Insight and experience can come in different forms. I feel that my handicap, age and love of my horses was actually a blessing in me becoming an effective horse trainer. I wrote the IN SYNC series when I was an 11 year old kid, so for me to implement a training concept, it needed to be rather simple and black and white. To this day I still use the IN SYNC progression and tools to start and maintain ALL of my horses..young, exhibition, competition, dressage, hunters, jumpers, etc. My mom gave me basic tools and exercises to train and problem solve with. In addition, I do everything with one hand. I had to use a training progression with solid, but easy to implement training exercises and tools. I had to understand more sophisticated riding early, because I couldn’t ride a horse that wanted to ride through my hands or be spooky. I had to learn to prepare my horses to ride quietly and with self carriage. In addition because of my love for my horse and riding with one hand, utilizing more aggressive riding or training equipment was never an option for me. I couldn’t physically use more aggresive riding nor did I have any interest in this approach to training, because I love my horses too much. I developed a more advanced insight to training and riding, when I was younger out of necessity.
As for experience, many ask how could a young kid have the experience to be a clinician on the complex topic of “Horsemanship” and write a training series of any value. I am lucky that my mom has ridden for over 4 decades. In addition, she has worked with hundreds of horses over the years…..starting young horses, reschooling horses with training challenges and preparing horses for high level hunter and jumper competitions. Getting back to myself, my mom has always said one of the keys to becoming a great horseman is time in the saddle. At an early age, I was riding 2-4 horses a day. Now, I attend school half days and ride anywhere from 2-6 horses every single day. The average junior, amatuer and entry level professional owns one horse that they ride on average 3 times a week. In the last four years, I have spent as much time in the saddle as the typical rider rides in 44 years.
Taiji horsemanship was developed on insight that I had to learn at an early age out of necessity. In addition, I have spent many hours in the saddle, performed at some of the biggest and most prestigious event and competitions around the country and am backed by my family, who has the experience of training hundreds of horses over decades. I truly believe, that Taiji Horsemanship is based and backed by insight and experience that extends far beyond my actual age!