Ben grew up riding horses and working cattle on the Western Slope of Colorado. After finishing school, he spent much of his time doing day work for ranches & outfits in the area, learning from the skills and experience of the ranchers. He also spent a year working as assistant trainer at a Quarter Horse breeder in Colorado learning the basics of colt starting and authentic horsemanship.
Having spent much of the next six years in the colt starting & horse training business, his knowledge and experience continued to expand. During this time Ben worked on a 300,000 acre cattle & horse ranch in Wyoming, where he was also involved in conducting horsemanship clinics and demonstrations.
Ben has worked with some great horsemen in the West, adding to a lifetime of practical equine experience. He is influenced from the methods of such horseman as Tom & Bill Dorrance, Ray Hunt, Richard Caldwell, Martin Black, Buck Brannaman, Dave Weaver and Jeff Sanders.
Ben and his wife Natalie moved to her native country of New Zealand and took the opportunity to build a training and clinic business. Since being in New Zealand, Ben has been privileged to be a returning Clinician at Equidays (NZ's national horse expo) six different years giving well-received clinics ranging from Colt Starting and Vaquero Horsemanship to Problem Solving and Green Horse Clinics.
In 2014 Ben was invited to participate in New Zealand's first Kaimanawa Stallion Challenge - where trainers were randomly given a Kaimanawa Stallion straight from the wild and competed in 2 competitions at Equidays and Horse of the Year.
In addition to colt starting and problem solving at home, Ben teaches various Clinics around the country and participants love his knowledgeable and quiet approach to teaching them. Where leaving egos behind and focusing on the horse results in true progress and a great learning environment.
Ben’s 2022 Presentations
Response vs. Reaction – Scary Pigs - (17 min. 18 sec.) Day 1 Horsemanship
Response, in spite of trouble, from your horse is key to having a fantastic working partnership that also sets you up for as much safety as possible in unforeseen challenges. If you have not established this foundational principle prior to a troubling situation, then the horse will naturally operate in reaction without having been conditioned to any better or safer options such as returning to response to the rider. This is where many “accidents” occur in horseback riding. Having the understanding of how to establish this from the ground up prepares both you and your horse to better face whatever life may throw at you down the trail!
Groundwork Series – Part 1 - (31 min. 34 sec.) Day 1 Horsemanship
Groundwork is truly multi-faceted but often only partially understood and/or misused or overused. In this video we break down each element so we can have a thorough understanding and vastly improve our clarity and consistency. We work through some core foundational principles that are fundamental to horses of any riding discipline, while also establishing basic manoeuvrability and a basis of communication the is natural to the horse – and much more!
Obstacles or Opportunity? - (14 min. 18 sec.) Day 2 Horse; Mind, Body Spirit
No matter what obstacle you are working on or may face, this video addresses the principles that must be understood to set your horse up for success. It is important to grow your horse’s confidence and the way you handle challenges can make a big difference in the relationship with your horse. In this video we use a bridge crossing, introducing it to multiple horses for the first time and talk through the steps and tools of how to address the situation.