Hello! Welcome to our blog about horse training and trail riding in Montana!

My name is Kay. My partner, Joe, and I own nine horses, plus we foster two rescues.

Horses have been the bedrock of my life. I’ve trained and cared for something between five and fifteen horses every year for the past forty years. Some were purebreds. Some were rescues. Although a few were passing acquaintances, most became close friends. Several became family. I’ve lost track of exactly how many horses I’ve worked with in total, but I’ve never forgotten any of them.

I grew up in North Dakota and Minnesota. For most of my life, Montana was the place to go vacation. When I was 19, I wore out two pairs of skis during a college exchange program in Bozeman, and since then, I’ve been back to Montana as often as I could. When my daughter decided she wanted to live in Missoula, I happily packed up and moved her, our horses, her dog, and my cat to Big Sky Country for good.

Joe, who was raised in North Dakota and Montana, had ridden when he was a teen, but had nothing to do with horses during his long career in the Army. When we met, he revisited his interest in riding. We both love wilderness and travel, therefore it wasn’t long before we started making plans to enjoy the mountains around our beautiful home in the company of our favorite four-legged friends.

Sounds idyllic, right?

Trouble is, my horses hadn’t gotten the memo. They were all quite young, and those who were broke to ride had only been ridden in an arena. They had also spent their entire life running on range as a herd. Leaving their friends, even for a moment, was a BIG DEAL.

I knew we would have to put a lot of time into training the them for trail riding. Joe and I also had a lot to learn about riding in the back country. We were going to need help and advice from those who were further along than we were. We have two friends – Deb and Greg – who were extremely experienced and one night they had us in stitches as they told stories about all the things that went wrong when they first started riding in the wilderness.

That night I realized that we could help pass on what we learned to other people interested in doing the same thing (or at least, just interested in reading about it.) I decided to try turning our experiences into a blog, partially for the purpose of keeping us motivated and partially to share things we learn.

Welcome to our blog!