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Checkers - 8-Year Old Trakehner

My daughter, Sarah Fuchs, needed a trainer. She wanted a trainer with a calm, professional disposition, classical training, and an ability to teach Hunter Equitation. We also wanted help locating and choosing a horse with potential. Since our funds were limited, we wanted someone to help us get the most for our money. We also knew that any horse I could afford would be green, and we had to have a trainer with the patience, talent, and experience to train the horse to jump.

I watched Michael teach for some time, and I never saw him yell or lose his temper with his students or horses. Even then, though, I had mistakenly heard that Michael only taught jumpers, not hunters, so I continued looking for a trainer for Sarah.

One day, though, after hearing marvelous reports about Michael, I asked if he would teach a beginner. Michael said he would certainly work with Sarah. My daughter took one lesson with Michael and told me she learned and understood more in one lesson with him than she had learned in a year elsewhere. We've been with Michael ever since.

He helped us choose a horse, and Michael is now training Checkers. When I bought Checkers, the horse was very green, was unbalanced at the trot and canter, had never jumped, and had a lot to learn also about ground manners. Numerous people told me the horse would never be any good. Michael, though, said the horse was good---basically he thought Checkers was a diamond in the rough. Michael was right! Now people tell Sarah that the horse looks great!


Indeed, Checkers has come a long way. He can now stand for grooming, and will let Sarah clean his hooves without kicking. He is much quieter in the wash rack, too, though he still needs work on standing still! His trot and canter are so much better balanced now. He jumps small fences and is quiet (most of the time) after the jump. It's just been five months of training, and I am so pleased at how far Michael has brought the horse.

Sarah and Checkers went to Rio Vista's Valentine Day Show (near Austin) on February 9th, and Checkers won third place in Junior Hunter Under Saddle and third also in Low Hunter Under Saddle. Sarah placed second in Junior Equitation (on the flat). Sarah and Checkers are planning to enter some jumping classes at the next show in March.

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