12 February 2014
To Whom It May Concern:
I first became aware of Tom Wicklund several years ago as he was establishing himself as a major figure in the local Grants Pass, Oregon horse community. At the time, he and his wife, Kris, were working to promote local participation and competition in ranch sorting, roping, and other equine-related events at their Performance Horse Arena business. I had the pleasure of getting to know them both personally this past year when I asked Tom to help me with my eleven-year-old Quarter Horse mare. My mare was with him for two months, and I also took lessons from him prior to his move south for the winter.
Tom is truly a gifted horseman. Not only is he an accomplished rider and roper, he’s an incredibly patient and effective trainer and teacher as well. He is very knowledgeable in numerous aspects of equine management and performance, and takes a serious interest in continuing to learn as much as he can to become even better at his craft. He takes his work very seriously and shows an honest commitment to improving every horse and rider with whom he comes into contact.
I felt incredibly fortunate to have Tom work with both my horse and me. He was both diligent and patient with my mare, trying his hardest to understand how the combination of her history, personality, breeding, conditioning and conformation worked together to affect her current abilities and how he could unlock her greater potential. He approached working with me in much the same way, helping me to understand why I was doing what I was and how I should work to improve. He was always straightforward and honest with me, respectful and generous with his time and attention. I look forward to working with him again upon his return to Oregon!
I have high regard for Tom Wicklund both as an individual and professional. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions regarding my experience working with him.
Grants Pass, OR
February 10, 2014
To Whom it may concern:
It gives me great pleasure in writing this letter of reference for Tom Wicklund. I highly recommend him as an outstanding and accomplished horse trainer and clinician. I am speaking from my own personal experience having observed him for the last two months while working with my horse. I placed a ten year old gelding with him to train. The gelding didn't know the basics, shied at everything, trusted no one, and needed conditioning. Each day I saw an improvement in the horse. He began trusting. HIs attitude improved and he actually enjoyed being ridden. Tom gets along well with people too. He will patiently answer all of your questions and explain everything that you don't understand. I have watched Tom instruct teenagers who were beginning riders. I saw the same patience that I witnessed when he was training my horse.
I recommend Tom Wicklund without any reservation. I believe he would be a valuable asset to any equestrian facility.
March 30, 2014
I met Tom Wicklund purely out of accident and desperation to find someone to help me with my horse as I was at my last rope. The short story is that I bought a horse, a 5 year old, thinking that because he was “brought up on a ranch”, he would be the best trail horse ever. I could not have been more wrong in my life about a decision. Moreover, I did not have any business purchasing such a young horse, especially at my skill level…which was none and it was not fair to him. So, searching through craigslist after yet another dumping off in the hard desert landscape from something else that spooked Tucker, I was beyond frustrated and a little petrified to get back on him. Seeing Tom’s ad made me think, ok, one more shot because I just can’t do this anymore and I really don’t want to give up on him. Oh, believe me, I am not unrealistic and knew a long time ago that I needed help. Tom was not the first in a long line of people who said they could help and were all eager to train my horse. Each time, I was left with the exact same horse, when in reality; it was me that needed to be trained right alongside my boy. I may have gotten a little wiser each time and the tools they gave me that made me recognize when I needed to get off before he spooked and dumped me off, but who wants to ride their horse with the mindset each time, and really, was that the best I could get out of a trainer? I wanted to be supportive of my horse, not leery. Nobody could seem to offer a means of supporting him or were they able to build my confidence so that I could. Tom did the impossible with his skill and ability to help Tucker understand balance and hooking on and showed me that I could actual build my relationship back up with him with the training that he gave me also.
The day Tom returned my first call, I finally felt some hope. Just from that first conversation, I knew I found the right person. Although he had not yet found a place to train in AZ as he explained during that first call, I patiently waited for him to call me back the next week when he found a spot to work. The minute Tom told me to bring Tucker, I could not have loaded him in that trailer fast enough. Tom had Tucker just a little over 30-days, and each week that I went for my lesson, I noted a remarkable change in Tuckers mind and the way he responded to me. Tom was very patient in teaching both my horse and me and my mind also started to change along with Tucker’s. I would also would watch the on-line videos that Kris would post over and over so that I could emulate what Tom did with him. I think we have a better respect for each other as my mind opened up. We still have a ways to go based on his desire to chase cows and not stroll down the desert trail, but that will remain to be seen. I am not willing to give up on him as we are partners right now, but what I can say is that I am much more confident to ride him, he responds much better to me and what Tom did in 30-days is remarkable as three previous trainers could not do this in a year.
As this week closes Tom, Kris and TJ head back to Oregon, I will be saddened that they are gone but know that I have found some great new friends and mentor. I have a high respect for what Tom can accomplish in such a short timeframe. His work ethic is far above anyone I know and I am fortunate to have found him. I look forward to working with Tom when he returns to Arizona in the fall. I am going to continue to follow him in his training techniques and hopefully when he comes back I will be much improved. I brought my boy home today and we had our first outing in the desert…groundwork first of course, it was a success! Tom, you have a client for life!
January 19, 2015
Tom, Soph did wonderfully out on the trail at the ACTHA ride. The groundwork & lateral flexion made all the difference in the world. We had a good score. If I hadn't of made a rider error on the last obstacle, I believe our scores would have gotten us a ribbon. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. hahaha It doesn't matter tho. The main thing is that Sophie was relaxed and the most comfortable that I have ever seen her even with all of the ACHTA goings-on. Thank you so much. Can't wait to cow desensitize in March. Now that I'm talking cows, I am hearing a couple of my rider friends interested in sorting clinics. See you in March! You & Kris take care.
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