Gimme Shelter Trainer’s Challenge 2019

The Santa Fe Rodeo Grounds
3237 Rodeo Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87502

Professional trainers have volunteered their time and talents to take a rescue horse into training for 100 days. None of the horses had been ridden before. The trainers will be exhibiting the horses at our 6th Annual Gimme Shelter Event, and the horses will be available for adoption.

Bring family, friends and neighbors—this event is FREE to the public.

Friday from 4—6.30 pm judging of Conditioning & In Hand and “Talk to the Trainers” (no vending on site.)

Saturday kicks off at 10 am with Riding Obstacles & Dry Work.

Freestyle at 12 pm.

You will have the opportunity to visit with trainers & horses at 1 pm, followed by our adoption-based auction of the participating horses. (Pre-bidding is available if you cannot attend.)

Food, shaved ice and merchandise vendors onsite. NO DOGS ALLOWED!

July 19 and 20, 2019

  • Ditto

    Gelding, 5 YEARS OLD, Grade, Black

    Trained By

    Training Progress

    Update July 15:  Why Ditto is awesome: Ditto is a lot of fun! He has an amazing slow trot and lope and usually prefers these to the faster versions; however, he will kick it up a notch the second you ask. He loves following cows and did really well at the sorting a couple weeks ago. He has a great attitude and excellent work ethic. He is smart and loves to be around people. He comes when called and likes to be brushed and pet all over. I rode him in the Corrales 4th of July parade, and he did pretty well considering how new it was. He has never bucked or reared. He lunges really well. He does nice rollbacks, takes both leads, opens gates, is soft in the bridle, stops well, backs well, side-passes, and loves to try new things. I have ridden him in both English and Western, and he did great with both!

    Now for the challenges I have faced with Ditto: He is only 3 and there are days when this really shows. He can be a little spooky although he gets over it quickly, and I don’t think he will be a spooky horse in the long run. Although he gets along well with other horses in the pasture, I have had him kick at other horses during shows when they got right up behind him. He’s gotten way better but something to keep in mind! He needs a job. Ditto does not like to stand still under saddle, and he does not like to be bored. He can start the day completely calm and get worked up over something as simple as a new horse coming into the arena or a horse leaving the arena. When he gets like this, he wants to trot or walk really fast, and I have to work him until he is focusing again. As long as he is working, (be it trotting or loping circles, yielding his different body parts, rollbacks, cows, interesting trail rides, etc.) he tends to stay relaxed. Also, he paws in the trailer.

    The person for Ditto: A person looking to adopt Ditto needs to be an intermediate to advanced rider who is SOFT with their hands and legs. He is VERY light and sensitive which makes him a ton of fun but also could act against him if someone less careful with their hand and body language adopted him. He needs someone who is patient and understands that he is young and has only had 100 days under saddle. He would NOT be good for someone hoping to just get on once every couple of months and walk down the ditch bank. He is a horse who does best when mentally and physically challenged and his adopter should be someone who likes that in a horse!

    Update June 14:  Ditto’s training is coming along nicely. He holds a circle well at a walk, trot, and a lope. He is soft in the bridle and stops well. I tried him on cows last week and he loved it! We also did the Walking N Circles play show this past weekend and he did great! It was both of our first times in English, but we placed second in two of the classes and placed in several of the western classes as well. He loves to be pet and is super easy to catch. He is sensitive and responsive and needs a rider with gentle hands. He has an awesome personality and will make someone a great horse!

    Update May 27:  We are a couple weeks shy of halfway through the competition, and Ditto is doing great! He is fun to work with and is always willing to try new things. He has gone on a couple trail rides both with other horses and alone and has done well. He is curious about cows although we have not gotten the opportunity to work them yet. He is only 3 and although he tries hard, he gets distracted easily. We have loped a lot in the round pen and have been working on holding circles at the walk and the trot in the arena. He is getting good at side-passing and has good hip control. We have started opening gates, and he is doing great with it! We have hauled to many different places and he is tying better everyday! He needs a good warm up when in a new place but settles in nicely once he decides to start listening. I love him so much and know that whoever adopts him will love him too!

    Ditto is a big gelding with a big personality. He is eager to learn but also has a playful side to him. He gets along with any new person he meets and trusts them quickly. Ditto enjoys learning new things and isn’t bothered when taken from his buddies.


  • Dodger

    Gelding, 5 YEARS OLD, Grade, Black

    Trained By

    Training Progress

    Update July 17: Over the last 100 days, Dodger has become a new horse. His goofy and sweet personality will be missed. With patience, consistency and repetition he developed a confidence in people (especially “his person”), and a bravery even in himself. This shows itself in awesome ways and that will only continue. He has become a nice, quiet horse on the trail, is “cowy’ and will work cows nicely, is always ready to pick up speed with the lightest of cues, and has learned to trust his rider. You can saddle up and lope him off, he stands tied and for the farrier well, has learned handy little things like how to stand hobbled, to be washed off with a hose, handle fly spray and load into the trailer without you having to struggle with him. He is easy to control, and is beginning to work off your legs nicely. He will make someone a great horse!

    Update June 19:  Dodger is really coming along nicely. He is extremely soft in the bridle, has great flexion either direction and when you whisper “whoa” he will shut it down immediately, tucking his butt under him and occasionally leaving slide marks in the dirt. He generally carries his head level or low, which is so nice, and while expert in direct reining, is developing his neck reining. He lowers his head for the halter/bridle and picks up all four feet easily—he has even been shod with a good attitude. He stands to be mounted from either side, backs up, walks, trots and lopes with no issue, and is learning to pick up leads, open gates, side pass, turn on the hind quarters and forehand correctly, and cross obstacles. He loves to go out on trail rides and goes alone or in groups. He navigates obstacles with bravery and is learning to be confident in himself when trying new things. He went from difficult to catch to easy to catch, and is the first one up and waiting to be haltered. He has never had any dangerous behavior, although being 3, he loves to play and sometimes that can be misunderstood as attitude. He absolutely loves a job and wants to get it done as quickly as possible. When in a new place he can be overwhelmed and excited, so does need a good warm up to regain his full attention. He is learning to be less effected by other horses though as he has a tendency to get easily worked up by them. Over all, Dodger is an extremely nice gelding and if his training continues will make someone a REALLY nice horse!

    Update June 7: Sometimes it can be hard to remember that Dodger is only three and only has about 50 rides! He is such a trooper and has come such a long way. We are currently working on leg pressure (side-passing, shoulder yielding, etc.) and picking up his shoulder for changing leads on command, but as of right now he is awesome and quiet on the trail and the arena, is cowy, has great hip and poll control, holds nice circles and has cruise control, hobbles well, has great ground manners, is mostly fearless, and absolutely LOVES water. I have gotten to do a lot of fence riding and cow work on him—he would make a nice little ranch horse as he is smooth, can step out and loves to have a job. I am really enjoying working with him! He is going to make someone the love of their life!

    Update April 16:  Here is Dodger on his third ride. He is doing SO good and is also a fast learner! He can be saddled and ridden off cold at a walk/trot/lope, and his stop and backup is getting much better. He is starting to really yield his face and lower his headset when moving off quickly, although he still tries to pick it up at the beginning. He is doing great. After studying his conformation and also riding him I think he might have some gaited horse in him – Surprise! Dodger is very smooth, picks up the correct leads on his own, and wants to do perfectly for his human!

    Dodger has a big heart, is a bit more on the sensitive side but he has made really good progress over the last few months. Though shy at times, Dodger is willing to work through many obstacles and he always puts in a good effort to try new things.


  • Fiona

    Mare, 5 YEARS OLD, Grade, Grey

    Trained By

    Training Progress

    Update July 15:  Fiona has been so much fun to work with. I get to see more of her personality come out with every ride. Fiona is getting braver and more confident when faced with new obstacles or challenges. She has faced many obstacles such as going through water, opening gates and dragged a log. She completed these challenges without any hesitation. We got to play with a cow, and Fiona instantly took to calmly tracking it around the round pen. Out on trails Fiona can start out a bit nervous, but quickly settles down, and can cruise down the trail on a loose rein. Her neck rein has improved greatly, especially in the walk and trot. Fiona responds to the slightest cue to stop, tucking her butt under her almost every time. Her gaits are slow and smooth. Fiona has the tendency to test her rider, and will need a confident, experienced rider to continue her training.

    Update May 28:  Fiona is coming along really nicely. She is proving to be a smart mare with a lot of personality. She is learning how to stay soft to the bridle, and is even starting to neck rein. Her gaits are really smooth, and she is showing the tendency to be a calm riding horse. I am really excited to continue working with this mare for the remaining part of the 100 days.

    Fiona is an intelligent mare who is a joy to be around. She does well with a little guidance and confidence from her handler. Once Fiona is comfortable with a person, a strong bond will form. She is a sensitive mare who is ready to take on her next challenge.


  • Kai

    Mare, 8 YEARS OLD, Grade, Perlino

    Trained By

    Training Progress

    Update July 15:  Kai started as a very shy mare. When I would walk into her pen she would always walk away and avoid facing me. She was also very afraid. Kai is not a good fit for a beginner. She will need a lot of work and most important:  Patience. She learns very quickly but you have to take your time and teach her. She is not the type of horse that responds well to pressure. Up until the end of June, I was having to spend a lot of time with her on building trust. I feel she trusts people more now. Her movement has changed incredibly and she will be a very versatile horse. I believe she will excel in any type of dressage, endurance, roping ranch horse or any discipline that will keep her focused. Kai has a lot of energy and my job has simply been to help her put the energy to positive work and keep her focused. She has never bucked or done anything bad. Again I hope whoever adopts her isn’t a beginner. Or a trail rider. She is an athletic horse and I believe she can be very good in any type of discipline.

    Kai is a bold, smart and athletic mare. She loves to have a task to get her thinking and to help her stay focused. She enjoys new challenges to keep her from becoming board. She excels with a confident handler who can show her the way to new and exciting things.


  • Marcela

    Mare, 8 YEARS OLD, Appaloosa, Dark Brown/Black

    Trained By

    Training Progress

    Update July 15:  Marcela is a cute little mare with a great personality.  She may only be 13.3 hands tall, but she doesn’t know it and feels like a full-sized horse under saddle.  She has become a very athletic and durable mare.  Marcela is low key and relaxed for grooming, saddling, and riding.  But, when you want some energy she will step up and give it to you.  She has a brave, confident demeanor and is always willing to try new things.  Marcela has been a true joy to work because she learns so quickly.  She is fit for a variety of riding levels.  I see this mare being successful whether called on to work the ranch or arena, or to head out on a trail ride.

    Update June 17:  Marcela has been such a dream to work with.  She is always willing and gives a lot of effort to try new things.  If she is a little unsure about something the first time, the next time around she treats it like she has seen it hundreds of times.  I have been riding her in an arena and out on miles of trails.  Whether it is by herself or with other horses, she is content either way.  She has worked with tarps, a flag, pulling logs, etc., and has handled it all like a mature broke horse.  I am excited for her future!  I believe she will have the mind and ability to do a variety of things.

    Update May 13:  Marcela is coming along very well.  She is already very confident in herself and always ready to try something new.  She has been ridden in the arena and out on trails (she loves to explore)!  She is responding well to leg cues, vocal cues, and has even started to neck rein.  This little girl has already been such a fun project, I’m excited for the rest of the 100 days for her to continue to grow in her training.

    Marcela is an attentive and a personable mare. She matches the energy level of the person working with her. She is a sensitive and good minded mare with a lot of try. Marcela really looks to her handler for instruction and direction.


  • Milo

    Gelding, 5 YEARS OLD, Grade, Sorrel

    Trained By

    Training Progress

    Update July 15:  Milo is a 2 1/2 year old gelding who is good looking and good minded, independent, but personable. He’s been started slow and steady and loves to go to work. Great on trails with plenty of athletic potential to develop into a solid versatility, 4-H, cowhorse, or that all-around dependable riding partner.

    Milo is an adorable and lovable gelding. He may be little but he is mighty. He has a great personality and is nice to work with as he is very curious and wants to explore new things. He can become a little reactive at times but will quickly come back around.


  • Zia

    Mare, 5 YEARS OLD, Feral, Bay

    Trained By

    Training Progress

    Update June 19:  Zia has come a long way. She may be remembered by some as a playful, impatient, pushy little filly, but much of that has matured into a quiet and gentle mare who loves to please. She stands tied well and has learned to be respectful of your space. She is the friendliest little thing, always meets you at the gate and loves to go wherever you go. She will bond with her new owner very quickly. She is gentle and has a quiet, soft eye—my 8 year old nephew loves to go out and catch her and ride her around. From day one she took to being ridden. She is light and responsive, will stop on a dime, neck reins and moves off of any leg pressure correctly. At 60 days she has a pretty decent spin, side passes, moves through her walk/trot/lope transition without issue and holds a circle on her own. She will also pick up the correct lead on her own, and is learning flying lead changes. She has been used to move cows, gather/sort, fix fence and rope off of. She watches cows and will drag anything you dally off on. A little horse with a LOT of heart. One of our favorite things about her is her endless good attitude. If she doesn’t seem happy, chances are there’s something wrong/she’s in pain because the Zia we know is always happy to be with you. Whoever gets her is lucky, and if we had the room I would buy her for our kids someday.

    Update April 16:  Here is a picture of Brody and Zia trotting on their 3rd ride, day 6. She is doing incredible—she is brilliant and SO light. He now (at day 9) is able to saddle up and ride off cold—without round pen work—a walk/trot/lope/whoa/back up, she is neck reining and moving off of leg pressure. She is going to be tough to beat!

    Zia can be a charming mare but can also test her handler. She can be a bit difficult at times needing a little incentive to try something new. Once you get her mind focused on learning she really steps up with good effort.


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