CRITICAL Keys to Success… by Monty Bruce
Find the Right Horse and the
Right Trainer with the
In the world of performance horses and competi tive riding, the critical keys to success are find ing the right horse, and the right trainer with the right program. This can be a tough combination to come by and it’s important to thoroughly research your options. Everything you hope to achieve as a competitive rider hinges on your horse’s health, which is a complicated matter that can over whelm even the most seasoned industry veteran. Fortunately, “horse people” are a tight-knit group and it’s not difficult to find a circle of knowledge able people you can trust and turn to for guidance.
Monty Bruce, a professional trainer and owner of Monty Bruce Training Center in Northwood, Iowa, is one such person. Monty’s livelihood and success depend on the health of the horses he works with and he doesn’t take lightly any deci sion concerning horse health. A few years ago Monty was asked by APC, Inc., maker of LIFELINE Equine performance supplements, to run a trial of their Equine Elite product with some of his perfor mance horses. Monty agreed to the trial and the timing couldn’t have been better.
A client had just purchased a horse from a sale barn and brought it to Monty for training. Monty immediately recognized that the horse wasn’t feeling well and quarantined the colt, which soon came down with Strangles. As the infection progressed, instead of breaking out and resolving, the illness went internal, which can be deadly. The young horse lost an enormous amount of weight and became so sick he nearly died.
“I was desperate for something to help him so I decided to give LIFELINE a try,” Monty said. “The results amazed me. I’ve seen horses take months to recover from Strangles, or never make a full recovery. Within a few weeks this colt was back on feed and moving toward full health and body weight. I have to wonder if LIFELINE may have played a role in this colt’s amazing recovery.”
Monty put his own horses on LIFELINE Equine Elite, as well as several clients’ horses, and has repeatedly seen great results. He made the finals at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno and Top 10 Cow Horse at the AQHA World Show. His non-pro and youth clients with horses on LIFE LINE have achieved three world champion titles, three reserve world champion titles, several top 10 placements in Cow Horse events, an AQHYA reserve world champion title in Ranch Riding and a top 10 in Reining.
“The main benefits of LIFELINE seem to be joint, lungs and gut, which we all know if we have prob lems in one of these areas we will not get much performance out of the horse,” Monty said. “The bottom line is that I’m sold on LIFE LINE and will continue to make this a part of my program in the future.”
For anyone wanting to dive into the world of performance horses and competitive riding, several key ele ments have to fall into place. The most important pieces of this puzzle are finding the right horse, and the right trainer with the right program. This can be a tough combination to come by and it’s important to be patient and not allow your enthusiasm to lead you into a purchase or contract you’ll re gret. A hasty horse purchase or a part nership with the wrong trainer could cost you more than just money ““ your time and emotional investment must also be counted.
Everything you hope to achieve as a competitive rider hinges on your horse’s health. Whether you buy from a private seller or a large breeder, do your research and don’t be afraid to ask the seller about the animal’s pedigree, behavior, training and health history. A reputable seller will produce vet records and will patiently answer your ques tions.
When it’s time to find your trainer, turn to your community. Fortunately, “horse people” are a tight-knit group and it shouldn’t be difficult to find a circle of knowledgeable people you can trust, work with and turn to for guidance. Monty Bruce, a professional trainer and owner of Monty Bruce Training Center in Northwood, Iowa.
Monty Bruce is a multi-time Reined Cow Horse and Reining Futurity and Derby champion. Monty, his assistants, and students have won numerous World and Reserve championships and are continuing to succeed in the show pen.
The Monty Bruce Training Center is a full service equine facility that specializes in Reined Cow Horse, Reining, and the Performance Horse. The Center strives to provide superior care and training for all equine needs. Visit MontyBruce.com for more info.