Alesa Jones: cowgirl, horse-trainer, top hand
- January 24, 2017
- Savanna Simmons
Alesa Jones is blazing her own trail as a horse-trainer in a primarily male-dominated industry. She has a unique way of starting colts and is a force at ranch rodeos throughout Nebraska and Wyoming. The following is an interview with Alesa about her impressive 2016 ranch rodeo season, her phenomenal mare, and her successful training methods.
So who are you, and what do you do? I am Alesa Jones, a mother and horse trainer.
What services do you offer clients? I offer colt starting, tune ups for started horses, lessons, and horse boarding.
Tell me about your unique way of starting colts. I match the horses body language with mine. With some I adjust myself depending on the colt and the situation. I use clicks, kisses, and breathing techniques. Most important to me is getting body control on the ground. Then, once I’m on the colt has an idea of how to move, and trusts me. I use the same cues once mounted to indicate what I would like to receive from the horse as I implemented while working from the ground.
Why do you think this way of starting horses has been successful for you? I would say there are lots of different ways to start colts. Through trail and error, I have found the ways that work best for me. With that being said, I still try new things and believe you can learn something from everyone.
From whom did you learn your trade? I have learned from lots of different people. My mom Kerry, 4-H leaders Glenda and Hans, college professor Dick, plus many others. In the end, I have learned so much from getting out there and doing anything and everything with the horses, all the different types of colts that I am around.
You show and participate in ranch rodeos yourself, how does this help your skills within your horse training business? Ranch rodeoing is a very competitive sport. Things happen very fast. You can plan your best “A” game, but once in the arena you have to be able to adjust to plan X, Y, and Z. In the training business, I really like to be able to move and isolate any part of the horses body or move fluently as a whole. You have to be able to see how a colt will react to a pressure situation and a lot of the time you have to create them in the training pen so when you are in a situation that’s a little hairy, you know you have control and can work your colt through it.
You have had a very successful year with your personal horse. Tell me about her. Her registered name is HCJ NINE LIL BUTTONS, a.k.a. “Buttons”. She is an amazing little mare that has offered me so much. I got her from a ranch I used to break colts for. I got her as a weanling and started her in a feedlot.
She is very cowy and extremely athletic. She is sensitive, soft, smooth to ride, and seems to give her all to you in the arena. I have shown her in ranch horse shows, ranch versatility, AQHA shows, 4-H, open, team roping , cuttings, and ranch rodeos. I didn’t get to go a lot of places this year but everywhere I did take her to she helped me receive Top Hand or Top Horse.
What events did you attend this year and what awards did you receive?
Wyo Wild Ride Ranch Rodeo, Western States Ranch Rodeo Association/Women’s Ranch Rodeo Association Top Horse and Top Hand
Double A Feeds WSRRA Women’s Ranch Rodeo Top Horse
Lewellen WSRRA Open Ranch Rodeo Top Horse, and Women’s Ranch Rodeo Top Horse, WRRA Finals Top Horse, Loveland, Colorado
About Savanna Simmons
I'm Savanna Simmons and I live north of Lusk, Wyoming, on the Four Three Ranch with my husband Boe and our sons, Brindle and Roan. I grew up evolving my horsemanship with clinicians like Ray Hunt, Joe Wolter, and Jack Brainard, but not within a...