Colt Starting Challenge USA
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About Russell Beatty
Colt Starting Challenge USA
Horses are my passion. Through out my career, horses have always been a part of it. From rodeo, shoeing, ranch work, horse training, and packing and outfitting, working with horses interests me and challenges me.
I was given my first horse by my parents when I was ten. I was raised in Helotes Texas, which is a small town outside of San Antonio. I remember wondering how I was going to ride it without any saddle or bridle. So my brother and I took off our belts, fastened them together, and I hopped up and rode that horse with a belt tied around its neck. During High School I was an avid rodeo contestant, traveling to far flung Cities in many different States to compete in Bull riding. I earned a full ride scholarship to College in Sheridan Wyoming for riding Bulls. I studied Ranch Management, and I continued to rodeo riding bulls, calf roping, and riding saddle broncs for many years up until I turned 42.
I first attended a Colt Starting Challenge put on by a Top Rated Horse Clinitian in Albany Oregon. I was intrigued and amazed at what I saw. They were practicing and applying Natural Horsemanship methods at the Colt Starting Challenge to gentle their unbroke horses. Natural Horsemanship techniques simplify and speed up the process of gentling a horse. It is detailed, powerful, yet very simple to learn. I now use Natural Horsemanship for all the horses I have started. I've also applied these methods on problem horses, and re-started them, and the results are amazingly successful. It's simple if you are shown how to do it correctly. Very small details can mean a great deal. You need to learn this, try it, and make it a part of your way with your horse.
Evan Bonner lives in Kitsap County, Washington. He owns and operates Olympic Dream Horsemanship LLC where through private and group lessons; clinics and demonstrations he presents his methods of more refined and sophisticated techniques for handling horses. Evan currently mentors under Master Horseman Dennis Reis of Penngrove California. Evan is one if just a small handful of students in the Reis Ranch student body to hold 15 Endorsements in the Universal Horsemanship program.
While "Natural Horsemanship" methods are becoming more and more mainstream, it is Evan's mission to preserve the lessons and philosophies taught to us by true Masters such as: Tom Dorrance; Bill Dorrance and Ray Hunt. Evan believes that there is really only one method done in a million different ways. This will constantly improve with every generation. Evan has dedicated a great many hours of study and practice perfecting more effective methods of teaching students the art of horsemanship without watering down the message of the masters.
As a third generation rancher and horseman from North East Oregon, Emmet Evans learned from his father, Mike Evans, to find the good in all horses even in the difficult ones. He was on a horse’s back before he could walk. At five years old he helped drag calves to the branding fire. His childhood was filled with the day to day exposures of working with horses and riding on ranches. Showing in reining and working cow horse arenas allowed him to develop the finesse of a natural horseman.
Attention to detail and a keen eye for recognizing the slightest try have always been Emmet’s strengths. His approach in starting a horse has focused on getting them “ready to learn.” The end goal is to have a horse willing and trusting. His has been influenced by great horseman including Joe Wolter, Tom and Bill Dorrance, Ray Hunt, and many of the horsemen he grew up around
Emmet enjoys starting colts, coaching riders of all ages and disciplines, and teaching various clinics. He also enjoys playing the guitar, building saddles, western gear, and braiding. He attended college at Pendleton, Oregon. Given the opportunity Emmet will be at a branding any day of the week.
Steve Boyles has been around horses his whole life, helping his father as a young boy train, show and sell horses in South Carolina. Even as a child, Steve had an amazing ability to handle and gentle the "difficult horses". Steve's passion for horses continued throughout his adult life, and he has trained with top Natural Horsemanship clinicians around the world to develop his own unique style.
Steve focuses on working with the horse to establish a mutual willing partnership and respect. He believes in establishing a very solid foundation on the ground and at liberty, to have a willing and able partner under saddle. Steve also has a passion for wild horses and the American Mustang and has spent many, many hours studying and learning from this amazing breed. He has trained countless wild horses to become amazing riding horses and companions. Steve Boyles Horsemanship specializes in colt starting, problem solving (from biting/kicking to trailer loading), refinement techniques (natural headset/collection), trail training and liberty work. He offers his services for horses in training and as a mobile trainer and clinician.
Steve's amazing horsemanship techniques were even featured on RFDTV's Equestrian Nation to help bring an un-trainable colt to a nice trail horse. Steve Boyles resides in Sunland, CA with his two young children, "..all very passionate about horses! "
SUN VALLEY, CALIF
Josh Peebles was born and raised in Young Harris, GA. He was introduced to horses and riding at a very young age. After receiving his first horse at the age of seven, Josh fell in love with riding and wanted to become a professional cowboy. Josh’s parents recognized his passion for anything equine at the age of 14 and allowed him to apprentice under local trainer JC Rangle where he was introduced to what is commonly referred to today as Natural Horsemanship. For the next seven years Josh studied the teachings of renowned horseman Buck Brannaman and Ray Hunt.
At the age of 21 Josh built his own training facility in North Georgia. He began to conduct clinics for the public and excelled in problem solving and colt starting. During that time, Josh started and re-started several Thoroughbreds for a local farm that went on to have successful racing, jumping, and dressage careers.
Josh’s training is extremely versatile and he prides himself on making well rounded riding horses. Josh has trained various breeds of horses from 17h Warmbloods, to Quarter horses to Shetland ponies. He enjoys bringing out each horse’s natural talents in a way that is easy for the horse to learn and understand.
YOUNG HARRIS, GA
Michael was born and raised in Tooele, Utah. After receiving his first horse at a young age, he was hooked. Michael grew up starting colts with his grandfather and competing in high school rodeo. At age eighteen Michael moved to Thackerville, Oklahoma to work for and study under NCHA Triple Crown Winner, Joe Heim. There he started numerous colts, some of which that have become very successful in cutting and cow horse events. Since then he’s worked on multiple ranches in many different states, including South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada. Michael had the honor of competing in the 2013 Running U Livestock Futurity where his colt placed first in three out of the four divisions and was ultimately crowned Ranch Horse Champion.
Michael’s training program consists of a mixture of methods used by Bryan Neubert, Bill and Tom Dorrance, Joe Walter, Joe Heim, and many others. When he starts a colt, he wants a colt that is light on his feet, responsive and soft. Michael’s goal is to create a genuinely versatile horse. A horse that one day you can doctor cattle on out in the pasture, and the next day take to a cutting and win some money on.
He currently resides in Logan, Utah with his wife, Mary. Michael starts colts and trains stock dogs on a full time basis at his facilities in Smithfield, Utah.
Victor understands God comes first, but has been ever so thankful for God allowing horses in his life. The life lessons learned from working with horses, "on their terms", are invaluable and lasting. Victor comes from along line of Colorado horsemen. Training horses in logging and ranching, going back 5 generations in Southwestern Colorado. A heritage of "Horses trained and loved, not just ridden".
At 19 years old, he has spent more time with horses than in a motor vehicle. Victor started training horses as a homeschool project. At 16, his skills were developed enough to train for customers with his sister and father. After finishing High School, he began to train full time. Victor logged over 1900 hours in 2012, and helped train over 50 horses last year.
He understands the amazing results obtained from Natural Horsemanship methods and "getting into their minds" to obtain a willing and trusting partner. The Sundquist's typically have a 15-30 horse waiting list for their training, What spare time he finds is spent enjoying the Colorado outdoors, and competing as a bullrider in local rodeos.
Lane Andreassen has built his thriving business as a horse trainer with his love for horses and serving the Lord. His passion for learning natural horsemanship started when he met the Marriott family. Their ability to start and finish horses in different events is was what drove him to want to learn more. He continued his hands on education with successful horseman Kenny Pugh Jr. and Matt Budge in Weatherford, Texas.
Lane currently trains a wide variety of horses in Imbler, Oregon and heads south to Casa Grande, Arizona in the winter months. His background in cutting, roping, and barrel horses is what helps him create broke horses for his clients to enjoy. He is an experienced trainer who believes in teaching horses to have an all around foundation where they are exposed to not only the arena, but the mountains, desert and working cattle. You can find him on his Facebook page Lane Andreassen Performance Horses.
LA GRANDE, OR
Jonath Robles is the head trainer and manager at Lareigh Stables in Boring, Oregon. It has been said that Jonath has a natural talent when it comes to working with horses. Jonath grew up around horse trainers that used a lot of old school cowboy training methods, and he knew there had to be a better way.
He quickly grew a fascination, almost an obsession with Natural Horsemanship. Jonath admires and follows the teachings of Ray Hunt, Tom Dorrance, Monty Roberts, and Buck Brannaman. Jonath says, “Some of the things that these trainers can do with a horse seem so unreal, its so beautiful that you almost feel like you are dreaming, I consider it ‘live art”. Jonath’s natural talent has provided him the opportunity to travel and work with some amazing trainers.
Jonath will take on the challenge of working with a horse that has been neglected or abused. Jonath takes a slow approach with the horse and digs deeper into the horse’s personality. “It is more than just training a horse”, Jonath says. “It’s working with a horse to build a bond, respect, and most importantly... trust".
KYLE HOCKETT- 2015 NATIONAL FINALS CHAMPION
Kyle Hockett is the owner and operator of EPIC performance horses LLC in Bend OR. Kyle grew up on horseback in a family of cowboys. Kyle learned horseshoeing skills from his father and starting shoeing horses at 16. He learned quickly that top performance is the result of good physical care and conditioning. As a farrier and trainer, Kyle’s focus is on encouraging each horse’s individual natural talent. His training philosophy is that each horse has individual needs and abilities so training needs to be individual as well. He is well known for his ability to rehabilitate horses with physical and behavioral problems.
Kyle is willing to take on any training challenge, last year he was the Oregon Quarter Horse Association Champion in Green Hunter under Saddle, Senior Western Pleasure, Green Western Pleasure, Senior Western Pleasure and Reserve Champion Junior Western Pleasure horse. He coached four students to qualify for the AQHA novice world show. Kyle’s personal passion is team roping and cow events.
Horseman, clinician, and cowboy poet Brent Winston has dedicated the better part his life to the horse. His life dream and passion is helping people help their horses. In
pursuit of this dream, Brent studied as an apprentice to such great horseman as Johnny Leverett, Ray Hunt, and a great deal of other legendary horseman. The Peyton, Colorado bred cowboy has been considered one of the most versatile horseman in the region, never turning away a horse, for any reason. Brent has been able to be trusted time and again to do the right thing by the horse. He believes that each and every horse is special, and no matter what kind of saddle you put on, good horsemanship is good horsemanship.
Brent has competed in the Extreme Mustang Makeover four times, becoming a finalist twice. Brent has taken his talent and training techniques to the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center, putting himself in a situation to help as many horses as possible. Brent brings the horses to an adoptable state, provides educational opportunities, and helps places horses in their new homes.
Jerry Jones and his wife Jess live in North Texas. They train Cow-Dogs and Horses full time. From starting colts, showing finished horses, and producing great dogs. They believe that with honesty and a good work ethic, any goal is achievable. Jerry carries a legacy that began with his grandfather and will live on through his children. His dream is to one day compete in the World's Greatest Horseman.
Lanny Leach was raised in a cattle ranching family in the Sandhills of Nebraska. At the age of 2 he started riding horses, at the age of 12 he trained his first paying client’s horse, and by High School he was honing his riding skills through the High School and Mid-States Rodeo Associations. His passion for riding and training led him to where he is now.
In 2003 Lanny established ‘Lanny Leach Horsemanship’ and since has been training both competition and recreational horses throughout Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and Southern California. His career as a horse trainer, clinician and teacher has allowed him to expand into various competitions and train working cow dogs.
Michelle Gilles spent her childhood riding horses and teenage years rodeoing. In college she began training and showing western pleasure, reining, and hunters. She graduated with an Equine Science Degree. She then moved on and mentored with California Vaquero Villa West, learning how to feel a horse, not handle a horse, and the art of riding a bridle horse. She has worked many places for pennies but more importantly an education. Riding horses from California to South Dakota and South Dakota to Mississippi. She has rode under many great horseman and along side famous clinicians.
She has competed in Western Pleasure, Mounted Shooting, Extreme Trail, and Ranch Versatility. Her travels have given her the opportunity to work for many great ranches and showing horses along the way. She also started colts, showed ranch horses, and learned about the Gaited breeds. She specializes in the horses labeled dangerous and hard to handle. In 2007 she started Training BLM mustangs for Extreme Mustang Makeovers and became part of the Mustang Heritage TIP program starting over 22 BLM mustangs in a year. She believes Horsemanship, training, and lessons isn't something you wake up doing one day. It's a growing education, that you must seek, and absorb daily in order to make a better you so you can train a better horse.
I'm Shoma Keenon and I'm 19 years old. I live in Dayton Texas on a small ranch. I start colts and work with problem horses. I also train mules.
I started training at age 12. I've competed in the extreme cowboy race, ranch Trail, ACTHA (American competitive trail horse Association) and ranch sorting I've competed in the Mustang Million, and the Extreme Mustang Makeover. I'm also a tips trainer for the Mustang Heritage Foundation.
Tyler Brewster is 20 years old and lives in San Angelo TX. He enjoys starting colts, working with problem horses, giving riding lessons and competing in team sorting events. He was born and raised in Van Horn TX where his family farmed and ranched. He grew up driving tractors and checking cattle but always dreamed of one day becoming a horse trainer like the famous trainers and clinicians he watched on RFD TV.
When Tyler was 15 he took on his very first outside horse, a problem mare that had many bad habits. He fixed all the bad habits she had in under a month and the lady was so impressed with his work she sent him 4 colts to start. After that ,Tyler had caught the horse training bug and began taking in all the outside horses he could get, as well as having a ranch job.
He also started training mustangs for the Extreme Mustang Makeover in 2011, starting with yearling mustangs in the youth division but as soon as he turned 18, he showed in the Norco CA Mustang Makeover and placed 3rd in the finals. He was also invited to show in Mustang Magic during the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, where he placed 3rd in the finals again. He feels mustangs have made the biggest impact on him, not only to help shape him as a trainer but also as a person. He believes hard work, determination and keeping an open mind to try different approaches and techniques are the keys to success.
SAN ANGELO, TX
I have always had a passion for horses. I started in junior rodeo when I was 13 doing team roping. I have been breaking and training horses ever since, for over 22 years. My dream was always to start my own business breaking and training horses. I started Grant Performance Horses in 2006 in Udall, Kansas along with my wife Lorie. We are a family operation and have two children who are both in junior rodeo.
I offer one free lesson to the owners of the horses that I break and train. I have added a new service this year, you can now call and schedule Travis to come to your place and work with you and/or your horse. We offer a variety of services from yearling work, colt starting and riding lessons to using our arena for practice roping and barrels. We have corriente cattle for roping. Call or visit our website for more information at www.grantperformancehorses.com. I will also take problem horses on a per case bases.
Zen has been riding and starting colts for quite a bit of his life now. He works horses with the understanding that "...you can't force a horse." He looks for the colt to partner with him and make the choice.
When he was approached and asked about his method, he simply stated "I don't have one. You see, not all horses are the same. I have to do things different with each one. The closest thing I have to a "method" is simply the 3 C's. Calm, confident, and consistent.
See him on Facebook under The Rusty Spur Ranch
Rich Mervin became accomplished horsemen and Farrier by the age of 16 after training under his Father and Grandfather. In the early eighties he began to travel all over training and shoeing ranch horses. After his tour in the Coast Guard, Rich went straight back into horses. Rich trained and shod horses while studying pre Vet medicine at Boise State.
In 1999 he moved to Southern California where he gave lessons in Orange County in dressage, hunters, jumpers and eventers. While learning the language of these different disciplines, Rich was assisting with research, working toward his Bachelors Degree in Equine Science at Cal Poly Pomona, and working as a practical lab instructor for the Equine Unit at Mount San Antonio College. Rich taught: Horse Ranch Management, Horse Husbandry, Horse Production and Horse hoof care while at the collage.
During this time Rich was working on the training philosophy of Student of the Horse Horsemanship. It takes a lifetime of learning to gain true knowledge and wisdom. Come share what the Student of the Horse philosophy has to offer.
SPIRIT LAKE, ID
Don Douglas began working with horses when he was 17 years old. He broke colts for ranchers and neighbors for many years in Montana before he moved to California in 1986. Since then Don has been working with horses and riders at his ranch in Central California where he trains and conducts horsemanship and cow working clinics. He has competed and won championships in reining, stock horse, and sorting events as well as being a Reserve Champion and a Champion twice in the Extreme Mustang Makeovers.
Don especially enjoys starting colts and working with problem horses. Participating in colt starting events gives him an opportunity to do what he loves most, and he feels these events are true horse breaking contests.
Don believes that by building a horse's confidence, a horse can become a willing and compliant extension of its trainer, and consistent and humane treatment helps create this partnership.
Ben was born and raised in a small rural town in Northern California, and has been around horses and livestock his whole life. He trained his first horse, a BLM mustang, at the age of 13. Soon after that, he started working horses for other people all the way through high school, after which he served in the Marine Corps.
After coming home from the service, Ben once again went back to honing his skill as a horse trainer. He is characterized by his firm but understanding way with horses. He has competed in and trained horses for a number of events, from competitive trail riding to team penning and everything in between. He currently trains out of Urda, Utah.
Chris French grew up in southwest Iowa using horses to work cattle on the family farm. Chris discovered his passion for raising, training, trail riding and showing horses and mules.
Chris and his wife Kelli own an 80 acre farm southwest of Bedford, Iowa where they have established Rafter CF Training Mule Company. Chris has trained mules and horses for years. Chris uses a lot of groundwork techniques and believes it is essential to set a good foundation for each equine he trains. He also stresses that each horse or mule is different and has a unique way of learning. In Chris’ spare time he enjoys trips out west to ride in the mountains with his wife, Kelli, roping, doing day-work and doctoring cattle.
Chris has also competed in several colt starting challenges, including: two time winner at the New Hampton Battle for the Buckle Challenge in 2012 & 2013, Chris also won the “People’s Choice Award” at the Farmington, IA Colt Starting Competition in 2010 & 2014.
Born and raised in Oklahoma, Adam was passionate about horses from an early age. As a youngster, he trailed behind his Dad on many excursions day working for local farmers and ranchers gathering and working cattle. This was where Adam realized the importance of being balanced in the saddle and finding a deeper connection and love for his equine partners. Soon he found himself starting colts and helping to rehabilitate troubled horses.
Adam was inspired in the early 1990’s when he says “My eyes were truly opened by a very generous man who enlightened me to a much better way of communicating with my horse. It was called Natural Horsemanship, or a soft feel and was the greatest communication with a horse that I had ever witnessed”. In early 2000, another mentor introduced him to the buckaroo style of horsemanship and roping. The influence of these two great men and the many years of real life experiences have molded him into the horseman he is today. Adam teaches the philosophy that RESPECT without fear equals TRUST and in turn Sky's the Limit!
Adam now hangs his hat in Middle Tennessee where he lives with his wife Stacey on a small horse farm raising their four children. For more information please visit https://www.facebook.com/adamrichardsonhorsemanship.
Nate Ostrander's approach to the horse grows from a lifetime spent with them. Reared in a family of professional horse trainers and breeders, he can't remember a time when horses weren't family members. "Every moment you're with a horse," he says, "both you and the horse are learning and teaching. As the human partner in this relationship, we can't ever forget that. True horsemanship is for people who love to keep on learning. Horses constantly teach me."
In a world where humanity's ancient horse love is complicated by a life that just doesn't let most of us spend enough time with them to to really know them, Nate tries to translate for the horse in order to create a good learning path for them and their humans.
"I've looked all my life for someone who can 'teach horse' the way Nate can. To call him gifted is an understatement. With a handful of words, he can make the horse's world more understandable than any book, then actually give that understanding a heartbeat inside you with his strong, calm, patient way of demonstrating. You actually start to hear a rhythm. It's really cool. You have to experience the way Nate role models the trust and respect that are keys to being with a horse, because words can't explain it." -- Larry Shook
WEST BRANCH, MI
Jessica Abatie is a WPRA barrel racer, Extreme Cowboy Racer and a timed event specialist from Estacada, Oregon. Not only does she train some of the top horses and youth in the NW, she is a true horseman, having ridden under the likes of Chris Cox and Dan James. Jessica started her first horse solo at age 12 and as a young teen was frequently handed troubled and unstarted horses, and still receives a steady flow of word of mouth business accordingly.
"Sometimes it is not what we are asking the horse to do...it's what they need, and our ability to know the difference defines a good to great horseman." says Jessica "I rode my first horse at 2, and by age 4 I was finding fifth gear on every horse I got on..and I've never looked back. Starting the horses I compete on today and friends has always been an addicting hobby."
Once I start a horse, it hauls everywhere we go.. Every competition..riding it in the warm up pen... Every
trail ride, every practice.. They get broke.. I'm always trying to learn.. Always.... Riding as many horses as I can in this lifetime. You can learn something from everyone even if it's what not to do... Do right by the horse and the horse won't try and do you wrong.
Matt Fritz lives near New Market, Iowa. He owns and operates Fritz training and Horsemanship. He has been working and riding horse since he was very young. About 12 years ago his father, Tom Fritz , persuaded him to pursue horse training, encouraging him to participate in a local colt starting event. Since then, Matt has continued to compete in colt starting challenges, numerous trial challenges in Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri. He has also competed in two extreme mustang makeovers.
Matt spends his time training and resolving "problems" that horse owners have in communicating with their horses. He works one on one with owners to help them understand the horse’s thought process and proper communication between horse and owner so the pair have a more satisfying and enjoyable experiences.
Matt does not work alone. Fritz Training and Horsemanship is a family affair. His wife Mary, mother Dixie, sons, daughters, and friends all spend time helping clients with their horses as well. "Horsemanship" is the most important part of his training. Matt’s motto is "gentle hands, gentle horse". He incorporates this belief in all aspects of his training and encourages riders to do the same.
NEW MARKET, IA
Horsemanship & starting colts is all I've ever known. I've been very fortunate in my life to have family and friends that are great horsemen & horsewomen to mentor and teach me what true horsemanship is all about. I learned at an early age that horsemanship is an art, and you to continually hone your craft.
Richard Caldwell(rip),Chris Cox and Jerry Diaz, along with my family and friends were, and still are major influences on my style of horsemanship and starting colts. Being a horseman is a way of life for me and my family.
God put horses on this earth for us to enjoy and to teach us " humans" about life. A good horseman or horsewoman has to acknowledge that tough horses are often the best teachers. Starting young horses is what I enjoy doing the most and have a passion for. Developing these babies into willing and trusting partners is something very special!!
A native of Southern California, Steve along with his wife Amanda and their two children now reside in Weatherford, Texas. They own and operate Stevens Natural Horsemanship where they specialize in colt starting and problem solving. They also give lessons and put on numerous horsemanship clinics throughout the year. His Facebook business page is
Steve rode saddle broncs in the PRCA for twelve years. While on the rodeo circuit, he had the opportunity to be around some amazing horsemen from whom he gained knowledge and respect for the horse. Today, he is very passionate about the art of natural horsemanship and how it is the true way to bond horse and human.
Amanda is a recent survivor of Triple Negative Breast Cancer. The horses played a huge part in her healing process during her treatments. Steve and Amanda are strong advocates for breast cancer awareness and look forward to using horses to help cancer patients and caregivers heal.
Chris has been working with horses since he was 10 years old. He started volunteering at Old Cowtown Museum and was able to work his way up from mucking stalls to learning to ride and drive the teams. He always wanted to learn more and would watch and read about all the horsemanship he could.
When he was 18 he started training horses for the public. Chris believes horses are a life long journey and you cant learn everything in this life time, but if you stop, you are stuck in a rut!
About 4 years ago, Chris was introduced to the Californio Vaquero traditions. Since then he has improved how he trains into a signal based system of feel, timing, and balance. He now prefers to start in the Hackamore. He currently trains out of Park City, KS and also travels to clients locations. Chris is an apprenticing farrier and loves to spend his spare time with his wife and daughter.
PARK CITY, KS
Ryan was raised on a cattle ranch in Northern Wyoming and has been horseback his whole life. He has been training horses since 13 and always enjoys learning new and better ways to train.
In 2009 he went to a trick horse trainer and since then has been incorporating trick training into his colt starting. "I feel this helps a horse to become more responsive and respectful."
Ryan currently runs his family's ranch in South East Colorado, and trains horses there. I have been training client horses for 20 years and my biggest influences have been my Dad, Uncle Floyd and Uncle Dale.
Growing up in Colorado, Ben always had a passion for horses and the relationship that is gained through properly communicating with them. Never having the ability to ride or be around horses in his younger years never deterred Ben from pursuing his passion. At age 15 Ben became involved with a youth drill team called the Westernaires. Throughout the remainder of his high school career he continued to pursue learning about how the horse worked and how to communicate with them. Upon graduation, Ben traveled to Europe and learned more about horsemanship.
When Ben returned to the US he finally got his big break, he traveled to Texas to learn from one of the greatest horseman in the world today. Ben studied down in Texas for 3 years before returning to Colorado where he continues to hone his skills and technique as a horseman. Ben rides everyday and travels the country putting on clinics and always learning from the greatest teacher of all, the horse.
Growing up with horses and rodeo was kind of second nature, having come from a long line of cowboys! Being a horse trainer was something I dreamed about from the time I could ride.
After starting my first horse the training idea dissipated. Visually seeing the young horse learn and change his whole demeanor was mind blowing to me. From then on, all I wanted to do was start young horses.
From high school until now I have made a living starting colts for people. I believe the first few rides on a horse are the most formable rides in its life. It’s been my goal to give young horses the foundation to go any direction.
I was lucky enough to be raised on a horse farm and have always had an extreme passion for horses. As kids, we were at horse shows every weekend. At 15, I started my first colt, a Smart Little Lena bred stud horse. Needless to say, he taught me several valuable lessons. I have also been blessed with access to local trainers with years of knowledge that were more than happy to help me out whenever I got into a bind.
I started working with Lonny Johnson who has ridden under the likes of Brad and Don Buttrey, Mike Mowery, Ed Wright. I was then struck by the wander lust and started spending my summers in Western Wyoming Cowboying taking care of 6500 head of yearlings,and riding under Boone Snidecor who learned a lot from Bill Smith of Circle 7 quarter horses and many other great horsemen. I moved back to Texas and started riding colts for the public
I've been training horses for 15 years now and it is still just as fun as the first colt I swung my leg over. My philosophy in everything I do is that there is always a better way. I strive to make myself better every time I get in the saddle. Keeping in mind that every horse is an individual with their own thoughts as well.
STEVE SWARD- 2014 NATIONAL FINALS CHAMPION
Steve trains for the public out of North Platte Nebraska. He has gone from California to New Jersey competing in 5 Extreme Mustang Makeovers and been in the top ten every time. He also competed in the first ever Mustang Million last fall held in Ft Worth.
He started training for the public at the age of 15 and has now trained over 1,000 head of colts. He enjoys ranch work, training, roping, starting colts, and wants to explore all opportunities to improve his horsemanship
NORTH PLATTE, NE
I grew up on a working cattle ranch in Oregon. I began riding horses at the age of 4.
I began starting colts and training horses 20 years ago.Using a more traditional horsemanship style letting the horse be the best he can be. I believe it's about the horse and their needs.
Because I have worked for many cattle ranches in the western United States I have been able to study and work with many different horses with many different issues. At the end of the day, it's about the horse and our relating to it. Bringing horse and rider together in a positive way to bring out the best in both.
B & E Horse Training
I was born and raised in Gregory, SD. After graduating college in 2010 I began moving around the states of SD, NB, and Wy. Working for different ranches to gain all the experience I could from a number of different regions.
I am currently living back in my home town as the owner/operator of "Hot Tamale Horsemanship" and also a day working cowboy for a handful of different ranches around the area.
Josh Allen was born and raised in the cowboy country of Nevada, where he learned very early on that “A Great Horse Can Make Anyone Look Good, but A Great Horseman Can Make Anything Look Easy.” He grew up very active in Horse 4-H, FFA, Sports and Ranching. Upon being accepted to run and compete in the Decathlon for Eastern Oregon University, he met some really great influences that helped him expand his true passion of working with and developing young horses.
Over the last 15 years he has molded a complete in-house development program that includes breeding, raising, training and competing. This program is influenced by the Buckaroos and Vaqueros from his childhood, 4-H and the natural soft foundation developed by the Dorance Brothers and Ray Hunt. He creates a solid start with one goal in mind, to develop a solid foundation ensuring each prospect can go on to maximize the full potential of their breeding, environment and owner expectations.
He is a Crop Consultant for Wilbur-Ellis in Quincy, WA where he and his family operate Circle JTA Performance Horses focusing on Family, Horsemanship and Tradition. He loves to Team Rope and compete in Working Cow horse / Ranch Versatility with their aged horses as well as several great young prospects he has the pleasure of working with.
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.
I was raised on a cattle ranch in Utah. I worked every aspect from irrigating to cultivating and harvesting crops and spent summers at cow-camp riding the ranches grazing permit. My main focus and passion was always the horses. I loved helping them develop the skills they needed to accomplish their often demanding and precise jobs. After watching some of the cowboys work with the horses I knew there had to be a more effective and gentle way.
In college, I worked on a race track starting young horses as well as being a jockey. All of these diverse experiences affect how I work with a horse today. My goal has become to let the horse tell me when it’s ready for the next step and to always pursue new learning experiences to help me, to better help the horses that I work with.
NEW CASTLE, CO
MARY ROSE ANDERSON
Clinician Mary Rose Anderson has been competing in the equine industry for over 20 years. She is currently training at Saving Grace Ranch in Norco, California. There she specializes in starting colts and training ranch versatility horses. She also enjoys giving lessons in horsemanship, gymkhana, and competing in A level Trail and Ranch Sorting.
Mary Rose Anderson is also a highly skilled competitor in the Ultimate Super Horse Challenges and is the 2015 and 2016 Reserve High Point Champion. Her mentors have been world renown trainers like Charmagne James, Buck Brannaman, Les Vogt, and Al Dunning. This will be Mary Rose's first Colt Starting Challenge and is looking forward to sharing her knowledge with the colt she is assigned for this competition.
I live in the Roseburg, OR area. I started loving horses at the age of ten when my family fostered mustangs and I started my first one. Since then I have enjoyed developing my skills of starting and training horses for myself and others as a hobby. I have had the opportunity to train BLM wild horses as well as packing / trail horses for hunting / outdoor guiding outfits.
Although having seen many rough old school methods of breaking horses into submission, I avoid forcing horses. Horses are very strong communicators and by using their language, not ours, it is possible to establish a trusting relationship with a horse that will enjoy looking to the handler for authority and direction.
I consider horse training to best be defined as finding ways to get a horse to want to do what one wants it to do - I always enjoy learning more, and there is not better teacher in this area than the horse.
Taylor McIntosh is an AQHA Professional Horseman. He has dedicated his life to helping others become confident in their horsemanship. He has spent time learning from the best of the best, Al Dunning, JD Yates, Craig Cameron, and Bill Black, to name a few. Taylor is a Clinician, Trainer, Competitor, Farrier, and lifelong student of the horse. He specializes in Colt Starting, Competitive Trail Horses, and Rope Horses.
In 2014, Taylor put his training program to the ultimate test by applying it to a young, untouched, American Mustang, that he named Owen. Taylor and Owen built a true partnership and when the dust settled, they were crowned Champion of the Extreme Mustang Makeover. Owen travels with Taylor giving clinics, demonstrations, and private lessons.
Taylor's dedication to horsemanship is evident in his use of the Hackamore. He has coined the phrase, "Get out of their mouth and into their mind." Taylor and his wife, Brandy, own and operate McIntosh Equine in Waverly, Al.
Scott and his wife Crissy, live in a small town in eastern Oklahoma. Scott has been horseback since a very young age and literally "cut his baby teeth" on his daddy's roping saddle.
He has been starting Colts for the public since the age of twelve and obtained a vast knowledge base from his father and other mentors. This knowledge and some God given horsemanship is the foundation of his training methods.
Passionate and mellow mannered, Joshua Hill is a 10 year army veteran who grew up riding and training horses in the foot hills of North Carolina. Joshua has rode his entire life and started training horses on his family farm at the age eleven. Publicly training horses for 8 years while being stationed all over the world, Joshua is well rounded and has a knack for finding common ground with any client.
Versed in working with American Quarter Horses, he has also worked with a variety of breeds to include OTTB's, walking/gaited horses and draft horses. Most fluent in starting young horses and producing a soft working horse for ranch/feedlot work, roping, sorting, trail riding and western/ranch pleasure.
Now residing in Leander Texas, he trains horses for the public and gives private lessons.
After ten years of military service as an infantryman with multiple overseas assignments Joshua is getting out to pursue his Equine dreams. He believes strongly in natural horsemanship, building foundations of trust and respect. Happy to help or assist anyone at anytime.
Michael Joe Tubbs is the owner and operator of M &S Equine Service's in Sallisaw, OK. Michael has more than 20 years of experience in Training/Farrier Services. The following are our his specialties: Starting colts in a gentle and stress FREE way for your horse. Also halter breaking, ground work, tune ups on older horses, neck reining, and exposure to barking dogs.
Michael has been the real deal cowboy all his life. His mother Betty had him horse back from the time he could sit upright. Michael's Papa Mutt was a farrier. As a little boy Michael learned how to be the horseman and farrier he is today from watching his beloved Papa Mutt. Micheal rodeo as a teenager riding bulls, saddle boncs, and bare back riding. Michael currently still competes in the ranch saddle bronc riding events when his wife Sannon will let him.
Michael and his wife Shannon Jackson have four children. Together they work very hard as a family and a TEAM! They are currently working on putting together a small herd of mares to raise quality working horses; with bloodline that go back to Two Eyed Jack, Doc Bar and Colonel Freckles. They also raise working cattle dogs.
Ray Holland is co-owner and operator of Broken Creek Ranch in New Blaine, AR. Originally from Louisiana, he has moved to the Ozark mountains with his girlfriend Sarah where the ranch started and grew to what it is today. With a rough past, horses and the good Lord are the only things that kept him focused on bettering himself and helping others. Horses have been and always will be his passion in life. In his younger years Ray has competed in bronc riding and team roping worked with vets, and shoes.
Currently on the ranch he specializes in taking in what he calls, "last resort horses." These horses have been to several trainers that were unable to break ground. The owners are usually close to giving up which is unfortunate for both the horse and rider. Confidence is ruined, confusion sets in and the finances that went into the horse all the while are depleted. Ray takes those horses and changes his training methods to custom fit that particular horse. In the end you have a happy owner and a willing horse. At the ranch he also handles corrective shoeing and trimming, dental work, tune-ups, riding lessons, APHA stud services and boarding.
Ray is honored and feels blessed to be able to take this challenge. Win or lose he is there to experience new things, make new friends and learn something of use to better further his training abilities.
NEW BLAINE. AK
My name is Keith Messick. I live in Snyder, TX. I have always enjoyed horses. I begin breaking horses 15 years ago and have tried many methods until I have successfully come up with my own.
Each horse has a mind of its own and as a trainer you have to figure each horse out. I have begin a new journey of calf roping and training calf horses.
It is very enjoyable to see the transformation horses can make with proper training.
I am from Pittsboro, North Carolina and I am 19 years old. My family has always had horses and I have grown up riding. I was taught basic horsemanship skills at a very young age and began training at Bar T Horsemanship when I was 14. I have been there starting and training horses for about five years. From showing in reining and taking hunter jumper lessons, to starting and restarting many horses and mustangs, I have learned some of what to do, and a lot of what not to do, from numerous people and myself.
I really enjoy starting horses, and seeing the changes they make as they learn and try their best to do what you ask. I like seeing young horses transition smoothly through the stages of starting them under saddle, and the big leaps or tiny steps that mistreated or badly taught horses make when showing them a better way people can be. Horses are extremely honest and have more patience than anything I know of. Honesty and patience are very important qualities to have when working with horses, especially when starting a horse.
Bryan Neubert, Richard Winters, Martin Black, Tom Dorrance, and Ray Hunt are some of the great horsemen that I have learned from and follow. My family and close friends also follow horsemen such as these, so I have been surrounded by the mindset of working through the horse my entire life. I ride almost everyday as my job and would like to make a career out of it eventually.
TREY YOUNG - 2016 NATIONAL FINALS CHAMPION
"There is nothing more satisfying to me than to see a horse and its rider performing together with mutual understanding", says Trey Young, Horse Trainer.
Trey's technique and philosophy in training mirrors that of the "natural horsemanship" style of training widely used today. While many trainers are indeed successful in this style, Trey seems to excel in it. His passion for the horse and rider is so evident from your first meeting with him that you know right away you have chosen the right trainer for your horse. Having worked with other horsemen such as Chris Cox, Jay Holmes, and others, Trey's knowledge and experience are invaluable tools that contribute to the success he has so enjoyed in his relationship with the horse.
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.
Levi is the Owner of Levi's Training & Boarding Center in West Branch, Mi. He has been training horses for the public for 10 years. He has been around horses his entire life, learned to train from his father.
Levi trains about 70 horses a year from starting to tuning them up. In 2014 he competed in his 1st Extreme Mustang Makeover, and placed in the Top 10.
Levi's goal is to change the way people look at horsemanship and help them and their horses become a better team.
I am Luke Castro, 25 years old from Southern California. I train for the public, mostly starting and working with problem horse. I have enjoyed working with different breeds with various challenges. I have a passion for training horses, and I am blessed to participate in this new experience.
I have competed in three Extreme Mustang Makeovers, I placed 3rd and won Fan Favorite in Norco, CA Horse Town USA.
I am the trainer at One Day Moore Animal Rescue, where we rescue and rehabilitate horses like, OTTB's, Qaurter Horses, Mustangs and many more! In a rescue environment, The rescue horses may have a background of abuse and neglect, and most come in with trust issues. I enjoy working with them, to help them become willing partners,and get their forever homes.
Stephen's desire to have a reputation as a quality horseman began when he moved to Montana and started working on horse and cattle ranches. That introduction to the lifestyle of a horseman instantly had him hooked. Knowledgeable, experienced, and reputable buckaroo-style mentors took Stephen in and he hasn't stopped since.
Stephen cowboyed across Central and Western Montana, and is a big believer in the importance of a confident horse who has a job. He takes a combination approach of leadership and respect to his colts. He knows a horse looks to the rider to guide them (both mentally and physically), but also realizes the importance of keeping their mind alive. If done properly, your confident leadership will give them the confidence, and you respecting them will keep them willing. The key components in Stephen's program are: Great feel, consistency, and positivity in the mind.
Stephen has been running "Lazy S Horsemanship" out of Georgia for over a year now, and travels the southeast and country for clinics and expos. While home he takes in client horses, and also spends time working with our military veterans, sharing his experience and knowledge in a more personal format, to help expand their skill-set for more options of employment.
JOSE R. RODRIGUEZ
J.R is the owner at JM Ranch and stables in Mira Loma California. J.R has a natural feel and a good understanding of most breeds of horses. J.R starting working horses at a young age with is grandpa. J.R used charro style along with natural horsemanship methods.
I enjoy working with young horses. I enjoy seeing and giving a safe and enjoy start to there young careers. I also work with problem horses. I very much enjoy private and group lessons. JM Ranch host clinic a few time a year.
MIRA LOMA, CA
Brose McVey has spent decades working with horses and has started colts for top trainers in reining, cutting and other disciplines. A businessman and father by day, his passion is working with horses and their owners, especially young colts. He works with clients to correct problems and improve owners’ relationship and experience using natural horsemanship techniques drawn from his study of top trainers like Clinton Anderson, Pat Parelli, Buck Brannaman, Ray Hunt and others, as well as his time studying under top reining horse trainers.
Brose is participating to draw attention to and raise funds for Ben’s Ranch Foundation, Inc., a charitable program he founded in honor of his late son. Ben’s Ranch Foundation is developing a national program to serve teens struggling with mental health conditions by placing them on individual family farms and ranches where they will live, work and unwind for a summer or longer.
For more info see Brose on Facebook at Brose McVey Horsemanship.
Phil grew up on his family farm in the mountains of north Carolina. As a child he dreamed of becoming a famous cowboy and he has pursued that dream with passion and drive.
Over the years Phil has had the opportunity to work with some of the founding fathers of todays natural horsemanship, including Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance and continues to expand on his teaching methods and knowledge with regular clinics and private farms.
Phil and his wife Kim aim to educate and help horse people of all levels and from all disciplines t have a more meaningful and productive relationship with their horse through honest and clear communication.
To learn more about Phil and Phil Rogers Horsemanship you can visit him on Facebook at "Phil Lee Rogers" and on you tube under Phil Rogers Horsemanship
Mike Hurst from Philippi WV is 43 years old, an army veteran, father of two, and will be married in October.
Mike has been starting colts for 15 years. He was the runner up for the 2016 Extreme Mustang Makeover Virginia and won the 2016 Dirt Road to the Horse in Columbus Ohio.
PHILIPPI, WEST VIRGINIA
I was born in Arcadia, Florida, and raised in the small town of Palatka. My dad was a prorodeo stock contractor, and my mom was a professional barrel racer for many years. I have been riding since before I could walk, and probably spent more time on a horse than on my feet as a chid.
When I was 8 years old, my mom remarried, and she and my stepfather started a business breaking and training horses. I think I was 12 the first time I started one of my own by myself. He was a cute little palomino with a bad attitude, but by the time we spent a couple of months together, I think that horse would walk through fire for me. I think that's the one that really started it and once I felt that sense of accomplishment, I was hooked. I just kind of knew that this was what I wanted to do.
I started riding for a couple of other trainers, and took in some clients of my own at times. That really only lasted a couple of years. I all but quit for several years with just the occasional call to put the first ride or 2 on something for someone else not wanting to do it.
3 years ago I was able to buy a couple of young horses and start working them for myself. Those 2 have now turned into 5. I know that I have a lot of knowledge, but I also know that I have a lot more to learn.
CLIFF SCHADT JR.
Cliff Shadt is a second generation horse trainer. His training methods are modeled after Vaquero style horsemanship and classical dressage. Besides being born into a hunter/ jumper family he has spent most of his adult life living and working large ranches throughout the west.
He has had the opportunity to work with, and be influenced by, many great horsemen from various disciplines. This has helped him develop his own training methods and style now used in the work he does with a variety of disciplines today.
Cliff conducts clinics throughout the United States and has a broad base of clients from Grand Prix jumpers, young racehorses destined for the track, to reining and working ranch horses.
Cliffs system of training utilizes leadership and consistency to help create a brave confident balanced performance horse capable of excelling both in and outside the arena where the main goal is partnership.
My name is Adam Elliott and I currently live in Red Cloud, Nebraska. I grew up training and selling horses for my dad. At the age of seventeen, I was blessed with an opportunity to go over and train in the Czech Republic. The day I graduated high school, I moved to Colorado to train horses full time for the summer.
After I moved back to Missouri, I pretty much always kept something going that was for sale. At age nineteen, I learned to shoe as well. I have trained horses for the public on and off when time allowed. Currently, I run the Cowboy crew for Gottsch Feeders and only have time enough for my own.Throughout my adult life, I've worked on several ranches and really enjoy working cattle. I also have a growing passion for catching wild cattle and ranch rodeoing.
With each colt, I try to more understand and improve my techniques. As we all know, no two horses are the same. I make it a goal to try to understand each colt and find their strengths and weaknesses to be able to use them to their full potential.
RED CLOUD, NE
Quentin is 44 years old and has grown up in the cattle business riding
horses in the Sandhills of Nebraska since he was five.
He has learned manythings over a lifetime working with different horses and working around really good horsemen and really bad horsemen.
His philosophy in a nut shellis "horses act and react like horses and you have to push the right buttons."
I am a 23 year old ranch girl from the Sandhills of Nebraska and have spent my whole life on the back of a horse. Horses are an indispensable part of our daily ranch work.
I started helping my dad with some of his colts when I was around nine and have loved it ever since. We now jointly take colts in regularly as Shadbolt Horse Training.
I also grew up running barrel horses and continue to today. Every horse I work with is trained a little differently to fit the needs of the individual. Consistency, patience, timing, and experience make good horses.
My name is Blake Coady, I am a retired firefighter. Every firefighter I know has a second job, mine happens to be working with my passion, horses!
Horses have helped me through many of the difficult times I have encountered as a professional firefighter. I have been a full time farrier and trainer for the last 25 years. My specialty is helping horses that don't want to give up their feet and starting horses so they can go on to what ever discipline the owner would like to do.
I believe leadership and respect are the keys to horsemanship. If you are a confident, competent leader the horse will be a reflection of your confidence and leadership. My goal now is helping horses one owner at a time. I believe that this colt starting challenge will exemplify the feel and timing necessary to communicate effectively with each horse.
Tim is the owner of Horse - “Sense” Naturally, and currently resides in Sunnyside, Washington. He grew up on a farm and cattle ranch in southern Idaho where he trained race horses. Tim was exercising race horses at a young age of six. He began starting young colts. The hard part was, Tim would just get them going good and then a buyer would always show up.
Tim got away from the race horses when he married and started raising a family, but the love and smell of horses never went away. Tim has had the blessed privilege to be mentored by some fabulous horseman: Grant Matthews, Brian Newbert, Pat Parilli, and Chris Cox, but most of all his father.
After raising his two children, Tim returned to the horse business including farrier work, starting colts, putting on horsemanship clinics, and giving private lessons. Tim enjoys working with people who have horse problems and with horses who have people problems.
My name is Caitlin Miller, and I'm interested in the Colt Starting Challege USA. I live in Molalla, Oregon with my longtime boyfriend, and our assortment of animals. I have a full time job through Amazon.com that I enjoy. My hobbies include riding and training horses, riding dirt bikes, reading, and gardening. I have lived in Oregon my entire life, and enjoy traveling.
At the age of 12 my parents got our first horse. After learning to ride, I ran into my first problem horse, and it was game on from there. Because I was home schooled I was able to spend hours with the horses fixing problems and furthering our ability's as a horse and human team. I knew I wanted to make a living training horses.
At 18 I quite college to devote my time to making the training business thing work and with the support and use of my parents property started Diamond T Horsemanship. 6 years later Diamond T Horsemanship is becoming everything Ive hoped and dreamed and now my goals, dreams, and the desire to keep learning just increases.
Now with a leased facility in Kittitas county Washington I keep myself busy training horses people, and the occasional clinics. Looking ahead Ive set another goal to take the next step into the performance world. Right now it seems impossible but I have a huge drive to keep learning and get better as should we all.
Karl Starkey, Owner of SK Quarter Horses, was raised in Helena MT. Growing up in Montana made it easy to get involved with horses at a very young age. Horses became an integral part of life on his family’s ranch, from gathering cattle and sheep to riding into the mountains to hunt and fish. When Karl moved to Wyoming he expanded his equine knowledge by working on a ranch and learning how to start colts and pack horses. Upon moving back to Montana, he started helping family and friends with improving their communication with their horses through training. He has since expanded to buying and training young horses along with helping riders improve their understanding of communication with their horses.
Karl is always expanding his knowledge and versatility. Natural Horsemanship is an amazing tool to utilize in the growth and development of any equine and human relationship. Every horse is not the same and not all training methods work on every horse. It is always important to find what works for each horse and rider. Karl prides himself on training horses with a soft hand and an excellent understanding of what their rider is looking for. Karl and his wife ,Sara, wish to expand their equine business by training versatile mountain horses and improving the bond between horse and rider.
Tabitha Packwood has been riding for the better part of her 22 years, and started her first colt at age 11. She began training for the public in the summer of 2014 after establishing Sundance Horsemanship at her family's farm in Billings, MO.
Tabitha is in her senior year at Missouri State University studying Equine Science, an active member of MSU's Horseman's Association, and competes collegiately on their Huntseat and Western IHSA teams.
While she enjoys learning and showing in different disciplines, her favorite thing in the world is making a connection with a colt and watching the "aha" moment as the horse becomes a willing partner. Tabitha feels like she has merely brinked the tip of the iceberg as far as fully understanding horses goes, but hopes to develop her horsemanship through a lifetime spent learning from a variety of horses, as well as watching the work of master horsemen.
In my younger years I discovered my love for buying project ponies, breaking them to ride and drive, and reselling them. As I matured I upgraded to starting colts or fixing problem horses. That is when I realized that starting colts is where my true passion lied. At the age of 16, I entered into my first colt starting challenge in Farmington, IA. By the end of the 3rd hour on the 1st day with the colt, I was riding it. I was ecstatic that I had won the People’s Choice Award of the Competition. Little did I know that colt starting would lead me to a world of opportunities.
After graduating high school early I went down to Texas to feed my hunger for knowledge. I interned under the best in the colt starting business, Mark and Miranda Lyon. From there, starting colts took me to Oklahoma, Oregon and then to Iowa. In 2015 I competed in my 1st Extreme mustang makeover in Fort Worth TX, missing the finals by only a few points. In 2016, I competed in my 2nd Extreme Mustang Makeover placing 3rd overall in Sedalia, MO.
I am thankful for many people that have taken the time to share their knowledge with me. Most of all I am thankful for the horse. The patience, forgiveness and insight horses are capable of reflects that of God above. Kaylee Kapraun owns 2K Performance Horses, near Metamora, IL. Kaylee enjoys horse training - including colt starting and Mustang Makeovers. As well as is a clinician and riding instructor specializing in troubleshooting and confidence building.
Rachael Kerwin is the owner of Reins of Hope Ranch Equine Massage & Rehabilitation. She grew up in a small town nestled in central IL, called Petersburg. She was given her first horse at age eight and started training horses for clients at age fifteen. Awestruck with all the trainers using Natural Horsemanship, she began to develop her own feel and way of communicating with the horses. Rachael loves to help horses find their full potential, and helping the owners build a relationship with their horses.
In 2016, Rachael made the big move from Illinois to a town in Florida called River Ranch. Although it was hard for her to leave behind her facility, she had a great opportunity in Florida! There she managed a farm with forty head of horses for a trail riding business. Training many young horses for trail rides, and getting them safe for the guests were her top priorities. Since moving to Florida she has also become a Certified Equine Massage Therapist.
Training for the public has been put slightly on the back burner due to a city location and becoming a full time student going for her Bachelors in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, however she has plans to purchase property again and get her training facility and rehab open to the public!A
L. C. MAHAFFEY
Creek Mahaffey is a horse trainer from Texas. He brings his South Texas flare where ever he goes. L.C. (Creek) specializes in training the all around working cow horse from, colt starting, to reining, cutting and ranch versatility
In 2014 Creek won the all around ranch horse of the year in the Working Ranch Cowboys Association, All Around Ranch Horse of the Year. He defended his title again in 2015 and 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. L.C Mahaffey is an NCHA money earner as well as a money earner in AQHA Ranch Versatility.
L.C gives credit for all of his accomplishments to the apprenticeships over the years to outstanding trainers and horsemen. Such of which are as follows, Colby Woods, Bill Riddle, Mark Mills, Sam Wilson, and a special thanks to his mentor Buster Welch. Last but not Least, he thanks his dad, Colin Mahaffey. Without him, L.C. would not have the foundation for training horses he has today.
At the age of 16, I rode my first bronc at the Iowa Horse Fair before ever riding a horse on a trail. The power I felt come under my saddle and throw me into the air was incredible to me, and from that point on I have stood in awe and learned what it takes to take that power and turn it into positive energy between horse and rider. Soon after, I bought my first horse which happened to be a bucking horse from the stock pens. He may have been small but he had a bucking horse attitude. though it took many days in the rain and being thrown into the mud that fall, I finally started to understand what it meant to build that connection with a horse.
Now 22 years old, I have spent the last 6 years working with troubled horses and riders, with a focus on building confidence between the two, reconnecting riders with horses they thought were lost to them. I am working hard now to make Cornwell Horse Training more than just a 16 year olds dream. I never hesitate to jump at an opportunity to be more involved and expand my knowledge of all things equine related so I can share that information with my clients to better their relationships with their horses. Nothing is more important.
FAUSTO NAVARRO - 2017 NATIONAL FINALS CHAMPION
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
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 hundreds of them.
I enjoy helping people showing a safe way to communicate with theirs horses. Built a solid foundation give the best opportunity for success.
Karysa Septien owns and trains out of Kismet Performance Horses in Fallon, Nevada. Karysa has been starting colts since she was 10 years old, but did not begin her professional career until after she graduated from the Feather River College Equine program in 2013.
Since then, she opened her own training business, has competed and placed top ten in several Extreme Mustang Makeover's, and has continued to learn and hone her own abilities. Karysa has competed successfully in junior, high school, and college rodeo, and has been barrel racing her entire life. Her goal with every colt is to give them a confident start, with the tools they will need in order to have a versatile working future. With quiet hands, calm demeanor, and confidence in her abilities, Karysa trains each horse based on its individual needs. See my facebook page and my website at www.kismetperformancehorses.com .
My name is Josiah Hood. I get my horse background from my Mom and Dad, who were parishioners of Ray Hunt and Buck Brannaman's techniques . They were doing Natural Horsemanship long before it was considered cool. My parents taught me the importance of working with the horse in such a way to create a willing partner. Along with training horses on our family farm I started training for the public when I was 14 years old.
By the age of 24 I had fully developed my own training technique, which I named the "natural balance to good horsemanship". Realizing that nothing we do to the horse is truly natural. My method works on teaching horses in such a way that the horse can understand and also providing the proper education to the rider.
I spent years showing horses in various disciplines and doing very well. I have no doubt in my abilities, I get joy by providing a opportunity for the horse I'm working with to have a victory of their own.
BIG CLIFTY, KY
My name is Shane Masterson. I started out training horses with my Grandpa who trained me and showed me most of what I know today. I work on building a good foundation with the horse to take to the saddle.
I own a boarding barn just outside of DeSoto MO where I train colts and work with problem horses. This is where I grew up and horses have been in my life as long as I could remember. We work everything from your basic trail horse To starting them for ranch work or performance cutting horses.
I have shown barrel horses western pleasure worked ranch work and rode cutters for a top name rider. I am excited for the opportunity to compete in the colt starting competition and hope to talk to one of you about working with one of your own personal horses.
Darrell Jones is from a small town in middle Tennessee. He has been involved with horses since childhood. He began training his own horses as a teenager. He also has challenged himself to breeding and raising quality APHA and AQHA horses. With emphasis to certain bloodlines such as Leo, King and Three Bars. His goal is to produce good quality using horses.
Darrell now trains for the public at his own facility in Hartsville, Tennessee, including colt starting and mule starting as well as reschooling older and problem horses.
Darrell has developed his own unique style of training methods, modeled after great horsemen such as Buck Brannaman, Ray Hunt and Clinton Anderson. Always preferring a Horsemanship that creates a trusting and willing foundation with emphasis on a partnership between horse and man/woman, using patience,persistance and precision.
Richard Hames grew up as a boy in Hildebran, NC. While Richard was growing up his family had a few older horses, but none were ever safe enough for him to ride, but that didn't dull his passion for equines. When Richard was in his senior year of high school he decided that his senior project would consist of saving a horse from slaughter, training it on his own and reselling it. He ended up buying a 14.1 hand, unregistered, red roan gelding. Upon completing his senior project Richard spent 3 semesters in college but nothing fulfilled him the way horses had. He left college and came back home to persue his dream.
At the age of 24 Richard went full time into training for himself, training for other people, and hosting small clinics for people in the surrounding areas. He has worked with a variety of horses from feral horses, blind horses, aggressive horses, colts, and even older horses that just never got a great foundation.
Richard currently works out of his family farm and is the owner and operator of Hames Horsemanship. His main goals in life is to continue to take colts, problem horses, and horses with handicaps and make them productive members of the equine society while working closely with their owners to ensure satisfied and safe equine partnerships. The Hames Horsemanship Motto says it all, "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you know. Be the Change."
CONNELLY SPRINGS, NC
My name is Clint Raulerson and I'm a 50 year old cattle rancher and horseman from Felda Florida.
I grew up on Florida ranches and have been horseback since before I can remember.
My mom had me involved in showing horses at a young age in anything from Western pleasure to speed events and when I wasn't showing I was horseback helping Dad on the ranch.
I have started colts and taken problem horses since I was in high school. I was fortunate enough to start colts for cutting horse trainers Ronnie Raulerson and Marvin Johnson through my twenties and learned a ton from these two and many more.
My wife Diane and I have three daughter and three grandchildren
Winner of the 2017 Colt Starting Challenge USA in Abilene Texas! Briana has competed in the Extreme Mustang Makeover event in Fort Worth, Texas. Briana’s first time competing in the event resulted in an impressive 8th place finish. In fact, Briana’s performance was highlighted in the e-magazine, www.WildHeartMustangs.com being the only rider/trainer to secure a top 10 position as a first time competitor.
Briana moved to Texas 5 years ago and started TLC Horse Services out of Granbury, TX offering her clients professional horse training as well as professional farrier services. Today, Briana’s training services focus mainly on colt starting, problem horses and finishing reining horses. Briana hopes to start breeding her own horses and wants to enter as many colt starting competitions as possible to display and hone her colt starting skills. Through TLC Horse Services, Briana continues to inspire and teach people how to build a partnership with their horses, a partnership built on mutual respect and trust. It is this type of partnership that can provide people and their horses with endless possibilities where only the sky is the limit!
Growing up I rode my parents trained horses. Once I met my wife and started to obtain my own horses I realized that I needed to educate myself on the work it takes to make a great horse because I could not afford to just purchase one. My wife and I share a passion for horses together and began to follow Clinton Andersons method of horse training by attending clinics and studying his method. After seeing great results and taking in our philosophy that a great training program consists of putting together many different ideas that work well to achieve the best results I began starting horses for others.
Nothing makes me more frustrated than a good horse going to waste because of ignorance. I strive to do my best to prepare the horses I train to be exposed to situations that they will encounter outside of a controlled environment. There is no true such thing as a “bomb proof” horse but I believe that there can be a “prepared horse” where they will think before reacting to a new situation.
Horses aim to please, I strive to make the horse crave to work and create a partnership with their owner.
ETHAN SAFFER - NATIONAL FINALS CHAMPION
My name is Ethan Saffer. I'm 20 years old working full time as a horse trainer at Rocking R Ranch in Lawrence Kansas.
I grew up working colts and handling cattle in the cutting pen with my Dad, Pat Saffer. He taught me everything I know about starting and training colts. At eight years old I earned my first paycheck after starting a 4 year old quarter horse gelding.
Through out my life training horse has been by biggest priority. After I turned 18 I moved to Nebraska to ride pens bu still picked up training horses on the side. This is when I started to learn how to train the horse and rider to bond and work together. My main focus is using natural horsemanship, which consists of using the same pressure and release methods as if I was the lead horse in the herd. You can find my training page on Facebook at Easy E colt starting and training.
Regi Richter was born and raised in Germany. My father was an avid horseman and my first instructor who taught me about natural horsemanship long before it was popularized. I spent my entire childhood and most of my teenage life in the barn with our horses practicing and perfecting my natural horsemanship talents. I started my first mare under saddle when I was 12 years old and at the age of 16, I began to accept outside training horses and give riding lessons.
In 2012 I decided to change my life and follow my heart- so I left Germany and my lucrative career heading for Tombstone Arizona to train horses again.
My greatest asset for my students is my undying passion for horses and natural horsemanship. I moved
to Arizona and started helping horse owners to better understand their horses to build trust and
confidence so that both parties are able to enjoy each other’s presence and work together as a team.
My three greatest equine passions are colt starting, problem solving, and eventing. I was a 2016, 2017 Mustang Makeover Competitor and compete at Eventing and Jumping Shows with my 2017 Mustang Makeover Mustang Madame Millie.
I was born in Martinez California in 1971. At age six I was given my first horse, where I was taught proper, English, Traditional Western, Bareback, and Sidesaddle riding techniques. Like most children raised on a ranch, my youth was full of trial and error riding through the field on our property.
As I grew so did my love and interest in horses and the natural nature of horsemanship. At a young age I was taking my new found knowledge and applying it to assist my grandparents in the training/rehabilitation of horses they took in at the ranch.
After graduating high school my life took me in a different direction. I joined the US Army as a surgical technician. I returned to civilian life in 1996, where I continued my practice of horsemanship working for different training facilities. That lead to me starting my first batch of colts in 2000. Shortly after I began rehabilitating horses with behavior problems using the natural horsemanship.
Jacqueline was born and raised in the great state of Texas. In addition to the family ranch, her father managed a 7,600 acre hunting ranch where she grew up riding the ranch horses, hunting, checking and repairing fence on horseback, and training the young colts come spring.
After high school, she joined the military and spent her first four years training wild mustangs for the government in the Colorado Rocky Mountains where she earned the nickname "Texas Jack" and has been going by TJ ever since. She went through a rigorous professional apprenticeship program before breaking out on her own and training horses throughout her time in the military.
She started her ranch in Southern California in 2012 where she not only trains horses, but also rescues horses that have been abused, abandoned and neglected or deemed "dangerous". She believes that there are no problem horses, only horses with people problems and works to educate humans on how to "speak horse". She believes one of the greatest honors in life is to be the first person on a horse's back and that you have to earn that honor from the horse itself.