NorthWoods Arabians, LLC
3002 Albert Ave. South
Park Rapids, MN 56470
Barn Phone: 218-732-0165
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Horse Tales

Novemeber 2012 - Neil is braver than many young trainers/coaches.  He hauled 4 youth riders down to Oklahoma City, OK to visit the AQHA World show!   No horses on this trip.  This is for education and setting goals.   They are getting a chance to watch some of the best riders, trainers & horses in the AQHA show circles compete in a variety of classes so they can see what they & their horses have to work for .  I can't wait to see the photos & hear the stories.  It was a truckload of pretty excited kids when they left the yard Wednesday morning!  Will Neil survive?


October 2012 saw Kathy & Mike head to the Arabian US National Championship show with 2 Half-Arabian reining horses, Smarty & Chance.  We had a great time but came home empty handed this year.  Both horses performed very well & just missed being in the Top Ten in their respective classes.  There's always next year! :-)  Now we have our sights set on the big Scottsdale show in February and the reining futurity/maturity classes.


Whoo Hoo!  Home from the 2012 Canadian Arabian National Championship show with our heads held high!  Our homebred Half-Arabian gelding, NW Smart Decision, once again proved himself as a contender in the reining pen.  We are so proud of him as he came home with the Reserve Championship in the hotly contested Open class and also a Top Ten (4th) in the Amateur class.  He was ridden by trainer Lee Mancini in the open and by Mike Monico in the amateur.  To say it was exciting is an understatement!

We are next headed to Tulsa, OK and the US Arabian National Championships.  This time Smarty's little brother , Chance, will go along & try his "wings" at competing with the big boys.  Stay tuned!

Congratulations to several of Neil's lesson students who are active in 4H.  They did extremely well at their county fair shows & are on their way to the 2012 MN State 4H Championship show!  We are proud of you and can't wait to hear the stories & see the ribbons you will bring home.  Have fun & remember to smile!

December 2011 saw the arrival of Neil Melton and the start of a new lesson & training program at Northwoods Arabians. To welcome Neil, and give the local community a chance to meet him, we hosted an open house & barn rummage sale shortly before Christmas. It’s always so much fun to visit with our local friends (horsey or not!) & share our love of what we do. The rummage sale of “all things equine related” offered some nice bargains, some of which I’m sure ended up in some Christmas stockings.

We happily welcome our new resident trainer. Neil hails from Kansas, but has decided living “up north” is kind of fun. Neil grew up riding and showing Quarter Horses and competed on his intercollegiate equestrian team while in college. He is available to give lessons to people of all ages and skill levels and to train horses of all breeds for the public as well as those of NorthWoods Arabians.

The 2012 Show Season Started off with a Bang for NorthWoods Arabians

Arabain Horses in the News

NW Smart Decision, our 1/2 Arab, 1/2 Quarter Horse gelding won the competitive 1/2 Arab Novice Horse Reining class at the huge Scottsdale Arabians show in February. Ridden by Lee Mancini, Howell, MI, “Smarty” also placed in the Top Ten of the 1/2 Arab Open Bitted Reining. Bred by Kathy Monico, Smart Decision was sired by Monicoʼs now deceased purebred Arabian stallion, Samir Cante. Samir Cante was himself a Scottsdale, regional & national winning reining horse. Smartyʼs Quarter Horse dam is a daughter of the famous Lean With Me, with Great Pine breeding on her dam side.

Waiting in the wings to make his debut at the Arabian US Nationals this year, is Smartyʼs 4 yr old full brother - NW Just A Chance. He is entered in the National Reining Futurity, which will be held in Tulsa, OK in October. You can watch these classes live online when October rolls around. Just go to and follow the links to the US National Show for dates, times, the live feed link, etc.

Their dam, Leaning On A Dream, produced another reining prospect this spring. This colt is sired by Elijah Bey, who also has multiple regional and national wins in reining. We canʼt wait for him to grow up and show us his talents!

Neil has already started showing around the area at some of the WSCA/saddle club shows, Quarter Horse shows and Arab shows. So far he has not come home empty handed - placing or winning in his classes, as have his customers who have accompanied him to the shows. Good solid horsemanship, safety, and FUN are the foundation of his training and& coaching, with the desire to keep learning and keep getting better instilled as the goal. Winning is the icing on the cake! Please feel free to stop in and meet Neil and talk about your needs.

Clinic Activities

Neil presented a halter showmanship clinic to 10 participants in May. It was a fun & busy day, for the youth and one brave adult who participated. Using video of “before & after,” Neil kept everyone busy with their horses, helping them improve their skills in preparation for the 2012 show season. 

July saw Neil conducting a horsemanship clinic for the Beltrami County (Bemidji, MN) 4H group. This group of 10 riders kept him on his toes, going over the scheduled time due to their enthusiasm and lots of questions.  We love helping anyone of any age improve on their riding skills and& equine knowledge! More clinics are in the planning stage.

Coming up in August is the Canadian Arabian National Show, held in Brandon, Ont.

The above mentioned, NW Smart Decision will be there to compete in the Open Reining with Lee Mancini and in the Adult Amateur Owner to Ride 18-39 class with Mike Monico. You may use the link to watch this show also.