The Rocky Mountain Expo Colt Starting Challenge will have 8 Contestants who will start, gentle and ride 8 unbroke horses in just a few hours. These horses have never been saddled, bridled, nor ridden, however they are halter broke.
On Friday, come and watch all 8 Natural Horsemanship Trainers work their horses at the same time. They will have 2 hours to work with their horse in their round pen, with a 10 minute break in between. The trainers will explain to the audience, one at a time, what they are doing and why as they work with their horse.
On Saturday, all 8 Trainers continue their work with their horses in the round pens. Some will choose to leave the round pens and ride their horse in the arena as they prepare their horses for the obstacle course. They will all have two 45 minute sessions to work with their horse, with a 10 minute break in between.
Then the third day, on Sunday, all 8 Trainers will each have 12 minutes to ride their horse thru the obstacle course, one at a time. The Judges decide the Winner and a Buckle is awarded.
Contestants Entered for
The Rocky Mountain Horse Expo Colt Starting Challenge
1. Caleb Kenner - Stapleton, NE
2. Justin Hains - Florissant, CO
3. West Taylor - Freemont, UT
4. Margaret Blaha - Scottsbluff,NE
5. Fausto Navarro - Lyndhurst, NJ
6. Brandon McDowell - Penrose CO
7. Johnathan Rumsey - Fort Garland, CO
8. Zach Kaup - Denton, NE
Biography and Contact Information of Contestants
for Rocky Mountain Horse Expo
Pay $150 Contestant Entry Fee
for Rocky Mountain Horse Expo
Justin is a 44 year old horseman. He learned the art and trade of horsemanship in the Sandhills of Nebraska. In the year 2000 he uprooted and moved to Southern California where he was mentored by Lynn Mattocks to navigate around in the local horse scene. Justin then started Mobile Horsemanship by "Cadillac Cowboy" because of his love for Chris LeDoux music and he drives a Cadillac car that he purchased in 1999 after gradutating from University of Nebraska @Kearney.
He develops a "California style" when dealing with horses in various situations for the general public. He works with all breeds, classes, and ages while starting horses under-saddle and rehabilitating problem horses. Quarter horses, Arabians, Mustangs and Thoroughbreds were the most common breeds and through them all, good horsemanship skills held true. Remember to always "consider the horse".
In the fall of 2012, Justin and wife Patti moved to central Colorado to help friends start Shiloh Ranch, a horse ministry that serves those who serve Our Lord. They live outside Florissant, CO on the Just1more ranch with their horses, dogs, mini-donkeys and various other pets. Justin travels to Hershey, NE often where he buys, sells, trades, and trains quality quarter horses.
I'm Fausto Navarro, from Costa Rica; a small country in Central America. I grew up on a farm. I have been working with horses since I was 15. By working with my father I learned his methods "natural horsemanship ".
I love Ranch work, colt starting, training, roping and solve problems. I prefer natural methods because it's the best way to build trusting partners. I have no idea how many Colts I have started probably 100's.
I enjoy helping people showing a safe way to communicate with theirs horses. Built a solid foundation give the best opportunity for success.
From California to New Jersey, Margaret has been competing in horsemanship-oriented competitions whenever the opportunity presents itself. Although she's always been passionate about horses, it wasn't until 2011 that she started her first colt for the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Colorado. From there she was offered a trainer position for the Rocky Mountain Horse Rescue (a non-profit) where she started impounded horses and helped problem horses so the general public could adopt them. She moved to Oklahoma, and then to Nebraska and continued to train colts while learning more about cattle and ranch work.
Colt starting became her focus and she has since taken every opportunity to improve her skills and pursue her passion. She loves the challenges of various breeds and disciplines. She enjoys competing in drill team, trail competitions, ranch horse versatility, and reining.
Margaret is currently managing the Horse Protection League in Arvada, Colorado. She evaluates and trains horses for the organization. She also currently owns and operates a carriage company, and is a year-round TIP trainer for the Mustang Heritage Foundation. Margaret is available for lessons and training for a variety of interests. She believes in a soft touch for a solid foundation in every horse.
The Winner will be
awarded a Champion Trainer
I grew up on a cattle and horse ranch in the Nebraska Sandhills. I started riding green horses when I was about nine. I broke my first horse from start to finish when I was twelve years old. I have been starting and training horses ever since.
I have seen a lot of approaches to starting a horse that would bring confusion to the horse immediately, and on down the road in training. There is no one certain way that I start a horse. I believe that like people, every horse is different, and a lot of the time they require a different approach.
I like to really focus on teaching a horse by eliminating the different opportunities for confusion. I am just thankful that God has surrounded me with people who are good horsemen.
In 2009 West found himself standing in the driveway of his Executive home on the golf course watching the repo man take away the family's Cadillac. His once thriving communications contracting business was now nothing more than classified ads trying to sell whatever he could. With no income, West reached out to his father to make arrangements to live on the vacant family ranch in rural Utah.
Searching for “the meaning of life” West visited a nearby Bureau of Land Management wild horse facility where nearly 50,000 wild horses that have been removed from the western landscape of America. They appeared to be in the same mental state as West, removed from everything that was once safe, not sure of their future. West adopted two wild horses that day and took them back to the ranch.
West dedicated the next few years of his life to not only discovering how to communicate and train the wild horses, he also discovered and learned about himself. West noticed that the horses were teaching him about “the meaning of life”. Hungry for more West spent the next 5 years on a quest, a journey to discover all that he could about the Mustangs which lead him on a journey of self discovery.
West’s story is that of a man who once thought he had everything, the right job title, the right house, all the right toys and a bank account with enough money to buy happiness. By losing it all he finds everything, a peaceful life in the country, a loving family, and most of all he finds himself in Americas Wild Horses.
Brandon McDowell's business says it all....Riding on Faith. Worry ends where faith begins. Brandon's relationship with the Lord has allowed him the opportunity to pursue his passion as a horse trainer.
Brandon started realizing his calling at 19. He found that starting Colts requires patience and persistence, qualities that apply to many aspects of life. He is an all around ranch hand while specializing in starting Colts and roping. Living in Penrose, CO most of his life has opened up many doors in the horse community. He realizes the importance of building trust with his clients so that they will continue to use his services. He hopes his clients walk away with a horse they are excited about and that they will return with their future needs.
Brandon looks forward to many years of horsemanship while sharing his passion with his son and building a strong foundation for his clients.
Jon is a professional horseman, certified farrier, and riding instructor. He has been working with horses for the last 8 years professionally and truly love what he does. He runs Equine Transformations, dedicated to the care, rehabilitation of horses, and encouragement of owners to be better horseman through clinics and personal training. Jon owns Sage Cut Ranch, a breeding and training faclity in Ft Garland, Colorado. He breeds all around ranch and trail horses and offer his studs for breeding.
Jon has always had a love for horses but was not brought up around horses. At age 16 he started working as a trail boss for a trail riding company guiding rides on the beach in South Florida. At 24 he was excepted into an Army horse unit as an active duty Soldier at Ft Carson where he sharpened his skills for 3 years before going on his own in 2012. Jon has been in movies, documentaries, commercials, and had his horses appear on billboards across the state of Colorado.
In 2014 Jon and his horse Silver Rio were certified by the state of Colorado as mounted Law enforcement for the Pueblo County Sheriffs Department, he has participated in numerous calls such as search and rescue, event patrol and crowd control. Jon has done everything from jumping to mounted Shooting, police work to picking up at rodeos. He claims to have never worked a day in the last 8 years, because when you love what you do you never work a day in your life.
FORT GARLAND, CO
My story isn’t much different then anyone else’s story that is here training horses. Horses have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I can see horses being a part of my life for as long as I can help it. They are more then an animal to me.
I grew up showing Morgan horses, along with my Mom and Grandpa, who I have to credit my interest in horses to. As I grew older I rode horses for a few people in my area, along with rodeo, riding bulls and saddle bronc horses. Now a days I am a farrier and ride horses in Lincoln, Nebraska, ranging from barrel and roping horses to dressage and hunter jumper horses.
When I look at horses I see peace and freedom. When I am around and using horses, I feel the same way, and that is why I enjoy them so much. To have a horse and you be on the same page is a feeling that can’t be easily explained and only truly understood by people who have felt it. That is what I try to help people with their horses, and that again is a reason I enjoy this life. I have a strong passion for understanding the horses’ mind and how it relates to me and how I can learn from that particular horse.