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24 RICHARD WINTERS Continued from page 21


that other individuals are able to do? Are they really that much smarter than me? Are they really that much more talented? Can I work a litle bit harder and get there? So, it motivates me to go out, and I do. I just enjoy them. What animal in the world will do for us what horses will do for us?


HM: You have that bond. I was taught that you first establish the fact that they have respect for you, and you can’t have trust without respect.


RICHARD: We talk about that balance of trust and respect. I frame it something like this: If I get my horse to only trust me and not respect me, that can be an arrogant horse that’s going to hurt me. If I get a horse to only respect me and not trust me, that’s


God the orchestrator or the manager of my affairs. The Bible says, without geting too preachy, that the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord. And I would not want to go out and plan another clinic or go to another horse show and leave God back at the house. And so, that’s the glue that’s kept our family together and has allowed us to enjoy the blessings of this horse business for all these years.


HM: On your books, what drove you to sit down and get those ideas on paper?


“It seems like the farther I go in my horsemanship, the farther there is to go.”


–RICHARD WINTERS, horseman


a horse that’s fearful and afraid of me. But whether it’s my horse or my kids or my employees or my wife or my mother in law— those healthy relationships are built on a balance of trust and respect. And that’s what we’re trying to help people with every week- end at these clinics.


HM: The trust and the respect that we get from horses. What about faith? How does that play into your family and your horses?


RICHARD: We’ve been talking the last few minutes how much I love horses. How much passion I have for them. But in all reality, this might sound a litle bit of a dichotomy, they are just horses. And one day, they are all going to be gone. What’s going to be leſt? Can you imagine—I’m at the end of my life, I’m lying on my death bed— am I going to say, “bring me those saddles that I won? Bring those buckles that I want close to me in these last hours of my life?” No. What do they say? Bring my family. Where’s my kids? Where’s my wife at? Those are the things that are going to make a difference. And all that sticks togther with the glue of our faith. Keeping God No. 1 in our lives. I consider


RICHARD: That’s tricky. I don’t know if I hit the mark completely or not. But it’s out there. You can turn the pages. The nice thing about my book is it’s got a lot of pictures and no big words. So I wrote a book that I would want to read. And I tried to keep it very practical. I’ve been help- ing people for a lot of years with their horsemanship. There’s not one chapter in those books that doesn’t, I hope, won’t reso- nate in a very practical fashion with people. Not a lot of esoter- ic, philiosophical things that they really can’t get a hold of. But, how am I going to get this


horse to pick up the leſt lead? Or, what has Richard learned about body control or sta- ble management or whatever it might be. I never dreamed years ago that writing a book would be part of my paradigm, but it’s been fun and it’s been cool to have that and you know, put my name on the front and hand it to someone. I hope it has some value to them. There are books of value and books of


questionsable value and I won’t speculate where my book falls on that scale. But I think for me to write that book 25 years ago would have been very premature because I do not believe I am the horseman now that I was 25 years ago. Oh, I had all the answers back then, don’t misunderstand me—at least I thought I did. But now, some of the things that I said 25 years ago in relation to horses, I’m not even doing that now. It almost takes a lifetime of experience,


knowledge, perhaps bad judgement, mis- takes, pitfalls, to be able then to stop and refer back to all of that history, then to write something that might be of some value to somebody else.


HM: What was your first clinic like?


RICHARD: I remember exactly when it was. It was 30 years ago because I remember my wife Cheryl holding our first son, Joseph, in her arms. He’s 30 now. He was just a brand new newborn. I remember in that very first clinic—I had stayed up so late the night before, trying to write down all the clever litle sayings and all the different points I wanted to bring up. I wrote them out them on a clipboard, and then I carried the clip- board with me all day because I wanted to share all this improtant information. A litle bit scary. A litle bit intimidating. I am thankful that as this industry as evolved, I did my first clinic 30 years ago and not three years ago. When we first started, there were four or five guys out there doing it. Now, there are four of five guys in every town, every weekend doing it. So, I got on that wagon before it was completely out of town, and I was thankful for that. It’s been great for us because you can only


get on one horse at a time. If you are giving a lesson, you can only talk to one person at a time. I used to show a lot of horses. You can only show one at a time. I saw an opportuni- ty—if 10 people would show up, or 15 people would show up, and I could bring some value to them—then this business that I’m in that feels a litle bit financially marginal might pay a litle bit beter, and then I could get my brand and my style of horsemanship out to a greater number of people. And it’s allowed us to go to so many places and meet so many people that we never would have had the opportunity to meet. We’ve literally been around the world doing horsemanship clinics. I never would have gone to places like Switzerland or Sweden or Poland or Australia or all these different places where I’ve been, had it not been for horses and for clinics. There is so much great information out


there now—not just my information. We truly live in the information age. I tell people, there really is no excuse to be ignorant any more. You know, you talk about that toolkit or picking up those one or two things. That’s what I tell people at the clinics. You don’t need to go home and be a cookie-cuter of Richard Winters. But if you will glean one or two or can you imagine three things this weekend that you can put in your pocket and take home and apply to what you are already doing—you’re already enjoying a certain amount of success with you’re horse. Just about everything I share with people, if you pin me down, I can probably recall the time


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