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Country Tough with Brandy Von Holten

Health & Wellness Podcasts

Country Tough with Brandy Von Holten is a motivational and educational podcast. Interviews consist of three categories consisting of leaders in the equine industry, business owners or individuals with a uplifting personal experience, or myself sharing business insight. Real, raw, and completely exposed, no fluff, down to Earth interviews to help you gain the grit you need to push through another day with a smile on your face.


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Country Tough with Brandy Von Holten is a motivational and educational podcast. Interviews consist of three categories consisting of leaders in the equine industry, business owners or individuals with a uplifting personal experience, or myself sharing business insight. Real, raw, and completely exposed, no fluff, down to Earth interviews to help you gain the grit you need to push through another day with a smile on your face.






60. Brenda Valentine /First Lady of Hunting/Bass Pro Shop/Outdoor World/Cape Buffalo/TV Host/Tennessee Girl/Alpha Gal/Turkey Country

Welcome to Country Tough with Brandy Von Holten. I have to take a back seat to today's very distinguished guest, Brenda Valentine, the First Lady of Hunting. Brenda has been the host of multiple TV shows: Turkey Country and Bass Pro Shop/Outdoor World. She has modeled hunting attire and even authored a book titled "Hunting MisAdventures with the First Lady of Hunting". Brenda was even riding a saddle made with the hid of a Cape Buffalo she hunted in Africa. This woman is in her own league of coolness! Brenda also shares her struggles with the tick disease called Alpha Gal. This lady is more country than biscuits and gravy! Heck, you might have to listen to this podcast twice to make sure you didn't miss anything.


59. Erica Graham: custom leather/female leather maker/ mother of three/ American cowgirl/halter/barrel racing awards/horseshow awards/Graham Equine

Welcome to Country Tough with Brandy Von Holten! It is my pleasure to introduce Erica Graham with Graham Equine. She is a self taught leather maker! Mother of three, K-State graduate, and excellent horsewoman! Erica's daughter followed in her footsteps. I love to support others that are blazing their own path. It is my pleasure to introduce leather maker and cowgirl, Erica Graham!


58. Kody Hanner / Homestead Science/Homeschool Homestead/ Homesteading Curriculum/Idaho Homesteader/ Homeschool Mother/Conservative Values/Self Sustainable

Welcome to Country Tough with Brandy Von Holten. Today's guest is Kody Hanner! If one day we find out that we are related, it would explain a lot. We look a like, have a lot of the same values, and found each other at a homeschool expo. I love her business and she loves mine! She has written an elaborate homeschool curriculum for homesteaders! It is K-12 and is nothing shy of being called a one stop shop and a masterpiece! If you go to my homesteading website, I placed her link there to help you connect with Kody.


57. Taressa Rankin :Missouri's Best Horse Trainer 2024/ Mustang Trainer/ Female Horse Trainer/ Mom of Three/ Missouri Horse Woman/ Cowgirl/Healthy Cowgirl/Grocery Store Owner

Welcome to Country Tough with Brandy Von Holten! You are about to meet one of my MOST people on this planet! Taressa Rankin!!! She is such a wonderful trainer, mom, wife, and friend! She is a horse trainer, homeschooler, and homesteader. This podcast is the first but not the last. If you would like to find Taressa, check her out on Facebook at Taressa Rankin Horsemanship, LLC. To find more information about Von Holten Rand or services Brandy offers, visit and


56. Diana Thebo Markworth / Mustang Trainer/TIP program/horsewoman/clinician/The Mustang Summitt

Welcome to Country Tough with Brandy Von Holten! Today's guest is Diana Thebo- Markworth! She has been a familiar face at Von Holten Ranch throughout the years. From clinics, to judging, to competing, to getting married....when there's a horse involved, Diana's favorite mount is a MUSTANG. Diana is a gift to every mustang she comes across. Just a friend in general to the breed. Diana works to ensure that all of her mustangs are versatile. You are going to love Diana!


55. Logan Schrag: Kansas Cowboy/Cowboy Experience/Diamond Springs Ranch/Guided Trail Rides/Treehouse/Venue

Welcome back to Country Tough with Brandy Von Holten. Today's guest is Logan Schrag, a Kansas cowboy that owns Diamond Springs Ranch. His facility offers guided trail rides, a massive treehouse that is more like a beautiful apartment for the weekend, an event venue, and something he calls the "Cowboy Experience". No horse, no problem. Logan Schrag and Michael W. Green also do business consulting. Check him out


54. Michael William Green/Watkins C Ranch/ trail riding/Conservative/three generations/Leavenworth Kansas

Welcome to Country Tough with Brandy Von Holten! Meet Michael Green! He's the owner of Watkins C Ranch in Leavenworth Kansas. It is a third generation trail facility for people that do not own their own horses. Michael also does business consulting. Check them out at


53. Liz Dingus: Never Too Late/Moving Forward After Tragedy/Death of a Child/Respiratory Therapy/Nontraditional Student/Homeschool Mom/Picking Up the Pieces/Finding Yourself/Inspirational

Welcome back to Big Boss Mare with Brandy Von Holten! OMG, you are going to love today's guest, Liz Dingus! You will join me in rooting for her. 2021 was extremely rough on a lot of people, but it was over the top hard on Liz and her family. In 2021, she lost her mother-in-law, father-in-law, her mother, and her 21 year old son (her 5th child out of 8). Liz talks about this experience and how she found herself at 51 going to college for the FIRST time in her life to become a respiratory therapist. At the time of this interview, she just finished her first semester with all A's! Guys, we cried, we laughed, and I became inspired by Liz. See is the definition of a Big Boss Mare.


52. Tony & Merry Kroeger: Community over Competition/horse boarding/weed zapper/nonchemical weed control/agriculture/Heartland Eq Stables/Missouri Equine/Horse Stables/Abundant Harvest/Pastor

Welcome back to Big Boss Mare with Brandy Von Holten! Let's meet Tony & Merry Kroeger with Heartland Eq Stables located in Sedalia, Missouri. Before the stables, they dove into a business called The Weed Zapper. This dynamic duo also pastor a church together where they have done everything from "preach, teach, and play bass" for over 30 years. The world really is such a small place. Locally I was elected to our local health board in 2021. One of Tony & Merry's sons was elected in 2023 and also serves on the health board. I did not realize they were his parents until the day of this interview. Just goes to show that Tony and Merry are exceptional parents because I am a huge fan of them, their businesses, and the son, Mike. I hope you enjoy getting to know Tony and Merry as much as I did by doing this podcast interview.


51. Tony & Jenny Vaught/For the Horse Ranch/Parelli/Homeschool/Ministry/Colt Starting/Missouri Fox Trotter/Horsemanship Instructor/Gaited Horses/Husband and Wife

Welcome back to Big Boss mare with Brandy Von Holten! Today's guests are a horsemanship instruction duo named Tony & Jenny Vaught! They are a dynamic duo that has been helping horses, mules, and riders reach their next level. This is a homeschooling, ministry, karate, and amazing horsemanship married couple. They now live in Florida but frequent the Midwest to share their teachings. Tony & Jenny are clinicians that are hosted at Von Holten Ranch. Check out our schedule if you are ever near Missouri. You won't be disappointed.


50. Tina Dulaban/Missouri Women in Agriculture/Women in Agriculture Conference/Soil and Water Conservation/Women Networking/Mom Time/Woman Based/Collaboration/Farmers/Farm Girls

Welcome to Big Boss Mare with Brandy Von Holten! Tina Dulaban is our guest today! She is the Vice Chair for the Central Region for the Missouri Women in Agriculture. MO Women in Ag put on a yearly conference called the Women in Ag Conference. The conference started in 2001 and has been going strong ever since. The event is in September and on a Monday-Tuesday-and Wednesday. Weekends are extremely difficult to work around so the Missouri Women in Ag doesn't even bother with trying to work around everyone's hectic schedules. During the event, Tuesday is the "tour day". In 2023, Von Holten Ranch/Brandy Von Holten was selected for the tour destination. Mounted archery, line dancing, self defense, and dinner are all included in our air conditioned/heated wedding and event venue! If you get the opportunity, check them out on Facebook and check out my professional website at


49. DVM Greg Houtsma veterinarian/equine reproduction/equine dentistry/Royal Canadian Mounted Police/animal clinic/equine lameness/Missouri vet/Born in Canada

Welcome back to Big Boss Mare with Brandy Von Holten! Meet DVM Greg Houtsma with the Warrensburg Animal Hospital located in Warrensburg, Missouri. Born in Canada, but settled in Missouri, DVM Greg Houtsma is a highly respected vet in the Midwest. He emphasizes in equine reproduction, lameness, and dentistry. He has helped us at Von Holten Ranch with equine dentistry, lameness, eye injuries, and everything in between. You will love getting to know DVM Greg Houtsma even more. Did you know that he was accepted in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, also known as the "Mounties". Learn about his two geldings, his two daughters, and his wife's equine breeding program. There won't be another story quite like his. It is my honor to introduce a man that needs no introduction, DVM Greg Houtsma!


48. Russ and Dina Brown/R Bar B/Topeka/Kansas/Western Store/Saddle Fit/Family Owned Business/Cowboy Hat/Horse Competitions/Trailer Sales

Welcome back to Big Boss Mare with Brandy Von Holten! We have two guests today, Russ and Dina Brown, the owners of R Bar B in Topeka, Kansas! Their store is family owned with their three sons also working for the business. They sell saddles, tack, clothing, cowboy hats, trailers, bits, and everything in between! R Bar B is also hosts all sorts of clinicians and events in their outdoor arena. Russ and Dina also specialize in saddle fit. Someone can take their horse/equine to their business and find a saddle that works. You can even order a custom saddle if you want a new one. R Bar B is launching their online in February 2023! Check out their website at


47. Mark Kestner/Bluebird Outdoor Adventures/crappie fishing guide/rental RV/how to never work a day in your life/rather be fishing/family man

Welcome back to Big Boss Mare with Brandy Von Holten! Today's guest is Mark Kestner. Our businesses parallel from close to the same start date and roughly the same industry. Mark has a company that is divided into three categories: rental RV, RV park, and now a crappie fishing guide service. You will love his down to Earth business plan and his willingness to venture out to live the life he actually wants to live. Check out


46. Alaina Cross: colt starting/American cowgirl/mustang/female business owner/hodgkin's lymphoma/positive mindset

Welcome to Big Boss Mare with Brandy Von Holten! Today's guest is Alaina Cross! She is one amazing cowgirl! I have known her since she was a youth Extreme Cowboy Association competitor. Alaina starts colts and has even trained mustangs! Her uplifting zest for life will have you waiting for her next word. Just a kind soul and an even more amazing mom, wife, and cowgirl. Alaina took a spill on a horse and went to the hospital. When doing tests just to make sure she was ok, they found stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Alaina will be someone that beats cancer and adds that to her resume. Cancer doesn't know the strength of a cowgirl.


45. Karen Cummings/cattle sorting/licensed massage therapist/American cowgirl/hardworking female/team penning

Welcome to Big Boss Mare with Brandy Von Holten. Today we have Karen Cummings as our valued guest. She has been in my life before Von Holten Ranch. Karen is now a massage therapist and a Country Tough Trail Versatility competitor. I do not have a lot of friends that stick around for the different chapters of my life; Karen has been around for almost 20 years. If you ever need a massage therapist that can get the job done and you want to help a fellow horse woman, then this is your girl. The amount of people I trust to ride my best horses would fit on a gum wrapper. Karen Cummings name would be on that gum wrapper for sure.


44. Abigail Hoffman/Clinton Anderson Ambassador/Wears the Roo/Female Clinician/Iowa Horsewoman/Professionalism/Clinton Anderson Clinician Academy

Welcome to Big Boss Mare with Brandy Von Holten. It is my pleasure to introduce Abigail Hoffman. Abigail is the owner of Tailwind Horsemanship, LLC and is a graduate of Clinton Anderson's Clinician Academy. Abigail is a Clinton Anderson Ambassador. Iowa is where she currently presides, but the world has no limits for this professional cowgirl. In this podcast you will get to meet Abigail and see what lead her to where she is today.


43. Shayla Shipley/1st Generation Cowgirl/Horse Breeder/Maine Coon Breeder/St. Berdoodle/Newfi Poo/Bergerpiccard/AQHA Congress/Modern Cowgirl/

Welcome back to Big Boss Mare with Brandy Von Holten! Today is a first-generation cowgirl that is blazing the way for her mother and niece to join in the passion of being top performing cowgirls! You will love the freedom and dedication of horsewoman, Shayla Shipley! I first met Shayla at a clinic where she was a way more advanced competitor that I am and I WAS TEACHING THE CLINIC! Shayla is helping develop her niece, Carissa, and helps her mother, Nina. In addition to being a versatile competitor, Shayla and her family breed horses, dogs, and cats. The dog breeds are St. Berdoodles and Newfi Poo. The cat breeds are either pure Maine Coon or a half Maine Coon. They apparently like everything big because Shayla’s family is also now breeding half draft horses! You will be amazed by Shayla’s knowledge and cowgirl spirit!


42. Lee Hart/Road to the Horse Wildcard Challenge/American Cowboy/World Champion Bronc Rider/Family Man/Calgary Stampede/Top Notch Horse Trainer/True Cowboy/Ranch Hand

Welcome back to Big Boss Mare with Brandy Von Holten! Today’s guest is international clinician and world champion horseman, Lee Hart! He is my trainer and is the longest returning clinician at Von Holten Ranch. Lee has a staggering list of accomplishments including WRCA World Champion Bronc Rider to WRCA Top Hand to the American Royal Colt Starting Champion to the EXCA World Pro Champion and EXCA World Futurity Champion. Lee Hart has also completed in the invitation only Calgary Stampede Cowboy Up Challenge where he won the Reserve Champion title! Lee Hart has helped numerous people with their equine and helped even more equine with their people. His clinics are highly sought after and always have people giving him raving reviews and asking to sign up for his next returning clinic. Lee recently was selected to compete in the Road to the Horse Wildcard Challenge. This competition is composed of six trainers. The person that wins the Wildcard Challenge will then go head-to-head in the Road to the Horse in March of 2023. Lee is always a crowd pleaser and always does right by any animal. It is with great pleasure to introduce one of my greatest mentors and friends, Lee Hart.


41. Mary White and Alicia Stickel/ 84y.o. Cowgirl Still Cowgirling/Horseback Riding at 80/Never Let Me Know My Last Ride

Welcome back to Big Boss Mare with Brandy Von Holten! Today we have the pleasure of interviewing two cowgirls from West Virginia! Mary White, 84, and Alicia Stickel, 61, drove separately from West Virginia to attend a Big Boss Mare Production called Chix in the Sticks! Mary drove herself and set her trailer up herself! With owning a trail riding facility, it was refreshing to see an older cowgirl out there COWGIRLING!!! Mary had amazing stories about how she married her divorce attorney from her first marriage who later became a Senator! There’s not one cowgirl out there that doesn’t want to be Mary! She already has her next adventured planned for later this year. Alicia invited me to come ride with them in Utah, in Kentucky, and on the beach! Have you ever met someone and knew you would be friends until the end? I met two when I met Mary and Alicia!