" I am here first and foremost for you, the rider, and for your horse. "
When I was a kid, before I even started school, I was with horses daily. My father wasn't very good to us, but he always had horses and gave me freedom to be with them. My parents split when I was about six years old, and my mom made sure I still had horses in my life. I think she knew that was a good way to keep me out of her hair! My older brother had a bay stud horse, while I had a mare. That meant foals being born and colts to start. I began starting colts when I was nine. The horse has always been my friend, companion, and my connection to me.
After several years of working with horses on my own, I was very fortunate to get to know Cleo Edwards. Cleo and his wife, Edna, lived way up on Roan Mountain. For years everyone in the area knew that if you were having trouble with a horse or mule, Cleo was the man to see. Not too many people knew it, but Edna was a heck of a hand as well. Cleo taught me to see things from the horse's perspective. He never allowed a horse or mule to push him around, but he always worked hard, as he put it, to "never offend the horse". He was a friend who always willingly shared his bountiful knowledge with me. Like the horse, he often let me work things out on my own, but he never let me get in over my head. He had a gift for challenging me just enough to make me confident and unafraid.
Thanks to the horse I have been blessed with many opportunities to ride with and learn from some of the very best horsemen in the country. I owe them all a great deal for what they have done and continue to do for me. To them I say, "thank you". I guess the greatest debt I owe is to the horse, for without him none of this would even have been possible.
As time progresses, I continue working to improve my horsemanship skills, my teaching skills, and my people skills. My number one priority is to be in the moment for the human. I have been put in this position so that I can help you in developing your relationship with your horse. I am here first and foremost for you, the rider, and for your horse.