Jeff Barnes was born in central Illinois. As a small-town boy, he first learned about horses with a friend’s feisty Shet-land pony. Jeff advanced his horsemanship skills by helping round-up and re-train wintering dude ranch horses until he left Illinois to work in the construction industry in Arizona. While in the southwest, Jeff assisted an outfitter with horse-back hunting trips into New Mexico’s wilderness areas. Upon moving to Colorado, he added cattle work, cattle drives and roping and branding skills to his horsemanship portfolio. In 2002, the advent of the new Versatility Ranch Horse event caught Jeff’s interest, bringing together a lifetime of horse experience. By 2004, he had put an RMQHA Ranch Horse Champion on one horse and by 2006 he put an RMQHA Ranch Horse Champion and Supreme Ranch Horse Champion on another horse. In addition to performance riding, Jeff special-izes in cattle work and ranch roping. Jeff is well-spoken with an easy-going and encouraging teaching style. His focus is on helping the intermediate to ad-vanced riders develop positive habits, slow down their hands and horses, and creating a riding situation that allows both rider and horse to perform correctly with a solid understanding between them. Once the rider and horse team is on the same page, the maneuvers and skills can be brought up to a recreational or competition level. This approach results in a softer, more willing horse that understand it’s job and can be more successful in responding to the rider’s expectations and end goals.