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Joe Midgley

Passionate About Inspiring Others

"I realised very quickly how much respect I had for Joe. There aren't many people in the world doing what he does. Horses can't talk to us, they need people like Joe to do it for them"

                                                            - Leslie Desmond

                                                                                            Co author of True horsemanship through feel with Bill Dorrance

Joe's equine days began at the age of 14 where he took to western riding at the hands of an old Cowboy who had returned from the USA and opened a western riding school near York. Richard was an old school cowboy, teaching Joe the fundamentals of starting horses, working with behavioural problems and using a horse to do a job. Attending his first show under Richards tuition, this was the spark of a lifelong career and passion for horses. Richard returned to the United states to live, and so Joe's education started to move more towards the western performace horses. Reining, trail, ranch etc.

                   In 2011 Joe was scouted to attend trials for the British Tentpegging team. For those unfamiliar, Tentpegging is a military sport in which riders must remove a tentpeg from the ground at high speed while in sync with their teammates Joe was selected for the GB team  and before long flew to South Africa to challenge the best youth team in the world. Joe was made Captain of the Boys squad and led his section to a Gold, 3 Silver and a Bronze medal. While in South Africa, Joe got to spend time with Dalene Baksa, who is not only one of the best tentpegging coaches in the world, she is an excellent horsewoman and trainer. Joe would tell you he learned more about how to be a good person from Dalene than he ever did about tentpegging!

                   Returning to his passion for western riding Joe was crowned the Western Horsemans Association of Great Britains Youth Champion of 2012, and the following year having grown out of youth, became the Western Horsemans association of Great Britain's Senior showing Champion in 2013.

                     In 2013, Joe began competing at WES (Western Equestrian Society) and in just two events, had won the Youth, Novice and Open high points.


In November 2013 Joe was the only UK and non-american selected participant chosen for the Horsemanship Showdown, in which 10 young trainers live and work with Western Horsemaster Chris Cox with the possibility of becoming a full time employee out in Mineral Wells, Texas. The time with Chris opened the door to a horses mind for Joe, learning to understand the subtleties of communication that a horse will offer. Joe started a wild mustang belonging to Rodeo legend Larry Mahan under Chris' tutelage, and to this day carries forward the lessons he learned from that horse. Joe also got to spend time learning about cutting and working cow horses. Training horses to have real purpose in their work. Joe also got some more experience roping, something he hadn't done since learning from Richard many years before.

Joe was one of 3 winners of the showdown, but due to visa restrictions he was unable to move to the US. Maintaining a friendship with Chris and his family, Joe was there to see Chris win his 4th world championship at road to the horse and has visits the Diamond double C off camera whenever he is in Texas.


Joe started his own business at 19, when he returned from the showdown. Working at a number of places and getting involved with various disciplines in the English riding world. Most notably, Joe started all the Warmbloods at Bramley Stud in 2015, before they went into training for Grand Prix with the Moody's. Joe also had horses compete at the British Dressage national championships and the Great Yorkshire show.


In 2016 Joe began working at Oakridge Quarter Horses and became assistant trainer at the world class facility. Whilst at Oakridge Joe trained, and showed several top quality show horses in the sport of reining under the guidance of Lee Rutter. Joe learned a great deal about western competition and the world of showing during this year, and is ever grateful to Lee for sharing his knowledge of the sport.

In 2017 Joe had his first article published in Western Horse UK titled 'Getting a horse to be truly soft', followed up in the next issue with 'Problem Horse, Problem Human' Joe continued to write for Western Horse UK for many years, as well as Horsemanship magazine and  WES news.

In and amongst various trips to the US and working in the UK Joe met Buck Brannaman. Joe and Buck spoke at length on various topics within horsemanship and after that, Joe began to pursue advancement within the traditions of the buckaroo style of horsemanship. Joe attended every Buck Brannaman clinic he could moving forward. The most significant part of this style is building a foundation of trust and respect that really gets a horse on the pay roll. Joe looks at not just getting a horse to do a job, but to get them passionate about that job!

In 2018, Joe was invited to compete in 'Considering the Horse' in Poland. This is a colt starting competition in which wild horses are trained in front of an audience. Joe voiced his opinion and concerns of the welfare of these horses, and caused quite the commotion during his time with the mic. During the final test, which is an obstacle course, the rules were changed mid way through Joe's run so that he and his horse Braveheart could not beat the opposing horse, who was being ridden. After that riding horse gave up and laid down Joe tried to buy Braveheart, but was refused.


In 2019 was founded! Joe could finally have a platform to engage with horse owners all around the world. There is 100s hours worth of video on various topics, ranging from foal handling through to riding, or problem rehabilitation!

In 2022 Joe passed the exam and became a WES instructor. This means he is a certified clinician under the Western Equestrian Society and can run affiliated clinics. In 2023 Joe taught alongside his old mentor Lee Rutter at the WES National camp.

Sovereign Quarter horses has been one of the UKs best known breeders of American Quarter horses since they opened their doors. Producing numerous European champions and breeding the finest quality bloodlines. In 2022, they started using Joe to halter train their foals after weaning. 

2022/2023 saw Joe become an ambassador for Westgate labs. To anyone that doesn't know, Westgate is the UK's authority on equine parasite control. Since 1999 Westgate has been leading the field in helping horse owners to manage the parasite control of their horses and other grazing animals. The laboratory offers a quick, easy to use, great value postal worm count service that enables carers and keepers to target the wormers given to horses and keep them as healthy as possible.

In 2023 Joe attended a clinic with Leslie Desmond, who literally wrote the book on good horsemanship with Bill Dorrance. Joe only attended as a spectator, but after speaking to him, Leslie asked Joe to speak at the clinic. Joe did a talk on facial nerves and the potential damage a badly fitting or overtight noseband can do. Leslie's reaction is quoted at the top of this page.

Today, Joe trains horses of all disciplines, at all levels from happy hackers to national level show horses. Always with the intent on developing a soft, supple partner for you to enjoy. Joe has been asked to write articles for magazines, speak at conferences as well as hold private demonstrations and talks for equestrian centre staff. If you think Joe can be of help to you and your horses, please do get in touch.

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