Dacoda credits Clinton and the Method for teaching her how to be a strong leader and to train willing, safe horses. Although she always had an interest in horses, it wasn’t until she was 18 and in equine therapy that her passion for horsemanship became a serious focus. With little horsemanship experience to rely on, she purchased a mare named Cheyenne. Her enthusiasm for finally having a horse of her own quickly turned to unease when she realized that the 6-year-old mare was above her skill level.
“When I bought her, I struggled with her almost from the start. I got her in the spring, and several months later at Christmas, I got a new saddle and just had to try it out right away. I saddled her up and rode her out in a hay field. It was snowy and windy, and she got excited and started crow hopping,” Dacoda says.
With her confidence shattered, Dacoda reached out to Cheyenne’s previous owner. “She follows the Method and introduced me to it. As I studied it and worked on the exercises, everything started to click,” Dacoda says. “I quickly obtained most of the training kits and soaked up everything about the Method that I could. The majority of what I know about horses is from Clinton and the Method.”
Dedicated to honing her skills and learning the Method in depth, Dacoda participated in a three-day Fundamentals Clinic and a 10-day Colt Starting Clinic with Clinton, took an Intermediate Clinic with Professional Clinician Shayla Smock, and participated in a private lesson with Method Ambassador Tammra Minteer. “Clinton always says that knowledge is power, and that’s absolutely true. If you want to become a better horseman, you have to go get the information,” Dacoda says.
From the moment the Utah horsewoman discovered that Clinton offered an Academy, she set her sights on attending. “I’ve always wanted a career with animals, so when I found out about the Academy, I knew it was the career path I wanted to take,” she says. “I enjoy sharing the Method and my knowledge of it with others. I owe my passion for life to Clinton and the Method. Getting to help others with their horsemanship is an incredible way to pay it forward.”