LA Times Article June 14, 2017 ! http://www.latimes.com/socal/burbank-leader/news/tn-blr-me-mustang-20170613-story.html
In this age of social media and how-to DVDs it’s easy to think that everything you need to know about horse training is on the internet. I’m thankful that this information was available when I first became interested as a teenager. It’s how I came across Warwick Schiller’s website and used it when I was in high school training my first mustang yearling. Later that year I helped Mr. Schiller in a clinic of his and boy it was a real treat to finally meet him in person!
I feel that good horsemanship is learned through experience by attending clinics and apprenticeships from as many great horse trainers as possible. Building a good foundation with a horse is everything. Riding in Shawn Flarida's clinic and taking private lessons with Ted Robinson was instrumental in further developing my horsemanship. Nick Dowers, Road to Horse Champion, gave me advice on how to help a horse that loved being ridden bareback but was very scared of the noisy saddle. During the winter of 2017, Obbie Schlom-Hefner, Road to the Horse trainer and Extreme Mustang Makeover Champion, opened her doors to her Texas ranch. We started colts daily and she shared her experiences and knowledge generously. We worked non stop from morning until late at night. It was an amazing experience.
The fact that the horse allows us to come into their world is humbling all by itself. Natural horsemanship is just a modern phrase coined well after Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt had shared their methods of good horsemanship. I follow their philosophy of "true unity and willing communication" which is built on the acceptance of the horse. Horses learn from the release of pressure and NOT from fear. Timing is everything and I’m constantly working on perfecting my “feel”.
We finally bought our own facility in 2019 and I'm excited about the future. We've held clinics, obstacle plays days, and 4H clinics! The cows are coming in 2021!
2020 was a challenge for us all. Covid-19 had many shows canceled. We just kept working and once shows opened up, we headed for them. Winning Ranch Rail with a young Ranching Heritage horse I've had in training for one year! My program is evolving and we're now offering a Performance Horse program! We're specializing in Reining, Ranch Riding, and EXCA. Let me know if you need help with your horse, need a colt started, or want to start showing your horse!
There are no tricks or "quick fixes" in horsemanship. There is only patience by putting the horse first.
A BIT FROM THE PAST
In 2018, I focused on learning more about Reining and Reined Cow Work and worked with Patrick Wickenheiser (NRHA & NRCHA Top Finalist and Judge) to learn as much as I can from one of the greatest horsemen I know! There is always room to grow and to polish up what needs polishing. I feel incredibly thankful that he is mentored me and really setting a whole new standard for horsemanship. I was honored to start colts for him and ride some amazing horses!
I showed Silver Star, (my mustang) in her first show and it was in the reining class at the ETI Corral 101 show. We placed 1st in both Ranch Reining and Ranch Riding! She also showed in her first NRHA affiliate show with CRHA. She held her own as the only mustang showing alongside the "big dogs". Later that year, she won Reserve in the Rookie Pro class. Silver also showed in the 2018 Futurity at the EXCA World Championships and made Top 10 as well as WINNING the 2019 AMTC Freestyle! I couldn't be more proud of this awesome mare.
In my experiences during the Mustang Makeovers, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting incredibly talented trainers who also shared their invaluable advice. Joseph Misner, Don Douglas, Amber and Isidro Espinoza, and Luke Castro just to name a few. I try to expose horses (mustangs and client horses) to obstacle challenges, roping, cow work and as much ranch work as possible to create a dependable all around companion for anyone. Some take a little longer to start using their thinking side of the brain, others catch on quickly. While there are training goals, there is no timeframe. Slow is always faster and building trust is the first step. Ray Hunt said, “It's amazing what you can learn after you've learned all you think there is to learn.” and this is something I truly believe in. The horse teaches me something everyday.
This is the life I want to lead. I am proud to have finally found what I love and want to do for the rest of my life. A life with horses. I never stop learning, there is simply too much to learn. Becoming an Extreme Mustang Makeover Trainer not only has jump started my career as a horse trainer, but it set an important example for my younger brother, Johnny Flores (2019 AMTC Youth Champion, 2020 Intermediate EXCA World Champion, & 2014 EXCA World Reserve Young Gun Champion). You can do anything you put your mind too as long as you have God on your side.
Thank You & God Bless,
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