Natural Ranching: Respect Traditions
La Cense Montana extends across 122 square miles of sprawling meadows and breathtaking mountain terrain approximately 10 miles south of the charming town of Dillon, Montana.The Lewis and Clark Expedition first explored this area in 1805, meeting the Bannock Indians approximately 40 miles west of the ranch. Established in 1869, the ranch represents one of the earliest and largest cattle ranches in the state.
Today, the ranch is located just east of the Continental Divide, on the northwestern edge of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and its highest point (Gallagher Peak) rises 8,477 feet above sea level. Our state-of-the-art facilities boast a 60,000-square-foot indoor riding arena, two large outdoor arenas, livestock handling facilities, and 3,500 irrigated acres of pasture that are 5,300 feet above sea level.
The La Cense Montana Crew
La Cense Montana is a stunning piece of property, certainly—but really it’s our people that bring the ranch to life:
A native Frenchman and a U.S. citizen since 1995, William Kriegel enjoyed a successful career in the U.S. power generation industry, immigrating to the United States with his family in 1984. Borne out of a lifelong interest in horses—and in particular American Quarter horses—Mr. Kriegel established Haras de la Cense, a horse farm located 25 miles southwest of Paris. Haras de la Cense has since gone on to take a leading position in Europe in Natural Horsemanship and in developing the "La Cense Method." In 1999, Mr. Kriegel founded the first European natural horsemanship school for professionals in France, and began developing the first comprehensive pedagogic program in natural horsemanship, emphasizing communication and respect between horses and people. La Cense Montana was established in 2000, and Mr. Kriegel continues to be a proud contributor to a worldwide movement in natural horsemanship, as well as through his partnerships with the University of Montana-Western and the French Federation of Equestrianism.
As Ranch Manager, Race brings to La Cense Montana a wealth of expertise in ranching and herd management. Race received degrees in Animal Science and Beef Production Management. His professional background began with internships at Deseret Land & Livestock and Gardiner Angus Ranch. Race was Herd Manager for Sitz Angus, Manager of Legacy Land & Livestock and Vice President of Operations for Riverbend Ranch.
Eric is the equine manger and head instructor at La Cense Montana. Eric has instructed natural horsemanship classes at the University of Montana Western in Dillon since 2008. Eric teaches the importance of getting your horses to work more willingly in order to accomplish a task or job, sharing the confidence and knowledge to assure readiness for a future career in the equine industry. Eric holds an Associate Degree in Equine Management and Training from Laramie County Community College. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Education from the University of Wyoming and is currently working on a master’s degree in agriculture education from Montana State University.