We made a quick trip to the Cañon City, Colorado area yesterday to pick up some horses that had been getting an education with J & A Horsemanship. The J and the A are Jimmy Cantwell and Autumn Ehler and let me just say that they are horsemen! Amy and I have raised many horses over the years and started most of them ourselves. Age and injuries have caused us to assess the viability of starting young horses. No matter how well prepared they are and we are, sometimes it just takes some grit and athleticism to stay with one that gets bothered during those first rides. Coming off doesn’t do the colt any good and we just don’t bounce like we used to!
We’ve sent 3 fillies to Jimmy and Autumn. All three are nice fillies but, in the wrong hands could have turned out to be distrustful and too touchy. We’d had that experience before; sending some nice but feely horses to a young colt starter who got them ridden but didn’t get them quiet. I’m at the point where my favorite color of horse is gentle. I still like some life and a horse that will feel of me. I’m just not at the place, and really never have been, where I want one that jumps out of his skin when I ask him for something. All of our fillies, and another one we raised and sold to a dear friend, have come back just the way Amy and I would want them. They want to be with the human and they look forward to going to work. Jimmy and Autumn did that!
Amy and I get to deal with lots of people. We see really good and we’ve dealt with our share of bad. Those “bad” experiences have made us wary of being overly trusting in the beginning of any new encounters with folks. People have to show us that they are what they are. We don’t listen to the words much anymore. We watch for actions. We look at results. Jimmy and Autumn are good people. Their two faces could be in Webster’s Dictionary next to the words, honest, trustworthy, and integrity. You would have trouble finding two people more passionate about getting things right with the horses they work with. They have learned early that this journey they are on happens one horse at a time and they are willing to take the time it takes to make the journey.
It’s overwhelming for horse people to sort through all of the advice they run into. You can ask 5 horse people the same question and come away with 10 different answers none of which are the same. Jimmy and Autumn do a great job of translating what the horses are telling them into easily understood actions that make sense to horse owners. Ego doesn’t cloud what they see and say so, you will hear what they honestly believe to be what you need to hear from your horse to get along and be safe.
The bottom line is; if you’re looking for a really nice young couple to work with your horses, Amy and I would highly recommend you get in touch with Jimmy and Autumn. You can find them on Facebook under J&A Horsemanship where they’ve posted some short video clips. Those clips should give you an idea of how they work.
They are some good ones!