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Kim's Background

It all started with the usual horse fever, in Michigan. I took the usual hunter/jumper lessons and then added dressage as a youngster (Casa Bonita, Lou-Don Farms, Kirkland Arabians, Gunnick Arabians, et. al).

I began taking dressage lessons from an elderly Austrian man, Frank Gunnick. He had studied at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna (home of the famous Lippizan horses - the ultimate dressage horse). His trainer got married and moved away leaving him in a bind. He had a stable full of prize Arabians with no one to train them. He had a head full of priceless training knowledge but had bones like tinder. Mr. Gunnick approached my parents. He was impressed with my riding seat and hands. The deal was struck. He would teach me to train if I would train for him while I was in school. What an opportunity!! I was nine or ten years old at the time an an apprentice to a Spanish Riding School graduate.

His approach to training horses (and riders) was very different than almost everyone I had heard of and seen. He didn't just teach the how, but the why. This was way before VCR's and horse seminars by world renouned trainers touting quiet training techniques. Even on through the 1980's most old time trainers told me I was nuts and would never make it. Get on and ride the hair off 'em was the method of the times. Not for me.

During this period I also studied Horse Science through the Agricultural Extension office and was heavily involved in our 4-H program in riding, demonstrations (rated AAA every year), judging team (rated AAA) and quiz bowl (state finalists); eventually becoming a Teen Leader and later a Co-Leader; showed extensively in open shows (english equitation, hunter, over fences, stadium jumping, western equitation, trail, western pleasure, halter, showmanship, dressage, barrel racing, pole bending, and anything else I could find) on horses I trained myself. I also judged numerous shows. I worked at an appaloosa farm for a while at the same time on the weekends but didn't agree with their general equine health practices (survival of the fittest). Oh, and in my spare time I rode my horse all over the place, she was my transportation.

After high school I left Gunnick Arabians, rode and trained for individuals and my self. I also showed some American Quarter Horse shows. I had become thoroughly burned out on showing after 9 years of tearing up the roads so I decided to hit the trail, literally. I found I liked taking young horses and develop them into riding partners. Discovering their talents and building on them. I moved to Florida, my adopted home state

I decided to train horses full time again in the late 1980's. Those old timers said I'd never make it. They were wrong. When I moved I was the only trainer the local vetrinarian would recommend. I had referrals. I had repeat customers. I had horses of all kinds from the backyard grade horse to high dollar stakes running thoroughbreds, quarter horses and about anything in between. I tried to retire several times.

I discovered Team Penning in the early 1990's - more fun although I haven't done that in a couple years, since I moved from Florida to Arkansas in 1996 and back to Northeast Florida again late 2001. I may begin to dabble again if fuel prices become more reasonable.

Year 2004: I am still taking a selected few horses to train to ride at this time (still crazy after all these years).

Year 2005: I have chosen to relocate to Central Florida. activities. Since I no longer have training facilities I only keep my own horses and do not take outside horses. I will still do off-site Seminars and Consulting. I am available in the North-Orlando and surrounding areas. Once we get back on our feet, don't be suprised if you see my son and I on a dusty trail somewhere around the great state of Florida.

 

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