Natural Horsemanship Colt Starting Challenge Review

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5 Young Horses Started in Just Two Days

I had the pleasure of visiting Plendl’s facility to watch a colt starting challenge put on by Russell Beatty and his wife Cristy. Based in Maui, Hawaii, these two travel 30+ weekends per year putting on these challenges and clinics all over the U.S.

It was interesting to see how 5 unbroke horses from 2-1/2 to 3 years of age were being ridden after two hours, some even at a lope. The second day had these horses navigating an obstacle course. Talk about trust!

Trainer, Evan Bonner of Seattle works with unbroke mare, Violet


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What’s amazing to me is the way these horses all responded to their trainers. They were all responsive but not all moved forward so quickly. Temperament, timing and patience all factor in to the starting of these young horses. It was interesting to see how expressive all these horses were and just how these trainers’ communicated to their mounts. It was truly a pleasure to watch. Inspires me to try these methods.


Here’s a list of the 5 horses and their trainers:
Pen #1: Violet (QH Mare) owned by Megan Roberts, trained by Evan Bonner
Pen #2: Peaches (QH Mare) owned by Theresa Zuver, trained by Jonath Robles
Pen #3: Frosty (Grade Mare) Owned by Butler Hill Equestrian Center, trained by: Jessica Abatie
Pen #4: Q (Appaloosa Mare) Owned by Jerry Richardson, trained by: Lucia Clemetson
Pen #5: Serendipity (Arab Cross Mare) Owned by Cindy Honcoop, trained by: Russell Beatty

For pictures of this event visit:

Congratulations to Theresa Zuver and her beautiful homebred filly along with her amazing trainer Jonath Robles for the first place buckle. All the trainers did an awesome job, congratulations.

Plan to attend Russell Beatty’s Natural Horsemanship Clinic in Snohomish, WA starting today, June 20 & 21 in Snohomish, WA. For details email Scott Lee at [email protected]

For more information on Russell & Cristy Beatty’s Colt Starting Challenge USA visit or visit their Facebook page Email [email protected] or phone: (808) 269-3408

Photos by Karen Pickering

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