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Jeff Williams’ student
Elizabeth Tanner/Post Dispatch—
Payton Nelson, 12, of Post, is seen saddling a 2-year-old gelding at Jeff Williams’ training facility in a photo on the October cover of Western Horseman Magazine.
The cover photo is reminiscent of what Nelson has been doing for the past three years at Williams’ facility, rising before the sun and getting colts under the saddle.
“I’m thankful for Jeff helping me learn to break horses and get them where I want them to be,” Nelson told Western Horseman. “If I’m doing something wrong, he’ll get horseback with me and show me how to do it.”
Also featured in Western Horseman Magazine is the rest of Williams’ young colt-starting crew, Datch Flanigan, Macee Rathbun and Kasen and Kolton Wink, all of Post, who he teaches lessons that reach far beyond training methods and horsemanship skills.
“Jeff has taught me to be a kind person to horses and to people,” Rathbun, 16, told magazine reporter Lizzie Iwersen. “I’ll always keep that with me because it applies everywhere.”
With the magazine selling out at local retailers, Williams and his crew have many proud supporters, including County Extension Agent Danya Peterson who said she commends Williams’ work giving young riders a chance to live out their dream in the saddle.
“They have the best mentor,” Peterson said. “They ride more than one colt a day. In fact, their personal colts are the last to be ridden in the day. This is their passion and behind every one of these kids, supporting and helping them live their dream, is an amazing group of parents.”
With a passion for riding colts and teaching kids, Williams says the long hours and hard work is all worthwhile as the most gratifying part of the experience is seeing the kids he mentored succeed.
“It’s rewarding to watch them learn work ethic and the progress they make on the horses,” Williams told Western Horseman, “but it’s more rewarding watching them in the years to come. Most of them go on and really do something for themselves. They make a bond with me and stay in touch. I guess you could say I got a lot of kids, but to see them have success in their own life – that’s what’s rewarding.”
To read Western Horseman’s article on Williams and his colt-starting crew, visit www.westernhorseman.com to purchase a copy.