About Me

Jim riding Chico

 

 

Hi, this is Jim

 

Jim, Jan, and Steve
Myself, my wife, and our son. (In our “much” younger days)

I’ve created this website with the beginner through intermediate horse trainer in mind.  I would like to share with you, the fun and excitement, and the joy, and the companionship that working with horses has brought me.  And maybe above all, the sense of accomplishment that comes along with riding a well-behaved horse, that you yourself have trained, maybe from day one of their lives.  And even if it’s a horse that you’ve acquired after it’s grown and somewhat experienced, you can still find great satisfaction in teaching him new things and by perfecting the things he already knows.

 

It doesn’t matter whether your preference is English riding, Western riding, or just plain Pleasure riding, It all starts the same.  With good basic training habits that will stay with your horse for a lifetime.  And it ends with a relationship between you and your horse, that will take you through whatever riding discipline you prefer.

 

 

 

 

Riding discipline
What riding discipline is this?

 

 

 

Let’s start from the beginning

 

I started riding horses when I was about 19 yrs old.  I lived in the city (Chicago), but some friends and I would drive out to the country, to a livery stable, and rent horses for a couple of hours and ride in the adjacent forest preserve.  I didn’t know anything about horses, but it was a fun break from city life.  If you’ve ever ridden livery horses, you know that most of them are quite “barn sour”.

We did find however, that if we could get them across the road, past the first line of trees, so they couldn’t see the stable, they became a lot more cooperative.  But anyhow, that was my first taste of riding, and trying to get horses to actually do, what I wanted them to do.  My friend that I would go riding with, had told me that I should ride “English”, and so I got my start with horses, by riding with an English saddle.

 

 

Trail riding

Trail riding
Trail riding

 

 

I met my wife because of horses 

 

I worked in a gas station, and she had a horse that she boarded at a hunter/jumper stable out about 50 miles from the city.  Well anyhow, she would come in to gas up her car as she was heading out to the stable, and I thought she looked  ‘interesting” (and pretty)  in her riding pants and boots.  We got to know each other, and pretty soon I was going along with her to the stable and she taught me to “properly” ride English.

 

I won’t tell you about some of the fun things that went on out there, like taking some of the thoroughbred race horses that were in training there, out for “trail rides”.  (That’s a no-no with race horse trainers)  But anyhow, life went on.  Oh by the way…riding English, and doing some jumping, does teach you to ride well, especially when part of the training is to go over jumps, with no stirrups.  It also teaches you how to “land” properly, after you go sailing off.

 

 

Lining up for a Hunter class
Lining up for a Hunter class
Taking a jump
Taking a jump

 

 

About a year later we were married

 

And about six months after that, we did something really crazy, we moved to Wyoming.  Truthfully, it was the best move of our lives.  (I couldn’t stand the city anymore, and had already taken some vacations out west)  So we rented an old house with a vacant lot next to it, and soon we bought, “a livery horse” (her name was “Pat”).   It wasn’t exactly a livery horse, it actually belonged to an outfitter and hunting guide who took people up into the mountains on pack trips for fishing and hunting.

 

Well the horse, a paint mare, was too hard to handle for most people (actually she was downright ornery), so we were able to buy her cheap.  She was tough though.  While she was our only horse, we used to ride her double in the mountains, and she didn’t have any “quit” in her.  Well, we built a corral in the lot next to the house, and we proceeded to teach her to jump.  She was actually very athletic, and jumped really well.  We got here taking about three foot jumps.  That was a lot of fun, but then, being here in Wyoming, Jan got interested in rodeo, so that’s the direction we went for a while.

 

We bought a couple of other horses, that we could find “cheap”, and Jan entered the local rodeos.  One of the other horses that we bought,was a mare that had done some rodeo events, and was really good at pole bending.  It’s too bad though, that the poles didn’t actually bend, or Jan’s knees would be in better shape now.  But we sure had fun.

 

 

"Pat" in our backyard corral
“Pat” in our backyard corral
Jan and our first Wyoming horse, 'Pat"
Jan and our first Wyoming horse, ‘Pat”

 

 

But I really wanted raise some horses

 

So we had met an older fella, who lived about three miles south of town, and he raised Arabians, and he also drank too much.  We used to hang out at his small stable, and one day after he had been drinking, I said, “Hey Charlie, how ’bout if I put my mare in with your stud?  Well, we did, and they did, and we got a really flashy filly, the next spring.  Having a foal was so exciting, and training her was even better.  That Arab stallion really put some good traits into her and she was really gentle and easy to train.  We pretty much just got on her and rode her when she was a three year old.  Of course constant handling for those three years really helped too.

 

The next horse we bred her to was a “running” quarter horse (a race horse) that a rancher friend of mine had.  That foal was a bit more stubborn, but we got her going and rode her in the mountains some, and then ended up selling her to some friends, for their daughter’s birthday present.

 

 

"Pat's" 2nd foal, "Sister" with Shadow in back
“Pat’s” 2nd foal, “Sister” with Shadow in back
Pat's first foal, "Shadow" by an Arabian stallion
“Pat’s” first foal, “Shadow” by an Arabian stallion

 

 

Our Involvement With Missouri Foxtrotters

 

One by one, we sold the horses that we had, and replaced them with Foxtrotters.  After a couple years, we bought a really nice mare, that had won a yearling championship down in Ava, Missouri, and we started breeding Foxtrotters.  It didn’t take long for the horses to multiply.  I usually kept about four mares for breeding.  We had a beautiful older stallion, named Zane’s Lad, and we would have two or three foals per year, sometimes four, and we always kept an older riding gelding for my wife.  I would ride the young horses, training them as I used them.  (When we went to the mountains, she didn’t want to be messin’ around training as she rode)

 

I’d sell the horses at different ages and different levels of training, but if I kept one through it’s three year old year, that’s when I really began to feel that sense of accomplishment.  By that point in the horse’s training, it was such a pleasure to just ride and “enjoy”, rather than to be “training” every step of the way.  Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the training, it was so much fun, but to ride the almost “finished product”, well that was even “funner”.  (Please no grammar lessons here)  And what a great feeling, to know you did it all yourself.  We raised Foxtrotters for over twenty five years.

 

I also took in a few outside horses to start for people.  We had a few neighbors who had bought some BLM Adoption horses, and we got the chance to train some of them also.  That was interesting to say the least.  I remember one in particular.  The BLM people had named him Step-ladder, because he was so tall, you about needed a step-ladder to get on.  For some reason, he would only turn to the right when we first began working with him.  He would just lock up solid when you asked him to go left.  Very strange..  It took quite a while before he started to loosen up and begin to “give” to the left.

 

 

Some yearlings, early spring
Some yearlings, early spring
Our Stallion "Zane's Lad"
Our Stallion “Zane’s Lad”

 

Finally we got interested in Icelandic horses

 

When I keep saying “we” I mean of course my wife and I.   I was running my own business by this time, an automotive repair business, and no longer had the time to spend training the horses, so we quit raising horses, and just had a couple riding horses, so we could enjoy riding up in the mountains.  But horses have brought us both so much enjoyment and satisfaction, that at this point in my life, I’d love to be able to give that to others as well.

 

 

Jan and "Brunie" 10 yr old Icelandic gelding
Jan and “Brunie” 10 yr old Icelandic gelding

 

 

I ‘d like to invite you to take an active part in this website

 

If you have any comments, please leave them for me.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  As I said, this site is for you, to help you get the same enjoyment from your horse, as I’ve gotten from mine.   My hope is that I can help you train your horse easily, safely, and successfully, and that you can have a lot of fun doing it.  God bless you, and “Happy Horse Training”, Jim.

 

 

 

comments please

 

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Jim,

    Quite an interesting story, you are very fortunate to have met and married someone that shares your love and passion for the same things. I love dogs and I’ve owned one nearly all of my life- about 60 years. You are very knowledgeable about horses and you allow your visitor to fully understand the difference in the different styles of riding and the different breeds.

    To be able to up and move so you can pursue the thing you really want is remarkable. Your journey from your first horse Pat, to your present situation, is a testimony to your passion. I Pray that Our LORD and Savior Continue to Shower His Abundant Blessing UpOn You.

    To God Give the Glory;
    Praise His Holy Name;
    Your Brother in Christ;
    William

    1. Hi again William. Yes, my wife and I have been very fortunate that we both have had such a strong interest in horses. We’ve had a great time with all our riding. I guess you could say, we were obsessed over the same thing.. horses. This May will be our 42nd anniversary. Wow! How time flies. Thanks so much for the prayers and good wishes. All the same to you William.

  2. Hi Jim,

    I simply love your site, I am an animal lover also, especially dogs. I’ve ridden horses but I have never owned one. Your story is quite interesting. You know an awful lot about horses. I Pray that you continue to find joy in the things you love. To have your wife share your love and passion for horses also is awesome. My wife is not an animal lover, she tolerates my dogs because she love me but she don’t love them

    May the LORD Our Savior Continue to Shower His Abundant Blessing UpOn You!

    To God Give the Glory;
    Praise His Holy Name;
    Your Brother in Christ;
    William

    1. Hi William. Thanks for your visit here and for your comments. Dogs are great too. We have several. At least your wife tolerates them. May God bless you also.

  3. Hi, Jim
    I enjoyed reading about you and your wife’s story. You sure know a lot about horses.
    I remember in my youth I was visiting my best friend. Her family had a horse and we wanted to pat the horse but suddenly the horse started to bite us and we began to run. I got really scared and have been scared of horses since then. So my question is:
    How do I get free of being afraid?
    I do like horses very much. They are beautiful and proud creatures.

    Tove

    1. Hi Tove, thanks for visiting the site and for leaving your comments. I’m sorry that you became afraid of horses at a young age. People get afraid of dogs that way too. If they have a bad experience when they’re young, it sticks with them. But to get “un-afraid”, you’ll have to actually spend some time around a horse. But you need to find a really gentle and kind horse so you can build your confidence. There are some super gentle horses out there, and you just have to check around and find some place where you can be around one of them. Where is it that you live? Maybe I could help you find somewhere to be around gentle horses if I knew more about you and where you live at. Let me know please, Jim.

  4. My hubby and I only dated a few months but were friends for 3 years. You guys have such a cool story. Wow, I hear Wyoming is beautiful I have never been to Wyoming. We have a Huge Equestrian community here in Florida. The Icelandic horse is beautiful. I look forward to reading more on your site.

    1. Thanks for visiting Francine. What part of Florida are you in? I’ve been to the Fort Meyers area, and the Tampa, and Clearwater areas. We have a good sized Equestrian center in a small community here also. They just held the annual Don Kong Days there last week. Google Don King, Sheridan Wyoming, or Kings Ropes. Please come back and look around a bit more. Thanks again, Jim.

    1. Thanks for visiting Elektra. I’m so glad you found the story interesting. I hope you too can realize your passion. Please share this site with others too. Thanks again, Jim.

  5. Interesting story, Jim. Glad you found something you love enough that you could make a website out of it. Seeing all of this content makes me want to go horseback riding! It’s quite freeing, isn’t it. 🙂

    1. Hi Koda. Yes, it’s quite a good feeling to be out riding horseback. I especially like going up in the mountains. You can really get away from it all and just enjoy nature and some peace and quiet. Have you ridden much?

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