Horse trainer helps abused and neglected animals, starts local riding school

Emily Honeyman of Rangely is putting her CNCC education to good use by helping abused and neglected horses. Courtesy Photo

RANGELY | A young Rangely woman and Colorado Northwestern Community College graduate has found a way to put her passion for horses and CNCC Equine education to good use, both in developing a local small business and working to improve the lives of abused horses.

Emily Honeyman is participating as a trainer for the Colt Challenge, a 45-day training competition hosted by the Colorado Horse Rescue Network and Dumb Friends League Harmony. “I was chosen out of 100 names to be one of the 25 trainers in the challenge. The great thing about being selected for this challenge is that I get to train a young and previously abused and neglected horse to give it a better chance at finding a forever home,” Honeyman said. She doesn’t know much about her assigned colt Basil, only that she is a long yearling, or around one and a half years old, and part of a starvation seizure case. “Basil is doing very well so far. I picked her up Monday, Oct. 15, so I’ve had her for about two weeks. I have been getting her used to all things scary in horse’s eyes such as: tarps, balloons, hula hoops, umbrellas, bridges, etc. I have begun saddling her and getting her broke to the gun so she could be a mounted shooting horse in the future. I have about four or five weeks left in the challenge so I’m moving on to work with her on some more technical skills along with some tricks. This horse is really a joy to work with, she is calm, gentle and smart. She is going to make someone a good horse,” Honeyman said. At the end of the 45-day period every trainer will submit a five minute video on YouTube showcasing the skills they have taught the horses. The public will get to vote on their favorite horse and trainer. “The trainer can win prizes but most importantly some of the horses will then be ready for a fresh start and a second chance at life in a new home,” Honeyman said.
Many of the trainers participating in the competition have received sponsorships to help pay for things like feed and boarding costs and equipment. Honeyman is open to idea of getting outside help saying, “Any sponsor money I receive will be recognized in my training video submitted at the end of the challenge and any money left over will be donated back to the rescue to help more horses in the future.” As part of the training process she has been constructing obstacles which are available for public and college use at Columbine Park.
In addition to helping rescued horses Honeyman has also started a local riding school, Honeyman Horse Services. “I just got started about a year ago on my own. I currently have about 15 students in my program, three of whom are adults. My goal with the school is just to help kids or adults like me. I want them to be able to ride horses and learn even though they don’t have a horse of their own,” she said. Honeyman Horse Services can be found on Facebook to learn more details about the school and lessons.
The 2018 CNCC Equine Training and Management graduate grew up in Golden, Colo., across the street from a horse rescue. “My love of horses started by staring out the window and watching the horses turned out in the field. My parents put me in horse lessons with an instructor when I was six or seven and I rode with that instructor throughout high-school. During my time with that trainer I started apprenticing with her and teaching kids how to ride,” she said. Honeyman decided she wanted to be a trainer after adopting a wild horse from the Bureau of Land Management when she was a sophomore in high school. “When the time came I talked to my school counselor and he showed me a couple different schools that offered equine degrees and that’s how I ended up at CNCC,” she added.
Anyone interested in sponsoring Honeyman in the Colt Challenge can contact her at More information about the other horses and trainers as well as updates on the challenge can be found by following Colorado Horse Rescue Network on Facebook or by visiting their website,