“Ever since I was a child I have been obsessed with horses; wanting to draw them, ride them, and care for them. After 20 years of living horseless in New York City, I recently moved to the Rochester area and was thrilled to be able to take up riding lessons again. I trained at two conventionally run stables and leased a horse at a third. Then one day I saw the film The Path of the Horse and after absorbing its message despaired of ever riding a horse in good conscience again.
Enter Kimberlee Strauss. A web search for “natural horsemanship” led me to Renegade Wind (note that Kim teaches sustainable horsemanship) and by the end of my first lesson I knew this woman was onto something. Her approach to horses is science-based mixed with a huge dose of compassion and obvious love for the animals. Kim is constantly absorbing new information and is humble enough to abandon outmoded ideas in favor of new approaches that benefit both horse and rider.
When I came into ownership of my leased horse, the first thing I did was move him to Renegade Wind. I wanted him to live in a place where he could be outside with a herd and choose his own friends. A place where no bits, spurs, shoes or crops are needed. A place where he is listened to and given the power of choice. What’s amazing is that he is already a different horse, and I am definitely a different rider. Kim does not merely teach, train and run a boarding facility. Her mission is to transform horses and people. I look forward to enjoying a fulfilling relationship with my equine mentor and seeing his potential realized. We both owe Kim our thanks. .”
– Cate Hiller
“Kim Strauss shows us how to form a partnership with a horse using kindness and complete respect. There is joy in her teaching and that translates into accelerated learning for both human and equine partner.”
– Deborah Kummer
“For the past few years, I have had the pleasure and privilege to have Kim Strauss as my riding instructor. I am so excited about what I have learned, not only about horses and riding but about myself as well. She has taught me how to ride without a bit and to provide clear, consistent communication when riding or working with a horse on the ground. Kim stresses safety for horse and rider always. She has helped me understand how a horse learns and why a horse may behave in a certain way (and how to respond to or prevent certain behaviors). We have worked with obstacles for confidence-building, played games and used a cordeo among other activities, all to improve riding skills and understanding. This is such great fun for me thanks to a great teacher! I hope to continue with Kim as long as I am able.”
– Cynthia Burkhart
“From the age of 6 to about 14, I was surrounded by the Hunter/Jumper discipline; competing in rated shows, riding top of the line horses, traveling here and there, jumping, showing, and worst of all, I was hurting every horse I rode without even realizing it. I began to grow tired of this whole realm of the horse world, showing stopped being so fun and exciting and I was asking myself, “What are you really learning here?”. When I was younger, this atmosphere fit me like a glove, but as I grew older and wanted more knowledge and experience, I found I grew while the glove still remained the same. My mom and I found Kim Strauss who was just the opposite of what I had been previously trained in. I couldn’t have been more intrigued and excited at this. All of Kim’s horses are bitless, shoeless, get to spend their time playing and eating like horses should (not penned up inside all day), no physical abuse is ever handed out to any horses and best of all, the atmosphere at the barn and the people inside are simply put: the best. Since switching barns and disciplines I now not only have the experience of the Hunter/Jumper world, I am now familiar with Western, Dressage and trail riding, how to teach horses and above all, I know how to ride more balanced now. To be one with the horse, to be in balance and harmony without yanking on bits or kicking with spurs. At Renegade Wind, it’s about harmony with the horse and not hurting them.”
– Hannah Smith
“I have owned a 16.2h Thoroughbred gelding for about 14 years. He is twenty years old now with a seventy four year old dressage rider as his companion. He was a very frightened horse with no self-confidence when I purchased him. He was very nervous when anything new or different was tried. The nerves would bring him to the extreme and he would fall down. After having many different trainers and instructors work with him over the years, I never had any lasting help for him or myself. Then I met Kim Strauss. She has done wonders working with us for about three years. I now have a horse that has self-confidence, which, in turn, has given me my confidence back. We have learned how to work together as a team thanks to Kim. I will be forever grateful to her and so will my horse.”
– Fran Pilato, Quaker Farms
“Since I began working with Kim, she has challenged the traditional mindset that the majority of trainers have when working with horses. Kim has introduced me to riding my horse bitless and with a cordeo, incorporating obstacle work and “scary” things such as plastic bags into our workouts and trick training. In addition to this non-traditional work, Kim has helped me prepare my horse for training level dressage competition. I would highly recommend Kim to anyone seeking to form a true partnership and trust with his or her horse.”
– Kyla Dillon
“We found Kim Strauss seven years ago. We had 15 years of prior experience with horses, having owned 6 horses in that time. From our initial meeting with her, we knew we had found what we were looking for. Our previous barn was very good, but we were wanting to go beyond the usual competition oriented training and develop productive and mutually satisfying bonds with horses. Jewel, our Palomino mare with attitude came along soon after and Kim has been there every step of the way with studied instruction and encouragement. Whether one wishes to ride or train groundwork, there is something here for everyone. Training is based on positive reinforcement and we use no bits, shoes, whips, spurs, etc in our interaction with the horses.
Boarding involves the same studied attention to detail. Fly spray, sheets and blankets, fly masks are put on and removed as needed by Kim and her staff. Individual supplement needs are taken care of daily. This is our horse’s forever home and a very peaceful place to be with a really special barn family.”
– John and Lin Rooker