Madison grew up on a small ranch just outside of Pendleton, Oregon, where her parents got her involved with horses at a young age. By the time she was 9, she had a horse of her own and enjoyed exploring trails and competing in schooling shows. Throughout her middle-school and teenage years, she participated in 4-H and competed on her high school equestrian team.
When she was 16, Madison wanted to take part in the Teens and Oregon Mustangs program, a nonprofit that pairs teens and wild horses. The mustangs are untouched by human hands, until they are caught and placed in a Bureau of Land Management holding facility. Participating in the program, Madison would gentle her assigned horse, train him and participate in a three-day competition and auction.
The only catch in Madison’s plan was that she had no experience training a horse. “I knew how to ride, but I’d never learned how to train a horse. Up to that point, I’d always ridden horses that knew their jobs and kept me safe,” Madison says.
Her father was a big believer in the Method, having used it to train his trail horse. “When I told him my plan, he bought me the Colt Starting Kit and encouraged me to follow it,” Madison explains.
She watched the training kit’s videos and reviewed the Arena Mate booklets and loved how easy it was to understand Clinton’s approach to horsemanship. “I’d watch the video, read the Arena Mate, apply the lesson to my horse and get immediate results. It was that easy,” she says.
Using the Method, Madison went on to train two mustangs through the Teens and Oregon Mustangs program. Working with the wild horses, earning their trust and developing a partnership with them fine-tuned her feel and timing and increased her passion for working with horses.
When she graduated high school, she knew that she wanted to focus on teaching and training horses with the Method. “Ever since I realized Clinton offered the Academy, it was on my mind to attend and make a career out of training horses and helping people,” she says.
Now, the outgoing horsewoman enjoys sharing the Method with others, teaching them how to better communicate with their horses. “The Method helps you develop a safe, reliable partnership with your horse, which allows you to enjoy your horse and have fun with him. I love training horses and then showing their owners how to communicate with them,” Madison says. “It’s a very rewarding experience.”