The Art of Horsemanship is a personal journey to discover the grace, harmony and partnership that can exist between horse and rider.
A successful partnership begins with a solid foundation, which includes these elements:
- Creating a calmness within the horse in which learning can take place and developing critical thinking skills
- Understanding what matters to the horse mentally, physically and emotionally
- Exposing the horse to life experiences in a way that gives him confidence in himself and the rider
Through attention to this area, the horse is positioned to succeed in whatever career he is directed towards.
In my many years as a professional trainer, I have worked with a multitude of breeds and disciplines utilizing these elements to improve the partnerships of my clients with their horses. I have trained and shown horses who were involved in disciplines of dressage, hunter/jumper, eventing, carriage driving, racing, foxhunting and specialized breed shows (i.e. Quarter Horse, Arabian, Morgan, cutting, etc.) in addition to developing horses with well-established trail skills.
My work speaks to the foundation and refinement of skills that allows ANY horse, regardless of discipline, to be a more willing and prepared partner.
In 1980, I opened my own training business. From that time, I have always remained committed to the advancement of my skills. Since 1991, I have worked with a number of the "Masters" of the art of horsemanship. Among these notable horsemen are Buck Brannaman, Tom Curtin, and Ray Hunt. In 2008, I attended the first of many symposiums taught by Dr. Gerd Heuschmann, world renowned expert on equine biomechanics and the author of Tug of War - Classical versus "Modern" Dressage, Balancing Act - The Horse in Sport and the film If Horses Could Speak. I have also received certification through the Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA) Train the Trainer's Program in 2014.
Earlier this year, I took on the role of president of the Western Dressage Association of North Carolina (WDANC). This is the state chapter of the Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA). Through the WDANC, I have joined other board members, professional and amateur alike, who are committed to promoting education and competition that aligns with the mission of the WDAA. This mission is to honor the horse and to value the partnership it has provided us on our American journey; to provide a model of training and horsemanship which optimizes this partnership for the benefit of both horse and rider; and to celebrate the American West where all these things came to pass. To learn more about these organizations, click here. www.WesternDressageNC.org and www.WesternDressageAssociation.org.
I am also an Advisory Committee member of North American Western Dressage. NAWD offers education and virtual competitions, which include groundwork, trail and Ranch Horse classes. To learn more, click here. www.NAWDhorse.org.
Every year I continue to attend educational events to refine my abilities and increase my knowledge. This enables me to offer cutting edge information and a wide array of skills.
Currently, I am studying to become a HeartMath coach. HeartMath offers tools for developing personal resilience and an active calm. The more we, as riders, become calm, centered and coherent, the more we bring our best selves to our own lives and those of our horses. To learn more about HeartMath, click here.
My experience in the area of physical problems encountered by equine athletes and the role training plays in the rehabilitation allows me to enhance and maintain their optimal physical and mental performance. I understand and utilize many of the modalities in the field of integrative medicine (chiropractic manipulation, body work, acupuncture, homeopathy, etc.) in addition to conventional veterinary medicine.
I am passionate about helping riders and owners discover the joy and benefits of creating harmonious partnerships with their horses. As a teacher and trainer, I love watching as a spark of understanding is ignited because, at that point, a whole new world opens up.