2019 Midwest Rescue Horse Challenge Trainers
“Our deepest gratitude goes out to all the trainers participating in this event, as we simply could not do it without their expertise! Training is a key element in preparing a horse for success in their new home. Holding an event like this one, in which experienced trainers are dedicated to enhancing the horses’ adoptability, is critical. We applaud these talented trainers for using their remarkable skills to make a difference in the lives of rescue horses, and to being a critical part in their journey to a new life!” – Rachelle LeJeune, Wisconsin Horse Alliance
Katryna Miller (Returning Trainer!): “I have been riding since I was about seven years old and have been training since I was sixteen. I have worked under multiple trainers and graduated from the Equine Business and Management program at Lamar Community College. I have worked with all kinds of horses in the years I have been riding. I now run my own training and boarding business, KJ Equine, in Waunakee, WI. I participated in the trainer’s challenge last year, and I can’t wait to be a part of it again and change another horse’s life!”
Emma Jackson (Returning Trainer!): “Since I was a little girl, I have been obsessed with horses. I always dreamed of having a horse farm, a big indoor, endless trails and pastures full of horses. I’m not ashamed to say, that‘s still the dream! Today, I’m working on that becoming reality. I believe every horse deserves a chance at a great home, and deserves an education that will bring him there. I strive to turn out horses that are calm, cool, and collected no matter the situation. No matter the discipline, I love giving horses a solid foundation to build on. There’s nothing more rewarding to me than seeing a horse learn to trust, and overcome whatever damage may have happened in their past. I’m excited to be participating for a second year, and can’t wait to see what this year brings!”
Emily Clark (Returning Trainer!): “I have had a passion for horses since I took my first riding lesson as a child. I went on to pursue my dream and graduated from the equine program at Black Hawk College. Since then I have spent countless hours in the barn and have worked hard to continue to improve my training abilities!”
Rachel Szydlowski: “Hey there, my name is Rachel! I am extremely excited to be able to participate in my first challenge and see what experiences will be coming my way! I have been around horses for the past 17 years. I started out going to a summer horse camp when I was 5 years old and I was immediately hooked. Ever since I started this journey with horses, I have been taking lessons, going to natural horsemanship clinics, and over the past few years even starting my own training business. My recent joy for horses was reignited when I started working with my first kill pen rescue horse, Duke. After working with Duke and seeing how much we each learned from each other, I knew that working with rescues is something I am extremely passionate about. Since Duke, I have fostered my heart-horse Roxie (in the picture) and worked with a few others rescues! When it comes to training, I am very passionate about natural horsemanship in all aspects, whether it is groundwork, colt starting, liberty work, or just allowing the horse and myself to open a dialogue. After working with rescue horses, I believe that no two horses are alike in the way they can be approached in training. Patience and understanding are key in the way they are worked with and will set a direct tone for their future and success. I am so grateful for this experience and I can’t wait to meet my new rescue and see what we will be able to accomplish!!”
Gwendolyn Haag: “Gwendolyn rediscovered her passion for horses five years ago when she decided to take a chance and ask a complete stranger for riding lessons. Since then, she has become the proud owner of a little buckskin mare named Khalifa. Working with her, Gwendolyn developed a strong core of self-confidence in her riding ability (and grooming ability) and discovered the beauty of constructing a language and partnership with a “green” horse. Her training strives to create a strong and respectful connection from the ground to ensure a focused and confident ride each time. She is ecstatic for the opportunity to be a part of this inspiring challenge and can’t wait to get started with her partnered rescue horse!”
Andi Banwell: “I am Andi Banwell. I have over twenty years of equestrian experience. I started riding at an early age which gave me the opportunity to learn from many trainers, horses and work environments. After delving in just about every equestrian discipline out there I fell in love with the sport of barrel racing. Where opinions and judges are left behind and you and your horse become a team. Your hard work and trust in each other is what takes you to the top. I have years of experience teaching children through horse camp programs and private lessons. I focus first and foremost on safety and building a strong relationship of trust between horse and rider. I also have trained more horses than I can count over the years. From starting colts, to fixing behavior problems under saddle and on the ground to working with mustangs. When working with horses I believe in taking my time to teach a good foundation and respect in the horse that will last.”
Serenity Hackl: “Serenity is 18 years old and currently attending her senior year of high school. She has been riding since she was old enough to walk and hold herself in the saddle on her own. Serenity developed a special interest in horse training at the age of 10. She spends all her spare time working with her two horses whom she trained herself; a quarter horse named cricket and a mustang named Mimic. Mimic was Serenity’s pick for the mustang challenge in Madison this past April. With 90 days to turn a mustang from wild to mild, she enjoys showcasing the trainability and versatility of these horses. She is excited to be a part of this year’s rescue horse challenge and looking forward to being a part of their journey to find a forever home! “
Ann Nelson: “Ann Nelson hails from Arena, WI. She runs her business Amacher Horsemanship on a family farm with her husband Karl and son Jack. Ann is a 2005 graduate of UW-River Falls where she received her BS in Animal Science with an Equine Emphasis. A perpetual student of horsemanship, Ann has been practicing and honing her skills for more than 25 years. A self-proclaimed “Jack of all Trades,” Ann has experience with many different disciplines. She enjoys being involved with many disciplines and training horses to be versatile. She has practiced natural horsemanship techniques for her entire career, which she combines with classical dressage concepts and exercises. She teaches her riding students a balanced seat focused on centered riding, timing, and feel. “
Emily Lundquist: “To me, there is no greater joy then getting to work with an equine and having the ability to share them with others. I’ve been riding for about fifteen years and seriously training horses for the last seven or so. My equestrian experience spans through 4-H, state competitions, trail riding, english & western pleasure, ranch horse shows, jumping, and cross country. In high school, I fell in love with natural horsemanship and have incorporated those methods into each horse I work with. I currently operate a YMCA equestrian program which has given me the opportunity to work with a variety of different horses to build on my training skills as well as pass my knowledge onto other people who are horse crazy. The last four years has found me involved with donkeys and mules, but I will always love a well-rounded and versatile horse. I very much look forward to working with one special horse in the competition and giving them a second chance!”
Jocelyn Roberts: “I was first introduced to horses when I was just 6 weeks old and the rest is history. I grew up in the local 4-H horse project where I competed at the local and state level in pleasure, gymkhana, hunters, and dressage. My experiences in 4-H really taught me the importance of having a truly versatile horse and is something I strive for with every ride. I am very excited to participate in this challenge and to help another horse on their journey to finding their forever home.”
Audrey Aberle: “My name is Audrey Aberle. My passion for horses started at a young age. I think some people are just born with it in their blood. Before I could walk I was trying to gallop and before I could talk I was trying to neigh! Currently I’m a professional farrier working on getting my certification. As an adopted child myself, I truly believe every one and every horse deserve a loving, enriching home. As far as training goes I don’t have one specific discipline I focus on but more developing the whole horse. While I’ll always be a western pleasure girl at heart my self trained Arabian gelding went on to be USEF region horse of the year in hunt seat, and I regularly frequent open and schooling shows. My inspiration, aside from a supportive family, has been being able to build a solid horse from the ground up. Starting with the feet!”
Roxanne Shannon: I would like to say thank you for the opportunity to take part in this Competition. I am very excited. I have loved horses since I was a toddler, at 2 years old my grandparents gave me my 1st book of horse stories. That was the start to pursuing the dream that I am currently living.
I had family friends that had horses when growing up. I cleaned stalls for lessons as a pre-teen. Bought my 1st horse at the age of 20. I rode on Drill Team for 15 years. My husband and I have a 48 acre farm that started with 4 horses. We now have 10 of our own and 9 boarded horses. It has become our mission to save and place mustangs and other unwanted horses. Never give up on your dream!
Paul Miller: “My name is Paul Miller. My partner and I run a boarding and training facility, Two Hearts Equestrian Center in Cambridge, WI. I work with all breeds and all ages of horses, and I specialize in starting horses. I put a good solid foundation on every horse I work with. I don’t focus on teaching a horse a specific discipline, I focus on giving them building blocks that they will take with them their entire lives and that will easily carry over to any discipline that they choose to continue onto. I strive to give each horse the confidence they need to succeed, and believe in a strong partnership between horse and rider. I evaluate and work with every horse in a manner that is best for them and build the training program around each specific horse, not force the horse to mold to a specific training program. I am excited to be part of this year’s challenge, working with these special horses and look forward to continuing to help these horses in the years to come. “
Mindi Buseman: “The love and passion I have for horses goes as far back as I can remember. Growing up I had horses but with our busy lifestyle and 5 kids going different directions it didn’t allow much time for me to be in competitions or take it further then I would of like to. So fast forward to adult hood; I purchased a two year old mare that needed a lot of work, I enjoyed putting my time in on her and she became a wonderful trail horse. It is very satisfying when you can watch kids learn to how to ride on her with absolutely no problems, I was hooked! That is where it all started for me. I wouldn’t call myself a “professional” trainer. I do what’s right for me, I prefer not to use a bit. It’s hard for me to put a piece of metal in a horses mouth and yank on it to get “control”. I feel if you have done your ground work correctly there is no need. Your control comes from the core and trust. My motto is “No yanking, cranking or spanking”. I have always believed less is more and that is simply what I like to relay to the horse. I do not believe in spurs to get a horse to move, you can simply do that by “asking” it to move. Asking a horse to do something is much more beneficial than forcing it to do something. When I do my ground work I can suggest a horse to do what I am asking , if I don’t get the response I am looking for than I can bring up my energy. Horses learn a lot from your behavior and body language. Keep it soft and gentle, and they will become soft and gentle. “
Emily Scholtec: Emily fell in love with good horsemanship at her first riding lesson as a child and has been chasing it ever since. She now works with rescue horses full time and operates a training facility at her home in Runnells, Iowa, where she starts colts, develops older horses, and shows ranch horses. She has worked under several trainers and most recently was a Legacy of Legends scholarship recipient in 2018, which gave her the opportunity to spend two months in Whitefish, Montana, learning in-depth about the style of horsemanship endorsed by Ray Hunt and Buck Brannaman.
Jakob Zimmerman: “As a child I felt very connected with horses, I have always had a passion for horses. In 2015 is when I got my first horse, she was a 3 year old untrained filly who had a rough start to life. I apprenticed under Rachel (Gullickson) Holscher. Rachel has taught me how to gentle horses, and break them out and make them into a trustworthy partner using the natural horsemanship method. I have always told Rachel I wanted to be a trainer, and given this opportunity to participate in the MRHTC has me overwhelmingly blessed to open the first door to my future.”
Amber Clark: “Amber Clark is a trainer located at Clark Acres in Birnamwood WI. With her husband and two sons, they operate a horse/hobby farm which offers boarding, western training and riding lessons. Her many years of horse exposure, western training and love for horses has allowed for new blessings and opportunities for her and her family. While she enjoys all breeds and colors of horses, her favorite lies with the American Paint Horse. Amber specializes in colt starting, desensitizing, problem solving, trail riding and barrel racing. She currently trains horses of all levels and focuses on the bond and respect that is gained between horse and rider. Amber is looking forward to this opportunity to work with the Midwest Rescue Horse Trainers Challenge.”