Prospects in the Montana Center For Horsemanship's 2021 Colt Challenge & Sale are going through their paces with students from the University of Montana Western. Young horses, including this palomino by Ima Tuf Lena (by Tuf N Busy), are donated by local ranches. • Photo courtesy of UM Western

Training Underway for 2021 Colt Challenge and Sale at UM Western

Students are hard at work training this year’s batch of young horses for the 2021 University of Montana Western and Montana Center For Horsemanship’s Colt Challenge and Sale.

In spite of the pandemic, officials involved with the event announced this week they intend for the event to be held April 2-3 in Dillon, Montana. In the program, students train the horses using the La Cense Method, a form of natural horsemanship led by the Center For Horsemanship’s co-founder William Kriegel.

Though officials do not know how much of the Colt Challenge and Sale will be held in person or online due to the pandemic, training is underway and they do intend to hose the event, said Janet Rose, the Montana Center for Horsemanship’s director of communications and development.

“The young horses are at the ranch, they are being ridden and trained in the La Cense Method Natural Horsemanship and they are receiving the most beneficial foundation a young horse can receive, on top of which, they are beautiful in conformation, mind, and breeding,” she said.

Approximately two dozen young horses were donated to the program from area ranches, including some that cultivate Western performance horse bloodlines. Students from the University of Montana put about 90 days of training on the colts, who are then sold with proceeds going to scholarships and educational programs at the university.

Officials say students ride Colt Challenge & Sale prospects indoors and outdoors, including in the mountains on on the trails. They’re also exposed to situations they might encounter on the job later in life, such as cows, tarps and ropes.

Photos and videos of the colts being trained are posted regularly on the program’s Facebook page.