Each year, horse trainers journey to Reno, Nevada to vie for one of the most challenging equestrian championships in the world.
For the trainers, winning means putting food on the table and hay in the barn for another year, and a chance for a more secure future. For the world, it means another year of survival for a culture at risk and the continued refinement of an art that dates back to the first missions in California.
It was an art born out of a practical need for partnership, but the bond between horse and human and the community that grew around that bond are so strong that, defying the odds, it has not been broken—not even by the force of a modern world.
Down the Fence profiles three horse trainers on their journey to compete for the championship, revealing their challenges and a rare glimpse into their unique lifestyle along the way. This is a documentary about passion, perseverance, community, and the enduring power of the human-animal connection.
We examine the impact that competition has made, not only on the survival of this culture of horsemanship, but on its continued evolution. It is a curious phenomenon that this particular discipline of horsemanship, which should be deteriorating because of its nearly obsolete purpose (training horses to manage large herds of cattle), is still advancing and thriving.
We will also explore the origins of this culture and art form, and the spirit of the community that are its caretakers and who will be the champions of its future.
See our website and Facebook page for additional details and to purchase your DVD copy!