Farm Talk

Equine

March 2, 2010

Going English improves SW Mo. cowboy’s horsemanship

Growing up on his family's north central Kansas ranch, life for Shane Cole wasn’t much different than it was for other country kids. There were chores to do, cattle to tend and fences to mend.

Shane quickly learned, however, that the more he could do horseback, the happier he was.

“As soon as I was old enough I was competing in 4-H and saddle club shows,” he explains.

Horses weren’t just for showing on the family ranch, they were also for work. For Cole, though, horses turned work into pleasure and as he grew up he continued to make them part of his world.

“I got involved with the Foundation Quarter Horse Registry and later served as president of the Mid-West Foundation Quarter Horse Association,” he says.

Cole found himself getting more involved in various associations when his own children were old enough to share his love of horses.

“These associations were very family friendly,” he explains.

For five years Cole and his family took part in as many events as they could which included national shows.

“We competed in everything we could—cutting, speed events and halter,” he says.

Throughout his early years with horses and later when his own children were involved, Cole used the knowledge he’d gained at home on the ranch to train his own competition horses.

But he found he always needed to be challenged and he wanted to try new things.

After moving to southwest Missouri, the opportunity arrived to help a family involved with Friesian horses and he jumped at the opportunity.

“I didn’t know anything about the English discipline so I started taking lessons,” he says.

The more he learned the more he enjoyed it. And, once a horseman, always a horseman—regardless of the discipline.

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