As far back as I can remember, I have loved horses. My first equine was
a small shetland pony named Misty. My last ride on Misty was a brief one.
I was 9 yrs old and the ride ended abruptly with her spooking and running off
with me. The saddle was not tight enough and swung under her belly. With my foot
stuck in the stirrup, she sailed over a pile of boards dragging me along with her. My foot
finally came free and left me battered and tramatized. After the accident I still loved horses
more than anything and wanted to spend every waking hour with them, but had no ambition of
getting back on. It wasnt much later that Misty was sold.
About a year later, my cousin had just gotten a new saddle which she layed across a piano seat. I watched
her as she sat in that saddle and wanted more than anything to sit in it. When I asked her if I could, she said only
if I rode Kena (her 13 hand Welsh Arabian pony) could I sit in her saddle. I made a promise to her that I would and
rode him the very next day. Riding that pony made me realize I would never again not get back on. I had more accidents
after that than I can count on both hands and never even thought twice about getting back on.
Many years later, on New Years Day 2003 I was riding a 2 year old AQHA gelding in the woods with a couple friends. One on a
2 year old Arabian and the other on an older Quarter horse. I was using a running martingale on my horse. The Arabian was leading,
with me in the middle and the older quarter horse in the back. It was a beautiful warm day and we were all 3 relaxed, talking and laughing.
Suddenly over the hill in front of us there was a person on a trail bike heading right for us. The Arabian spooked fiercely, then my horse
followed suit and feeding off each other's fear both horses bolted into the thick of the woods. There were vines hanging everywhere and trees
down that they were jumping at full speed! Because of the running martingale, I couldn't pull his head around to get him stopped. At a full gallop,
he tried to go between 2 trees that were too close together and crashed into the tree. I hit the tree full force with my arm and hip and fell to the ground.
The impact broke my arm. My friend also came off her Arabian and hit the ground. Some other riders found our horses a couple hours later grazing along
the side of the road and they brought them back to the trail head. For months I had nightmares about that wreck. The problem was that I could not figure out
what I could have done to have prevented that from happening. I still rode, but I was a nervous wreck. Why did this accident affect me so? Because I could not
figure out what I could have done to have prevented it.
A few months later I caught an episode of Clinton Anderson on RFD TV. I was mesmorized by what he said and how he trained. I bought all his books and DVDs
and studied his methods. I practiced the DUH methods on my horses religiously. Seeing the changes in my horses was addicting and I wanted to change other
horses as well. So I practiced on my friend's horses even taking one to a Clinton Anderson 3 day Clinic. Since then I have trained many horses. Each one teach-
ing me something new. Each one giving me the experience to be a better horseman. I absolutely love doing this.
Above are links to videos of some of the horses I have trained. There are over 150 videos on Youtube of my horse training.
I only take one horse at a time as I have a full time job other than this one. (I am also an engineer at St Jude Medical in Liberty, SC) I focus training only that horse from
the time they arrive until they go home. Safety is my main focus with everything I do. Safety for the horse and safety for me as the rider. I will not trail ride a horse
until I can move each body part (head & neck, poll, shoulders, ribs, & hips) separately while moving the horse forward, backward, left and right.
When the horse is ready to go home, I work with the horse's owner transfer the respect and teach them how to keep the horse respectful and safe.
I dont train for show - I put a good solid foundation on the horse and focus on training for trail safety.