Tanja spent her childhood taking riding lessons to get her horse fix. “My dream was owning a horse of my own, but my mom told me that horses were too expensive. Instead, she bought me a 45-minute riding lesson once a week,” Tanja says. “I loved the lessons but didn’t give up on my dream.”
When Tanja married her husband and they moved to southern Germany, her dream of owning her own horse came true. “I was almost 41, and at the time, I bought my dream horse – a big, beautiful warmblood gelding,” she says.
At the barn where she boarded her horse, she met a woman who did reining. “I fell in love with the discipline and wanted to do it too,” Tanja says. “Soon it became clear to me that I could not ride the maneuvers with my long-legged warmblood, so my new friend put me in contact with a breeder of Quarter Horses in Austria. I bought Valentino, my Quarter Horse gelding, who was about to turn 2. We were the blind leading the blind because he was young and didn’t know anything and I didn’t know how to train a horse.”
Looking to add to her knowledge, Tanja attended a horse show where she found a tent full of brochures advertising trainers and their programs. One particular trainer caught her attention with his promise of teaching her how to move her horse’s feet and earn his respect. She attended a clinic and learned of Clinton and the Method.
The dedicated horsewoman soon became a No Worries Club member and a serious student of the Method, studying the training kits and making great progress with Valentino.
When she turned 50, she realized another life-long dream when she bought a Quarter Horse foal named Rusty. “I wanted to train a horse from scratch and start him on my own,” Tanja says. Afraid of making a mistake with Rusty, Tanja attended the 2018 Colt Starting Clinic in Texas to learn the basics of starting a horse under saddle from Clinton. With the knowledge she gained from participating in the clinic, Tanja was able to go home and give Rusty a text-book perfect first ride.
Over the years, Tanja has attended multiple clinics in Germany taught by Professional Clinicians Jeff Davis and Shayla Smock. With each experience, her desire to better her horsemanship skills increased. “The next logical step was to enroll in the Academy. I didn’t want to miss out on learning from the best of the best,” Tanja says.
As a Method Ambassador, Tanja enjoys sharing the Method with horse owners and being able to communicate Clinton’s approach to horsemanship in German. “I’m so passionate about the Method and sharing it with as many people as I possibly can because it made such a huge difference in my life with horses,” Tanja says. “It is amazing what you can accomplish with a horse when you earn his respect and trust. The partnership is incredible, and I want everyone to be able to experience it.”