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A horse so gentle you can crawl under it

Ron Knodel offers practical training tips for your ranch horse during Husker Harvest Days.

Sarah McNaughton, Editor, Dakota Farmer

September 1, 2023

1 Min View

For horse enthusiasts, the horse gentling demonstrations are a highlight of Husker Harvest Days. Horseman Ron Knodel gives a firsthand look at what goes into breaking a wild colt.

This year, he has more to show than ever before. “We’re really going to spend a lot of time going beyond halter breaking, and show getting young horses used to the bit, used to the saddle, and show what that process is like,” Knodel explains.

For more than 20 years, he has been bringing his horses to Husker Harvest Days, showing how horses and handlers can build a relationship from the get-go. This expert horseman will share his experience in training horses — everything from the beginning lessons all the way to the first ride.

The process of getting a colt ready for the ranch is lengthy, but Knodel plans to go more in depth with attendees. “I want to showcase what happens as we train colts. I’ll have some that have never been touched as well as some that are further along,” he says.

Solid training means these animals can go on to have a successful career. “I want to show attendees what it looks like to get these horses ready to work,” he says. “These horses will go on to have jobs on and off the ranch, and they need to be ready for that.”

As always, Knodel’s goals revolve around education. “We want to put on a show for attendees while giving them insight to horses and how they work, and how we train them,” he says.

See Knodel and his horses at Lot 3W.

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About the Author(s)

Sarah McNaughton

Editor, Dakota Farmer, Farm Progress

Sarah McNaughton of Bismarck, N.D., has been editor of Dakota Farmer since 2021. Before working at Farm Progress, she was an NDSU 4-H Extension agent in Cass County, N.D. Prior to that, she was a farm and ranch reporter at KFGO Radio in Fargo.

McNaughton is a graduate of North Dakota State University, with a bachelor’s degree in ag communications and a master’s in Extension education and youth development.

She is involved in agriculture in both her professional and personal life, as a member of North Dakota Agri-Women, Agriculture Communicators Network Sigma Alpha Professional Agriculture Sorority Alumni and Professional Women in Agri-business. As a life-long 4-H’er, she is a regular volunteer for North Dakota 4-H programs and events.

In her free time, she is an avid backpacker and hiker, and can be found most summer weekends at rodeos around the Midwest.

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