About Jake Baker
Although born and raised in Houston, I spent my spare time riding horses and checking fence lines at our family ranch in Independence, Texas. I learned to appreciate two great gifts while growing up: my relationship with our Lord and the companionship of a horse.
After graduating from high school, I accepted a baseball scholarship to Rice University and spent the next [four] years playing a key part in the incredible baseball tradition there. And since Rice is only an hour or so from Independence, I could get away for an occasional afternoon of riding in the midst of a busy college schedule.
About this time I became dissatisfied with my horse’s performance. Our family ranch is a cow/calf operation where ranch horses put in a long day’s work. I was exposed to the “old school” perspective on horse treatment that called for severe bits, sharp spurs and aggressive hands. I thought I might get a better response from my horse with a few yanks and whacks, but quickly discovered that it was only a negative response, not a better one.
In 1999 I graduated from Rice University and signed a professional baseball contract with the Kansas City Royals. I was sent for training to Spokane, Washington, where I formed lasting friendships with teammates who shared my love for horses, ranching and Jesus Christ.
During my first year with the Royals, I learned about John Lyons and his gentle horse training methods. Intrigued, I bought the book Lyons on Horses and could not put it down. When I returned to the ranch at the end of the season, I incorporated these methods into my own training, but was skeptical until I saw the results for myself. As I continued implementing John’s methods, I grew more amazed at the outcome.
After my third year playing ball, my wife Haley and I, decided to retire from the sport and participate in John Lyons’ certification program. After completing the program, I was invited to be a select trainer.
I returned to Texas to do what I love best – training people and their horses. I strive to be a patient and observant coach for my students and the horses that come my way.
The Lord continues to bless me with wonderful students. I am looking forward to my upcoming schedule and the people the Lord will put in my path. I can’t wait to meet you!
About Buddy and Luke
My two traveling companions are Buddy, a 3-year old palomino quarter horse gelding, and Luke, an 8-year old red dun quarter horse gelding.
After my promising 2-year old colt Quincey died of colic, some special friends brought Buddy over for me on that same day. They understood my loss and did not want me to grieve.
When Luke came to our ranch at the age of five, he had spur scars, whip marks and a load of fear. But he also had beauty, strength and heart. Luke taught me a great deal about trust and patience as we worked through his fear and began to achieve the light, willing responses that every horse owner hopes for.
Ground to Saddle Training Methods
My main goal is to educate people through helping them train their horses. I offer you an opportunity to learn from my mistakes and benefit from the knowledge I have pieced together from hours of work with other trainers and “backyard” horse owners.
I believe it is unfair to send a horse to a trainer, where it will learn how to perform for that trainer, but knowing it will not get the same kind of handling and treatment from its owner once it returns home. The horse is left confused. For this reason, I determined to be a teacher rather than a trainer. I will not train a horse unless the owner also takes the time necessary to understand the methods and to build a solid, working relationship with the horse.
Opportunities for Clinics, Private Sessions and Demonstrations
I offer several hands-on clinics each year, where I work with rider/horse pairs in a group setting. The clinics provide ample time for one-on-one instruction, as well as the fellowship and improvement that come from working through training issues with other enthusiastic riders.
For the rider who wants to achieve a higher level of performance and acquire a more in-depth understanding of my training methods, I offer private and small group sessions. Participants can focus on the skills that are specific to their discipline or near-term goals.
Demonstrations are among my favorite activities as they give me a chance to “play” with my horses and allow others to see what is possible with their own.
Horses were put on earth by God for our enjoyment. They should not be a source of worry about whether we will be safe riding on the trail, or even able to get them into a trailer so we can get to that nice trail. Have fun, and most importantly, stay safe. May God bless you and your family as He has done mine.