With an hour long dude ride in the Rocky Mountains on a horse named Fearless Fred (Pictured on right). The thought of riding around horseback in the great outdoors seemed to me "as good as it gets." The ride had sparked my interest in the equine world and that summer I found a job working on a dude ranch outside of Estes Park, Colorado. This is how I spent my High School years.

I moved to California in 1973 and landed a job cleaning stalls at a Horse Stable. The facility had several horse trainers working at it, Don Murphy, Vern Lawerence and Gary Bellenfant. Watching them sparked my interest to become a horse trainer. A horse trader, Steve Thrapp noticed my interest and offered me a job starting colts. Steve bought and sold show horses for stock and pleasure shows. He also bought young horses that we started, trained, and sold. I rode horses through the horse sales and had the opportunity to show as well.

In 1977 Steve moved to Oregon and I went along. I met Heidi Coppinger who later became the love of my life. We married in 1979. In 1980 we moved to the Jack Ranch a beautiful 75,000 acre ranch outside of Paso Robles, CA. I started Jack and Phoebe Cooke's young horses. My interest in cutting horses was sparked by a steady influx of cutting horse trainers and great horses visiting the ranch. I spent time with Don Dodge, Stan Fonsen, Lindy Burch, Bobby Ingersoll, Gary Bellenfant and many more great horse trainers in the industry. We spent 13 years on the ranch enjoying our children Scott and Torie. A strong foundation was formed watching, training and showing horses.

In 1992 we moved to Northern California to work for Fritz Strain in Arbuckle, CA. Our association and friendship with Edie Strain Fenimore gave me the opportunity to ride and show more great horses. In 1994 Strain Ranches shut down their horse program and I set out to train horses on my own. My association with many other horse trainers has provided me with the support I needed to make it work.

Finally, in 2003 Heidi and I bought our own facility. It was an established horse training facility so we were able to work and make improvements as time permitted. We are very proud of our facility and all the people that have helped to build it into the facility it is today.


We feel very fortunate to live in an area where feed prices, land prices, and the availability of cattle make it easier to keep our overhead down. However each horse has special needs. Therefore prices may vary depending upon the needs of an individual. The prices listed are minimums and may vary depending on special needs. All prices will be negotiated privately upon a horses arrival.

COLT STARTING » We feel that it takes 60 to 90 days to prepare a colt to work cattle. We have a rate for that preparation. I want my colts to understand how to walk, trot and lope circles controlled and collected. Next they are taught to stop, back and turn with the same collection. Next they are taken to a cow and all the techniques we have taught them are used to work the cow. I have tried other ways but this has proven to be the shortest route to success in getting a colt started on a cow. If your colt is not ready to work cattle then you will not be charged for cattle until he has learned the required techniques.

THE BASICS » These really begin in the starting of a colt. I feel that the first 60 to 90 days of training should be the same whether we are starting a colt to cut, rein or be a trail horse. All horses need to understand how to be handled on the ground or on their back without resisting. Once that is accomplished they are then shown cattle. Normally for 2 year olds that starts with one cow at a time. This keeps the pressure off the colt and allows him to show his interest in the cow. If a colt is properly prepared this often happens on their first work. As soon as a colt is ready we start him on cattle. This could be at 45 days or as long as 90 days depending on his temperament and how well he is prepared on arrival.

CUTTING HORSE TRAINING » This normally begins at the start of the 3 year old year. These colts need to see more cattle and especially more fresh cattle. The 3 year old year requires more work and more care than any other year in a cutting horse. Not only at home but away at shows to mentally prepare them for the Fall of their 3 year old year.

FINISHED HORSE TRAINING » These horses usually don't need as many cattle as the colts but they need fresh cattle.


What makes a good facility even better? Great people! Here at MWTS we are fortunate enough to have a great group of people working. This makes our work days productive and fun. Here is a little info about each of our team members because without them none of this would be possible.


40 years of experience in the horse business literally learning it from the ground up. I began by cleaning stalls and eventually made my own business. This experience has provided me with an understanding of horses as well as what the customer wants and expects. It has been our goal to do everything in our power to achieve what the customer wants.

Favs: Tri-Tip, Fishing, and Fresh Cattle


Loves gardening, riding, and showing a good horse. She is the captain of the flower beds, lawns and trees. Her pride in the grounds shows everywhere you look. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Favs: Flowers, Good Horses, and Her Family


(Never a dull moment) Tara's upbeat personality agrees with us and the horses. Everyday she strives to keep the horses groomed, saddled and mentally and physically prepared. She always has a smile on her face and is a great asset to our program.

Favs: Showing, Dressing Up, and Making Fun of Mike

PH: (530) 438-2523|Email Us|4185 Sutton Road Maxwell Ca 95955
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