Dave was born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and relocated to Colorado at an early age. As a kid, Dave spent every summer working on a family farm and cattle ranch located in the Nebraska Sandhills. These early experiences on the ranch, riding horses and working cattle, solidified Dave’s interest in becoming an accomplished horseman, and prompted his interest in pursuing a career in the livestock industry.
At the age of ten, Dave started competing in Little Britches rodeo, and with savings earned from a local barn job, purchased his first horse. Looking for a place to board his new purchase, he met and started working for Preston Houtchen’s, a prominent horse trainer and dealer. From the age of ten through High School, Dave worked for Preston straightening out horses, starting colts, and showing horses in the sale ring at the many country auctions that were prevalent during the ’60s and ’70s.
To complement his relationship with Preston, Dave furthered his experience and knowledge by involving himself in varied activities prior to graduating from High School. Dave spent four consecutive summers starting colts for the Peppy Blue Dot Ranch in Parker, Colorado. Being slight in weight and stature, Dave was also fortunate to spend time working for several top trainers at the old Centennial race track, working his way through the ranks as a groom, bug boy, and apprentice jockey. Many evenings were also spent riding turn back horses under the watchful eye of cutting horse trainer Jim Warner. Dave also found the time to run his own horse business, which involved buying and selling horses, starting colts, and helping folks with their problem horses. And last but not least, Dave competed all four years on the High School Rodeo team.
Dave entered Colorado State University in 1972 to further his knowledge in the equine and livestock industry. He took every equine and horsemanship class they had to offer, and successfully graduated in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in animal nutrition, and a master’s degree in agricultural economics. During his college days, Dave stayed active by competing in college rodeos, working each summer for the “Roundup Riders of the Rockies” and starting colts for a local breeder. He also continued his colt starting and problem solving services for local weekend warriors in the Fort Collins, Colorado area.
Relocating to Arizona after college, Dave pursued a career in Ag-Banking, while at the same time keeping his passion for horses intact by studying and mentoring with the early pioneers of Natural Horsemanship and applying these principles to his colt starting and problem solving program. Dave spent the last ten years putting on schools and clinics, as well as training outside horses. The lifelong knowledge gained from “Old timers,” “Pioneers of Natural Horsemanship,” “Contemporary Natural Horsemen,” “Dave’s Schools, Clinics and Training Program,” and especially the horses he has learned from over a lifetime, is the foundation of Dave’s “Horse Sensible Horsemanship” program.