Meet The Horseman Kevin Meyer
- January 3, 2018
- Tiffany Schwenke
“Kevin Meyer – Mantz Creek Horses was established with the goal of maintaining the traditions of the western stock horse and its place in the modern west. Founded by Kevin Meyer, a professional cowboy and horse trainer with a background in both the traditional working ranch and performance/show disciplines of the equine industry, Mantz Creek strives to bring together all of the best aspects of each to make the most versatile horse available.” Quote from mantzcreekhorses.com
Kevin Meyer is a very humble horseman that I respect very much. A few years ago I asked Kevin to be one of the judges at a ranch rodeo I produce, Wyo Wild Ride And Ranch Rodeo. I put a lot of thought into who I ask to be a judge because that is a critical role in a ranch rodeo. It has to be someone who is a top hand, who is fair, and who is well respected in the cowboy world. Many top hands enter our event and they know their stuff, so your judge needs to be the best of the best. You want your event to go smoothly and a good judge sets the stage for how the whole event goes.
You have probably seen paintings of Kevin Meyer and didn’t even know it, as he is the subject of many of Tim Cox’s beautiful paintings. Tim Cox
I recently asked Kevin Meyer a few questions about his journey becoming the horseman that he is today…
CS: Please tell us about what led you to being a horseman?
KM: I grew up on a cow/calf outfit in southeast Wyoming so of course horses were a big part of everyday life. Horsemanship was not really talked about much, and those who were considered great horsemen were those that could get the most done on a bronc more so than those who made a nice horse. Those that could make a nice horse were certainly revered but there was not a lot of instruction from them, you picked up what you could by watching, and of course learning from your mistakes.
I left college after a few years and started working on outfits around Wyoming; dude ranches, pack stations, cow outfits, anywhere that I didn’t have to be on foot much and by going to these places I got exposed to a lot of different ways of doing things that I didn’t know existed. Being around folks that thought about the horses as the job rather than as a tool to do a job really shifted my perspective and my approach.
I started to take in an outside horse or two here or there and a few colts while I was working other jobs, just to make some extra money, and one day I realized that those horses were handier than the older horses the ranches were providing for me.
I always found myself drifting toward people who were focused on making good horses and was always thinking about the process of training and trying to improve what I was doing. I found the more I focused on the horses the easier the everyday tasks of ranching got. I tried training full time a couple different times before getting a job at Wagonhound Land and Livestock where I was introduced to the performance horse industry.
That is where I really started to formulate my program of trying to train horses to have the precision of performance horses with the mental attitude of using ranch horses. Once I decided to break out on my own I tried to continue developing that ideology.
CS: Did you have a mentor who influenced you?
KM: I never really had one long term mentor. I moved around a lot and never really committed to work for or with anyone for a long period of time. I never went to any clinics or watched many videos. But I listened to everyone who would spend a little time visiting with me and I watched everyone I was around horseback. I have had many people help me along the way, from many different disciplines, some of them know they helped and others don’t!
CS: Please tell us about when you decided to go out on your own.
KM: I was running the horse division of Wagonhound and the direction they were going with their program was different from what I was really interested doing. I had always wanted to have my own outfit and it seemed like a good spot to launch that endeavor. I started my own training facility and after a couple of years an opportunity to lease some summer ground came up and I expanded into that as well.
CS: What are some of your most special accomplishments or milestones that have made an impact on your path as a horseman?
KM: I guess accomplishments are really in the eyes of the beholder. I have been very lucky to be a part of training some pretty exceptional horses that have gone on to do some pretty cool things. I have started colts that have excelled in the show arenas as well as on ranches. I find the greatest satisfaction in seeing those horses do well. I am also proud of the people I have had work for me, or attend some of my clinics, go on to be successful in the horse and ranching industries.
Having people that I respect and have learned from compliment horses I have ridden, really, I guess, is the one thing that stands out to me more than anything else.
Check back with Cavvy Savvy for future articles with more about Kevin Meyer with highlights of his horsemanship techniques and training principles.
In the meantime check out Kevin Meyer – Mantz Creek Horses
About Tiffany Schwenke
My family has been ranching and raising horses for over 100 years. We raise, train, and market AQHA horses at North Four Mile Creek Horse Ranch. We produce the annual event WYO WILD RIDE RANCH RODEO. I am a wife and a mother to 3 amazing...