Red Deer County’s Samantha Humphreys grooms Docs Explosive Man, the horse she is training for the Rocking Heart Ranch Colt Starting Challenge. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Red Deer County horse trainer hopes to be named the best

Red Deer County’s Samantha Humphreys is looking to be the best horse trainer in Western Canada.

Humphreys, 24, has been riding since she was 12.

“My parents thought it was just that little girl phase where I wanted to ride a pony, but I just got hooked,” said Humphreys.

After working with horses for a bit in Ontario, where she grew up, she travelled to Alberta to study horse training and coaching at Olds College. Humphreys started her own training business in 2013, Dreamscape Horsemanship, at a ranch just north of Markerville after graduating.

“Seeing the change in each horse for the time we have them, that’s the reward,” she said. “Each horse is a different individual … and they all have their own personalities, quirks and spots where they need help.”

Humphreys and nine others from Alberta and British Columbia will compete for the title of Trainer of the Year at the Rocking Heart Ranch Colt Starting Challenge on Sept. 16.

“To be one of those 10 trainers that gets picked out of the hundreds that applied is a pretty big honour.”

Trainers received randomly selected horses on June 24 and have since spent hours breaking them under saddle and teaching them how to work, load and be a great family horse.

Humphreys has competed in the challenge before, finishing third in 2015. The horse she has this year is Docs Explosive Man – or Doc for short – and it’s a completely different animal than the one she had two years ago, she said.

“The horse I had last time was really easy to work with. I pretty much threw the saddle on his back, got on and rode – there was really no teaching him anything, he just knew.

“The one I have this time around is a little more on the timid side so things can bother him really easily,” said Humphreys.

This will be the first time Doc is performing in front of a crowd, which is something she hopes he’ll be OK with.

“There’s going to be people moving, arms waving and people screaming; that’s probably going to bother him the most.”

Trainers will bring the horses through a routine which will then be judged by a panel. After the winners are announced the horses will be auctioned off.

“It’s kind of a bittersweet day because they get auctioned off, you load them up in somebody else’s trailer and watch them drive away.

“It’s kind of like a bunch of little kids. They go off to school, you teach them all these things then you see them fly the coup because they’re grown up,” she said.

For more information on the challenge, you can visit


Red Deer County’s Samantha Humphreys rides Docs Explosive Man, the horse she is training for the Rocking Heart Ranch Colt Starting Challenge. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Just Posted

Joshua Frank takes stand in murder trial

Joshua Frank testifies he had no idea Klaus family would be murdered

Doctor first in Red Deer to offer Mohs surgical suite for skin cancer

A local doctor says a skin cancer surgery newly offered locally will… Continue reading

Lacombe family in TV cooking contest needs Central Albertan votes

The Gustafsons are in the running to win a trip to Italy

Methamphetamine, THC found in half-million dollar seizure and Bowden Institution

Nearly half a million dollars worth of drugs and other contraband was… Continue reading

Community support needed to bring Canadian Finals Rodeo to Red Deer

Bid from Westerner Park and Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce

WATCH: National women’s hockey team in Red Deer

Before heading to next year’s Olympics in South Korea, the women’s national… Continue reading

New columnist joining Advocate team

Market Gypsy starts on November 30

Volunteer with victim services in Red Deer

Learn more at info session on Nov. 27

Updated: Missing Sylvan Lake women found

Women were reported missing earlier this week

Liberals propose billions for affordable housing, including individual benefits

A Liberal government fond of promising help for those working hard to… Continue reading

Alberta Party sees growth in Central Alberta

Greg Clark addressed health care needs addressed in Red Deer

Ponoka council freezes Ponoka Fire Department spending

All discretionary spending frozen until full budget numbers are presented

WATCH: Ponoka’s Festival of Trees sees continued support

Three days of celebration and fundraising held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month