Isle man making a career out of training horses

Joe Midgley
Joe Midgley

For a young Isle man, every day at work gives him an immense sense of pride and achievement.

Joe Midgley, 21, has taken his passion for horses and turned it into a career, using his skills and knowledge to show man and beast working in complete harmony with total respect for one another.

Joe Midgley

Joe Midgley

Joe is a horse trainer who originates from Bradford but moved to Westwoodside eight months ago.

His equine days began at the age of 14 and he explains how it all came about: “Most boys want to be a cowboy when they’re small but when I grew up I was never interested in horses.

“It wasn’t until I was 14 that I started riding. Pretty much every member of my family rode horses but it was English riding. As soon as I discovered western riding I was hooked and I got my own horse at 15.

“I was a bit stubborn and wanted to train the horse everything myself and it all escalated from there.”

Joe Midgley

Joe Midgley

Joe explains that the difference between English and western riding is that English started in battle, with horses expected to be tall, upright and athletic, thus intimidating to the enemy.

Western originated from the necessity to work in large pastures where horses were used to move cattle from one end to the other.

His work nowadays is varied and involves training horses through an understanding of both the physical and psychological characteristics of the animals.

Joe also produces show horses and thinks of each horse as an individual so each are given a training programme tailored to their specific requirements.

“Whether it is a show horse, young horse, or problem horse that you have for us to work with, we pride ourselves on producing a responsive and confident partner for you to progress with through your horsemanship journey,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter how many times you work with a horse, you still get a great sense of achievement and a great sense of pride.”

His career saw Joe originally train with members of the British Barrel racing team.

He then attemted trials for the British Tentpegging team, and before long flew to South Africa to challenge the best youth team in the world.

Joe was soon made captain of the boys’ squad and led his section to a gold, three silver and a bronze medal.

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, and was accepted to begin studying for his WHA judge’s ticket.

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 he was the only UK and non-American selected participant chosen for the Horsemanship Showdown, in which ten young trainers live and work with western horsemaster Chris Cox with the possibility of becoming a full time employee out in Mineral Wells, Texas.

Joe was one of three winners of the showdown, but due to visa restrictions he was unable to move to the United States.

After several months running a successful business, focusing on young, problem and English show horses, Joe began working at Oakridge Quarter Horses in Newark, which is when he made his move to this region, 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.

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 all to enjoy.

You can see Joe in action when he gives his first local demonstration of his work on Sunday August 28 from 11am at Skyers Farm Riding School at Carrside in Epworth.

Visit his dedicated website and click on the contacts page to express your interest in attending this event or for more information on his business.