O U R P R O D U C T S
I am a second generation born and raised Alaskan, I was born into a sled dog family, and most of my education was homeschooling at my families homestead on Flathorn Lake. It was accessible only by airplane, snowmachine or dog team, and I learned a lot about work ethic, and being self sufficent as a child; few kids are as lucky as I was to have grown up in such a unique way. I grew up watching my mother compete in the Iditarod and other mid, and long distance races in a predominately male sport. Later I would recognize that growing up around this kind of dedication, and devotion to your dreams would serve me well in my own goals with horses. I credit my mom as my cornerstone in education for animal care, and her standards greatly enhanced what I do today in caring for my own horses. I rode as a child and began English riding lessons at a local riding school when I was ten. I craved education, I read every horse book in my grasp and kept journals of my experiences. Even from a very young age I imagined creating a business with horses at the center of it. I am eternally grateful to my mom for telling me that there was nothing I couldn't do if I truly wanted to accomplish it.
I showed as a Hunter/Jumper Jr. rider both in and out of state, dressage, reining horses and working cow horses. Out of necessity, after graduation to fund my own horse habit, and growing desire to work in the horse industry, I began teaching. That was 20 years ago and I’ve not looked back since. Shortly after starting Dark Horse Enterprises, I made the decision to leave the show ring and look for something more. I had come to the end of what I could do with the tools I had. I had a young horse that required me to learn a new way of teaching and interacting with horses, and nothing I had learned up to that point was working. So, I left my comfort zone and starting searching. I have studied “Natural Horsemanship”, Classical Dressage, and many other horse related sports. I am very interested in learning more about working cattle from horseback and The Vaquero Traditions.
In addition to learning from our horses each day, I believe that all trainers should do continuing education, at least twice a year I travel out of state to study with my mentors, and try to bring up a clinician to share their knowledge here in the state. Through the years I’ve worked with some wonderful clinicians in my pursuit of knowledge. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Buck Brannaman, Kathleen Lindley, and most recently Lee Smith. I will be attending the 2016 Legacy of Legends in Australia as a student, and traveling with Lee and a some of her long times students on this trip.
Each horse and owner combination is one of a kind to me, with their unique story, abilities, and goals. I strive to combine both classical horsemanship techniques with some of the more modern thought practices of mental, physical and emotional considerations, while also creating a solid foundation of understanding for the horse. I continuously study nutrition and work bettering my knowledge of body-work and anatomy to create a holistic view of our horses. I study hoofcare and do almost all of my own farrier work. I've made learning a few new things every day part of my life, the more I work outside of my comfort zone, the better prepared I feel I am as a teacher.
I live in Fairbanks Alaska with my wonderful supportive husband; our two Australian Shepherds, and my small herd of mares who continue to be my best teachers. Even in the dark cold winter months I’m working with my horses, learning from them and trying to find new ways for the human to be the best partner for our horse.