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Our Story

We're Jake and Amy Lundahl. We start colts, train western performance horses (reining, ranch, cowhorse), coach riders and produce instructional content. Thousands of recreational and performance horse owners utilize our programs to elevate their horsemanship knowledge, learn the skills and mechanics for advanced maneuvers, and achieve stunning levels of confidence, connection and control in the saddle.


Thanks to those amazing clients and horses, our business has grown from a patch of dirt behind a machine shop to a 65-acre facility in northeast Ohio where we train and give lessons year round. 


We're very grateful to have the setup we do, and to work with awesome people and horses every day. But it wasn't always like this, and we haven't forgotten where we came from. If you want to know how we got started in the horse world, here's an autobiographical snippet from each of us:

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Jake — from pen rider to performance horse trainer:


"I grew up on my family's farm in northeast Nebraska, two miles south of a little town called Wakefield. My folks are in the feeder cattle business, so I was surrounded by livestock from a very early age.


As a youngster I participated in the usual sports and 4-H activities. I enjoyed football and baseball the most, and didn't have much interest in horses early on. My dad always kept at least one feedlot horse around to prowl pens and cut out sick cattle. But truth be told, we rarely used the horses except as a last resort when the job couldn't be done on foot.

That all changed when I was around 14 years old. My younger sister had been bitten by the horse bug. So my parents went out and bought a new gelding for her to show in 4-H. The horse was well trained in some respects. But from the day we brought him home, he was steadily becoming more pushy, disrespectful and difficult to handle.


After hearing about the troubles we were were having, a friend loaned us his collection of training DVDs from various clinicians. I was instantly hooked. I spent hours watching and re-watching the videos, taking hand-written notes, and practicing with my sister's horse and my dad's older gelding. There were immediate, positive changes in both animals. I was excited.


For the first time, horses were no longer an enigma. I was learning how to correctly interact with them, gaining more confidence in the saddle, and discovering how rewarding horsemanship could be.


My parents purchased additional horses soon after, and it was evident that I was destined to be a professional horseman. While still in high school, I worked with several local trainers to gain professional experience. It wasn’t long before I was taking in outside horses for training, teaching riding lessons, and traveling around the country competing in everything from stock horse shows to Extreme Mustang Makeover events.


In 2010 I left home for my first of several apprenticeships. I went from Oklahoma, to Texas, to Arizona. I rode under several prominent horsemen, including an NCHA futurity champion, a world-renowned clinician, and an NRCHA two million dollar rider. After 7 years of work and study, I felt I was ready to head out on my own. And Lundahl Performance was launched."


Amy — from piano teacher to professional horsewoman:

"I grew up on a small family farm in Kidron, Ohio. My love of horses began at age 9 when we purchased our first pony. It was one of several horses and ponies I would ride during my formative years. And I've been riding continuously ever since. 


It wasn't always obvious that I was destined for a career in horsemanship. As a teenager, I was more interested in music. I taught piano lessons, and earned extra money through babysitting and housecleaning services. But I always had a desire to learn more about horses. By age 15, I'd saved up enough money to afford some training and lessons with a local horseman, who steered me toward additional learning opportunities. I took regular lessons with several trainers, and supplemented that experience by consuming every horse training book and video I could find.


Looking to gain even more knowledge, I took my first real job in the horse industry with a training barn in the heart of Amish country. When I wasn’t training horses under saddle, I was driving them in harness. My reputation grew, and I began getting requests for riding lessons. I would train and teach lessons during the day, and in the evenings I would ride with my local drill team.


I soon landed a second job where riding lessons were my primary focus. My love of teaching horsemanship really took off, and I earned enough money to buy and sell a few horses of my own. I still supplemented my income by teaching piano lessons, and continued riding and performing with my drill team every week. 


By 2015 I was ready for the next stage of my career, and I left Ohio to begin a full-time apprenticeship position with a world-renowned horseman in Texas. After graduating, I kept training horses and teaching lessons around the country.


Two years later, I returned to Ohio for a short time. Then a new opportunity arose. I took a position on a ranch near Cody, Wyoming. For the next year I trained and oversaw management of the ranch remuda, while continuing my clinician business. Then at last, I joined Lundahl Performance."


Bringing it all together...

Like most horse owners, we come from humble beginnings. Horses were a source of struggle and confusion in our early days, and we bounced between various mentors looking for help. We read books, watched videos, rode in clinics and attended seminars. We were confronted with loads of conflicting information, and tried to sort out the stuff that actually worked.


Then as aspiring professionals, we saw a different side of the industry. We learned what techniques worked and genuinely helped horses and riders advance. We also saw things that didn't work, or in some cases sabotaged people's efforts to do right by their horses. We took those lessons to heart. 

When we struck out on our own, we took a philosophical razor to all the knowledge and experiences we'd earned up to that point. Our goal was to make the lives of horses and riders much easier, by creating a training model that offers the most streamlined and seamless progression from foundation concepts all the way up to advanced maneuvers. Today we call this system the "High Level Pathway". 

Our ultimate goal is to remove doubt and bring clarity to the horse world.


Doubt is one of the biggest things bothering us right now:

  • People being led to believe that a single gimmicky exercise or piece of equipment will magically make their horse better.

  • Instructors hammering their students into a particular "look" as if that somehow translates to better horsemanship skills.

  • Keyboard cowboys arguing over style or whose opinion is "right" instead of focusing on substance. 

Amidst this chaos are regular owners and riders — confused about where they're at or what the next step is — doubting themselves and their horse's abilities.


It's time to elevate the conversation.


For starters, we want clear and objective information about what the priority milestones are for each stage of a horse's training. We need to define what a "well-trained" horse is and does. We need to define what a "good" foundation actually is, and where to take it. We need to create certainty around what to be working on, why, when, and how. Then the horsemanship conversation can finally advance.

To that end we've worked feverishly to identify, map and define all the jargon and feel-based concepts trainers have been talking around for years; bringing them down to earth and giving them a structure that can be methodically learned and taught. In some cases, we've invented new terminology or exercises to help riders understand the feelings and movement patterns they need to be creating with their horses — things that elite trainers have intuitively known for decades but struggle to communicate. 

We make advanced horsemanship accessible.

What originally kicked off this journey was a simple love of horses, and a desire to become the best horsemen we could be. These things have never wavered. We continue to learn and get better every single day, while pushing the conversation forward and helping others build better lives with horses. We offer the knowledge and tools necessary to advance; without the trial-and-error, confusion and hardship we ourselves endured to figure this stuff out. 

If you'd like to join this adventure with us, consider signing up for our e-mail newsletter below. There's no cost or obligation, and it's a great way to discover if our program is right for you and your horse.

Anyway, thanks for reading our "About" page! We hope you got value from it and, if you opt to receive our emails, that you find those helpful too.​

To your horsemanship success, 

Jake & Amy Lundahl


Jake Lundahl, Lundahl Performance Horses, Horse Training, Horsemanship, Advanced Horsemanship, Reining, Cowhorse, NRHA, NRCHA, Professional Horseman, Horse, Show Horse | Purpose. Partnership. Performance. We help people achieve greater results and happiness with their horses. Colt Starting | Advanced Horsemanship | Horse Training | Horsemanship Clinics | Lundahl Performance Horses

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