The instructors at Montana Center for Horsemanship are uniquely qualified to teach Natural Horsemanship, with decades of experience shared among them. They work with students and horses on an individual basis to determine the most effective and enjoyable learning opportunities for both. 

Eric Hoffmann, M.S.

Eric Hoffmann is the head instructor at the Montana Center for Horsemanship, La Cense Montana. He has taught the natural horsemanship classes at Montana Western since 2008. In the classes that Hoffmann teaches, students learn the importance of getting their horses to work more willingly with them, in order to accomplish a task or job. As a student of Hoffmann's you will gain the confidence and the knowledge that will give you optimum readiness for a future career in the equine industry or equine fields. Hoffmann holds an A.A.S. in Equine Management and Training from Laramie County Community College. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Education from the University of Wyoming and also received a Master’s degree in Agriculture Education from Montana State University.

Iola Else, M.S.

Iola Else, Montana Western‘s accomplished rodeo coach, also brings her lifelong knowledge of and experience with horses to Montana Western‘s equine studies program. In addition to supervising natural horsemanship courses, Else teaches Facilities Management and Young-horse Starting and Development. She is the campus’ liaison to the Montana Center for Horsemanship, La Cense Montana ranch where the courses in natural horsemanship are conducted.

Layne Carlson, D.V.M.

Dr. Layne Carlson has been teaching Equine Science classes at UMW since 2009. Prior to this, he owned and operated a busy three veterinarian mixed animal practice in Southwestern Montana for many years. Dr. Carlson brings real life experience to the classroom and provides "hands on" opportunities for the students. His students perform necropsies, palpate and artificially inseminate a mare, learn about equine dentistry, perform lameness exams and practice equine bandage application along with many other procedures applicable in the equine world.

Megan Kelly, D.V.M

Megan is a 2010 graduate of Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine.  In 2010, she joined a mostly equine veterinary practice in Corvallis, Montana and worked as an Associate Veterinarian in the practice for 5 years.  Megan moved to the Dillon area in the fall of 2015 to take a position at the University of Montana Western as an Assistant Professor of Equine Studies.  She is honored for the opportunity to be part of Montana Western's equine education program and to bring practical experience to the students. 

Robert Chesterfield

Robert Chesterfield has been an Instructor at La Cense Montana and has taught the natural horsemanship classes at Montana Western since 2016. As a graduate of the program himself, Robert understands the student’s perspective, giving him the ability to explain things in a way that students can truly comprehend. Before teaching at Montana Western, Robert worked on ranches and started colts in Montana.  He has also gone down the show road with a cutting horse trainer throughout the Southwest. The experience that Robert gained from this, he says, has shown him the importance of putting the horse first and learning to change yourself in order to help your horse. Robert’s goal in the classes he teachers, is to help students build a working relationship with their horses, giving them a chance to succeed in whatever direction they choose to go in the equine industry.

Melanie South

Melanie is the newest horsemanship instructor at MCH. She graduated from UMW with a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Horsemanship with a Business minor and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an Equine Management minor. Melanie is originally from Menifee, California but has become a big part of the Dillon community, since 2010.  Melanie grew up riding horses and has always enjoyed giving horsemanship lessons and working with the public.  She strives to teach her students, leading by example and encourages her students to learn from failure with perseverance.  She tinkers with showing cutting horses in her free time and enjoys spending time on the river with her husband. It is rare to see Melanie without a smile on her face and she is excited to be a part of the Montana Center for Horsemanship/University of Montana Western Horsemanship team.