No Surprises

When she arrived at the Downunder Horsemanship Ranch, the Academy was exactly what Kristin hoped it was going to be and more. From the first day she began working with horses on the ranch until she graduated, she was constantly adding to her knowledge and gaining phenomenal experience. “There were days when Clinton would meet us all outside on horseback and then take us through a ride he wanted us to put on all of our horses for the day. He’d give us a template and then tell us to mix it all up,” Kristin says. “I remember thinking to myself that I was so lucky to be riding alongside Clinton, somebody I’ve looked up to for years, and training horses under his name. I can’t even begin to put a price tag on the knowledge I gained being in the Academy.”

There’s no doubt in her mind that the horses Clinton had them working strengthened her feel and timing. “Every horse is a learning opportunity, and I can honestly say that each of them bettered me as a horseman,” Kristin acknowledges.

Training a horse for six weeks in the Academy Horse Program and then spending a day with the horse’s owner, showing them everything the horse had learned was the highlight of the Academy for Kristin. “Some of the horses came with a lot of baggage and I had to put in a lot of time with them to get them to the level of ability they were cable of performing at. To see their transformation and then to be able to watch the owner’s emotions when you hand them a ‘new’ horse is unbelievable. You’re giving them the confidence and knowledge to go home and build a better partnership with their horse,” Kristin says. “That’s empowering and why I love what I do.”