"Unless you want a bronc in a bridle
you better check the oil before you get on"
As a 17-year-old junior in high school, Wendy’s Ag teacher brought a yearling stud colt to school to teach a class. She saw ‘Smokey’ in the trailer and it was love at first sight. Although the teacher did not want to sell him Wendy was relentlessly persistent and finally he caved. This started a 25 year relationship with Gay Bars Bonanza aka ‘Smokey’. At the time of purchase, Smokey needed to be taught all basic training due to fact that he had little handling. He was quick to learn and soon Wendy was starting him under saddle.
Through training and a strong relationship built on mutual trust, Wendy and Smokey have a true partnership. Her confidence in Smokey is so great that she can even ride him bridleless on the trail. Wendy and Smokey have demonstrated and taught others how to have the same relationship with their horse at venues all across America, and now she uses him exclusively to teach her three children to ride.
When Steve talks about his ‘sanity horse’ he’s talking about Smokin’ Gun, the horse he turns to when he wants to relax and enjoy a ride. Smokin’ Gun is the mustang he trained to win 7th place in the Extreme Mustang Make Over in 2010, a competition in Ft. Worth, Texas with 100 other trainers from the across the United States. Smokin’ Gun has become Steve’s main mount and is the horse Steve turns to when he wants to demonstrate what a well-trained horse can do.
Without a halter, Smokin’ Gun stays right by Steve’s side and changes his pace to match Steve’s; he turns when Steve turns, stops when Steve stops and runs when Steve runs. The pair further astonish crowds when Smokin’ Gun lays down and rolls over like a dog or, when laying on his back he wrestles with Steve. Aside from their show-stopping tricks and whip cracking performances, Smokin’ Gun and Steve demonstrate advanced reining maneuvers and bridleless riding.
No other horse has affected Steve quite like Toy Boy (named by his previous owners for his small stature and cuteness). He came with a handful of problems, but Steve wanted him from the first day he saw him.
“Although he has gone on to a new owner, Toy Boy was my first horse and school master,” said Steve. “He put up with all my mistakes when I was trying to learn how to teach horsemanship and advanced reining maneuvers. He was there for me through thick and thin and he turned out to be the best horse I’ve ever owned.
As they grew together, Steve and Toy Boy progressed in their partnership, and eventually Toy Boy became his exhibition horse. “He was so well-broke that I could use him to demonstrate a variety of advanced maneuvers,” Steve said. “He was such a blessing.”