A traditional Charreada is made up of 10 events, and Diego has been a regular competitor in three of them: Cala de Caballo, a reining event; Coleadero or bull flipping, an event that requires the competitor to ride alongside a bull and roll it to the ground by wrapping its tail around his leg; and Terna en el Ruedo, a team roping event in which competitors not only rope a steer, but perform rope tricks beforehand. The events of a Charreada trace their roots to the Mexican cowboy´s way of caring for livestock. “Bull flipping is one of my favorite events. My dad, an expert, taught me his skills,” Diego says.Surrounded by horses all his life, there was never a doubt in Diego´s mind that he wanted to pursue a career working with the animals that he loves. “I understand the importance of higher education and wanted to get a degree in a field related to horses, but there aren´t many programs out there that grant degrees in hands-on horse training,” Diego explains.
Surrounded by horses all his life, there was never a doubt in Diego´s mind that he wanted to pursue a career working with the animals that he loves. “I understand the importance of higher education and wanted to get a degree in a field related to horses, but there aren´t many programs out there that grant degrees in hands-on horse training,” Diego explains.
One evening, while he was idly flipping through a Downunder Horsemanship catalog, Diego came across an advertisement for the Academy. “I learned more about the program and decided that I would apply as soon as I graduated high school. I realized that this was the higher education I was searching for,” he says.
Diego discovered Clinton when he started his first colt a year before. “My dad trained horses and told me that you always start a horse in the roundpen.
I had an idea of how to go about the training process, but I wanted more knowledge and looked up as much information as I could on the internet,” he explains.
In his search, he came across YouTube videos of Clinton demonstrating groundwork and roundpenning exercises. “At the time, Clinton´s name didn´t mean anything to me, but I loved his step-by-step instruction,” Diego says. He researched Clinton further, becoming a faithful viewer of his television show. “I watched other clinicians, but nothing impressed me like Clinton´s instruction. Through his videos and television show, I could see the results Clinton gets. I got the same results when I tried his exercises on my horse. The way he explains training makes sense.”
It wasn´t long before Diego became a No Worries Club member and bought the training kits, teaching himself the Method. “Up to that point, I was experienced with horses, but I had never had so much control of my horses before. Before, it was kick means go and hopefully when you say whoa your horse stops. The Method taught me how to get control of the horse´s entire body, softening and suppling him, from his nose to his tail,” Diego says.
After high school, with his family´s full support, Diego laid out a plan to apply for the Academy. “When my family saw the successes, resources and outreaches of Downunder Horsemanship, they realized that if I made it through the program I could have a successful career doing what I am passionate about,” Diego says.
He wasn´t lulled into thinking he´d skip through the Academy. “I knew it was going to be hard work and I´d have many challenges to overcome,” he says. When he first began pursuing the idea of becoming a clinician, he asked himself if he was willing to make sacrifices to his personal life in order to succeed. “My answer was yes; I was willing to do whatever it took to succeed.”