Cutting horse trainer, coach and clinician Barbra Schulte was recently recognized with the Women of the West Award, which honors those who make contributions to the ranching, stock horse and Western industries.
The award, presented by Western Horseman, was presented to Schulte last weekend during the Road To the Horse colt-starting championship in Fort Worth. Western Horseman magazine is owned by Morris Communications, which is the parent company of Quarter Horse News.
The prestigious honor celebrates women who are dedicated to innovation and preservation in the ranching, stock horse and Western industries.
“I’ve known Barbra Schulte for quite a few years and she’s always been a class act,” Western Horseman Editor In Chief Ross Hecox said in a statement. “It’s interesting to look at her history as a trainer and clinician and see how she’s helped so many people, whether they’re competitors or recreational riders, in the horse industry. What she has done for the horse industry makes her fitting for this award.”
A lifelong horsewoman, Schulte grew up learning from her horseman father, Cletus Hulling, and at age 13, became the youngest female to ride in a National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity semi-finals. She trained and showed Quarter Horses in reining, cutting and other Western disciplines for many years. In 1994 — after winning NCHA Derby, NCHA Super Stakes Classic and the Augusta Futurity—she became a personal performance coach and created her Mentally Tough program to motivate riders to overcome fear, sharpen their focus, perform under pressure and reach their full potential.
Schulte has conducted clinics and seminars all over the world, produced educational videos and authored books and articles. She received the National Female Equestrian of the Year Award from the American Quarter Horse Association in 2000, and was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2017, she was inducted to the NCHA Hall of Fame, and in 2020, received the 2020 Equine Industry Vision Award presented by American Horse Publications and sponsored by Zoetis.
She and her husband, Tom, annually present the Zane Schulte Award in honor of their late son, Zane. The award is given to a professional cutting horse trainer who exhibits the characters Zane is remembered by: integrity, service, values, respect of their peers, contribution to the industry and excellence in the arena.
Schulte often shares the clinician role with other horsewomen, such as Julie Goodnight and National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champion Sandy Collier, and continues to motivate other horse enthusiasts through education. She joins Judy Wagner, vice-president of marketing and communications for Montana Silversmiths, and Linda Davis, owner of the CS Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico, as recipients of the Western Horseman Women of the West Award.