Come Work and Ride With Us

Greetings from the windy plains of South Dakota!

My name is Jenn Zeller — the trainer/creator of Outside the Turn – Building Better Barrel Horses. I live on The DX Ranch, located between Gettysburg and Eagle Butte.  The ranch is home to a grass-fed custom beef operation and a commercial cow/calf operation, as well as a 50 year old QH breeding program. 

I’m here to offer you the chance at a life-changing opporunity!

The Opportunity

We are currently adding to our team — searching for an assistant horse trainer/colt starter to work with us.

Primarily we start colts for the public, handle problem horses, and train colts we’ve raised.

We also have some up and coming futurity colts. 

  • This individual will be very self motivated and have an excellent work ethic
  • Able/willing to drive a tractor/skid loader
  • Should be at the least able to give an IM shot
  • Should have colt starting experience, but they need not to have crawled on 100s (bonus if they have)!
  • Previous experience working for a trainer/in a training type setting would be preferred
  • We need to know that they can get the job done if left on their own, since we travel for barrel races and to teach clinics
  • They may need to travel with to barrel races
  • They will need to be comfortable meeting clients and teaching clients how to handle their horses/give riding lessons
  • We will expect this individual to help with our internship program, foaling, general building/fence maintenance, and of course the riding. 
  • Bonus if they can drive a pickup and trailer
  • We prefer no dogs, but if they do have a dog it must be able to live with other dogs and NOT kill chickens. 
  • They can bring one horse at our expense.
  • We will provide housing in the form of Yellowstone-style bunkhouse inside the riding barn.
  • The assistant will receive 15lbs of home-raised ground beef monthly, and fresh eggs as available.  
  • This is a 1099 position. 

The Philosophy

Relationships are built from the ground up. Don’t we all want a good relationship with our horses? They begin the moment we catch our horse, to how we feed him, and how we interact with them on the daily: these things set the tone for our relationship. Building a better barrel horse is something I have strived to do over the past two decades. We firmly believe that the best horses are built “outside the turn”.

 

The barrel racing world could certainly use a little more “outside the turn” logic. Not another site full of “drills” to teach our horse the pattern. The more you know about how a horse thinks, the easier it is to create a language that we can use to become successful in our chosen field. Whether barrel racing, calf roping, trail riding or ranch work, it matters not. We’ve learned — over the past 3-5 decades of training horses and people — that we as humans tend to make things a lot more difficult than they really are.

 

The horse is never wrong. They can do what they think they need to do to survive the moment or they can do what they think we want them to do. They’re absolutely entitled to their opinion of how and what we present to them. It’s up to us to present it in a way that they can understand. We use a hybrid of Brannaman/Hunt, Martin Black, Curt Pate, Lee Smith, Ashley Schaffer methods and more – we take from them what we like, discard what we don’t and go from there. 

 

The Horse Training Program

We check every horse that comes to us, ridable or not, for any holes left by previous trainers. A well-rounded horse is best, so they all learn a solid foundation - cow horse turn-arounds, speed control from the seat, softness up and down in transitions, to honor the leg and the rein, how to handle being roped on, etc. Our instagram accounts are full of reels, sharing these things. If they aren't soft laterally, we aren't going to get much else done. We ride a minimum of 5 days/week (We try to keep the outside horses on a schedule). We feed 7 days a week, and we use Saturdays as makeup days for what we missed/didn't get done during the week. We require a minimum of 90 days on colt starts, so we aren't starting a ton of them yearly. Typically we only keep 5-7 outside horses here at once (as of now). We take nothing for only 30 days. A 60 day minimum is required.

The Future

 

Outside the Turn University – a program that would share our barrel horse training philosophies with others. We put doing right by the horse first, winning second. 

 

We also currently have an online horse training courses, a membership wherein people can watch us talk them through, unedited rides on horses and we offer group coaching through that membership. 

 

The plan is to create a curriculum and certification process for others to come learn these techniques and become teachers in this style of horsemanship/barrel horse training.

 

 

Interns must Commit to Three months for this position to be paid. After 3 Mos, a 2 year contract will be signed. I will invest in you, if you invest in yourself. 

 

One month internships are unpaid.

 

Summer Horsemanship School is a tuition based program – applications are due soon. 

What Are You Waiting For?

Take the next step in your horsemanship journey and come learn to make a kind, quiet, thoughtful horse.