Natural Horsemanship Education Dominates a Brisk, Record-Setting Sale of Young Horses and Exceptional Student Trainers This Weekend at the Montana Center for Horsemanship

With over 400 people in attendance and more than $200,000 in sales, the annual Colt Challenge and Sale, held at the Montana Center for Horsemanship under the auspices of the University of Montana Western, was a grand success.  Some of the leading Natural Horsemanship university students showcased exceptional equine skills and talent and those of their assigned horses, acquired after 180 days of daily training in the La Cense Method Natural Horsemanship. More than two dozen green AQHA horses, donated by area ranches, were trained in natural horsemanship under the guidance of Director of Horsemanship Education, Eric Hoffmann and lead instructors Melanie South and Robert Chesterfield.

The nation’s first and only Bachelor of Science in Natural Horsemanship at Montana Western in partnership with MCH, this event is organized as an annual Colt Challenge and Sale. Students are assigned to young horses to train in natural horsemanship while learning the ins and outs of sales prep, dealing with the public, marketing, promoting their horses, and competing against each other in a series of horse performance challenges.  The two highest sale horses went for $18,000 and over $14,000 with none selling for less than $6000 and the average sale at over $10,000.  All of the horses were AQHA registered.

The ranches represented by their colts included Weaver, Erb, Holland, Hollenbeck, Galt, Roaring Springs, Harrington & Hirschy Quarter Horses, R Lazy Six and the Goggins Family whose donated colt was the second highest sale horse.  Other donors included Reminisce Angus Ranch, Sitz Angus Ranch and Montana Mad Hatter.

 Background:  More than two dozen of the best-bred colts are donated by some of the finest ranches in the region in early fall. The colts then receive approximately 90-180 days of Natural Horsemanship training from selected equine students in the Natural Horsemanship/Equine Studies Bachelor of Science Degree program at Montana Western.

The young horses are familiarized with the arena, while also exploring surrounding mountains and trails. They’re introduced and exposed to ropes, tarps, cows, any situation that might occur indoors and out. Students and instructors working with them, get an in-depth feel for each horse, enabling them to convey this information to potential buyers.  The annual Colt Challenge and Sale is held the first weekend in April.

The Montana Center for Horsemanship is the first and only equine center in the United States devoted solely to Natural Horsemanship, hosting many other events, workshops and educational programs.  This fall, September 8-10, the Montana Center will host the second annual Conference & Film Festival – “The Natural Horsemanship Revolution,” featuring Buck Brannaman, James Wofford, Dr. Glenn Blodgett, Kansas Carradine, Doug Hall, Dr. Ann Perkins, Dr. Sue Dyson, and tentatively rodeo champion, Ty Murray.
Montana Western is a co-presenter.  For more information about the Center’s Development, Special Initiatives, Sponsorship, and other events, please contact Janet Rose at 406.925.3270

The mission of the Montana Center for Horsemanship
To help every horse and person make the most of their respective lives
To enable horses to learn effectively and experience “horse happiness” through the process of Natural Horsemanship
To help individuals achieve personal and professional success in the equine fields

Contact:  Janet Rose

Photos Available Upon Request