Born into this world with a love of horses, Colette has had a gravitational pull towards the horse as long as she can remember. When she was very small, maybe 4-5 years old, the family horse could be led up to the front step. With just a halter on, she could climb on all by herself and go for a ride. This was done without the knowledge or help of parents or older siblings. All she knew was that she just “had” to ride. When that horse was no longer part of the family, her imagination led her to riding the family's buck sheep, and later on a gentle Hereford steer. Again, all she knew was that she “had” to ride.

At the age of 9, a mule finally came into the picture after much begging to her father. It didn't take too many rides for her to realize that this was not exactly what she had in mind. With no guidance to help deal with the intelligence of a mule, she moved onto the Hereford steer. But by the age of 12, she could stand it no longer and was out to ride that mule, no matter what. The years with Flame, the mule, taught Colette many things, and not always good things. But at least it was something to ride. Colette bought her first weanling, an Appaloosa/Shetland colt cross just before her 13 th birthday. Let the learning begin! By the time that pony was 2 years old, Colette just got on and rode. Unfortunately, Fireball never really got to the size that was expected of him, so he was quickly outgrown. Then, at the age of 15, along came the partner of a lifetime.

 

Jackson walking Colette down the aisle in 1995.
Jackson Colette Wedding

 
 

Jackson was bought for $1 from a dear family friend. He was 4 ½ years old and “too fast” for the other family's children. This was the first horse to truly capture Colette's heart. Loving speed and jumping, Jackson fit right into her lifestyle. In 1995, Jackson walked Colette down the aisle in her marriage to Ken. He kept an active life right to his 33 rd year, 2006. He quickly slipped away while she was out of state and wouldn't have to be there to watch it happen. No other horse will ever be able to take the same place in her heart that this horse holds.

All of the horses Colette works with are teachers in themselves. Every horse has something to offer to help learn a better way of doing and thinking. Colette's grey mare, D.G. was her best and most influencial teacher.  Losing her in the fall of 2015 was quite a blow, but the lessons she taught and her spirit continue on.

When it comes to human teachers, Pat Parelli was the first one to open Colette's eyes to a different way of dealing with horses. In the next two years, Peggy Cummings of Connected Riding open her eyes to the world of being softer, suppler, and more in balance to help the horse move better underneath you. Next were world class reiners, Craig Johnson and Jack Brainard. Both had a huge impact on opening the mind to new ways to teach and ride a horse.

In 2005, Colette  connected up with Lee Smith, of the Diamond S Ranch in Arizona. Lee is an extremely gifted teacher who has extraordinary insights into horses and people. 

Most recently Colette has been studying with Ross Jacobs of Australia.  A gifted writer as well as a talented horseman and teacher, Ross has been able to open minds and eyes to the subtleties of training and teaching.