Focussed on continually improving his own skills, Mick has been a mentor to many while achieving outstanding results of his own in the reining pen.
Mick, who is no stranger to reining in Australia, is a firm believer in trusting the process and enjoying the journey – and his journey has been outstanding. Mentored by Martin Larcombe, as a non-pro Mick achieved Reining Australia’s $100,000 life time earnings milestone. A highlight of his career was in 2003 when he became the first non-pro to win the Reining Australia Futurity on Docs Defender, a horse he trained himself.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Mick backed up his achievements with many Championship titles on self-trained horses including My Dad’s a Wimp (2016 ARBC Non-Pro Derby Winner, 2017 Reining Australia Joint Open winner), Lil Gold Digger (RA Gold Buckle Non-Pro Futurity 2016) and Whizzel With Me (Reining Australia Open Champion 2012).
Since becoming a professional reining horse trainer in 2017, he has developed a program through which he produces quality horses for the non-pro industry: good minded, solid, competitive horses that riders at any level can compete on confidently. Time to Shine (GVRHA Green Rider Champion 2019), QXH Stylish Jazz (NZRHA Open Champion), Lil Gold Digger (numerous state titles) and My Dad’s a Wimp (PCRS Non Pro Derby Champion), are just some of Mick’s horses who have achieved success with non-pro riders.
As a coach, Mick supports many non-pro reiners on their journey to achieve their goals in the reining pen: from beginner riders to experienced non-pro competitors. The effectiveness of his coaching program is highlighted by Sarah Rawson-Harris’ first year of competition, when she won the Green Rider Championship at Reining Australia’s National Show, followed by a Reining Australia Non-Pro Derby win just 12 months later.
Mick is continuously developing his own skills by working with trainers in the USA, attending training days with international clinicians, and partnering with other trainers to provide clinics throughout Australasia.
Q: What was your dream or what were your goals when you first set your sights on the equestrian industry?
At first it was about being a better horse person – then I realised I just wanted to be the best I could be.
Q: We believe in the great value of mentors, did you or do you have a mentor that has made a significant impact in your life or career?
Martin Larcombe, who has over 20 years’ experience working in Europe and the USA, was and still is my mentor. And back in 2019, I spent three months working with Jordan Larson in Ione, California.
Q: What is the best advice you were ever given?
You are only as good as the horse you are riding.
Q: What roadblock or roadblocks have you overcome to be where you are today professionally?
As a trainer and coach, the biggest roadblock for me is communication with the client and student: what makes them tick and how to motivate them to bring out their very best.
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