Participating Horse/Trainer Teams

Professional Division

Professionals compete with horses who have not been started under saddle prior to June 15th or who have had severe behavioral problems when they began the Challenge.


ASHLEY ANDERSON 
Ashley’s experiences owning, riding, training, falling off of, and teaching about horses has developed her admirable character and driven her to dream big, work hard and reach her goals while helping others do the same. Ashley has been horse crazy since she could walk and started learning more about caring for and riding horses at age six when she joined the Williamson County Hoofpicks 4-H Club. She soon realized horse training was her passion. By working with various horses with different issues, Ashley has been able to meet and learn from many talented trainers. Ashley now owns her business, AA Horsemanship, where she shares her passion with others and helps teach those with problem horses. “Helping people overcome problems with their horses and improving their horsemanship skills is extremely rewarding. I want everyone to know you don’t have to give up – there’s always a solution for every horse and rider,” she says. Ashley is located in Leander, Texas and travels around the state of Texas to help horse lovers overcome challenges with lessons, clinics, horse sales, and training.

Ashley’s Training Challenge partner is Soleil.  Soleil is a stock-type horse that was seized by a sheriff’s department from negligent owners and placed with Bluebonnet.  You can learn more about Soleil at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-886-soleil 
Website: www.aahorsemanship.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/doubleahorsemanship/
Follow Ashley and Soleil’s training at their Training Challenge Page –https://www.facebook.com/Soleil-And-Ashley-Anderson-2018-Bluebonnet-Training-Challenge-214209809384344/?fref=gs&dti=189515031214067&hc_location=group


BENJAMIN ARREGUIN

Benjamin is a returning Training Challenge Professional from 2017.  This year, his Training Challenge partner is Azure Rey.  Azure Rey is a 15 h bay stock type horse.


AMANDA AWAKUNI

Amanda started taking riding lessons when at just five years old. She showed POA’s, Quarter and Paint horses and competed in several state 4-H shows. It wasn’t until after college that she decided to use her experience with horses to make a difference in young lives. While working for trainers at Waggoner Ranch, she was encouraged to get CHA certified. From there, she started giving beginner riding lessons. She hopes to become certified to teach riders with disabilities in the near future. She says, “I have two young boys whom I adore but definitely keep me busy! I entered into this challenge for three reasons. One, I wanted to help a horse find their forever home. Bonnie is my training challenge partner and I feel so blessed to work with this mare! The second reason was because I wanted push myself to become a better horsewomen and trainer. Third, as a mom of young babies, I wanted to make sure I continued to compete for myself and for what I am passionate about: Using horses to help people.”  Amanda is located in Wichita Falls, Texas where she has taught high school agriculture science for three years. This year she will be teaching 4th grade English-Language Arts.

Amanda’s Training Challenge partner is Bonnie.  Bonnie was removed from negligent owners and placed with Bluebonnet by animal control.  Learn more about Bonnie at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-858-bonnie

Follow Amanda and Bonnie on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Bluebonnets-Bonnie-Training-Challenge-2018-2002403443422436/


JENNIKA FINCH

Jennika’s Training Challenge partner is Sueno, a 14.3 Sorrel gelding who came to Bluebonnet after his owner’s were investigated for neglect.  He has a nice blaze a four beautiful socks to match.  You can read more about him here.


DARRELL GARDENER 

Darrell Gardner is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana currently residing in Bryan,Texas. For most of his life he has surrounded himself with horses. His method of training includes a combination of principles and methods to achieve the best outcome not only for himself as a trainer but his clients and their horses.  His methods are based around the principles of love, respect, obedience, and loyalty. Darrell focuses on emphasizing patience, communication and trust. He has become experienced and proficient in a variety of disciplines to include colt starting, problem solving, obstacle course navigation,ranch sorting, and trail horses. Many of the horses for which he has provided training have needed to correct problems such as bucking, rearing, trailer loading, and redirection of learned behavior. His drive to continually educate and better himself through his training has led him to a great number of events and horse shows. He has competed three years in Extreme Mustang Makeover, finishing as a Top 10 finalist. In 2018, Darrell competed in ranch sorting and multiple events with Colt Starting Challenge, USA. The biggest goal Darrell has set for himself is to one day compete in and win the Road To The Horse competition. He strives to become a world class all around horse trainer.

Darrell’s Training Challenge partner is  Lincoln.  Lincoln is a stock-type horse that was seized from negligent owners and awarded to BEHS as a stallion.  He was gelded in 2014.  You can learn more about Lincoln at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-747-lincoln

Follow Darrell and Lincoln’s progress at their Training Challenge Page: https://www.facebook.com/LincolnBluebonnetTraining/

Darrell’s Business Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/DarrellGardnersHorsemanship/


KRIS HENDERICKSON

Kris Henderickson’s Training Challenge partner is Snapple.  Snapple is a 6 year-old Arab-grade gelding.  You can read more about Snapple here.

You can follow Kris and Snapple on Facebook here.

https://www.crashedperformancehorses.com/


ALYSSA HICKS

Alyssa started riding at the age of 11 when her parents won a horseback riding camp from the local PBS auction. Two years later, she had saved up enough to buy a horse from a local trader. That was when she met Freedom, the three year old AQHA that would go on to be her horse from age 13 to present day, where the two currently teach together at The Balance Point Learning Center. Through spending the endless hours as a kid with Freedom and with many other neighborhood horses she borrowed, Alyssa was able to watch and learn all about how horses interact and communicate. She read nearly every horse book the local library had to offer, comparing how each trainer trained but never really finding a philosophy that really felt right until she stumbled upon the world of learning theory and positive reinforcement. Since then, she’s been working as an advocate for science based and force free training.

Alyssa’s Training partner is Rainy Day.  Rainy Day is a 13.2 hand, 8 year-old Appaloosa mare.  You can read more about Rainy Day here http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-874-rainy-day

You can follow Alyssa and Rainy Day on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/rainytheappy/

https://www.facebook.com/BalancePointEquestrian/

http://www.joyfulhorse.com


HOLLY HUFFAKER 

Holly grew up just outside of Durango, Colorado on a ranch and horses and ranching ran in the family. She always had a deep love of horses, she rode on the ranch, showed some and started a few colts as a youth but never had any formal training. She spent a few years off in the corporate world and could not resist being drawn back to her passion. She returned to Colorado and had an outfitting business doing trail rides, pack trips and worked hunting camps. In 2012, she moved to Oklahoma and began  pursuing a career in training. Holly says, “My training has changed a great deal and continues to grow and progress. My goals are to always strive to be a better trainer and horsewoman.”

Holly’s Training partner is Yancy.  Yancy is a 16 hand sorrel pinto gelding.  You can read more about him and see his photos at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-400-yancy

Follow Holly and Yancy on Facebook here.


Natural Horsemanship Trainer Michelle Kuester and her horse Windy

MICHELLE KUESTER

Michelle Kuester is a natural horsemanship trainer with over twenty years of experience with horses.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Equine Science and has completed three training apprenticeships, with a total of five years of study in various disciplines: Gaited, Hunter/Jumper, Reining and Western All-Around & Horsemanship.  She has ten years of experience owning her own business as a professional horse trainer, and treats her clients with honesty and integrity.  Michelle believes solid horsemanship must be present in order to have success in any discipline.

Michelle’s Training Challenge partner is Caledonia.  Caledonia is a 14.1 hand sorrel mare that was surrendered to Bluebonnet after Hurricane Harvey.  You can read more about her at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-928-caledonia

Michelle’s Professional Website  www.michellekuesterhorsemanship.com

Follow Michelle and Calendonia on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Bluebonnet-Training-Challenge-Caledonia-2018-273255163436869/

Michelle’s Professional Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MKHorsemanship1/


KELLY LAZO

Kelly Lazo is a resident of Caldwell, Texas who has been riding since before she could walk. In her decades of experience, she has competed in a variety of disciplines, including on the hunter jumper circuit, roping, and in the performance horse industry, with Paint horses, Quarter horses, and a number of other breeds. Kelly has been training horses since her teenage years, and has trained and coached multiple world champions in the American Paint Horse Association. She also won the first ever Bluebonnet Expo Training Challenge years ago. This year, her goal is to fully utilize her partner Apollo’s potential to find him a forever home. She is also excited to pursue this adventure with her family, Sabine Lazo (Non-Pro Under Saddle) and Salvador Lazo (Non-Pro In Hand).

Kelly’s Training Challenge partner is Apollo.  He is a grey Quarter Horse type that was given to Bluebonnet when his owner was investigated for neglect.  Read more about Apollo at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-794-apollo

Follow Kelly and Apollo as they get ready for the Challenge at https://www.facebook.com/Klazo63/


ZEB MCLEAN

Zeb started training horses with his dad when as a kid. His dad worked for a man named John Sharp, a man notorious in the northwest for starting mustangs. He taught Zeb not to ask for more than the horse can give. Zeb started on his own starting and training horse business when he was just 15.  Zeb says,  “It’s always been something that had my heart: To be able to take an animal that knows nothing of a human or anything you want from them and transform them into something so incredible.”  Zeb credits horses with teaching him to be patient, to be loyal, and all about trust. As a cowboy, Zeb has spent most his life  going from ranch to ranch riding colts and pushing cows.  When he had opportunity to work with cutting horse trainer named Russ Elrod, he learned about the cutting horse world and was hooked. He’s devoted the last six years to perfecting the cutting horse skills, realizing that he wants to become the best and he still has much to learn.  Zeb says that the reason he wanted to do The Training Challenge is it’s something he’s always wanted to do but haven’t ever had the opportunity. His goal is show people a horse doesn’t have to have  amazing papers to be a genuinely good all-around horse.

Zeb’s Training partner is Little Jake.  Little Jake is a 14H sorrel mustang gelding.  Read more about Little Jake here http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-948-sorrel-mustang-wilco-gelding

You can follow Jake and Zeb on their way to the Expo on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Little-Jakes-Blue-Bonnet-Rescue-Horse-Training-Adventures-632275857137663/

Zeb’s ZMS Performance Horses https://www.facebook.com/zmsperformancehorses/


LAURIE OEHLERKING

Laurie Oehlerking is a Certified Horseman’s Association (CHA) instructor accredited in both Western and English. She teaches private and group horsemanship lessons at her home facility in Eddy, Texas, the OO’king Ranch; she also facilitates group lessons and obstacle workshops at a variety of area facilities. In previous years, Laurie has competed in the Mustang Heritage Foundation’s Mustang Makeover competition and in the Bluebonnet Rescue Horse Training Challenge. As a senior judge with Texas Trail Challenge Club (TTCC) she designs and implements on-trail, natural obstacles to showcase the partnership between horse and rider. She also serves as a clinician for TTCC rider clinics. In addition to competitive trail, her riding background includes drill team, stock horse shows, team penning, and endurance racing. Laurie relates to each horse as an individual, acknowledging their individual needs and talents to build trusting and willing partnerships.

Laurie’s Training Challenge partner is Obie.  Obie is a 4 year-old paint gelding.  You can read more about Obie here.

You can follow Laurie and Obie’s progress on Facebook here.


TORI VERBOOM 

Tori Verboom is just 19 years old and has been riding horses since she was five years old. She has competed all across Texas in Horse Judging as well as Performance Shows on occasion and has recently developed her own business called, Tribal C Performance Horses. Here, she provides lessons and trains horses for performance type movements. Currently, she is a Scout for a group of trail riders called GRA-TRAils, which affords her the opportunity to go out and enjoy time with friends doing what she loves.  Tori says, “I also appreciate any given opportunity to grow my knowledge and will never get tired of learning new techniques from other trainers or life lessons. I hope to prove my worth at this year’s BEHS Horse Training Challenge!”

Tori’s Training Challenge Partner is Starlight.  Starlight is Quarter Horse-type mare that was surrendered to Bluebonnet by her owner after Hurricane Harvey flooded the family’s home and the owner was no longer able to care for her.  Learn more about Starlight at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-954-grey-mare-hurricane-harvey

Follow Starlight and Tori during their training at their Training Challenge Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/starlightBEHS18/?ref=bookmarks

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/tribalcph/


 

BERNIE WILIMITIS

“In all communication, the most important and respectful act is to Listen”.

Bernie began his equine career in high school shoveling stalls at a neighboring horse farm just to be around the horses. He later started showing horses in 4-H and then became interested in working-horse events. He developed his skills in Team Roping and competed for many years. He continued to develop his skills as a horsemen and started learning from many of the master horsemen and horsewomen around the nation. Bernie co-founded Horse Helpers and Consultants in New Mexico to help the human and horse develop a common communication channel to enable better working relationships between the two for over 15 years.  Bernie now resides in Brenham, Texas and continues to help horses and humans learn respect and trust to build a better relationship together. Along with his life’s journey of studying the behavior of horses, he also holds a degree in Agricultural Business and Industrial Technology from Purdue University, is a Licensed Texas Real Estate professional, Accredited Business Broker, and is a Veteran of the Army National Guard. Bernie, first and foremost, gives thanks to God for allowing the horse to be a part of his life and for showing him how the horse can also be the best teacher for people learning about respect and trust in relationships.

Bernie’s Training Challenge partner is Miss Pembroke.  Miss Pembroke is a grade bay mare and you can read more about her at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-850-miss-pembroke

To follow their progress check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Bluebonnets-Miss-Pembroke-Training-Challenge-2018-969722643189778/

Non-Pro In-Hand Division – Handlers 12 and over
Horses in this hand have not been broke to ride or have lameness issues that leave them unsuitable for riding. They have been worked with in hand by foster homes (novice/non-pro) handlers.

SALVADOR LAZO

As a long-time horse show husband and dad, Salvador Lazo’s formal training experience is limited. Through decades of experience alongside his wife and daughter, and his own childhood with horses, however, he has a plethora of informal experience as a coach, trainer, and horseman. This Training Challenge will be his first time to compete with horses, but he is excited to show off his partner, Jigsaw’s, skills and add “pony wrangler” to his resume.

Salvador’s Training Challenge partner is Jigsaw.  Jigsaw is an adorable black and white pinto pony who was given to Bluebonnet after Hurricane Harvey forced his owner’s to make some difficult cuts in their herd.  Read more about him at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-956-jigsaw

Follow Salvador and Jigsaw and they make their way toward the Challenge at https://www.facebook.com/Jiggy2018/?modal=admin_todo_tour


SCARLET CRAIG

Scarlet’s Training Challenge partner is Reo.  Reo is a year-and-a-half old black pinto gelding.  You can read more about Reo here.

You can follow Scarlet and Reo on Facebook here.


FRANK SILL

World Class horse aficionado,  Frank is a long time rider whose first horse was a two year-old mustang from Nevada that he trained to be a roping horse where they both excelled and won a little here and there.   Frank offers care and attention to horse training.  Frank is committed to understanding the horse and recognizing the limitations of the horse and trainer.

Frank’s Training Challenge partner is Jingle Bob.  Jingle Bob is a two year-old Morgan gelding.  You can read more about Jingle Bob at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-855-jingle-bob

You can follow Frank and Jingle Bob’s progress on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JBSILL/


TORRI WHITAKER

Torri’s Training Challenge partner is Chaser.  Chaser is just two years-old and came to Bluebonnet with his dam, Fiona, when they were seized by law enforcement.  Read more about Chaser here.

Follow Chaser and Torri (and their great selfies) on Facebook here.


MIA ZAKY

Mia’s Training Challenge partner is Phantom.  Phantom is just a year and a half old and is still growing.  Read more about Phantom here.

You can follow Mia and Phantom on Facebook here.


Non-Pro In-Hand Division – Handlers under 12 years of age
Horses in this hand have not been broke to ride or have lameness issues that leave them unsuitable for riding. They have been worked with in hand by foster homes (novice/non-pro) handlers who are under 12 years of age.

SAMANTHA BROWN

New to The Challenge is Samantha Brown from Angleton.  At just 11 years old, this is her first year training horses and, by all reports, she loves it!  Samantha says, “I decided to try out barrel racing, then I fell in love with horses.”  She’s just getting started with horses and found our Challenge through Facebook.  She says she’s having fun and wants to do this every year.   I am 11 years old.

Samantha’s Training partner is Fizzy Pop.  Fizzy Pop is a nine year-old Welsh pony.  You can read more about Fizzy Pop here http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-871-fizzypop

You can follow Samantha and Fizzy Pop as they work their way toward Austin https://www.facebook.com/pg/fizzypop2018trainingchallenge/posts/

 

 

KATELYN CHAPMAN

Katelyn Chapman is 12 years old, in 8th grade and homeschooled. Katie has seven siblings and is described as a spirited, outgoing kid. She loves running track and playing soccer. She has always loved horses and rode for fun with Wayne Ridge Farms in Kentucky for a few years.  This is her first venture into training; she’s always been content with just being with horses and taking care of them.  She says, “I put my all into everything and I don’t give up. I am determined to help Jenny shine and find an amazing home.”

Katelyn’s Training Challenge partner is Jenny Lee.  Jenny Lee was surrendered to Bluebonnet when her owner could no longer take care of her.  Read more about Jenny Lee at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-975-jenny-lee

You can follow Katelyn and Jenny Lee on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Jenny-Lee-And-Katie-Bluebonnet-Training-Challenge-2018-262997590915004/


MAKAYLA CHAPMAN

Makayla Chapman is new to the Training Challenge.  Only 14 years old, she’s in the 10th grade, homeschools and has 7 siblings.  She is described as a very shy, quiet kid that is more comfortable talking to horses than to people.   She started riding with Wayne Ridge Farms in Kentucky when she was only five years old.  She started with just basic riding and horsemanship lessons and spending time with the Kentucky saddle surfers. She then moved into show/jumping routines and dressage. She has always been passionate about horses and says, “that training a horse starts with training the rider first,  because the horse has to trust you.” This is her first time training and is hopeful that she can pass on all the love and skills she learned at Wayne Ridge and bring out all the best in Jenkins so she can find a great home and job.

Makayla’s Training Challenge partner is Jenkins. Jenkins is a 15 year-old grey mare.  Read more about Jenkins at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-790-jenkins

Follow Makayla and Jenkins on Facebook as they work together at https://www.facebook.com/Jenkins-Jenx-And-Mack-Bluebonnet-Training-Challenge-2018-2009862852417244/?hc_ref=ARTjDNVQ4Igk0HN8u1Rpeyp8AC3Nt1wKGD3QpamuxdqzrXhRdPXE7ESNbhq796DCnPc


HEATHER ENGLAND

Heather’s Training Challenge partner is Sweet Sparrow.  You can read about Sweet Sparrow here.


SARAYA FULLER

Suraya is 9 years old and loves all equines. She has only been riding horses for about a year and enjoys attending playdays. Suraya has zero fear and loves to go fast on her horse, she is constantly asking her parents if she can “gallop”.  Suraya is a very confident. yet gentle rider. When Suraya grows up she wants to be a professional barrel racer. This is Suraya’s first time participating in the Training Challenge. She is training Radar Love, the most adorable pony. Saraya’s Training Challenge partner is Radar Love.  Radar Love is an 11 hand, 11 year-old pony and you can read more about him here.

You can follow Saraya and Radar Love on Facebook here.


LILLY BETH SOJOURNER

Lilly’s Training Challenge partner is McEntire.  McEntire is a chestnut mini horse – read more about him here.

Follow Lilly and McEntire on Facebook here.


LAYLA ZAKY

Layla’s Training Challenge partner is Pixie Dust.  You can read about Pixie Dust here.


Non-Pro Under Saddle
The horses in this division were trained to ride prior to the Challenge and did not have any known behavior problems. Foster homes (novice/non-pro) are putting additional rides on them to help them become more adoptable.

TRACY CANN

Tracy has been working with horses off and on since she was a small child. Her first
memory of riding was helping her father train a Quarter Horse-cross stallion,
and by training, she says, “my father put me on the horse and I fell off when it
bucked. I was seven years old and, despite falling off a lot, I still liked the horse
and he did his best not to step on me. He was a very kind animal.”
Tracy works with the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Center
at Lackland AFB, specifically with the DoD Belgian Malinois Breeding
Program where they breed, raise, and train the next generation of the military’s
explosive detection and patrol dogs.
Tracy has ridden in many disciplines over the years but discovered her love of Endurance Riding about 20 years ago. Tracy says, “You can have a blast on a horse and
try to murder yourself for 50 miles in 12 hours or less. Not to mention
camping with your horse in extreme conditions. It’s more fun than one
person should be permitted to have, actually.”
Tracy has with BEHS since 2008 and believes that it’s the best horse rescue organization
around. She fosters one or two horses or donkeys at a time and has adopted Nacona and Phoebe.

Tracy’s Training Challenge partner is Jedao. Jedao was found estray by his county sheriff department dragging a 20 foot heavy chain.  His owner did not come to claim him and he was awarded to BEHS.  Learn more about Jedao at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-972-jedao

Follow Tracy and Jedao on Facebook at /https://www.facebook.com/jedao.trainingchallenge2018/


ELENA COVINGTON

Elena Covington is a 15 year old horse enthusiast  from SE Oklahoma. She has been loving and riding horses from buddy seat on the back of her daddy’s mount to her current title of Hugo PRCA Rodeo Queen. Her experience with horses has come from training for barrel racing, reining patterns and outside on the trails with Texas Trail Challenge Club. Her goal is to work with her BlueBonnet horse and help him to find his forever home where he will be loved and appreciated.

Elena’s Training Challenge partner is Asher.  Asher is a 15 hand, grey gelding.  Read more about Asher at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-746-asher

You can follow Asher and Elena’s progress on Facebook here.


VICTORIA DWYER

Victoria’s Training Challenge partner is Promise.  Promise is a big 15.3 bay mare.  Read more about her here.


CHERYL FLEETWOOD

Cheryl’s Training Challenge partner is Shahan.  Shahan is a registered 15.2 Arabian gelding – SHAI IBN SHAHANRAH. You can read more about him here.

You can follow Cheryl and Shahan on Facebook here.


 

ALAYNA FULLER

Alayna is 16 years old and has loved horses her entire life. Sad tales of neglected and abandoned horses caught Alayna’s attention when she was just 14 years old, that’s when she adopted her first rescue horse. She now has 3 horses and one mini donkey. She uses her own money to buy and care for her horses. She works two jobs to cover her equines feed, farrier and vet care.  She has a passion for rehabilitating horses and giving them a second chance. This is Alayna’s second year participating in the Training Challenge, last year she competed with with Phoenix Fire. Alayna ended up adopting Phoenix Fire, they enjoy riding in parades, playdays, barrel races and in opening flag ceremonies at Rodeos . Alayna is a full time high school student and already has plans to attend a Horse Training Academy when she graduates. Her future goals include becoming a professional horse trainer.

Alayna’s Training Challenge partner is Eli.  Eli is a 15.3 American Saddlebred.  You can read more about Eli here.

You can follow Alayna and Eli on Facebook here.


STEPHANIE HARVEY

Stephanie’s Training Challenge partner is Miss Buttons.  Miss Buttons is a 15.3 TB cross. Read more about Miss Buttons here. 

Follow Miss Buttons and Stephanie on Facebook here.


SHAWN GRISHAM

Shawn’s Training Challenge partner is Brooklyn.  Brooklyn is a 15.3 TB cross mare.  Read more about Brooklyn here.


KELLY JACKSON

Kelly’s Training Challenge partner is Miss Bailey.  You can read more about her here.

You can follow them on Facebook here.


OLIVIA JONES

Olivia’s Training Challenge partner is Autumn.  You can read more about Autumn here.


LINDA KIRK

Linda Kirk is enjoying training her 8th Bluebonnet horse, Todd. Linda is an amateur competitor with AQHA and ASHA and she is ranked 3rd nationally with Equine Trail Sports. She believes in training a solid foundation with groundwork and consistency.

Linda’s Training Challenge partner is Todd.  Todd is a grade bay pinto that was surrendered to BEHS when his owner could no longer keep him.  Learn more about Todd at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-969-todd

Follow Linda and Todd on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/969Todd/


AMBER KURKOWSKI

Amber Kurkowski grew up in Northern NV, started riding at the age of eight, and spent her summers working on a neighboring cattle ranch helping move cattle and competing in local rodeo and 4-H events. After high school she went on to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point where she rode for four years in the IHSA on the Army Equestrian team in the Novice and Intermediate Hunter/Jumper divisions and she served as the Equestrian Team Captain her senior year. After graduation, she served five years in the Army, did two deployments to Iraq and completed her service in 2012 as a Captain. In 2011, she rescued her first horse, Lulu, an Off-The-Track-Thoroughbred, that was badly starved and abused. Through Lulu’s rehabilitation and retraining, Amber found her passion in saving neglected horses. She currently has 10 horses of her own, some of which she has rescued over the years from kill pens and neglectful circumstances, and four of which she adopted from BEHS. She started fostering with BEHS in 2016 and participated in the 2017 Training Challenge in the Non-Pro Under Saddle Division with Remi. She is excited about working with her foster horses Cleopatra and Kit Kat for the 2018 Bluebonnet Training Challenge. Amber is the co-owner of K & W Engineering Solutions.   www.kwengineeringsolutions.net

Amber has two Training Partners for this year’s Challenge, Cleopatra and Tic Tac.

Cleopatra is an Arabian-type mare that was removed from negligent owners and placed with Bluebonnet in March of 2017.  Learn more about Cleopara at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-875-cleopatra

Follow Cleopatra and Amber’s progress at https://www.facebook.com/CleopatraBEHSTrainingChallenge/

Tic Tac is an Off-The-Track-Thoroughbred that was surrendered when her owner was investigated for neglect.  You can learn more about Tic Tac at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-671-tic-tac 

Follow Tic Tac and Amber’s progress at https://www.facebook.com/Tic-Tacs-Bluebonnet-Training-Challenge-2018-1675035392564721/


SABINE LAZO

For the majority of her 15 years of life, Sabine Lazo has been involved in the horse world. From showing Paint horses on a global level to 4H futurity competitions under her belt, to previous experiences with the Bluebonnet training challenge, Sabine has plenty of experience with riding and training, and is excited to see what this year holds for her and her training challenge partner, Finn.  Recently, Sabine won four buckles at The World Show in the Solid Paint Bred Division – a World Championship in SPB Hunt Seat, Eq, and Reserves in SPB Hunter Under, Horsemanship, and Pleasure.

It didn’t end there, though. Sabine was also selected to ride trail for Team USA in this year’s Youth World Games. She won her class with a great ride, and Team USA won the 2018 World Games overall.

Sabine’s Training Challenge partner is Finn.  You can read more about Finn at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-946-welsh-cross-gelding

Follow Sabine and Finn on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Finnegan2018


KENDRA LEWIS

Kendra’s Training Challenge partner is Butterscotch.  Butterscotch is a 14.1 dun pinto mare.  You can read more about her here.

You can follow Kendra and Butterscotch on Facebook here.


LORI OSBORN

Lori is a 54 year-old single mother of two great kids and is expecting her first grandchild soon (who will be on a horse as soon as possible!)  When she’s not riding, she is a nurse and loves  caring for people but horses are her passion. Lori has worked with horses most of her life and has been a member of and has fostered for Bluebonnet since 2013.  Lori says, “I have fostered several horses I dearly loved and they went on to great homes; it’s a joy to help these animals but my heart horse is Golden Butterfly.” Lori adopted Golden Butterfly in 2014. Lori looks forward to the years to come to be able to continue helping these great animals.

Lori’s Training Challenge partner is Sweet Sadie.  Sweet Sadie is a 15 h sorrel quarter horse type, grade mare.  You can read more about her here.


KAITLYN RICHARDSON

Kaitlyn’s Training Challenge partner is Prairie Rose.  Read more about Prairie Rose here.


ELIZABETH RODRIGUEZ

Elizabeth is 13 years old and her love for horses started young; she began riding around the age of two, but due to a military relocation in 2009 was unable to pursue anything other than occasional pleasure riding. In 2014 Elizabeth’s family moved back to Texas to be closer to family and Elizabeth quickly began riding on a regular basis and soon joined the Tejas Pony Club, where she continues learning and improving her equestrian skills.In 2014 Elizabeth’s grandmother participated in the Bluebonnet Training Challenge and also continues to volunteer with BEHS today. Elizabeth has a very close bond with her grandmother and her grandmother’s experience with the Training Challenge is what inspired Elizabeth to join.  This is Elizabeth’s first year with the Training Challenge and she is excited to be a part of such a wonderful program.

Elizabeth’s Training Challenge partner is Merlot.  Merlot is a 12 year-old, 14 hand, Arab-type mare and you can read more about her at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-597-merlot

Follow Elizabeth and Merlot’s training progress on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BEHSLizzieandMerlot


Milinda Sill is a Texan who enjoys trail riding. Milinda’s training experience is limited to observation, listening, and doing.  Milinda enjoys making a positive impact on foster horses.

Milinda’s Training Challenge Partner is Sir Kabu.  Sir Kabu 15 hand registered Arabian gelding.  Read more about Sir Kabu at http://www.bluebonnetequine.org/index.php/horses/about/behs-967-sir-kabu

Follow Sir Kabu and Milinda’s progress on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SirKabu/