Although the seven-year wait to work for Clinton felt like an eternity, Shana is now living her dream of training horses and teaching clinics. The first horseman to receive Clinton’s highest level of certification, Shana earned her Professional Clinician title in 2009. Today, she works at the Downunder Horsemanship Ranch overseeing the Clinton Anderson Clinician Academy and helping Clinton train his performance horses.
As for what it’s like to work for Clinton, Shana says she loves that he pushes those around him to keep an open mind and try new things. “He’s always encouraging us to go out and explore new options. He’s just very open-minded person and that’s what makes him really fun to work for.”
Helping people improve their horsemanship and boost their confidence using the Method has remained a passion for Shana. “My favorite thing is seeing somebody come to a clinic who is scared to death of their horse and have a total lack of confidence. At the end of the clinic, you can see they’re much more confident, they’re in control and they don’t have those fear issues anymore,” Shana explains.
Clinton is quick to acknowledge that Shana is a phenomenal horseman and knows the Method inside and out. “She has a tremendous amount of feel and timing. Very few people can get a horse as soft, supple and broke as Shana can. And, what’s more is, she has a unique ability to work with people. She’s always smiling, she’s very friendly and she never quits. It doesn’t matter what I give this girl, she never quits.”
Throughout her career as a Professional Clinician, training horses on the ranch, instructing clinics and teaching the Academy students, Shana says she’s learned to refine her approach to horses and people. “Different personalities respond better to different techniques. I’ve also learned to compromise with both horses and people, which is sometimes hard for me because I’m such a ‘Get it done perfectly right now!’ type of person. But many times, compromise is necessary to get the concept of a lesson across and establish a starting point,” she explains.
As for her own horse training, Shana enjoys teaching horses on the ranch how to perform tricks and liberty routines. “Several years ago we started dabbling in trick training, something we were unfamiliar with, but it’s turned out to be a great learning experience. And, it gives all of us some variety in our training program,” Shana says. Teamed with her Quarter Horse mare, Jillaroo (a daughter of Clinton’s mare Mindy), Shana puts on a dazzling display of how far the equine/human partnership can go with a trick and liberty freestyle she performs at tours. “I love a challenge, I love working with horses and absolutely love what I do for a living,” Shana says, “and the most exciting thing is that I’m not done learning or bettering myself as a horseman.”