Who am I? First and foremost, I am a child of God and I strive to honor Him with the gifts and talents He has given me. I am fifty-eight years old. I was adopted and am the only child of two very loyal and loving parents. I have two wonderful boys and two amazing daughter in-laws. Together they have given me four outstanding grandchildren. My passion is horses and I have encompassed many aspects of the equine industry into my business. I own a Training and Boarding Facility- MM Training in Potlatch, Idaho. I am a horse trainer, a riding coach, a judge and a competitor. I also partner with my good friend to put on clinics, events and together we run our online business- MM Connections. The over-arching theme for both businesses is “Strengthening Relationships through Connection”: God, Self, Others and the Horse.
What am I most passionate about?
As I stated above, horses are my number one passion. I started riding before I can remember. I had a good start. My dad trained horses on the side, owned an outfitting business and was a horse logger. Both my mom and dad showed horses and did O-mok-see (gaming on horseback). A memory that really sticks out in my mind is my parents going to a horse training clinic, when I was six years old. I remember wanting to ride so badly but it was an adult only clinic. I remember being completely enamored by the clinicians. One was a young lady named Suzy. I really liked to watch her the most. She was a very impressive rider and to top it off, she always wore her pants tucked into her knee high, red cowboy boots. I really loved that! I can look back now and know at that moment in time, I was hooked on what I wanted to do. I wanted to train, ride and teach others about horses. Although I have made some very interesting turns, those three things have always been the consistent in my life.
Moving forward, I was so blessed and fortunate to get to professionally train horses when I was just thirteen years old. I couldn’t believe people were willing to pay me to ride their horses! Horse training became my summer job through my teen years. I became a clinic junkie, a complete sponge for learning about horse training. I learned from some of the best. But even with all those opportunities, I really didn’t find a clinician or trainer that really did all that I wanted my business to be. I didn’t even know what that was at the time but there was something missing. I imagine it was God kind of nudging me. He probably was telling me to keep searching. That is what I did anyway. Although I couldn’t really understand it or put my finger on it back then. Now looking back, I can put some words to it.
On my search, I ended up getting a degree in psychology and communication. I love people and what makes them tick fascinates me. I also have a passion for Christ and my Christian faith. Combining these components with my horse training, teaching and program design was definitely the missing piece! This combination is what has made it all a complete fit for me (my gifts, my talents, my experiences and my passion).
My business partner and I, our team member and many of our clients love the similarities we find between our relationship with the horse, God and other people. MM Training and MM Connections is all about having a growth mindset. Growth that’s not only in our skillset but also in our mindset. The horse is such a great teacher and they offer us such a fun and interesting way to help us grow and know more about who we are. It truly is amazing how they require us to be more self-aware, if we want to get the very best out of them. As is the key to improving any relationship, we have to take responsibility and change ourselves first to get the change we want to see in others.
How did I discover my purpose?
It took time and a few wrong turns but I just never quit searching. I never let go of my passion. I was never afraid of making a mistake or taking a chance. It’s all just learning anyway…learning what to do or what not to do.
I kept digging deeper into who I was- my personality, my gift and my talents. I read a lot! I read about horse-human relationships and about human-human relationships. I attended horse training clinics and seminars from those that I respected. I took an inventory of my positive experiences (the things that really made me come alive) but I also took an inventory of my struggles and the things God had helped me overcome. I dove deeper into my faith and asked God to show where He wanted me to be and what my next step forward was.
I encourage others to surround themselves with other people that want the best for them and who can see in them what they might not be able to see in themselves. And to not try to find your purpose overnight, just keep taking the next best step. Always remember- the joy is in the journey!
How do I live out my purpose daily?
I wake up excited and energized to start my day! I get to do exactly what I love! I work with people, horses and program design! Every morning I wake up early to have quiet time with the Lord. A typical day, I start with correspondence- interacting and problem-solving with horse people in our online program. We support them on their horse training journey, give them feedback, strive to inspire them and be their cheerleaders. I then head to the barn to feed the horses. We have twenty-one head right now to feed. I then will ride and give lessons at my barn or I may travel to other locations.
On a weekly basis, our team is working on improving our program to better help people. We are continually trying to get our message out to DIY horse trainers. We believe we have a unique and good message to share. We are not perfect but we strive daily to make this world a little better place for horses and for people.
What are some of the challenges you run into following your passion and purpose?
Well, I would say, one has to keep looking at the bigger picture. There certainly are bumps in the road. If I didn’t love what I do, I might feel I’m very tied down with caring for a bunch of horses. It’s hard work and I can’t just pick up and go whenever I want to. It’s also a lot of responsibility, not only caring for another’s horse, but also keeping people safe on their own horses. On a ranch the work is never done, there’s always something that needs to be maintained or repaired. But all that doesn’t matter because there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. Plus, the way bigger picture. Our team hopes and prays that God will use our passion for the horse and work through us to help other people.
What would you say to someone who doesn’t know their purpose or is struggling to live it out?
I’ve already said don’t give up, keep searching and taking baby action steps. But I also might add to don’t get so locked into there being just one way that you can’t see the possibilities around you. If or when you hit a road block, sit down with yourself and just brainstorm. Brainstorm where you don’t allow yourself to have a wrong answer. Just let the thoughts flow with NOTHING holding you back.
In closing I want to thank Sarah, for giving me the opportunity to share my passion and purpose! I have so much more I can say but these are the highlights. I really would be interested in hearing from you, hearing your story. If you are interested in discovering how the horse can teach you about relationships with God, Self, or Others please reach out to us. We’d love to share. We have private, group and observer opportunities.
FB: MM Connections
Web Site: www.mm-horsetraining.com
If you'd like to share your story about living on purpose or learn more about how I can help you live a life full of Passion & Purpose you can find me at www.pathwaycoaching.net When you visit, make sure to schedule a complimentary discovery session!