In my journey I’ve worked with a few different trainers and clinicians. In my experience a lot of trainers are focused on ribbons for people (because that’s what the people want) and the horse is merely a “means to an end” for both trainer and owner/rider.
I’ve watched other clinicians and trainers, and watched their DVDs; most all contain at least some good information. As my horsemanship (and my horse) has progressed and evolved I’ve changed who I work with. From a dressage trainer, to a friend who worked for Buck, to a cowboy/trainer that centers on reigning and cow working, to my friend Annette Coker, who is married to my best friend Hal.
Annette has shown Arabians and half-Arabians and won many awards at the National level. She has been riding since she was a small girl and was even a jockey for 7 years. Buck Brannaman helped her with her Arabs and has been her mentor for over 20 years. In fact, Annette was interviewed in ‘Buck’ the movie. She has a very technical mind, has great horses, breaks things down, and is a wonderful, sensitive, compassionate person. Most important of all, she has ‘feel’. We used to discuss what we read in two technical books, Racinet Explains Baucher (recommended by Buck Brannaman), and another written by Alois Podhajsky, The Complete Training of Horse and Rider. But, she encouraged me to put aside the mechanical thought, and to think about where I wanted to go, how I wanted to get there, and to feel of my horse in the process. It changed everything!
For me, riding with Annette is very much like riding with Buck. Her style of teaching draws out the best in horse and rider. She encourages and challenges her riders to continually raise the bar for themselves, all the while offering praise and explaining not only the “how”, but the “why” of everything. The result for me has been the ability to bring a new horse farther in one year than I was able to bring my other horse in 10 years. And now I can apply everything to my older horse and continue his refinement. And I can ‘feel’ that he is thankful for my new feel.
I highly recommend Annette to anyone needing help with their horse or, wishing to achieve a higher level of horsemanship.
I have had the pleasure of learning with Annette for several years now. My only regret is that I didn't meet her sooner!
It doesn't matter what discipline you ride or what level of a rider you are...you will learn more from Annette than you ever thought possible! She has a special gift for teaching horsemanship.
Annette will explain things in a way so that you can really wrap your head around the concept. She will work with you while you are riding your horse, or she may ride your horse to help you and the horse come along and she is always willing to discuss things after the lesson is over. If you decide to sponsor a clinic, get ready for an incredible experience!
Aside from four full days packed with learning, the friendships and camaraderie formed will be astounding. Another great thing about Annette is that you don't need to have a fancy ranch or stable to be a clinic sponsor.
I thought it would be so easy to write a few sentences about my experiences working with Annette over the past several years but when it came to putting pen to paper, I found it very difficult. I have so much love and respect for her and what she has brought to me and our horses that words are just difficult to find. Powerful. Insightful. Meaningful. Deep. Good starters.
Over the last 65 years of owning, breeding, showing and living the horse centered life, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the finest professional horsemen of our day. The last 25 of those years have been intertwined with Annette and the eye opening horsemanship of Buck Brannaman and Ray Hunt.
With such an extensive background, hard to find in almost any other clinician out there, Annette brings this meaningful horsemanship to an even deeper level of understanding for me. Her extensive experience with high caliber performance horses is invaluable. From groundwork, (and I mean groundwork that will totally let you "get it"), to an upper level performance horse, no matter the discipline, Annette has a real gift to give.
Thanks, Netty! So glad you're back in Montana!
Annette's husband Hal had started my Morgan colt for me in 2009. When it came time for me to start my rescue filly a few years later, Hal was not available to do so.
I took his suggestion and started the filly myself at a Buck Brannaman Clinic in Nevada. However, I had not the skills or the knowledge to get the filly much beyond being green broke.
I reached out to Hal to inquire with him about where I might get some mentoring to further myself and the filly. This was my first introduction to Annette Venteicher. Hal told me he and Annette were moving to Arizona from the ranch in Montana where they had been working together.
I began working with Annette and my filly after they moved here to Arizona. It soon became clear that I needed to leave the mare with Annette so she could further educate her and teach me at the same time. As a result, I have a mare now with a solid foundation put on her by Annette.
I have been a student of Annette's for many years and consider her my "guru"! I continue to seek guidance from her and attend her clinics as often as possible. I still attend clinics with Buck Brannaman, and find that my attendance and teachings from Annette, provide me with vastly greater detail regarding what I am accomplishing and the goals to look toward.
Annette is a masterful mentor who has a knack for explaining difficult concepts in ways that make them understandable. I will forever consider her to be my mentor in terms of my level of riding and being able to reach my highest level of potential while learning alongside my horse.
Meeting and learning from Annette has been a real game changer in my life. I would highly recommend her as a trainer, instructor and mentor to anyone who is interested in improving their horsemanship and their relationship with their horses.
Annette's compassion, dedication, and skill level touch me deeply. It was my great fortune to be in a position to have met her and I am so grateful to get to continue to ride with her and have her for a mentor.
My relationship with my horse has grown so much and is still continuing to evolve, as well as my understanding from the horse's point of view and my confidence level. It is something I always dreamed and wished for but I couldn't quite grasp. Now I feel like a dream has been answered. She taught me horses are mirrors of ourselves. It is a journey of looking within and learning so much about my relationship with myself and the most magical animal of all... the Horse.
I am passionate about true Horsemanship and I have learned to be very selective about who I work with. A friend told me for years, "You need to ride with Netty" and this year I finally did!
My only regret is that I didn't listen to him sooner! Netty is not only a great Horseman, her communication style is practical and understandable, which makes her a great teacher. Her effectiveness as a clinician springs from just the right mix of teaching ability; passion; commitment; feel; knowledge; experience; communication skills; practicality; and an innate understanding of the horse and people.
She has given me the tools, taught me the skills, and given me the perspective that I so desperately sought and needed to become more effective and more feeling of my horses on a day-to-day basis. I still have a long way to go on this journey and, and with Netty's encouragement, I find that I am beginning to enjoy the challenges and puzzles. I'm not taking myself too seriously. I even think some of her tenacity is rubbing off on me (I hope)!
LOVING all the updates and videos on this page! So excited that I get to host my very own clinic in Santa Fe in June! I've DONE the serpentine exercise in clinics before, but have NEVER heard it explained like Netty broke it down.
My hubby and I audited a clinic in Durango in October, just for fun really..and we ended up being jealous that we didn't have our horses there! You can end up paying a lot of money in clinics and still not understand why or how certain exercises are to be done. Netty has a gift for explaining the way your body affects your horse. And I LOVE that she comes from a non stock horse background!! I have owned non stock horse breeds for many years and they ARE different. Interesting to see how vs trainer who 'gets it' approaches things. I have 4 horses and my dilemma right now is WHO my hubby and I are going to enter in the June clinic.... Can't wait!