About Amateur Vaquero
We are just a couple of people aspiring to make a positive difference in the lives of the horses we have the opportunity to train. We primarily use the methods of horsemanship developed in the vaquero tradition of old California. These techniques put an emphasis on teaching horses to understand and participate in their training, rather than simply forcing them to comply with a set of rules. When applied properly, this training style produces horses that enjoy their work and rise to new challenges without anxiety.
We enjoy watching the unique path each horse takes during the training process. We usually have 3-5 of our own horses in training at any given time. We also have a small number of riding students and sometimes work through training problems with horses that belong to other people.
First and foremost, we are students of the horse. Everything we do is centered around the belief that good training results in happy, willing equine partners.
Robin was born with the horse bug, and started taking riding lessons at the age of 9. When it became evident that lessons alone were no cure, Robin's parents built a corral and bought her a Quarter Horse mare named Blue. Growing up in rural Southwestern Arizona, she lived in good riding country. Robin spent a lot time during her formative years exploring the deserts around her home on horseback.
Going away for college meant finding Blue a new home. For several years in her 20s, Robin rode any horse she could get her hands on. During this time, she worked with a variety of horses with varying levels of training.
In 2007, Robin moved to Iowa. There followed an entire year where she hardly rode. Finally, in 2008, Robin purchased Steen, a lovely horse with quite a few issues. It was realizing she didn't know how to help him with his many problems that sent her searching for a new way of working with horses, and put her on her current path.
Brian was never particularly interested in horses, but he has always been attracted to pursuits that require refinement of both mind and body. He raced road bikes in college, did the Birkebiner on cross-country skis in 2010, and married a woman who loves horses.
When Robin purchased Steen in 2008, he supported her decision but never thought he'd ride much. The first time he met Steen, he found the gelding's spastic behavior off-putting.
Fortunately for Robin, Brian started to get interested in spite of himself. He rode Steen on and off for a year, and in 2009 leased a Quarter Horse mare named Cal to see if he could get into the horse thing. Cal went to a different home less than a year later, so in 2010, Brian got his first horse. Since then, the situation has only escalated. Now Brian rides as much as Robin does. What started as a mild curiosity has developed into a solid riding habit. He and Robin have an equal share in the training/retraining process when they acquire new horses.