them. And to offer whatever
assistance possible to others who aspire in the same direction.
birthday and every Christmas, while growing up, I was sure I would find
pony waiting for me in the back yard. Over the years, my
parents and I exchanged familiar refrains: "I want a horse" "When you
get old enough you can get a job and buy one."
waiting to get into university, I decided to treat myself to riding
lessons. At age 19 I felt afraid and unsure riding without
stirrups as kids half my age blew past me, urging their horses
on. Not to be outdone, I signed up for more lessons and not
long after, bought my first horse. He came with a blaze, four
white stockings and the name Chocolate! I was in heaven.
my passion. I couldn't imagine anything better than helping
people like me learn to ride. I was too serious to want to simply join
the ranks of people who got business cards printed up claiming
expertise as instructors/trainers. So I researched the best
English speaking riding schools in the world.
year of working hard to fulfill requirements, I was accepted at Porlock
Vale Equestrian Centre in Somerset, England. Col. Crawford,
president of the British Horse Society, (B.H.S. parent organization to
Pony Club) ran the school. In previous years, Porlock had
been the training center for the British equestrian teams.
there, I rode twice daily with top instructors, studied for and passed
rigorous B.H.S. exams. And so my professional life with
forward over 30 years and today my focus is on using the traditional
training sequence of the California Vaqueros to produce the lightest,
most responsive horses. Starting horses in the snaffle with a
solid foundation in lateral flexion, then moving to the hackamore in
preparation for the ultimate longitudinal flexion, balance and ease of
started riding with Buck Brannaman and shortly thereafter with Ray
Hunt. It is with deepest respect and gratitude that I refer
to them as my teachers.
continually fascinated by the horse's ability to turn loose and give to
the human when offered an alternative to force, fear and
Years ago I was taught the "correct way" to
adjust equipment that in effect, put the horse in a straight jacket and
gag. It worked to contort the horse's body into what was
wanted but sadly sent the mind in another
direction. When Buck and Ray offered me
an alternative, I responded instantly. I've found it is the
same with the horse.
alternative is what I aspire to, what I practice and what I
teach. I refer to it as Thinking