Although she was raised on a farm and loved horses from the moment she was born, it took Kristin 12 long years to convince her parents that she could care for a horse. When Annie, a little Quarter Horse mare, joined the family, she appeared to be a great confidence builder for Kristin. “She was easygoing and laidback, but after two weeks of owning her, I successfully had her rearing, jigging on the trail, spooking at everything and she was hard to catch,” Kristin says, laughing at the memory.
Her younger sister, Beth, also rode horses, and together the two girls spent their teenage years on horseback. Kristin took a few English and western lessons and competed on her high school equestrian team and at local shows. She did everything from western pleasure to trail to speed events and goat tying. “Looking back on how I used to interact with my horses, I was a huge Nagging Mother. I’d tip toe around them. If a horse didn’t like something, I’d avoid doing it,” Kristin explains. “Basically, I was taught to train my horse in the arena to look good during a class, get a ribbon and get out. But my horse just got stiffer and ring sour.”
That all changed when Kristin discovered the Method at the age of 17. She’d been having trouble with her mare and was looking for help, and when she took on Trace, an unstarted 6-year-old Paint gelding, she knew without a doubt that she needed more knowledge than she had. “Trace really got me started with Clinton,” Kristin says. “I was looking for help and stumbled on Clinton while watching TV.”
To Kristin, the other trainers on TV just didn’t offer in-depth information like Clinton did. “He makes everything step-by-step and idiot-proof, which is exactly how I needed the information to be broken down so I could learn,” Kristin says.
The more she used the Method on her horses, the more she fell in love with it, and soon, she was sharing her new knowledge. “After I really dove into the Method and started to get great results with my own horses, people would mention that they were having trouble with their horses. I’d offer to help them and bring the Arena Mates over to their house and show them how to apply the Method,” she says. “It sparked a desire in me to really want to help people.”