Trainer works to prepare horse for ‘Trainer’s Challenge of the Unwanted Horse’

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Click here to read more about the Trainer’s Challenge of the Unwanted Horse

by Joni Astrup

Associate Editor

Aubreanne Dockter, of Nowthen, is working with a 4-year-old mustang cross named Jojo, preparing her for the Trainer’s Challenge of the Unwanted Horse.

Aubreanne Dockter and JoJo competed at the OutWest Ranch show in Buffalo earlier this summer. Photo by Mary  Knack
Aubreanne Dockter and Jojo competed at the OutWest Ranch show in Buffalo earlier this summer. Photo by Mary Knack

The Sept. 20 event will showcase horses like Jojo and offer them a second chance. The Trainer’s Challenge is put on Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation in Zimmerman, which also owns Jojo.

Jojo’s mother, Ramona, was taken in from a Tower, Minnesota, humane case before she was born.

“She, herself, has never experienced any mistreatment or neglect,” Dockter said of Jojo.

Jojo is being housed at Horse Play Ranch in Corcoran, where Dockter works as the manager and trainer. Dockter has been training Jojo since May and said the horse is doing well.

“She’s interesting. She’s very trusting, very friendly, but very much a boss mare. She wants to have control of things and will do what she can to get it, but she also knows her limits, too,” Dockter said.

She would like to see someone with a strong personality and who is not easily intimidated adopt Jojo. She said Jojo would make a good trail or show horse.

“With a few more miles on her, I think she would even be a good beginner horse,” Dockter said.

Dockter, who grew up between Elk River and Big Lake, has had horses for nearly 30 years.

She has been training and caring for horses professionally for more than 15 years.

“It’s just something I’ve always loved and had a passion for,” she said.

Dockter participated in the Trainer’s Challenge of the Unwanted Horse for the first time last year, working with a horse named Sparrow who had been abused.

Trainers volunteer their time. Dockter said it’s a great way to help the horses and she enjoys the challenge.

“I learned a ton from the horse I had (last year) and enjoyed the whole experience,” she said. “Plus, it benefits the horses. It’s always more about the horses than it is about us.”