At what age did you start to ride and what was your first or favorite horse’s breed and name? * The first time I was ever bucked off of a horse was before I was born. I have been trail riding with my family since the very young age. I remember falling asleep many times on the saddle in front of my father and mother. My first horse was a blanketed Appaloosa gelding he named Payday. He was a wonderful horse was perfect though teach me how to become a horseman. While I was young we had Appaloosas, quarter horses and paints around our little farm.
What is your background with horses and what disciplines do you specialize? *
I grew up with horses and trail riding. When I was old enough I started to show interest in showing horses in our local county 4-H shows. Showing 4-H was fun however I knew that there had to more to horses than doing circles around the arena for ribbons. After college I explored starting colts under saddle for myself and clients. (Looking back I probably owe all of them their Money back!) In 1999 I got hired on by a high school horsemanship program in Cincinnati Ohio to teach The high school kids about horsemanship and possible horse careers. During these years I discovered the sport of cowboy mounted shooting and it was Love at first Shot. I also discovered Parelli Natural Horsemanship and became a dedicated determnined and avid student of Pat’s program. I am now a 4 Star Senior Licenced Parelli Professional and I was a member of the original Parelli faculty team. I have been teaching in the field for 11 years. In the sport of Cowboy Mounted Shooting I am at a level five shooter and try to compete with my family on weekends that I am not scheduled to be teaching horsemanship.
Tell us about your most embarrassing equine moment.
Do you remember the scene or the boy on the black stallion is riding across the beach with his arms stretched out riding bareback and without a bridle? As a 10 year old boy I was so inspired by the scene in the movie that I went out and caught my Appaloosa gelding in the middle of the field. I took a 5 gallon bucket with me so that I could mount. My horse Payday took off with me across the field at a full gallop and then stopped suddenly throwing me clean over his head where I landed upside down with my back up against the wooden fence. I knew at that point that riding without a bridle was something you only could do in the movies. It wasn’t until the Parelli program that I took my dream and made it a reality!
What was the turning point or experience that helped to determine your career choice? * There were two turning points really. The first turning point is after I had been an agricultural education instructor for five years and I saw the opportunity to turn my horse dreams into a career reality by being hired on as a high school horsemanship instructor. The second came when I auditioned my horsemanship skills in front of Linda and Pat Parelli. After a week long interview in Colorado they hired me on to the Parelli faculty team where I took my horsemanship dream to a whole New level!
If you could ride with anyone dead or alive, who would that be and why? Well I have ridden with and learned from Linda and Pat Parelli for many hours and I would like to take that to a whole New level by riding with Two of Pat’s mentors Tom Dorrance and Ronnie Willis.
What’s the one most important piece of horse wisdom you would pass onto others? Start with the basics and then refine those skills as you go along. Frustration begins where knowledge ends! Seek more knowledge! I believe that you must have a good picture (or “video tape”) in your mind Eye how to do something with your horse before you apply the pressure to ask them to achieve that task.
What is your favorite or biggest accomplishment with horses? * My career highlight and biggest accomplishment in my horsemanship journey thus far has been winning the Midwest horse fair’s talent search competition 2017 with my Bridle-less Cowboy Mounted Shooting performance to win $10,000 in front of 8000 people!
If you were to switch disciplines what would you choose? * I would love to learn more in depth skills and talents that surround the Reining horse sport and I also love developing cow horses!
Please share something unique about yourself that most people don’t know about. * When I was a boy growing up our family showed Suffolk and Corredale sheep all over the state of Ohio and the Midwest. When I went to college I got to live in the Ohio State University Sheep Barns to trade my labor for a place to stay.