Brent Winston, Head Trainer
September 26, 2019
Brent Winston is the head trainer at the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center. He has been here since October 2013 and oversees a staff of about 10 trainers. Brent can often be found working with adopters, helping them find the horse that will fit them best, as well as working with them in pre-adoption horsemanship lessons. Brent earned his position by being a professional horse trainer with more than 20 years of experience. He started out working as a ranch cowboy across Colorado and Montana and improved his horsemanship by studying under prominent and legendary horseman such as Ray Hunt, Ken Wold and Johnny Leverett. Brent says he learned many things from the horseman he studied under. He learned how to have the right outlook and mindset when training horses from Ray Hunt. He also learned management skills and how to oversee a large number of horses during his time with Kenny, and he developed his passion for training while he was working under Johnny. Once Brent branched out on his own, he continued to develop his skills and learned how to think on his feet and work through training challenges on his own. Brent is also a gifted teacher and regularly works with volunteers and staff members, helping them grow and develop their horsemanship. Brent can also be found teaching clinics on the Harmony Equine Center’s behalf at various horse events hosted at Harmony.
Brent said one of the highlights of his career was being offered the position of head trainer at Harmony. His favorite part of working at Harmony is the great diversity in the type and background of the horses that arrive. He takes great satisfaction in being able to help so many different horses with such a wide variety of different issues. At Harmony, Brent has the challenge of evaluating new horses with unknown backgrounds, which sometimes means throwing on a saddle and jumping up on a horse with a completely unknown history. It means a lot to Brent that his job is to pick up the pieces and help a horse figure things out, after so many people have failed that horse. Brent steps up to work with the most challenging horses and to save them through earning their trust and retraining them to gain confidence again.
For those looking to be trainers or even just to improve their horsemanship, Brent says that above all you must stay humble. Horses will be the first to help you stay humble, because no matter how long you’ve worked with them, you never stop learning. Brent also recommends seeking out internships with quality trainers with solid reputations. Continue to practice humility as you learn from other horseman as well as the horse itself.
When he’s not at Harmony, Brent enjoys spending time with his wife, Adrienne, step-daughter, Harper and daughter, Cheyenne. He also finds time to work his cattle on his ranch with his Aussie-Border Collie, Oakley, as well as caring for his adopted horses, Smash, a grade Quarter Horse gelding, and Buttons, his daughters’ miniature horse.