John Baar – Wild Card

Year as Pen Wrangler: Road to the Horse 2022
Championship Competitor & 2024 Pen Wrangler: Pat Parelli

Born and raised in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, watching John Wayne movies with his Dad fueled John’s fire to become a cowboy — a fire that would grow into a passion for understanding the horse and learning how horses think, learn and interact. This passion sent John on the search for education from the masters in the colt starting and equine psychology arena. He spent time with Martin Black and Ray Hunt learning the art of colt starting and quickly jumped on the opportunity to study at an International Horse-Man-Ship University with Pat Parelli — his current Pen Wrangler and mentor. The education Pat shared through his Horse-Man-Ship program laid a foundation for John to build his understanding of the art of colt starting. This foundation has proved a solid base to build multi-discipline horse training, creating well-rounded horses and horsemen. This program truly helped John see the world through the eye of the horse.

Through hard work and dedication, John turned this “summer school” program into a 10-year educational career, including not only horse training and development but also a deep dive into human learning and education. He taught people from all over the globe and moved into the campus faculty leader position, guiding a team of 10 instructors while monitoring the progress of 80 students on campus. During this time, John was also in charge of heading the horse expo team to present the Parelli concepts worldwide.

It was this experience that opened the door to John’s current career. He took what he learned from a decade focused on understanding horses and humans as learners, sharing the nature of the horse regardless of differences in breed, age or purpose. 

Alongside his wife, Kathy, John opened Raising The Baar Horsemanship Center in Kentucky to create an environment ideal for educating young horses and preparing them for a career in any sport, as well as offering education for students looking to grow into horsemen. John continues to be inspired by the art of colt starting, refining his skills and finessing his communication to give each horse the opportunity for a smooth transition into riding. He is always moving towards improving his efficiency and the quality of experience for the horse. Learn more at

“I am honored to participate as a Wild Card competitor at Road to the Horse 2024, and I’m looking forward to catching up with renowned horse professionals from all over the world. This platform is a great opportunity to balance the principles of colt starting with the timelines of the event.”

John Baar