From: Hollister California
How did you get started into riding horses and then what drew you to your specific discipline?
“I grew up on a 1200 acre farm in Australia where my father was a bull and bronc rider. When he first transitioned to the timed events it was the late 60’s early 70’s and that is when they started importing a lot of Quarter Horses into Australia. I showed in the all around events as a youth and was drawn to the reining because it seemed to be the hardest one to do. Once I moved to America and was training reining horses I was drawn to the horsemanship in order to figure out an easier way to train the reiners. Now I spend all my time doing Horsemanship clinics around the world and reining, while still my passion, is my hobby.”
Have you always lived in Hollister?
“No, I grew up in Australia and came to the US in 1990. I met and fell in love with a California girl and after we were married, lived in Hollister for 20 years. In 2006 we moved back to Australia for a lot reasons, one of the main ones was to ensure we could get a WEG team together for Australia, as they had not had a team yet. After 4 years in Australia (and successfully organizing and being a part of their first WEG team in Kentucky) we moved back to Hollister and remain here today.”
What would you consider your biggest accomplishment?
“When I married my wife, Robyn, I thought that was it. When we had our son Tyler in 1997, I thought that was it. When I was Reserve NRHA World Champion in 2002, I thought that was it. When I coached my wife to an NRHA World Championship in 2003, I thought that was it. In thinking about it, I’d have to say that since moving back from Australia only 4 years ago, I have built my horsemanship business (including my online video subscription, my Youtube channel that has over 6 million views and clinic business) into something that allows me to travel all over the world doing what I love and meeting many like-minded horse people. So, for the moment, I think that is my biggest accomplishment and hopefully if you ask me again in 5 years I’ll be able to tell you something completely different!”
What made you decide to do this as a career?
“I kind of fell into it. I worked in the banking industry in Austtralia and took 12 months off in order to come to the US to learn more about training horses. I worked for Don Murphy for about 12 months. The day I was leaving to go back to Australia, as we shook hands on the porch, Don looked at me and said “You could do this for a living if you wanted to.” He also offered me a job if I wanted to come back. I went back to the bank in Australia for 6 months and decided to come back and give it a try (with the horse training and the American girl). I had never considered that an option until Don mentioned it.”
What do you feel is the best way to prepare for this career?
“The career that I am currently embarked on is not something I’m sure you can prepare for. You can learn all the horse training side of it, but I think you either have the ability to be a good teacher or you don’t. However, if someone wanted to go into the performance horse industry, I would suggest going to work for someone you respect and follow their program to the letter. There is a reason that person’s program works and it is because of every part of their program being put together not just some pieces of it.”
What was the best piece of advice you received when you were starting out?
“Don Murphy told me once to Train for Tomorrow. At the time I wasn’t experienced enough to understand exactly what he meant. Once I did, it was an invaluable piece of advice that I still use everyday and teach to people all around the world.”