Kory Campodonico—Lave, Equine trainer
August 7, 2019
Kory started working at the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center in April 2019. She immediately fit in as part of the training staff and really enjoys the atmosphere. The thing she loves most about working at the Harmony Equine Center is seeing such a dramatic change in the horses from the day they get here to the day they find their new home. Additionally, Kory appreciates the willingness of the trainers to help each other grow. She was impressed by the open-mindedness of the trainers to try different techniques and styles of training in order to find the best method for each individual horse.
Kory comes from a hunter jumper background and worked as a barn manager before college. She graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in equine science. During her college career, Kory participated in the Legions of Ranching training program, and she also interned at Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center in Lexington, Kentucky. In the Legions of Ranching program, Kory worked with consigned 2- and 3-year-old colts. She started the colts from the ground up and then competed in a student show with the colts before they were sold at auction. While Kory participated in and worked as a teacher’s assistant for the Legions of Ranching program, she grew in her horsemanship. She says she felt the most satisfaction and sense of accomplishment when she got to see horses improve from knowing nothing to the point where they could perform a pattern in a show.
During her internship in Kentucky, Kory was assigned three off track Thoroughbreds to retrain, and through this experience she learned a lot about what it takes to evaluate horses to determine their level of training, as well as evaluating their potential bad habits. These are vital skills for the trainers at Harmony where horses come in from all types of backgrounds with various training and behavioral issues. Kory excelled during her internship at the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center and was able to find homes for all three of the off track Thoroughbreds she retrained.
For those interested in becoming a professional horse trainer, Kory’s advice is to take advantage of every opportunity to gain experience. She also says to ask lots of questions along the way and to accept that you are not always going to have all the answers. It is important to be able to take constructive criticism and use it as an opportunity to grow and improve.
Kory now lives in Colorado with her adopted dog, Brew.