Alumni Profiles Detail

Hayden Hadley ('13)

Hayden competed on two horses in the Senior Reining at the Black Hills Stock Show in Rapid City, South Dakota, in January 2015. Both horses showed well, but he won on the horse Pepalan, owned by Te Aune of Glasgow, Montana. See his winning ride here:

Dean Johnson

Dean graduated with a major in equine management from RMC and is now employed at the Dry Well Ranch Performance Horses and Prairie Industries, LLC in Vale, S.D. Dean is a professional horse trainer/rancher and owner/operator of a manufacturing company, Prairie Industries, as well as an equine instructor at National American University.

Highlights: Coaching my clients and watching them succeed. Growing a business from scratch to a successful national business. Equine studies helped me in my life today by providing the opportunity to excel with hard work, dedication, consistency, and integrity.

Advice for equestrian students: The quality of life skills you learn is unmatched. You learn to listen, lead, and follow. You learn that communication is the key to success, no matter what the endeavor. The network of faculty and friends you develop at RMC will be there for you for the rest of your life.

Sarah Newton-Cromwell

Sarah graduated from RMC in 2003, with majors in equestrian studies, training and equitation, and English literature. She has completed her M.S. in Equine Education at Middle Tennessee State University. She currently works at MTSU in the Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies. She is PATHint.,EFMHA, and EAGALA certified.

About her work: Because of my equine studies degree, I have never had difficulty finding work in therapeutic riding. Many in the field have less experience with horses, and I have a huge competitive edge over other potential hires.

Accomplishments: In 2009, I became an advanced instructor through PATH. The skills I learned in my equine studies major were hugely helpful in helping me to pass such a comprehensive exam. I have helped one of my students to realize her dream of competing in para-dressage. She started being barely able to trot on a horse and now can independently walk, trot and canter, and oversee all the other details of horse ownership. She has gone on to be a competitive para-dressage rider who now owns her own horse and rides daily.

Advice for equestrian students: Enjoy every moment, it's a blast. And even when you are taking a class you think has no relationship to what you eventually want to do, pay attention because you never know what random tidbit you will end up using in your career. I am so glad I attended RMC. The wonderful relationships with faculty and fellow students really helped me blossom and gain confidence to attain the level of employment I have. I received a well-rounded education that has really helped me excel in my field.

Tom Ramlow

Tom graduated from RMC with a major in equestrian studies, training, and instruction in 2001. In 2007, he completed his teacher certification and a master's of education at Montana State University-Billings. He is now employed at Ramlow Performance Horses in Huntley, Mont.

About his work: I run my own training and instruction business at Creekside Ranch. I run it full-time during the summer months and on the weekends during the school year, since I am also an elementary teacher.

Accomplishments: Some highlights in my career have been interning with Don Murphy, a very well-known reining and working cowhorse trainer. Another highlight was working as an assistant trainer for Todd Crawford after graduating from RMC.

Advice for equestrian students: My advice to students wanting to be trainers is to ride as many horses of various levels of training as possible. If you have the opportunity to go on an internship, I would definitely take advantage of it. Internships are a great test of whether training day in and day out is truly for you.

I believe that going through the equestrian program helped give me the opportunities to work with amazing trainers, realize the amount of time and commitment it takes to be a trainer, and provide me the skills to manage my horse business.

Sarah Duncan

Sarah graduated from RMC in December 2003 with majors in biology and equestrian studies. Today, she is using the skills learned at RMC with Dragonfly Farm in Atlanta, Ga.

About her work: I am the rider and assistant trainer at Dragonfly Farm. I also freelance and teach around metro Atlanta. I am a registered veterinary technician and I work part-time at a small animal practice in surgery and critical care.

My equestrian studies degree was the foundation for my horsemanship skills and work ethic. I learned equestrian isn't just a hobby, but a lifetime commitment. It instilled practice, discipline, and patience in everything I do.

Accomplishments: A career highlight is my involvement in a high volume, reputable hunter/jumper training facility for many years. There is great satisfaction in bringing along young, green horses and the chance to compete in upper level show jumping.

Advice for equestrian students: Always consider the horse first. You must be willing and strong enough to shed tears, feel discouraged, and still pick yourself up at the end of the day. It can be a grueling sport, but very rewarding when done correctly. It's not a line of work for the lazy or weak minded. Set goals and reach them.

Stephanie Reed

Stephanie, a 2007 RMC grad, majored in equestrian studies, with an emphasis on equitation and training. She now lives in Dale, Texas and is self-employed at Symphony Sporthorses and co-chair of the American Trakehner Association Convention Committee.

About her work: Our farm specializes in the breeding and sales of Trakehner horses. We are actively involved in promoting the Trakehner horse throughout North America through education, clinics, inspections, and by showing in the USDF Breeder’s Championship Series.

Advice for equestrian students: Become well-rounded. If you are a Western rider, take the English courses, and vice versa. Potential employers appreciate a well-rounded horseman, and diversity can open up more employment opportunities in the future.

When you graduate, be patient. It took me four years to become a fully independent barn. Before that, I worked for a saddle shop and a heat tracing systems company. Your dreams can come true in time, if you show enough determination.

Holly Byers

Holly, a 2011 RMC graduate, majored in psychology and therapeutic riding. She is now a full-time PATH International therapeutic horsemanship instructor, employed with Reins of Life in South Bend/Michigan City, Ind.

Accomplishments: After graduation, I was hired as a program counselor at Victory Junction Camp in North Carolina, one of the largest camps for children with disabilities and life threatening diseases in the country. After working in North Carolina, I was given the opportunity to move back to Corpus Christi, Texas, and work at Glenoak Therapeutic Riding Center (where I had previously done my internship) as a certified PATH International instructor.

Advice for equestrian students: Be up for the challenge! The program and the teachers challenge you to push your limits and become an all-around strong trainer, instructor, and person. The four years you spend at RMC will only be as educational as you let them be, so go in with an open mind and soak up everything that the wonderful faculty members have to offer.

Stacy Pierson graduated from RMC in 2007 with a bachelor's of science in equestrian science, majoring in training, riding instruction, and equitation. She is now self-employed at Pierson Performance Horses in Clayton, Del.

Accomplishments: I had the opportunity to be assistant trainer for a Halter Horse Ranch, Fossil Gate Farms, Texas, where they stand the #1 AQHA Halter sire and produce world champions.

RMC's equestrian program gave me a great base to start my career. The program is one of the most in-depth and complete equestrian programs offered. The professors truly care, and they strive to see their students succeed in the equine world.

Advice for equestrian students: Be prepared to work harder than you've ever worked before and take advantage of every opportunity to learn. I did two internships so I could learn from successful equestrian professionals.


Scott Neuman
Director of Equine Studies