Brenda Brown brings expertise, passion to the riding community
By Brooke Constance White
Training performance horses and riders has never been just a job for Brenda Brown—it’s her entire life. Even though she’s retired from her full-time job in the industry, she’s not ready to be done just yet.
Brown spent her formative years living and breathing horses 24/7. Her father was a horse trainer and their family spent years showing and competing all over the country. In 1981, when Brown was fresh out of high school, she followed in his footsteps and started her own horse training and coaching business.
Although she’s moved on from the business she ran for 40 years, she’s still an active judge for the National Reining Horse Association and the National Reined Cow Horse Association, and offers private riding clinics and lessons in the Big Sky area.
“I still have a lot to offer and 40 years of experience under my belt that I can share,” Brown says, adding that although she doesn’t have any of her own horses or a facility to use anymore, she’s able to travel to local facilities or train someone at their home. “I love teaching and coaching and I know there are people out there who I could still be of good service to.”
For Brown, the most rewarding thing about coaching and training is that moment of clarity during a lesson—when a phrase or technique makes sense to a student.
“There are so many different ways to teach or explain different riding techniques, so finding the way they connect with it is great,” Brown says. “It’s so rewarding to see them get better and better at a sport that is truly so personal between you and your horse. It’s moments when my knowledge and experience makes the horseback riding experience better for someone—that’s why I do what I do.”
Although she spent most of her career training horses and riders for competing and performance, she’s also interested in offering riding lessons and clinics to those who have limited experience on a horse.
“I have a horse show background and specialize in competitions but I really just want to help people learn how to ride horses better, whether it’s their first time on one for their hundredth time,” she said.
Having recently relocated to Big Sky full time, Brenda and her partner Don, are enjoying the beauty the area and people have to offer.
“We’ve been coming to Big Sky several times a year for about eight years, to ski in the winter and for hiking the and [the] PBR event in the summer, and had decided that this is where we wanted to retire,” Brown said.
Within her busy teaching schedule, the couple fill their free time skiing, hiking and mountain biking.
“Now that we’re retired, we’re going to continue doing the things we love doing and enjoying all that Big Sky has to offer,” Brown says.