Ben Longwell of True West Horsemanship Ltd is excited to return to Equidays as a clinician for the fourth year in a row.
Ben has a passion for both communicating to horses through horsemanship and also teaching their owners and people who work with them. Ben uses his down-to-earth relaxed approach when dealing with horses or people. He counts it a blessing to be able to work with horses every day and believes in the philosophy that every horse has something to teach you if you are listening.
Ben grew up riding horses and working cattle, following in generations of both sides of his family in Colorado, USA. He has years of experience working for ranches in the area, learning from the skills and experience of the ranchers and also worked at a Quarter Horse breeder, acquiring the basics of colt starting and quality horsemanship.
He spent the following years in the colt starting & horse training business, which also included a couple of years at a 300,000 acre ranch in Wyoming. During that time Ben was involved in conducting horsemanship clinics and demonstrations and began working in the vaquero bridlehorse tradition.
The vaquero bridlehorse tradition has its roots in the classical Spanish riding that developed from the war horses of medieval times. As the Spanish settled the New World, particularly California, the skills of horsemanship, stockmanship, roping, and “turn at a touch” saddle horses were developed over decades of refinement. There is currently a “renaissance” of this style of horsemanship around the world.
Early in 2011, Ben and his Kiwi wife, Natalie, took the opportunity to build a very successful Horsemanship and Clinic business in New Zealand. Ben works with clients and equine groups to provide quality colt starting (breaking in), horse training, problem solving and a variety of Horsemanship, Cattlework, and Ranch Roping Clinics. They also began providing quality, handmade western tack and vaquero/buckaroo gear here in NZ. Each year since 2014 they run highly successful Escorted Ranch Tour’s, where Ben escorts a group of Kiwis to the western USA to experience the real life of a cowboy on a working cattle ranch.
Since establishing True West Horsemanship Ltd, Ben was one of the Three Horsemen at the inaugural Equidays, has conducted Clinics all over NZ and in the States, and has appeared in numerous publications as well as writing multiple articles himself. Ben was excited to appear as a Clinician again at Equidays 2014, 2015 & 2016 where he used Viento as his demonstration horse - his ex-stallion from the first KHH Stallion Makeover Challenge, the national wild horse training competition.