LIVING THE DREAM
Horses have been a lifelong passion for both Dan and Kathy, so naturally when they fell in love and decided to spend their lives together, horses were a part of that too.
In 2015, Dan convinced Kathy they were ready to compete in their first Extreme Mustang Makeover with the goal to maintain their principle of putting the horse first no matter what. After 100 days, they had to make the hard decision to not continue with Dan's horse. He simply was not going to be safe for the average adopter and they could not risk the horse or the new owner getting hurt. Kathy ended up with a fantastic horse, but also got injured partway through the training period and was unable to ride at the competition. She did show her horse in hand, but did not place well against stiff competition. Dan bought her horse back and he was rehomed after the competition and additional training.
Dan was hooked! Kathy....not so much. Kathy realized that, while she LOVED training wild horses, she did not feel comfortable with such a short timeline. Dan entered the Extreme Mustang Makeover (EMM) again in 2016 and, with Doc Holliday, fell just shy of the top 10 due to a broken pattern in the Maneuvers class. Regardless of the mistake, Dan and Doc proved they were a solid team and Doc wowed everyone with his charming personality and athleticism. Dan and Doc bonded hard and it was decided he needed to stay. The auction started and despite making it abundantly clear that Dan wanted him back, Doc still became the highest selling horse of the competition.
Competing in the EMMs launched Dan and Kathy's training career. By July 2016, Dan left his regular job to become a full time horse trainer. Since then, they have had the pleasure of working with dozens of horses, primarily mustangs, on everything from ground work to trail riding. They have helped clients with picking wild horses out of the holding pens, nearly a dozen first rides, gentling, hoof handling and first trims, addressing dangerous behaviors, and things as simple (but just as important) as tune ups on well trained horses that just need more miles and better communication with their owner.
They are firm believers in never-ending self improvement and continue to improve their own skills and provide the best experience possible for their clients. They believe there is always something new to learn and have sought the guidance of industry experts whose principles and approach fit within their beliefs.
Dan and Kathy have spent the last several years riding with and learning regularly with Bryan Neubert and Vaughn Knudsen. Bryan has been instrumental in their approach to handling and gentling wild horses as well as starting young horses. Dan has been educated on many tools and techniques passed down to Bryan from Tom Dorrance including laying a horse down, hobble training, roping horses, ground driving and more.
Vaughn has provided the knowledge to work on shaping and finishing horses, particularly with a working cow horse in mind. Creating softness and lightness and building performance level responses.
All of the horsemen and women listed below have contributed to our development and success and we highly recommend that your ride with them or audit if there is an opportunity near you!
Bryan Neubert http://www.bryanneubert.com/
Vaughn Knudsen https://compasshorsetraining.com/
Trevor and Tara Carter https://www.carterranchhorse.com/
Katrina Sanders http://www.ksclassicaleq.com/
Craig Johnson http://www.craigjohnsoninternational.com/
Buck Brannaman http://www.brannaman.com/
We offer a free consultation assessment where we will come to your place to meet you and your horse(s) and spend a couple of hours getting to know you. We will discuss your goals and watch your work with and ride (if you are at that point) your horse as well as give some pointers and suggestions. Essentially, it is a free mini lesson. Our goal is to ensure that we are a good fit for each other and that we can make attainable goals for your horse's training.