When he was a young boy, Luke begged his parents for a pony. When he was 10, they bought him Misty, who sparked his lifelong love of horses. Several years later, Luke bought his first quarter horse, Zippy. With her experience in the show pen, she helped him get started showing western pleasure and trail.
Luke competes in reining, ranch versatility, and Western dressage, and specializes in teaching and performing liberty horsemanship. He was Reserve Champion in the 2017 All American Quarter Horse Congress Non-Pro Freestyle Reining, was a Top Three Finalist in the 2018 Congress Open Freestyle Reining, competed brideless in the 2021 Congress Open Freestyle Reining, was the 2022 Quarter Horse Congress Open Freestyle Reining Reserve Champion, and was also the 2022 International Liberty Horse Association Invitational Freestyle Champion.
Luke has also presented his bridleless reining and liberty horsemanship with his horses in numerous night show performances at equine expos such as Equine Affaire, Horse World Expo, and Midwest Horse Fair. He currently teaches and performs at private clinics and expos, in addition to offering demos, clinics, and lessons, both virtually and at the new Luke Gingerich Horsemanship Training Facility in Plain City, Ohio.
“I have been fascinated with liberty work ever since I was a young boy. I loved the relationship and level of communication that it displays, and how subtle and refined it can become. Along with teaching liberty horsemanship, I compete in reining, ranch versatility, and also freestyle reining, where I incorporate both bridleless reining and liberty work into my performances. I believe that the finesse, trust, and communication this requires is a great way to test our relationship and showcase what we have built together.
Much of my liberty work is built on the basis that a horse naturally wants to mirror, or be in sync with, other members of the herd. I channel that desire and natural instinct to read subtle shifts and changes in body language, to be able to create complex maneuvers and behaviors that my horses become capable of doing at liberty with me. Helping my horses learn how to use themselves correctly in a balanced and athletic way, while working at liberty on the ground, is also very important to me. The combination of both the mental and emotional connection, combined with the physical body control and muscle memory that this work creates, can then be carried directly over into riding in many other competitive disciplines.”
Tinseltowns Whizard, a 2017 AQHA mare by Hollywoods Tinseltown out of Whizards Maggie Mae, joined the team in January 2019. While Luke is looking forward to seeing what Chloe will accomplish in the reining show pen, they are currently developing a solid foundation of liberty work.
She loves people and is extremely sensitive, smart, athletic and has a lot of natural confidence and curiosity. Chloe is already helping Luke with his clinics and performances throughout the country and is showing great potential.
CJ Rio Zan Bar Gun
CJ Rio Zan Bar Gun, a 2010 AQHA gelding by CH Zan Par Dee Bar out of CR Docs Fancy Gun. Rio and Luke have been a team since Rio was just a yearling. Rio has been successful in reining, ranch versatility, extreme obstacle challenges and is known for his bridleless reining and liberty freestyle performances.
Rio has a big personality, is very sensitive and quirky, and loves to show off under the spotlight.