National Conference: Of Horse, Human and Nature, Presented by MCH And UM Western September 9-11, 2021, Dillon, Montana

Equestrians, Horse Lovers, Educators, Students, Colleagues and Friends of Montana Center for Horsemanship

The Montana Center for Horsemanship, in partnership with UM Western, is hosting the first national Natural Horsemanship Conference, Of Horse, Human and Nature, focused on Natural Horsemanship education in the 21st century.  The dates are September 9-11, 2021.  This overview provides a comprehensive summary of this public event. We hope it will be an economic boost to our community and to the region, promoting education and the many facets, career directions, economic, social, and cultural benefits of natural horsemanship, ranching, outdoor recreation, and the equine industry.

This conference will bring to the Beaverhead/Dillon community, our state (Montana), and our region, leading names, speakers, presenters, and experts in the equine arena, with diverse backgrounds – individuals renowned in their fields, dedicated to education and the relationship between horse and human.  We hope this event will promote equine education, advancements that support equine health, human-equine wellbeing, the equine economy, the Ag industry, outdoor recreation on horseback, and professional and personal advancement.

The EQUUS INTERNATIONAL Film Festival, which features professionally judged, award winning films and works-in-progress will be incorporated into the Conference this year.  Many of the filmmakers and screenwriters will present and share backstories of their films. The films are diverse and global – features and documentaries, some controversial, others simply beautiful, far reaching in perspective, inspiring and informative.   EIFF was established in 2011 as one of the first all-equine film festivals in the world. Its mission is education and inspiration to advance the wellbeing and welfare of the horse and to promote the horse-human relationship. Filmmakers and the principals of some films will be attending from around the world.

In collaboration with the University of Montana Western, we have special discounted registration attendance fees for faculty and students of UMW as well as other education and youth institutions, as well as the public, for (1), (2) and (3) days of the Conference, which are inclusive for all events, panels, field tours, hosted receptions, and film screenings.

For the community, local youth, and others, we have all-conference passes, individual day passes, film screening passes, and individual tickets.  This link provides more information and registration.  We encourage you to register to ensure a name badge and proper ticketing.

Please note that Natural Horsemanship classes/demonstrations under MCH Director of Horsemanship Education, Eric Hoffmann, will be incorporated into the Conference as well.  Dr. Temple Grandin, world renowned animal behavior scientist, is one of our featured keynotes, who will lead a ranch tour of La Cense Ranch on Thursday, September 9th following her first keynote on Sustainable Ranching and humane livestock handling.  Dr. Grandin will give a second keynote on Friday on animal behavior, equine assisted learning, and autism.  In connection with Dr. Grandin, we will be offering CEU credits.  Please contact us if you are interested in applying for continuing education credits.

Dr. Barbara Baker, President & CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, will also be a featured keynote.  An NBHA Senior World Barrel Champion and DVM, Dr. Baker introduced natural horsemanship into the Zoo to support and advance the management of exotic wildlife.  The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, is the only zoological institution in the world to take this innovative step, which has proven to be very effective.

Another featured event is a half-day Packing & Outfitting Symposium on Thursday, September 9th, presented by the equine team from the US Forest Service, bringing the famous Nine Mile Pack String from the historic Nine Mile Ranger District.  The legendary Outfitter Smoke Elser may also attend.  The USFS will also have career and seasonal training and employment information, especially valuable for students and community members.

Additionally, we will have tables, booths and exhibits, a silent auction and raffles, hosted food, and drink.  If you or your business or organization would like to participate, please contact us at 406-925-3270.  Again, some of our featured speakers and guests include the following:

  • Dr. Temple Grandin, a dynamic and renowned scientist and speaker on autism, animal behavior, humane livestock handling and equine assisted learning.
  • Dr. Barbara Baker – President & CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, the only institution in the world incorporating Natural Horsemanship into wildlife management.
  • Bernice Ende – Lady Long Rider:  As of spring 2018 and now in her mid-60s, Bernice Ende has ridden more than 29,000 miles solo on horseback around the United States and Canada, including an 8,000-mile ride from Montana to Maine, then to Puget Sound, and back home to Montana. The Long Riders Guild has recognized Ende as an outstanding ambassador for long-distance exploration on horseback; no other living woman has done as many journeys or ridden as many miles as Ende.
  • Jeanne Rosenberg, Screenwriter for the original Black Stallion feature film, one of the most iconic horse films in cinema history
  • Ashley Mancuso, Yoga on Horseback, USDF Grand Champion and award-winning filmmaker
  • Scott Knudsen – AQHA Ambassador and “Cowboy Entrepreneur”
  • Nancy Zeitlin, featured in the film, UnReined, finalist for Best of Festival:  This is the story of Nancy Zeitlin, an Israeli Equestrian champion who spent 10 years building the Palestinian Equestrian Team. Her personal life reflects the turmoil of Israeli society; she married a Christian, an ultra-orthodox Jew and then a Palestinian.
  • Tentative: Caroline Godin – Haras de la Cense/Online & Virtual Natural Horsemanship Education, Galloping through Cyberspace
  • Lauren Reischer – USEF and Gallop NYC – Advocate for therapeutic riding:   Lauren was born with cerebral palsy and unable to walk. Placed on the back of a horse as a young child, it was the first time her legs opened and she learned to walk with the aid of crutches.  For Lauren, horses became integral to her life.  Her father, Sol Reischer, along with Alicia Kershaw are founding members of Gallop NYC, one of the nation’s leading therapeutic riding programs.  Lauren went on to excel in horsemanship, achieving recognition at the highest equestrian levels.  She is also a former Captain of the Brown University Equestrian Team.
  • Dr. Michael Yellow Bird – Dean of Social Work, University of Manitoba, Mindfulness and Horsemanship
  • Joe Misner, Director of Wild2Ride:  One of the nation’s leading wild mustang trainers, Joe has developed some of the most effective natural horsemanship programs for prison inmates and for veterans, whose lives have benefited from. the horsemanship programs Joe has created.
  • Eric Hoffmann and Iola Else – Natural Horsemanship Education – La Cense Method
  • Brigid Reedy and Olivia Jones – Present and former Natural Horsemanship students, performing and presenting.
  • International photographer Antonia Wolf, with a breathtaking exhibition – Wild Horses, Living Wild & Free
  • Julie Robins of the Saratoga War Horse Project and a leader in Natural Horsemanship Training
  • Suzanne Miller & Brendan Carpenter Galloping Through Cyberspace
  • Representatives from E3A (Equine Education Association), Path International, Art of the Cowgirl, Backcountry Horsemen, Montana Reins of Hope, Frontier Anglers, Skydog Sanctuary, Triple Crown Feed, Stockman Bank, William E. Rideg, Equine & Animal Attorney and Legal Specialist, Humane Society of the US Equine Division, US Forest Service, M2B Ranch Music, and many others. The full conference schedule will be posted soon.

These are some of the many dynamic guest speakers and organizations attending, presenting and/or exhibiting.

Our goal is education and inspiration in natural horsemanship.

This year’s Recipients of the EQUINE ICON AWARD & LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD will be announced soon.

If you have questions about the Conference, attendance, being a sponsor, showcasing a product, service or your organization, or something else, such as lodging options or travel guidance, please contact Janet Rose. Email: or 406.925.3270

Thank you for your interest, participation, and support, helping horses and humans make the most of their respective lives; perpetuating the defining tradition of the American west.

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