Meet the Horse Training & Management Faculty

Life experiences can radically change how we perceive ourselves and our lives; they can also enrich them. When teachers share their experience and bring skills to others, this enrichment becomes magnified. Lamar Community College Horse Training & Management students receive the benefit of learning from industry leaders


TJ Watts is one of the instructors for the Horse Training and Management program. He is a graduate of the NJC Horse Training program where he competed on the rodeo team in team roping and competed at the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Finals. TJ has worked under and next to many industry leaders including Jack Wright, Matt Hunter, JD Yates, and Jay Wadhams. He is well versed in colt starting, rope horses, cow horses, reining, and farrier care.
His training has been proven in the show ring including: 4x World Champion APHA heading and heeling, 2x World Champion APHA steer stopping, 5x Reserve Champion World APHA, 10x qualifier to PRCA Mountain State Circuit Finals in heeling, 2x qualifier to PRCA Ram National Circuit Finals in heeling, and Mountain State Circuit Finals Average Champion. Outside of the show pen, TJ most enjoys working with younger horses, doing day work for local ranches, and teaching the next generation of trainers. The extensive background TJ presents provides students with a great opportunity to learn performance focused training.


Ryan Bray is the instructor for the Horse Training and Management program. He is also an HTM alumni. While at LCC, he completed an internship with JJ Rydberg, which was focused on calf roping and colt starting. Since graduating in 2004, he has been starting colts for area ranches, competing in ranch rodeos, and operating a cow-calf ranch. With thousands of hours spent riding colts while working cattle on large ranches, Ryan has the experience needed to help students develop the colts into horses that have a solid foundation while also preparing students for what is expected of them in the industry. After graduating from the HTM program, students will have the skills and work ethic necessary to become gainfully employed in the horse training industry and continue to grow their skills.


Savanna Tomoson is the instructor for the Equine Business Management program. Savanna holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science and a Master of Education degree from South Dakota State University. Throughout her life, Savanna has been very involved in the equine world and education within it. While at SDSU, Savanna was on the Equestrian Team and assisted in managing the horse facility and teaching undergraduate courses covering equine anatomy, health and disease, management, reproduction, and training. Savanna strives to help students become well rounded in their knowledge and conintue to grow to become leaders of the equine industry. Students completing the EBM program will be well equipped to work within the many areas of the equine industry including management, reproduction, sales, outreach, and education.

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