Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt were pivotal figures in introducing a style of horsemanship to the public that centered on “fitting” the horse. Through a strong influence of traditional vaquero skills combined with his own keen observations of the horse, Tom’s wisdom and insight caught the attention of Ray when he was having difficulty with a horse he was riding. The teacher-student relationship that developed turned into a very long and respected friendship between these two men. Had it not been for Ray taking the teachings of Tom to the public through his horsemanship clinics, most of us probably would never have heard of Tom Dorrance.
Kip had the opportunity to spend time learning from both Tom and Ray on several occasions, but the student of theirs who has been most influential on him is Buck Brannaman. After first meeting Buck in 1991, Kip attended as many of his clinics as he could and later spent five years working for and travelling with Buck. Kip took advantage of the opportunity to closely study Buck’s horsemanship as well as his approach to teaching students. Since this time, Kip’s career has been focused on using the knowledge he has gained from Buck to develop the horses he rides for the public and to educate their owners.