Robert and Janet
When you meet Robert and Janet Phinney, it’s hard to imagine there was ever a time when one existed without the other. The two always seem to be engaged in a communication with one another even when they don’t say a word -- even when one is home tending to their ranch in Dayton, WA and the other is off teaching on the other side of the state.
As you might guess, a shared goal brought them together: their love of horses and their mutual aspiration to excel at a high level of horsemanship. But after hearing their story, one might believe their union was much more than a serendipitous meeting of two people with a shared hobby. At the risk of sounding overly sentimental, one might say it truly was fate that caused their lives to intersect and merge into one.
A Partnership in Teaching
Robert and Janet believe that one of the benefits of a person improving their relationships with their horses is that
they have to deal with their own inner thoughts and emotions. “The horses are always honest, and that requires
us as humans to find the same honesty within us if we are to improve the communication channels,” says Robert.
“Without those channels being clear, we are missing out on some pretty good stuff.”
Robert and Janet are also working to improve their communication with each other. They find it helps them to be better teachers because they constantly work at creating an atmosphere of trust and respect, whether it be with horses, each other or their clients.
“We teach and coach each other, so it is natural to give this to our clients.” says Janet. “It is a full circle, if you will --- what we give to each other, we give to our clients, what we learn from our clients, we give back to each other. The horses play the same role as well. It truly is a way of life.”
Drawing on their experiences with mentors Buck Brannaman, Greg Eliel, the late Ray Hunt, Nancy Thatcher, and the late Tom Dorrance, Robert and Janet encourage their clients to work with the natural instincts and abilities of their horses. They’re constantly searching for new ways to make it “the horse’s idea” and encouraging the person to be feeling of the horse and the horse feeling of its owner. Hence, working towards true unity.
Both are passionate about helping others achieve their goals and aspirations in life. “I love a challenge,” says Janet. “I like helping people decide what they really want, and how to get there.” Doing what the two of them do takes commitment, just like any personal development. But they’re committed to helping people find a way to get there. They want their clients and their horses to enjoy the journey.