Collin Froman wasn’t born in a barn, but he may as well have been. That’s how deeply horses run in his blood. From his infancy, Collin loved going to the barn with his mom, Vanessa, and showed an early passion for horses. It’s one that now, at the age of 12, only continues to grow, as does his skill and competitiveness in the show pen. None of this is surprising, though, as the family’s love of horses goes back generations.
Collin’s grandparents, Dennis and Diane Kliemchen, met at a horse show in 1966 and had Vanessa showing in leadline by the age of two. Forty years later, she’s still a presence in the show pen and loves that she can continue to show alongside her mom and now, Collin, too. Like his mom, Collin made an early leadline debut in 2011 at the age of four, with Dennis leading Rudy, Vanessa’s self-proclaimed “soul horse.” That year, he would go on to win leadline at the Pinto World Show.
During the years since then, Collin’s passion for horses has only continued to bloom. He began showing in Walk-Trot Showmanship just two years ago. At the time, the Froman family was showing exclusively in APHA competition with Collin showing his now 11-year-old tobiano mare named Ultraviolet. “She’s the one that planted the Showmanship seed in Collin,” Vanessa says. As Collin looked to add riding events to his repertoire, the family branched into AQHA competition–under the guidance of Jenell Pogue–with the purchase of Assets Miss Reba.
Though Collin says his greatest show pen accomplishment thus far has been winning at the AQHA Level 1 Championship Show in Showmanship, Vanessa saw him as successful long before that. “For me, he was successful before he ever went into the show pen, because he truly loves horses. They’re in his blood, and he wants to be their best friend,” she says.
Having two horses has helped Collin develop his skills as a horseman, but it hasn’t come without some struggles. “The hardest thing for me is having to know and learn each of the two Showmanship horses. Both of them have their strengths and weaknesses, so I’m constantly having to adapt to the current horse,” Collin says. “Violet is younger, longer-strided and less experienced, so she requires more guidance. Reba, who is much more seasoned, takes shorter strides, and is so intelligent that she anticipates the stop at the judge, so I have to be on my toes with her.”