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  • Writer's picturelynmeredith

My Why:

Twenty years ago, I lived in the desert, trained/rode Arabians in ranch versatility, and started colts for people. We lost our ranch in 2008 during the recession and moved to Texas. One year later, we moved back. I began to train for extreme cowboy races, still riding Arabians.

One day, my friend Rene Johnson invited me to a cow horse clinic at Russell Dilday's ranch. My life changed that day. I wanted what Russell had: his skill, his ranch, his well bred horses. I began the journey to level up and acquire those things. I rode with Russell, on the wrong horses, for three years until he moved to Oklahoma. He treated me and my horses with respect even though they weren't cow horses. He cared about mentoring me as a trainer no matter what I was riding, for which I am deeply grateful for. We had matched temperaments because I believe that "doing it wrong" is the best way to get started at learning a skill. Just get in and do what you can with what you have, then do better. Russell lives that.

While I was on my cow horse journey with my half Arabian, Harmony, my friend and client, Ginny Griswold brought me a horse to sell. The mare was nervous so I did a minute or two of groundwork. She began to sigh. I immediately knew that she was great minded. I stepped up on her, asked her to give to see how soft she was (not so much, lol), then I asked her to lope off. I loped by Ginny and said, "Let's not be so hasty with that sale video. I'm buying her!" This is Shug that I'm talking about.

The Arabians showed me what kind of mind and work ethic I want in my horses. Russell Dilday showed me what my life as a trainer could be and how to effectively work for and with clients. And Shug showed me what talent I need in my performance horses.

Harmony and Me circa 2015ish


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