Rod grew up in Southern Alberta along the “Cowboy Trail,” in the small community of Leavitt, Alberta. There, he and his wife Jackie are raising their 6 children who are 5th generation on his Family’s Homestead.
Horses have always been a big part of his life. He grew up following in the footsteps of his Trainer Father, Dee Olsen. He started his first colt at the age of 8 and from there his passion for making good horses grew. In the summer of ’71, Dee invited Ray Hunt up to Canada and Rod learned early on that there was a better way. Following in the manner of Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance, Rod learned that when working with horses respect, patience, and a gentle hand go a long way in developing a trusting, confident and willing partner. As a husband and a father, these qualities have carried over into his family life.
Rod has developed a training program that is based on helping horse and rider reach their greatest potential. He’s an accomplished Farrier and Horseman, training horses for a variety of disciplines. There’s one thing that all of Rod’s horses have in common, and that’s a great start. His love of his trade is evident in that he never tires of the challenges. His motto is, “leave ‘em better than you found ‘em”. He lives by this principle whether it be towards the human kind or the four legged. In relation to the horse, sometimes this comes in small successes with time, but Rod believes in “doing the right things first”, and laying a solid foundation to build on.
Rod is the 2011 and 2013 winner of the Canadian Colt Breaking Challenge as well as the 2014 winner of the Rocking Heart Ranch Colt Starting Competition. The following year he had the privilege of judging this competition. In 2017 Rod won the Horse3 NAERIC Trainers Challenge in Brandon, Manitoba.