After a couple of years, he moved on from college and Hunterdon to focus on a full-time career in riding. In Europe, he experienced his first international competitions at the Grand Prix level. Back in the states, he became a working student for Olympian Anne Kursinski where he rode all her top horses at the time, including Starman, Cannonball and Top Seed.
Vinton eventually went out on his own, set up a business in Michigan and developed his relationship with John and Beezie Madden. But after a few years of total immersion in horses, he was ready for a change in both location and career. He went to SeaWorld in California, met trainer Shawna Corrin, and together they created the reward reinforcement training system, On Target Training. The pair eventually left SeaWorld and integrated their clicker training approach to sporthorses, working again with the Maddens with much success – most notably with Iron Spring Farm’s Judgement, overcoming his one-time fear of water jumps. Amazingly, Beezie Madden and Judgement won the International Derby at Spruce Meadows, despite its five different water elements.
Once again recruited by John Madden, Vinton went back to California to work for Blenheim EquiSports. Between 2001 – 2005, his experience and structured organizational skills were put to good use in a jack-of-all-trades type position for the CSI-4* horse show. Clicker training eventually led him back to the barn, and eventually back into the saddle, when he was hired full-time by Robert Ridland and EquiSports International.
After years as a private trainer, Vinton is excited to bring his training approach to the Pacific Northwest hunter/jumper community with Equestrian Performance. Along with clicker training, which he still uses on his show horses everyday, he is especially interested in sharing what is possible with sports psychology. Vinton explains, “We’re building a barn centered around offering educational experiences that help people fulfill their equestrian dreams.”