When it comes to horsemanship, Connie has tried her hand at a little bit of everything. Western and English pleasure, trail, gymkhana, eventing, dressage, hunter/jumper, mountain trail – she’s done it all. At the age of 6, she and her father left Florida and traveled west to Texas. When her father remarried, the first thing that her new mom did was put her up in the saddle. From that point on, and through Connie’s teens, her mom would buy project horses – mares and geldings bought to be trained and then sold to good homes. “She would train them, and I’d show them,” Connie says. “Then life happened. I went to college and got married, and although I dreamt of the day, I didn’t get back into horses until 2010.”
Her entrance back into the horse world wasn’t quite what she’d bargained for. The mare she bought was great when she visited her at the barn, but when Connie brought her home, she quickly realized that she was not equipped with the leadership skills that her mare clearly needed from her. She was so dangerously disrespectful that Connie’s friends were certain the mare was going to be the death of her. After one particularly disastrous ride, a friend recommended Connie read Clinton’s book Establishing Respect and Control for English and Western Riders.
Connie bought the book, read it, and was set on a life-changing journey. Incorporating the lessons in the book led Connie to attend multiple clinics and a private lesson at the ranch, and ultimately transformed her mare into a safe and willing partner and provided the knowledge Connie needed to become a skilled horsewoman.
“When I was a kid, I had a lot of experience riding horses, but those horses did not behave like this one did. When I got my mare, I had no idea how to gain her respect because I had never had to deal with issues like hers before,” Connie shares. “I’m passionate about teaching the Method because of my experience. I know there are other people out there going through the same situation I went through. I see how far my mare has come and it’s made me a true believer in what the Method can do. I want to share that sense of empowerment with others.”