Co-owners Roland and Cindy Sawatzky have been operating Sawatzky Equine Services together since
2008. Their facility has become a trusted place to send horses to be started or developed for a variety of
english and western disciplines.
Professionalism and providing quality care and training in their well-appointed and maintained facility is
one of their primary commitments and is a source of pride for staff partners, trainers, coaches, boarders
and part time users of the facility.
At Sawatzky Equine Services you will see horses of all breeds in various stages of training. It is not
unusual to have everything from ponies and miniature donkeys to Quarter horses, dressage and jumper
bred warmbloods, Arabs, Canadians, Thoroughbreds, mules and more! Horse people from all disciplines
are welcome for training and boarding. The Sawatzky Equine team has a diverse background in sports
such as Reining, obstacle work and Extreme Cowboy Racing, dressage, jumping and driving as well as
non-competitive and horsemanship based approaches to riding.
Sawatzky Equine Services is well known primarily for Roland’s exceptional colt starting and the
developing coaching programs being unrolled in 2019. It is also becoming a place for folks to explore
and diversify in obstacle based horsemanship and sport with Assistant Trainer Melissa Glowinski.
Additionally, Celine Gobet provides reining and horsemanship coaching and Brenda Glowinski offers EC
Certified coaching in English/Jumping and Obstacle disciplines. The development of new, innovative
programs designed to advance the horsemanship of open minded horse people is an ongoing passion
shared by all members of the Sawatzky team. Their goal is to develop and support independent thinking
horse people who are confident, safe and knowledgeable regardless of their discipline.
Cindy also offers unique courses that enhance wellbeing and teach partnership and understanding
between men and women (PAX Programs Inc. Certified) as well as co-leading the CORE Partnership
workshop created by Alison Armstrong.
Please take a moment to meet the Team of Coaches/Trainers and staff partners here at Sawatzky
Equine. Together, they are dedicated to creating and providing a supportive, encouraging and interactive
environment welcoming those that are have a sense of curiosity and passion for exploring
Head Trainer and Barn Manager
Roland is originally from the Didsbury, AB area and grew up in a dairy farming family where animal
husbandry was a part of everyday life. As a member of the local 4H Club, he realized that he had an
affinity and talent with horses and by the age of 16 he was successfully buying and starting colts to sell.
This talent and commitment eventually led him to the Equine Sciences program at Olds College. After
graduating from this two year program he became a successful equine professional, training and
showing reining horses for clients.
For fun, Roland has also spent time dabbling in the sport of 3 Day Eventing/Horse Trials which is an
Olympic English discipline that combines the elements of dressage, stadium jumping and cross country
jumping over solid fences into one exciting sport.
In order to generate a way to better serve his horses and clients, Roland enhanced his education and
knowledge of horsemanship by spending 3 months at Natural Horsemanship trainer Glen Stewart's
ranch in 2009. There he was immersed in refining his groundwork skills and playing with a higher level
of liberty finesse. He finished the summer by winning the Canadian Colt Starting Championship and
went on to several more successful placings in similar competitions.
Currently Roland splits his time between starting young horses, fine tuning mature horses that are
already started, and advancing competitive prospects. Additionally he teaches private lessons, holds
Coaching and Mentorship classes, and is creating colt starting programs.
His clients range from people looking to have high level performance horses able to compete in their
respective disciplines, to average folks looking for confidence with calmer, braver and more dependable
riding partners to enjoy on the trail and at home.
Scheduling Director, Event Planning,
Curriculum Design, Workshop Leader,
Pilates Matwork Fitness Instructor
Cindy has many roles here at Sawatzky Equine which include booking training horses, maintaining social
media and advertising, coordinating and scheduling the Obstacle Clinic program and new course
development/implementation. One of the most important things she brings to all aspects of Sawatzky
Equine Services is her knowledge and passion for partnership. She fosters an environment that supports
all members of the team, training clients, and boarders enjoy the unique atmosphere her focus on heart
based partnership brings.
Cindy began her horsemanship journey at the local gymkhana and light horse clubs (Westsyde Trail
Riders) in Kamloops BC. She converted to English riding in her early teens when she discovered the joy
of jumping. She caught the 3 Day Eventing/Horse Trials bug after attending a summer riding camp.
Her passion for horses also led her to the Olds College Equine Sciences program, where she focused on
dressage. However she soon returned to the exciting world of 3 Day Eventing/Horse Trials where her
new skills in dressage served her well. Cindy enjoyed starting and bringing along young horses of her
own and was very successful eventing at the lower levels.
In later years she became inspired by the finesse of liberty and groundwork, and its connection to
strengthening communication and partnership with her horses. In between competing, she slowly built
the foundation she needed to be able to enjoy the thrill of riding at liberty with her longtime partner
Cindy is also a passionate leader of transformational workshops that promote harmony and partnership
between men and women. She is a Certified by PAX Programs Inc. to teach “Making Sense of Men”,
"The Queen's Code Workshop”, and “A Hero's Challenge: Being an Extraordinary Man”.
Additionally Cindy co-leads the “Core Partnership” workshop with Alison Armstrong (PAX Programs Inc.
founder) which moved to the Sawatzky Equine facility in 2018.
She is passionate about generating unique and diverse opportunities for learning and development both
personally and in horsemanship. It has led her to host several clinics with international clinicians and
develop the Coaching & Mentorship programs at Sawatzky Equine.
Cindy is well known for being an endless “Ideas Generator” and source of ways to build stronger
partnerships for humans and horses.
Noah joined Cindy and Roland in August of 2012. At 1 years old he was introduced to the equine world
in the form of miniature donkeys. His first special friend was a grey and white pinto named Bramble who
was the same age as Noah. Bramble has been helping teach Noah how to be a clear, consistent and
confident partner on the ground and in the saddle or cart.
These two love obstacle type competitions in hand or ridden in lead line by mom and they are arguably
the stars of the show when they wherever they go. Recently they have been expanding into mounted
archery which is inspiring Noah to start learning to steer and ride on his own.
Additionally Noah has been a valuable help in training miniature ponies to become kid friendly and has
expressed interest in doing more in the future.
Assistant Trainer, Equine Sports Therapist, Coach
Melissa joined the Sawatzky team in the spring of 2017 as an Assistant Horse Trainer. She is
passionate about young horse development and is an accomplished horsewoman. Melissa has a
background competing in several disciplines including dressage, Eventing/Horse Trials, Western
Pleasure and Obstacle Racing. She is currently actively competing in Extreme Cowboy Racing and has
qualified and competed in both the 2017 and 2018 World Championships in Texas and has her goal set
on heading to Texas in 2019 to futurity her young mule.
Melissa's enthusiasm for obstacle-based learning and training has had an awesome ripple effect. It is not
uncommon to see horses from many other disciplines in her Obstacle Clinics. The use of a wide variety
of obstacles is proving to accelerate the development of horses learning to be brave, confident and calm
regardless of their job description.
Because she is small in stature, she can bring a very specialized talent to Sawatzky Equine Services and
is becoming well known as an accomplished pony trainer and rider. She is being hired to ride and show
client ponies and qualified a Traditional Shetland Pony to the 2018 World Championships of Extreme
Cowboy Racing in Texas.
As a top graduate of the BC Equine Sports Therapy program, she also brings a strong commitment to
the comfort and wellbeing of all the horses at Sawatzky Equine Services and is instrumental in keeping
the horses healthy, happy and feeling their best. Melissa is also a certified saddle fitter and offers this
service to both individuals and groups in saddle fitting clinics and individual assessments.
Assistant Project Manager, Lifestyle Manager
Ashley joined the Sawatzky Team in September 2017 and is an essential team partner who brings a
wealth of diversity and knowledge to all aspects of business, barn, and home life. Having been a student
of the horse since she was young and studying horsemanship with Roland and Cindy over many years
she brings her “equine perspective” to the business side of Sawatzky Equine Services.
She is responsible for many administrative projects including web page design and maintenance,
program/course design and support, general office co-ordination, and many physical jobs like farm
maintenance and helping with grooming/tacking up training horses when needed. Along with Cindy, she
is instrumental in the preparation of the horses involved in the CORE Partnership workshop where a high
degree of training is essential in allowing participants to have a unique experience learning how to
Ashley helps ensure that things run smoothly and efficiently and is a key partner in the development of
the new Coaching and Mentorship projects.
She brings a high level of professionalism, partnership, support and insight into all that happens at
Sawatzky Equine Services and is invaluable in her contributions.
Ashley Van Brabant
Darby Petkau started with Sawatzky Equine Services in February 2017. She is a passionate young
horsewoman who supports Sawatzky Equine Services by being a dependable partner in the daily
feeding of the horses and general maintenance of the facility.
Darby has spent time on horses her whole life but began riding consistently at the age of 8 and has
owned her own horse for 4 years. She is an avid student of horsemanship and can often be seen riding
her own horses and participating in many of the programs offered at Sawatzky Equine. We love that
Darby also generously contributes to her younger siblings by teaching them what she’s learning.
Within the horse industry, she is passionate about horse/human relationships and helping people gain
confidence in holding their own space with their horses and in their own life. Darby credits learning this
lesson through studying horsemanship at Sawatzky Equine as making the biggest difference in her
partnership with her horses.
Darby loves working at Sawatzky Equine and enjoys sharing and contributing in any way she can.
Trainers and Coaches Working out of Our Facility
Reining Performance Horse Trainer,
Competitive Reining Coach and Clinician
Celine has worked in the horse industry as a coach and trainer around the world. She is originally from
France but has also worked in Switzerland, the USA, and Canada (Quebec and Alberta) before settling
here with Sawatzky Equine Services in 2017. She brings with her a great dedication to horse training
and a passion for teaching, with over 23 years of experience.
Celine started riding horses at age 4 in the English world of disciplines. After graduating from
Baccalaureat High School in France, she began her career in the horse industry riding race horses. She
then moved to Switzerland and gave lessons while also training English and western horses and starting
colts. Celine was very drawn to the reining world because of the finesse and skills required and
eventually made it her specialty. In 2006, Celine and her husband Denis moved to Quebec where she
worked as assistant trainer in the Dany Tremblay Reining Program for 2 years. In 2008 they brought her
performance horse program to Alberta.
She has gone on to successfully compete in, and win, multiple National Reining Horse Association
Championships with both her own and client horses. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge
and skills with youth, pro and non-pros clients, from beginner to advanced levels.
After sharing space at a training facility near Onoway with Roland and Cindy for 5 years, Celine was
excited to partner with them at their new facility in the fall of 2017. She loves being able to share her
knowledge and collaborate actively with other professionals to learn continuously expand her
horsemanship. Celine has found that the supportive and unique team environment at Sawatzky Equine
has supported her in growing and expanding her own business. She brings a never ending positive,
encouraging, happy attitude to the horses, her clients, and team members.
Celine offers horse training, private lessons, reining and horsemanship clinics, riding and showing
client horses, and sale preparation of horses for clients.
EC Certified English Competition Coach
Brenda has been an Equine Canada Certified English Riding Coach since 2006. Her competitive career
began in 3 Day Eventing/Horse Trials. During this time, she coached and trained under Combined
Efforts riding club, where Cindy and Roland were also part of the team of riders.
She specialized in beginner rider programs that focused on development of skills and confidence for
children and adults and was known for her exceptional string of beginner lesson horses. Brenda also
spent time starting horses for a variety of disciplines with many horses going on to be competitive for the
Combined Efforts team of riders in Eventing/Horse Trials.
Her horse life began in childhood while riding her cousin’s horses at a family farm. The love and affinity
for horses followed her into adulthood where she too discovered that better partnerships with horses
could be achieved with a more natural approach to horse training. She became a student of many
natural horsemanship practitioners and developed her own style of working successfully with horses and
people, helping them to have a better understanding of how horses think.
After injuries forced her out of the saddle and away from training full sized horses Brenda moved into
driving miniature horses, competing in Combined Driving Events and local driving shows. She became
very involved in the local driving communities under the Alberta Carriage Driving Association as a
member of the Northern Lights Chapter and competed up to Preliminary level in Combined Driving.
Brenda brings her unique coaching skills to Sawatzky Equine that currently include an adult ladies’ riding
class, weekly jumping lessons, and driving clinics and lessons for the Northern Lights Chapter of the
Alberta Carriage Driving Association. She works closely with Melissa Glowinski (daughter in-law) and
together they hold monthly Obstacle Training Clinics for all disciplines. After many years away from
riding Brenda discovered she could ride again on a very trustworthy horse (Ace) owned and trained by
Melissa. The gift of this extraordinary horse has allowed Brenda to return to competitive riding in the
sport of Extreme Cowboy Racing.