The working family in Montana has many roles and many skills. In our family, everyone had to ride in order to move cattle or horses. Growing up in a working environment, where your horse is a partner to help get your job done, gives its own skill set. In terrain that could be difficult on your own two feet, a horse can get up and over the mountain to find missing cattle. Poorly calves might have to be roped and doctored miles away from any corral. These things and more set up the foundation for us to have the curiosity in horse development that led to our own education.
Patty and Zack worked from the time they were born on horseback. Patty spent hours in the saddle, and was first paid for training ponies when she was only nine years old. Her father loved horses and loved training horses, and would babysit her by tying a horse to the corral fence and tying her to the saddle while he worked other horses in the pen. Zack's family used horses entirely for the sake of raising cattle. He also ran heavy machinery, and Zack learned both to ride and run a bulldozer as a child. While Patty often will take out rides or rope with Ben and Maria, Zack now only rides on special occasions.
Ben and Maria are both exceptional horse developers. Ben has a great deal of experience training difficult horses, and success in turning a difficult horse into a ride-able one. His love is taking talented young horses and developing them into great team-roping and working horses. Horses trained by Ben are quick, hyper-responsive, and very good to go and do a job on. For the very experienced rider, these horses are a joy and a thrill to get to ride. Maria, in her life, has developed a special niche as a horse trainer. Horses that Maria trains can teach the human how to do the move. For example, if Maria trains a horse to move sideways and a novice rider attempts the maneuver on that same horse, the horse practically talks the human through it. This is an incredible skill, and every single horse she trains takes this ability inside themselves. You can imagine, on a guest ranch, how remarkable this is.
Anna focuses on teaching people more than horses. She develops personal horses, and likes to have Maria finish them if they are suited to being guest horses. Her passion has always been teaching people. She attained her MA in order to become more skilled in research, and has certified as an Anma Amatsu practitioner in order to better understand the anatomy of the human. All this in order to teach people more about horses, and about their own body and balance. She excels in teaching people how to use their body both to communicate with the horse on the ground and also to become a collected human so that, as a rider, your balance and timing can become one with the horse. She has taught thousands of people to ride, and continues to learn about the Biotensegrity of the horse and rider.