The oldest of the Mills children, Kyle decided fairly early on to continue the life of horse training that he was raised on.
“I didn’t always think that I would go on to train horses, but my Dad knew better,” Kyle chuckles.
“I didn’t love having to help out around the barn as a kid, but after I worked a few other jobs, I realised that horse training was what I was meant to do. You really do learn great work ethic with horses, and I have always loved riding.”
Kyle was involved in 4-H and High School Rodeo through his teens, and was presented with one of biggest challenges of his career in 2009 at the European Trainer’s Challenge.
Run similarly to the Trainer’s Challenge at the Mane Event, the European Challenge has three trainers each matched with an unbroken horse that they must ride at the finale — after only a couple hours preparation. Doug was slated to compete at the event, but an unfortunate accident meant that he had to send a replacement.
“It was an excellent opportunity,” Kyle says of his first Trainer’s Challenge. It also opened a lot of doors for Kyle in Europe, as he has been back to Switzerland multiple times to teach “Training Thru Trust” clinics.
The European Challenge was just the first in a long line of training challenges that Kyle would go on to win. The Trainer of the North Challenge, held in Smithers, B.C., has been won by Kyle an impressive three years in a row — 2010, 2011 and 2012.
“It is such a fun weekend,” Kyle explains of the competition. “The camaraderie is great and I also had time for my other passion in life — fly fishing.”
Kyle is booked to compete at the Trainer’s Challenge at the Mane Event in Chilliwack this October.
The future is beyond bright for this upcoming, but accomplished, horse trainer and coach. Kyle is hoping to expand his clientele in the coming years, teaching clinics at new locations across the country and growing the family business.
“My best advice for the riders that come to the clinics is to not give up when they are facing problems. Be consistent, patient and ensure that you get what you are asking for each time with a horse.”