My interest in horses and all things cowboy started when I was just a small boy. Unfortunately, I wasn’t born to a ranching family so it took a while before I could start my horseback career. I came to Montana in a 1966 Chevy Impala with about $200 in my pocket. Amazingly, I met two truly fine men, Jerry “Buck” Buckingham and Curt Halvorson, who took enough interest in me to get me started around horses and cattle. That was just short of 40 years ago and both Curt and Buck remain two of my most respected friends.
I spent several years working as a cowboy on cow-calf operations and grazing associations in Montana. I was always trying to improve my skill set especially with the horses and roping. This was also early in the time Ray Hunt was traveling doing clinics. I went to one of his clinics in the Grasshopper Valley just out of Dillon, Montana. To say I was impressed with his horses is a classic western understatement. I really did not fathom what I was seeing, but it was like nothing else I had been exposed to and I got real hungry for more.
The “more” for me came when I went down to California and met Bryan Neubert. Bryan helped me get a job on the same stocker operation that he worked for. I would spend several months in Nevada taking care of yearling cattle, then the remainder of the year in California on the headquarters ranches with Bryan. Bryan and I really hit it off and he totally changed things for me. We worked together for about four years and Bryan helped me advance my skills more than anyone before or since. Bryan also introduced me to Billy Askew, Joe Wolter (who I later went to work for) and Bill Dorrance. These four men became my dear friends. They were, and still are, the strongest influences in shaping my horsemanship, stockmanship, and roping skills.
Eventually, I left California to start colts for the Parker Ranch on the Big Island of Hawaii. A contract I kept for nine years, mostly alone, but sometimes with my friend Joel Nelson.
After Hawaii came a five-year stint in New Mexico, starting colts and helping folks with their horses in my clinics. In 2006 I returned to Montana where for nine years I ran the Pioneer Mountain Ranch a destination horsemanship school, started colts, and traveled doing clinics. The school is closed now and I am based near Cascade, Montana. I am still starting colts, doing some ranch work, and have expanded my clinic schedule both in the U.S. and abroad.