Van Hargis is known as one of today’s most versatile horsemen/clinicians. Van has trained and competed in the show arena in events ranging from reining to calf roping, and competed in the rodeo arena in the timed events. Training horses for Van all started over 35 years ago for the wife of world-renowned saddle maker Billy Cook. Van’s practical experiences in the show ring, rodeo arena, and on the ranch coupled with a dynamic speaking ability have made him one of the most exciting presenters and requested clinicians. Van uses each presentation he gives as an opportunity to share how the horse has helped him realize the important lessons in his life. He utilizes the arena and the horse to emphasize the most fundamental lesson: the need for a solid foundation, in horse training as well as everyday life. Van’s ability to use the horse to educate, motivate, inspire, and entertain will encourage you to take a long look at your life, your relationships, and your horsemanship. Not only does Van make lasting impressions on his audiences, he is highly respected among his peers for his horsemanship and his ability to recognize good horsemanship.
He has judged some of the largest ranch horse competitions in the country, and he frequently is asked to judge similar events at horse fairs and horse expos. In fact, Van has judged the very popular Extreme Cowboy Race more times than any other judge of the event. Van was with the popular TV show competition for its first three seasons.
Van Hargis has been featured in several major publications including the Quarter Horse News, Horse and Rider, Western Horseman, and Performance Horse. Van’s articles have also been regular contributions in other national publications such as National Foundation Quarter Horse Journal, Today’s Horse, Horse & Rider, and Horse Talk magazine. His writing has appeared in countless regional and local publications. In 2006, Van was selected by HorseCity.com to be the year-long trainer of the Free Horse Contest. Van selected, started, and hauled “Feature,” an APHA-registered paint gelding.
Van’s versatility extends far beyond his horsemanship and training ability. He frequently is asked to compete in celebrity team roping or cutting horse events, as well as the occasional golf tournament. Van has been a keynote speaker at 4-H and FFH banquets, the Certified Horsemanship National Convention, and other related events; Van has been the guest on literally hundreds of radio programs throughout the country. Van hosts a weekly podcast “Ride Every Stride” on iTunes. He currently has more than 12,000 listeners. This listenership is growing rapidly. He has the ability to deliver an exciting, educational, motivational, inspirational, and entertaining program to audiences regardless of the setting or the topic. From colt-starting clinics to versatility ranch horse demonstrations, presentations on collection to the concept of fear, trust, and confidence, Van finds a way to relate practical methods and messages to everyone. Van believes in empowering the horse and the horseman to help each other in forming a relationship that focuses on success. It is because of his ability and emphasis on always remaining true to the horse that he has been given the title: “Van Hargis, a true horseman.”
“Van has made his place in the horse industry through his ability to work with all types of horses and in all situations. He has a sincere love for the horse and his objective is to educate the horse owner and in turn develop much better horses. He is capable of conveying his message to an audience effectively and is very popular with the crowd during and after the event. We highly recommend him as a presenting clinician at your event and we know you will be well satisfied with the work he does.”