Today is the eve of one of the most anticipated horse sales in the United States but it’s not like anything else in the horse world. The first weekend in April, Friday, April 1 and Saturday April 2, mark one of the nation’s most unique equine events, organized by the Montana Center for Horsemanship and the University of Montana Western. Known as the Colt Challenge and Sale, this two-day event offers the public an opportunity to bid on and take home some of the best bred, best minded, most well started quarter horses this side of the Mississippi. Some of the most talented college students in the nation’s first and only Bachelor of Science in Natural Horsemanship have spent the past several months working with some of the finest colts donated to the program by area ranches, preparing them for the brightest futures they can have. Friday, April 1st is when students and horses show off what they’ve been taught and learned in a wide range of demonstrations; Saturday, the students showcase their horses in a live and online auction.
This year, the Colt Challenge will also feature students from Montana State who are participating in the competition part of the event although the colts from MSU will not be for sale.
More than two dozen of the best-bred colts are donated by some of the finest ranches in the region. The colts receive approximately 90 days of Natural Horsemanship training from equine students in the Natural Horsemanship/Equine Studies Bachelor of Science Degree program at Montana Western, under the guidance and leadership of the MCH Horsemanship Instructors, Eric Hoffmann, Melanie South and Robert Chesterfield.
The young horses are familiarized with the arena, other types of enclosed areas, while also exploring the many surrounding mountains and trails. They’re introduced and exposed to ropes, tarps, any situation that might occur indoors and out — working with cattle and anything a horse and rider might encounter in ranching or recreational riding. Students and instructors working with them, get an in-depth feel for each horse, enabling them to convey this information to potential buyers on Saturday.
The horses and students are featured on Facebook with information about each colt including color, conformation, personality, temperament, and skills. More information about the 2022 Colt Challenge and Sale, including the sale catalog, available on the University of Montana Western website.
This event is open to the public and those interested in attending the auction can do so in person, online, or by phone. To bid online, participants must pre-register at least one day prior to the sale. To pre-register, please visit bid.northernlivestockvideo.com and click “Get Approved to Bid.” Participants can then bid online via desktop by visiting www.northernlivestockvideo.com the day of the sale or by downloading the Northern Livestock Auction mobile app. To bid by phone, pre-register by calling Northern Livestock Video Auction at 866-616-5035 before the sale day to obtain a bid number. Bidders can then phone in the day of the sale by calling 406-245-0889.
The Equine Studies Department at the University of Montana Western offers the nation’s only Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Horsemanship with options in management, psychology, science and instruction, and was ranked among the “Best Equestrian Colleges” by ThoughtCo.com. This program is in full partnership with the Montana Center for Horsemanship, an international equine education center that is a nonprofit organization.
The Montana Center for Horsemanship is the first and only equine center in the United States devoted expressly to promoting and teaching ‘Natural Horsemanship” hosting many other events, workshops and educational programs. This September, the Montana Center will host the second annual Conference & Equus International Film Festival – “The Natural Horsemanship Revolution,” featuring such esteemed individuals as Buck Brannaman, James Wofford, Dr. Glenn Blodgett, Kansas Carradine, Doug Hall, among others. Montana Western is a co-presenter.
The Montana Center for Horsemanship also teaches, exclusively in the U.S., the ‘La Cense Method,’ of Natural Horsemanship, developed under international horseman, William Kriegel, Board President and co-founder of the Montana Center for Horsemanship and founder of Haras de la Cense in France. William Kriegel has been involved in Natural Horsemanship for many years. The La Cense Method is a progressive, step-by-step process that blends the best of traditional horsemanship training with the art of training and riding horses—all in a manner that works with a horse’s behavior, instincts, and personality. Taking a positive and respectful approach, the La Cense Method gradually builds trust, and frees horses to be confident in all they are asked to perform or do.
For more information about MCH 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