Reviews and Testimonials 

It has been our pleasure to know Samantha Whittemore for the past two years as trainer of our horses and as our friend. It is with a great deal of pride and confidence that we can recommend “Sam”(antha) regarding any endeavor she may set her mind to and to assure you that she will represent you and your facility in only the best light. Sam has proven herself to be an accomplished and exceptional trainer, which is not common in a business where everyone calls themselves a trainer after reading a couple of horse whisperer books and watching videos on YouTube. Although Sam may not be as old as many of the trainers you may be familiar with, Sam is a seasoned and experienced trainer with a wealth of knowledge and experience well above her chronological age. Sam has a strong work ethic and shows true understanding of each of her students – either man or beast. Probably her strongest attribute professionally and personally is that she is true to her word and always keeps her commitments and promises. She is a person that is honest and dependable. A rare quality these days. Over the period we have known Sam she has grown her Rugged Cross Performance Horses business from training 3-4 horses into today training five times or more that number; all in various stages of learning – from foaling and groundwork to top notch competition level penning, sorting, roping and trail horses. No matter the time required, we have always been impressed that each horse in her program receives a through and full lesson daily from her personally. Usually requiring her to put in 10-14 hours days most days. Yet still having time to communicate and mentor owners and students. Sam is genuinely passionate about her work. You can see it in her eyes and the spirit and energy she brings to the barn each day that she is happiest when she is molding the character and ability of one of “her horses.”     ------ GRANT AND ANNETTE CAREY   11/16/2020

Wonderful place to ride, learn and buy your next horse. It's extremely difficult to find honest people in the horse industry, but you will find only honesty at Rugged Cross. They are upfront about every detail when selling a horse- the good AND the bad!

Nichole K.

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Love working with Sam. Had two older horses that went for 90days. She took the time they needed and was always honest with me. If your looking for an honest hard working trainer you have definitely found one. Highly recommend the rugged cross team.

Jessica M.

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I cannot thank Samantha enough for getting such a great start on Dallas! I highly recommend Rugged Cross Performance Horses. I knew my colt was in good hands (quiet hands) and getting exposed to a lot of different experiences.

Jacquline T.

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Sam and LJ do a great job ! highly recommend them to anyone .


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Thanks to Sam and LJ for all the work they put into our young sorting mare. If you are looking for trustworthy, talented, and hardworking people to send your horse to for training look no further �

Kelsey B.

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Sam came highly recommended to us from the head trainer when we adopted our daughter a horse at Denver Dumb Friends Harmony Equine Center. The horse we adopted was young and only had about 20 rides on her so we took her straight to Sam to continue her traning. Sam worked wonders with this green horse turning her into a beautiful all around mare in a matter of 60 days.....beautiful stops, lead changes, excellent steering and more.

We have since purchased another horse directly from Sam and again we are completely impressed with the quality of training that comes with a horse from Sam & LJ! The process in purchasing a horse from Sam and LJ is so professional.... They will match you with a horse that matches your level and what you need.....I could tell it wasn't about "selling" me a horse, it was about finding an amazing partnership.

If you ever get the chance to watch Sam and LJ train you will notice immediately the connection they have with their horses. They respect the horse and I myself respect that...... THIS is what I want my daughter to see! Not some trainer scarring their horse broke! LJ and Sam capture my daughter's attention and she ENJOY and LEARNS at her training sessions.

A simple call for horse training has turned into a friendship and we are so grateful to know them!

Thank you Sam and LJ for being honest, good people!



Sam Won the #11 penning . LJ Came in second both nights During the PBR Penning with the bulls . 

2020 National Western Stock Show

Rumor had her first ride in the big arena today and she was perfect! In 4 months she has gone from a wild and nervous horse to calmly riding around the arena and the first to meet you at the gate for attention. It took a lot of work and we certainly couldn’t have gotten here without Samantha and Rugged Cross! I can’t recommend them enough!



Love the feeling of family that is brought into riding here, truly emphasizes the bond between the horses and riders. There's a new movie that I couldn't help but to send your way called the Great Flip Off. It explores the lives of the last great bareback riders and the passion they share in preserving the dying art of stunt riding - alongside some beautiful animals. Think you guys might enjoy the trailer, it's available on you tube if u feel like taking a look :) keep up the incredible work



Sam is sitting top of her division in Team penning and Ranch Sorting. She has won 5 buckles and is sitting in 1st for two Team penning Saddles from Two different Associations. She is proud of her horses and there work! Its been a good year for the rugged cross team. 

2019 Has been good to us!

Work Hard , Win Big

 ​Samantha is a fantastic person; kind and considerate! I have had the privilege of her working with two of my horses; Taxi, whom you see in her photo album working a cow and Wilson, a 2 year old I sent to her to get started for me! Am pleased with both!Additionally, Samantha stepped up as many may be unaware, and accepted the challenge of re-training an older mustang in the Equine Comeback Challenge in Denver at the NWSS grounds during March 2015. This horse was able to be placed into a new home through Samantha's efforts.I would not hesitate to send Samantha any of my horses! I certainly wished she lived closer; I liked working with her just that much!

Linda M.


 Amazing! I sent a fat and sassy three year old and in 2 months I have an extremely broke, soft and fit 3 year old. I am so pleased with the care and training my mare has got. I could not be more pleased. The facility is always clean, horses are well fed and kept and every time we stopped by we've been treated so kindly and welcomed.

Casey Y.


Purchased Pete from Sam and he has been everything Sam described him to be. She was so professional and honest. She even met us half way to deliver him. My 17 year old son is enjoying training Pete to team rope. Sam did a great job getting him ready for my son. Sam was awesome to work with. Thank you

Debbie N.

New Mexico

Samantha was a lifesaver for me! I was very pregnant with a horse I couldn't ride because he needed consistent work and was not the right fit overall. She sold him on my behalf, even picked him up and delivered for the buyer. I received a fair price and more importantly- overall no stress! Samantha is responsive and professional!! Oh, and she even helped me find a new horse

Nicole G.


February 5, 2014

Letter of Recommendation for Samantha Whittemore

Samantha Brown started to work for Blue Rose Ranch in the spring of 2013. This young lady has a real knowledge of horses and their behavior, and is a highly proficient rider and trainer.

Blue Rose Ranch, Inc. is a horse rescue and adoption organization located in southeastern Colorado. We are one of the largest and most successful horse rescue operations in the region. As a horse rescue, we have horses with many issues and various levels of training. Many horses who arrive at Blue Rose Ranch have been neglected and abused, and some have been rejected due to bad habits and behavior. We also have many younger, healthy horses who have never been trained.

One of Samantha’s strengths is that she listens to what an employer wants. She clearly understood what we needed from her and directed her time toward reaching that goal. When we met Samantha, she only had a short amount of time in our area before moving with her husband to the Pueblo area for his new job. At Blue Rose Ranch, we understand that a trained horse is a more adoptable horse. From Samantha, we needed evaluation on several horses in various stages of training. Some of these horses were, frankly, a little wild and barely halter broke. We needed input on where to put our training resources and efforts. Samantha worked with eight of our horses, kept copious daily notes, and evaluated the type and amount of training time each horse needed. Samantha took time to talk with us about each horse, suggesting approaches with each horse and which bits might be best for a particular horse. Before moving to Pueblo, Samantha left us with well organized notes on each horse. She clearly is organized and has a process in her training.

We recently took our two year old colt, Lakota, to continue his start under Samantha. We were very comfortable that this horse would be well cared for and gently and wisely trained. Lakota is a well bred quarter horse with potential to be a great horse, and the work Samantha did with him was excellent.

Samantha looks for opportunities and has a good business mind. We first met Samantha when she called us to see if we needed help riding our horses. We actually did not need additional help at that time, but we did have a group drill team ride scheduled. Once we saw Samantha’s abilities, we found a position for her. After moving to Pueblo, she was pro-active and engaged as she sought a place where she could live and have an indoor facility to train horses. Samantha is also a student of her craft, and seeks to learn new skills. Conversations with her reveal how she appreciates learning from experienced horse trainers she works for.

Samantha is dependable and trustworthy. She works hard and efficiently. She is polite, easy to talk to, very pretty, and she would be a good ambassador for any employer. We truly wish she lived closer to Blue Rose Ranch, because we would love to have this young lady work for us. We highly recommend Samantha Brown.


Cheryl Webb
Executive Director
Blue Rose Ranch, Inc.
30997 US Hwy 287
Springfield, CO 81073
Blue Rose Ranch on facebook

Blue Rose Ranch


I have know Samantha Whittemore for about 8 years. Samantha and my daughter and I rode in saddle clubs with her. Samantha is a down to earth person who loves and cares for any type of horses but her heart is in training and riding from the beginning of a colt/filly up to older horses.

Samantha has experience and patience’s and the understanding of how to get a horse to work with her. She is respectful to what the owner's ask when they have her train his or her horse. She has gone to school is very knowledgeable. If she does not have the answers she will find out.

Samantha is a great person. I have referred some of my boarders to her to train their horses. Everyone likes her techniques and Samantha will do anything to help a horse. Over all she is an awesome young lady and she is respected for the work she does.

Michelle J. V
Ranch Manager Wild West Stables / Liberty Landing Stables 

Michelle V.


May 21, 2013
 I met Samantha Whittemore in the year 2011 and was amazed at her ability to ride and control my horses with such a gentle hand at such a young age.
Samantha has a wonderful way about her with horses; she bonds and gets respect in return almost immediately.
She came out to my house to evaluate my horses and took them on busy roads that they had never been on.  My quarter horse was calling to neighboring horses and wanted to go play but Samantha just calming walked him in circles and settled him down within just a few minutes.  She rode my draft mare on the road, came across a large SUV and Samantha stayed with her to keep her calm and show her that the big truck wasn’t a threat.
I highly recommend Samantha for any position in regards to training, retraining, exercising, etc. horses of any kind; she has a calm and patient nature for such things.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
Brenda S

Brenda S.


This letter is a letter of recommendation for Samantha Whittemore
First I would like to give some background on myself.  I am a retired Police Officer from the Pueblo Police Department.  For my last 8 years I was a supervisor in the Patrol Division.  One of my assignments was to our Mounted Patrol Unit.  For my final 5 years I was the supervisor of this unit.  Part of my training and responsibility was to evaluate riders and horses.  I was also fortunate to attend 5 Mounted Patrol Schools.  I participated in the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver where I rode with the Mounted Patrol units.  During the training phase for this I also was involved in evaluating riders and horse to deal with riots and riding in downtown Denver.  As a result of this training we were involved in riots and demonstrations where the horses where used to successfully control both.
In the spring of 2012 my wife and I built a new barn on our property.   At the time I had four horses, one mare and 3 geldings.  I had been spending a lot of time riding all four horses and one being a 2 year old colt that I did not want to lose time on because of this barn building.
This is how I met Samantha, she had placed an add on Craig’s List for riding horses.  I did hire Sam to ride all four houses.  One of my horses was a mare, Missy.  Missy is a high spirited girl that for some reason did not take to males, but is a great horse to ride.  Sam rode all the horses but especially Missy.  Sam’s past was that she has ridden horse all her life and attended the Equine program at Lamar Community College and participated in College Rodeo.  In riding Missy it became very apparent to me that Sam can ride.  She understands horses, their nature and is a natural rider.   Sam was able to ride Missy around and through obstacles that I could not.  She also was able to get Missy to relax and accept stimulus and distractions that Missy would balk at for me.
In conclusion, I would recommend Samantha to teach riding lessons do ground school or mounted school on colts or any horse.  I trust her completely.
Retired Sgt. Tim H. Boies PPD

Tim . B


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2016 - Rocky Mountain Equine Comeback Challenge Horse - Onyx 

I got to spend 90 days with Onyx . She came to me unhandled. She was also 15 yrs old. She came from a rescue , known as the BLUE ROSE RANCH in Springfield, CO. 

We placed 18th over all and she went to a wonderful home ! 

2017 Rocky Mountain Equine Comeback Challenge 

Placed 9th over all  - out of 22 Trainers 
120 days with a 2 yr old rescue mare. 

Royal Muchacho Jet and I Won this beautiful buckle in the Pro/Am/Novice Penning in Tulsa Oklahoma , 2017 

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