How did you get started into riding horses and then what drew you to your
My father introduced me to horses before I could walk, and his hobby became
my passion as well. As a child, I began showing in a variety of classes at the
local and 4H levels, before competing in the all-around events at the AQHA
shows. Around the age of 14, my show horse was injured and required significant
time off. My dad had been dabbling in the reining, and was nice enough to give
up his horse in the interim. By the time my all-around horse was ready to show
again, we had sold him and I was fully immersed in the sport of reining.
Have you always lived in Tioga, TX?
I grew up near the beaches of Southern California. After graduating from Cal
Poly State University, I moved to Scottsdale, AZ to work as an assistant trainer
under NRHA Million Dollar Rider, Randy Paul. I spent 7 years apprenticing there
before relocating to North Texas in 2008.
What has been your most memorable win or experience in the show pen?
There have been several that stand out in my professional career, but winning
the Amateur Reining Championship at the AQHA World Show was particularly
special. It was the last time that I showed my favorite horse, Lulus Freckles, and
the win cemented my desire to pursue a career-path in the horse industry.
What do you wish you'd known before you entered this field as a trainer?
That learning styles are unique to each individual, be it horse or human. Some
horses respond best to certain teaching methods, while others require a different
approach. The same applies to the people who come to me for coaching. Before
I became a trainer, I understood the fundamentals of what I was trying to
accomplish, but not how to tailor that information to each individual. I could have
been much more effective if I had been more knowledgeable about
communication, at the beginning of my career.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
Learning to stay even-keeled at the horse shows. When I was younger, the highs
of success were HIGH and the lows of disappointment were LOW. It took me a
while to realize that neither of those emotions lasts forever.
What is your favorite thing about being a trainer?
From a training standpoint, I view each horse in my barn as a puzzle to be
solved. I love the challenge of putting the right pieces together to make those
puzzles complete. From a business aspect, I enjoy producing a quality product
for the public, and providing a superior service to my clientele. Nothing is more
rewarding than seeing my customers happy with their experience.