Photo By Nancy Loudon Photography

Maria Bendixen started out reining and soon moved onto reined cow horse and ranch versatility. She went to a clinic with a reined cow horse trainer and she was hooked. She has been involved in the industry for the past 10 years, becoming a trainer herself six years ago.

Bendixen said one of her favorite things about the sport is that everyone wants to help each other. She will have other trainers in the north help her; they invite her to come ride with them and she will bring them to her barn to do clinics for her non-pros. It can be very beneficial to be coached by another person and have riding and training tips illustrated in a different way.

Bendixen says she has to travel to Minnesota to be part of the North Central Reined Cow Horse Association. It’s a 2 hour drive, but they have several shows a year: one a month in the summer and a December show since they have access to heated indoor facilities. Bendixen runs her training facility with a show horse maintenance program and lots of lessons. She focuses on non-pros and youth riders. She loves helping and coaching people in the sport. “It’s super rewarding to see [clients] enjoy their horse and be successful.”

Bendixen also does financial consulting for agriculture enterprises. “In any of the ag businesses, I think the biggest thing is to know your cost and figure out how to control them and how to increase your margins,” Bendixen said.

Bendixen’s goals include competing at a premier event when she has the right horse as well as helping her non-pros and youth riders move up from the ranch horse versatility to the reined cow horse shows.

Why Maria Uses RCHTO:

“It’s hard for me to [leave my ranch] and go work for as many people as I would like to. Also, I have farm customers and lessons here to make a living and to be gone that much is difficult. If I can just go online and get a new idea and something else to try, that’s definitely worth it to me and it’s easy!”