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True Liebe - 6-year old Warmblood cross
Raphaela Valentine - 3-year old Hanoverian

I came to make the acquaintance of Michael when he was called in to ‘work out the buck’ in a huge Hanoverian belonging to close friends of mine who board ‘Mags’ at my facility in Austin, Texas. I was the most recent in a line of women of all ages that Mags had deliberately unseated. It became quickly obvious even to me (an amateur) that this was not an ordinary man nor an ordinary trainer. No matter what Mags threw at him, Michael would patiently ask again or perhaps practice benign aggravation until Mags began to realize that his histrionics got him nowhere and was an unnecessary expenditure of energy. I never once saw him lose his patience, tire, be unfair or unkind.

My young Warmblood cross mare, Liebe, was, at the time, recovering from a badly placed kick by her pasture mate, my very tMichael schooling Liebeall 2 year old, Valentine. I was, at that point, at a loss as to how to proceed to take Liebe from a green horse with injury related issues to a horse I could depend on and ride Dressage. Michael agreed to take on the task while working closely with Darlene Symons (512-301-2937), equine massage therapist. The tag team of these two has been a miracle. It took a lot of patience and intelligence on their parts, but, Liebe is finally getting there! I’m thrilled and can’t thank them enough.



I feel very privileged that Michael has been holding clinics at my facility now for about 6 months. Every month we meet more and more people who are starting to realize his depth of knowledge and integrity with the horses. He never talks about himself unless directly asked. He just does his job, and you can tell that he loves what he does. And, he loves a challenge.. his face lights up when he gets thrown a curve! Michael has started Valentine (now 3) in only Raphaela Valentine12 sessions.. WTC. And, he did it with very little fuss, just patience and knowledge of how to handle anything that happened. I laughed out loud when the wind picked up a plastic chair and threw it down the embankment as they were rounding the turn in the round pen. Valentine did a 180 in a split second, and took off. Michael had her back together quickly and coming back around to let her see the white monster now lying by the wall. She rounded a couple of times and he then asked her to do her very first canter. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! Just barely recovered from the enormous spin and jump and he’s asking her to canter! And, she DID! He said later that since she had not bucked after the spin he decided she would easily canter for him. I really got the biggest kick out of the whole thing. I am constantly amazed by his ability and perception, in any situation.

Well, I could go on and on. I’m just so thankful that we have someone of this caliber right here. It’s nothing short of miraculous.

Kay Skillern
Owner, Lucas & Liebe
Progressive, Sensible Horsekeeping Products


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