Grant Golliher has been a horse trainer most of his life. What the Colorado native didn’t expect was the training horses dish out in return. Lessons on how to get along, earn respect, win trust and be a friend are pieces of wisdom that he now passes along to groups visiting Diamond Cross Ranch near Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Raised in Palisade, Golliher’s dad raised mules. Instead of using force, fear, intimidation and restraint to help break the mules, the young Golliher began developing his own approach that later lined up with philosophies developed by respected horse trainers Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance.
He gave up a college wrestling scholarship and spent a year working for the railroad before heading to Wyoming. After being employed as a packer and hunting guide at various ranches, Golliher entered the horse business and was a professional polo player for 15 years.
Yearning for the mountains and the cowboy lifestyle, he returned to Wyoming and met Jane Golliher, who was raised on Diamond Cross Ranch. They married and unexpectedly got into the business of serving corporate groups when Microsoft asked the ranch to provide a rodeo and cookout for 300 top executives.
Lodging properties began sending corporate groups for an evening that now typically includes a one-hour horse whispering demonstration, cocktails, dinner, music, cowboy poetry and roasting s’mores by a campfire. The couple built a 14,000-square-foot barn/event center 10 years ago and now host 30 to 50 corporate groups and weddings annually.
During demonstrations, Grant quickly develops a relationship with an unbroken horse and typically is able to ride the horse within the hour, illustrating that healthy relationships at work and home are built on trust, not fear. In the winter, he brings his saddle and message on the road.
The Gollihers recently published a coffee table book, Seasons on the Ranch, and have a second book in the works about
Grant’s life and what he has learned from training horses. “People can understand the relationship between a horse and a person,” he says, “and then think of how it applies to their kids and employees.”