Local horse ranch reins in real-life cowboys

“Law” Smoller perches comfortably atop his horse as he herds in some cattle at Alpine Ridge Arena in Elkhorn. Smoller was one of several “cowboys” that came out to the arena in Elkhorn for an equine clinic demonstrating how to “work” cattle.

By Bob Peryea


“Bringing the West to the Midwest.”

That’s how professional cowboys Steve Lundean and Aaron Englund describe their equine clinics.

The pair teach horses and their owners to “work” cattle, the same way they would on a ranch or during a cattle drive.

“We hold cattle work clinics every Friday,” Englund, of Hales Corners, said from astride his horse. “We teach competitive cattle work or just for pleasure.”

“Many of these horses haven’t been near cattle before,” Lundean, of Slinger, explained as he positioned himself and other riders to “cut out” a steer, take a single animal out of the herd.

Their clinics, held at Alpine Ridge Arena located at W3143 County Road D in Elkhorn, are designed for beginners or advanced riders and horses.

Lundean and Englund teach “vaquero horsemanship,” a style which emphasizes a gentle, natural method of horse training.

Speaking of the cattle herd the pair was working with Saturday, Lundean said, “These steer are provided by Quarter Circle Seven Ranch in Morengo, Illinois. These are grass-fed, pasture raised steer.” He gestured toward about 20 cattle, encouraging folks to contact Quarter Circle Seven for beef.

The ranchers demonstrated “tracking cattle,” a mock cattle drive in a contained space designed to teach the horses and the riders to move the steer in the direction that they want them to go.

Kevin Dawson, co-owner with his wife Heidi Jo, of Alpine Ridge Arena said, “We have something going on here or at the local equine facilities almost every night. Walworth County is becoming a center for equine activities” in the Midwest.

Alpine Ridge Arena hosts barrel racing every other Thursday, along with dozens of other events, including “mounted shooting,” an event where riders shoot guns while on horseback.

For more information about Alpine Ridge Arena call (262) 749-8192 or visit alpineridgearena.com.



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