You can read more about my training style and background here. My philosophy and education is constantly developing. Some of what I used to do, I learned better and no longer do. I am constantly striving to do better, break down information, and help my clients out. It is a practice for sure and I don't think I'll ever be perfect. If you're still interested after reading please contact me for a contract. We always look for physical causes in behavior issues, and more often than not there is a physical reason. Please have your horse up to date on deworming, core vaccines, farrier, and whatever other appointments you have them receiving, before you expect them to come into training. I don't want you to waste any money just to be told your horses back is out due to bad saddle fit and their teeth are killing them making them rear. Both have happened and were easy fixes.
My priorities when it comes to horses in my program are:
The 3 F words are BIG BIG BIG around here.
Friends. Your horse will be either in a group, or if that isn't possible, right next to a group. It will be safe and well fit to them.
Forage. Your horse will have plenty of hay and/or pasture. Hay is fed almost nonstop through winter. It is supplemented as decided by management in summer. We keep our pastures green and full.
Freedom. I've studied horse behavior and health in depth, I am always learning and changing my old thoughts, but something that seems constant is ALL horses been healthier, happier, and more easy to train, and even more astonishingly, they retain what they know better when they are allowed to graze, hang out with friends, and get their energy out and mental downtime,
Digestive Health. Your horse will NOT be on a high starch or high sugar diet while here. Whether you provide the grain, or we provide it at cost, to be in my training program, it must be a high quality (not necessarily expensive) feed. We're talking an expense of $18-$100+ a month depending on your wants and needs. It doesn't have to be pricey. I can send you a list of high fiber, high protein, high fat feeds. This will prepare your horses body for the hard work, keep them mentally calm, and make sure Ulcers don't get in the way of our training.
Tack fit. Though I can't always accommodate, I have multiple saddles, bridles, and bits. We will do the best to fit your horse close and keep them comfortable. I will teach you how to check and recommend you continue using good fitting tack at home, as not to cause pain and behavior issues.
Progress. I have goals, you have goals, and I will be honest with progression and where I think your horse will be. I'm usually right, but not always. Different goals take different lengths of time. I expect you to see progress. I do not do 30 day untouched to deadbroke miracles. That isn't possible or safe. I do however, work occasional miracles at longer length.
For training, I offer what I offer my own well loved horses, and then some. I offer what I would want to be offered as a living being. I train with fairness, equality, benefit of the doubt for the horse. I train as soft as I can, and as tough as I have to, to keep myself and the horses around me safe. I train with the horse in mind. I train as if I'm learning and problem solving. I train as if I'm the problem, not the horse. I train as simply as possible, so owner's can transfer the work over at home. I train in a way that you can learn along if you want to.
I train for goals of a relaxed, enjoyable time for both horse and owner. I train for a willing animal that wants to work, because it enjoys its time with us, not because it feels like it has to. There are many methods I absolutely do not use, but rather than dog others I'll tell you what I do try and aim for: I train for relaxation. I train for a thinking, responding, calm animal as a goal. I train for a more unshakable horse. I train for a equine partners, not creating robotic, dispirited machines.
Enthusiastically I learn from Buck Brannaman, Ray Hunt, Guy McClean, Warwick Schiller, Chris Irwin (horseman) and many others. I focus on natural horsemanship with traditional methods that make sense. I keep what works and throw out what doesn't.
I do not train with gimmicks or quick tricks, however I have a large area of tools from experience I've gathered, and I do not like to use the words "never" or "always" anywhere in horse training. I do use a wide array of tack and equipment ( and can explain why I used every one of them) but I also often ride bridleless and tackless, and bitless if the equipment isn't more detrimental than a bit (some are!).
I believe, that a finished horse - though never truly finished, should be able to be ridden in nearly and type of equipment and with a good hand, the horse should travel the same way. My horses go in a simple snaffle all the way up to some pretty specific leverage bits. If you cannot simply explain to someone why you use something and how it works, you shouldn't be doing it. That is my thought on equipment and methods.
I believe in getting things done efficiently, but kindly. Starting in 2021 I will NOT take horses in for less than 60 days. This is to produce a better finished service to my client, to represent myself, and make it easier on the horse.
Please contact me if you have any more questions about my method, experience, references, or anything at all. You can read more about the farm and boarding here.
Pricing for 2021 Training can be found here (currently down for maintenance