From North Dakota to Europe you’ve been around horses all your life. What made you decide to leave the motherland of western riding and come to Europe?
I wanted to experience European culture and lifestyle, but not just as a tourist, who only really has the chance to observe, rather on a more immersed level, by really living here. I had also learned that the popularity of western riding was growing very rapidly in Europe, so I felt there would be opportunities for me to broaden and deepen the education of European riders with my horsemanship and my love of teaching.
Since the 1st of June, you are now the head trainer at the HorseAcademy, the Reining Mecca for French and Swiss riders. What are your challenge and expectations in this new job?
Well, first I’d like to mention that although there are two trainers at the HorseAcademy, Fabien Boiron an myself, neither one of us is ‘Head-‘ nor ‘Co-‘ trainer. We are both independent and self-employed, yet have a very enjoyable, supportive and understanding co-operation. Our differences in background and experience allow the exchange of techniques and ideas, serving to offer a great atmosphere and a very complete training service at the HorseAcademy.
Secondly, I’d like to mention that although high-turnover in the training business is quite common, it’s not really my preference. (I love travel, but don’t love moving!) However, I’ve continually strived to find a base that fits the quality and respect that my work offers. Finally, I now have the privilege to be at a top facility which also has a very comfortable ambience and shares the philosophies which are important to me. Fairness, quality, respect and fun.
Moving your business always involves challenges and one of mine is to extend my character, my principals, my integrity and my abilities to the riders in this (new) region. Just as it is with horses, it is with clients; any valuable, quality and fun work is based on the development of confidence and trust, with the aid of patience. My expectation is that as people become to know me, they will be pleasantly surprised and so the very new and different era which is beginning now at the HorseAcademy, will be realized.
What do you think of the quality of horses and riders in Europe and now specifically in Switzerland?
When I arrived in Europe five years ago I thought the quality of horses was ‘good’. Since then I’ve seen the quality of horses improve dramatically and we now have some European Open and Non-Pro riders with incredible competitive success at the world class level.
Even on more modest levels, with ‘performance’ horses more widely available, riders have increased possibilities to ride at a higher level, and a better horse contributes to the factors enabling someone to become a better rider. That’s why I believe one should always avoid a ‘Green Horse, Green Rider’ combination. I never recommend a pair ‘learning together’ like this.
My first impressions of Swiss horses and riders were in Kreuth five years ago and it appeared then already that the renowned calm dedication to quality and precision in Switzerland in general extended also to the selection, maintenance and riding of horses.
As an all-rounder, so to speak, will you now focus exclusively on Reining or will you still train other disciplines? Will there be some cow clinics at the HorseAcademy in the near future?
I will continue to train all disciplines, it is fun to have some variation and after all that is one of my strengths, training with the result that amateur or non-pro clients are then able to show at any level, in various types of classes, up to European Champion. The HorseAcademy also has plenty of space and is very convenient for multi-discipline training and events.
(Examples of client achievements: multiple AQHA European Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in Amateur Reining, Open Trail, Amateur Showmanship at Halter, Hunter under Saddle and Bronze Amateur Trail)
Naturally, I will continue to train and show Reining but I’m also very excited to open up working cow horse in this area. It is a really, really fun discipline, involving both Reining and cow work, so it’s challenging, but easier to start learning than people sometimes think. The basic requirement is simply to have control of your horse. I look forward to announcing my schedule for a diverse series of clinics, ranging from working cow horse to trail, in the near future.
The Horse Academy will be hosting an Open Door Weekend on October 23-24. This is an invitation to visit the facility, meet the trainers and staff and see the trainers at work. Terry Schultz and Fabien Boiron will offer free clinics during this weekend, and the Horse Academy will offer free Boxes and Facility use for the people signed up for the clinic. Numbers will be limited! Terry will coach Reining, Trail and Pleasure, Fabien will coach Reining. Terry will also give a Working Cow Horse demonstration. A schedule will follow soon, along with sign-up for the clinic.
Wir bedanken uns Terry für die offenen und interessanten Gespräche und wünschen alles Gute für eine erfolgreiche Zusammenarbeit!
Nicole Anhalt, Communication NRHA Schweiz