The Third Annual Horsemen’s Re-Union is now in the books.

This year, Martin and Jennifer Black participated alongside an expert group of international horsemen and -women from the United States, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Argentina, Israel and Spain.

Over the course of the six-day event, the 20 trainers started 40 2- and 3-year-olds from Rowly and Cathie Twisselmans’ Madonna Inn Quarter Horses in Santa Margarita, California.

Some trainers worked from horseback, some worked afoot, while others worked barefoot. What? Yes. The Argentines worked their horses for the entire six days without wearing shoes or socks.

Though the methods, and attire, used to gentle and start the horses varied, Martin noted that, “Good horsemanship is good horsemanship, and there’s no shortage of that at this event.”

Unlike other colt starting events, Horsemen’s Re-Union is not a competition– trainers have the opportunity to help each other out if someone hits a snag with his or her horse.

The collaborative nature of the event lent itself well to some of the more challenging horses, like one of Shamus Haws’ colts. When he got a little bothered on day two, Martin and Shamus were able to work together to get the horse to a good and safe place. The same scenario, horseman helping horseman, played out several times with different horses and trainers over the course of the event.

In a new twist this year, the colt sale was held a day early so those who purchased a horse would have the last day’s training session with the colt and the horseman who started it.

Two colts ended up coming back to the Black’s Y6 after the event, and continue to show great progress as all-around ranch horses.