Montana Western Foundation seeks applicants for scholarship honoring world renown equine behaviorist, Dr. Robert M. Miller, DVM

In March 2023, Montana Western and the Miller Family created the Dr. Robert M. Miller, DVM Academic Scholarship in honor of his 96th birthday, to be awarded to an outstanding student within the Equine Sciences Department. We are again seeking a recipient that has demonstrated academic excellence, as well as an aptitude and passion for the principles of Natural Horsemanship, a method of training, riding and communicating with equines that uses non-coercive methods based upon understanding their innate behaviors and instincts.

If you would like to help us honor Dr. Miller’s legacy, all contributions qualify for 501(c)(3) status, and you will be sent a receipt for any gifts received. Donations can be made here or sent to the UMW Foundation, 710 S. Atlantic St., Dillon, MT, 59725.

Dr. Miller followed in the footsteps of Natural Horsemanship founders Bill and Tom Dorrance and is one of the leading advocates of the moment, today. A retired large and exotic animal practitioner, Dr. Miller also revolutionized the concept of imprint training as it pertains to newborn foals and other precocial species and has spent the last 40 years as an educator, clinician, and author on the subject. He has received many awards for his work as a veterinarian and behaviorist, including the prestigious Leo Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year, the Western Horseman Award, and the Hall of Fame at the Western States Horse Expo. Dr. Miller is also an accomplished veterinary and Western cartoonist, and his work has been featured in countless magazines, journals and books; his moniker, “RMM,” was derived from his cartoon signature.

Dr. Miller is the author of 23 books and DVDs on horsemanship and imprint training; his acclaimed Natural Horsemanship Explained is also used as a textbook in Montana Western’s Equine Sciences Department. He has visited six continents teaching the principles of imprint training, which has been implemented in stables, breeding programs, zoos, wildlife sanctuaries, and game preserves worldwide.

Dr. Miller was born on Staten Island. Following two years of military service in post-occupation Germany, he used his GI Bill to attend the University of Arizona in Tucson, where his family was then residing. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Husbandry, Dr. Miller attended Colorado A & M (now Colorado State University) in Fort Collins, where he received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1956. He founded the Conejo Valley Veterinary Clinic in Thousand Oaks, California, in 1959 and grew the hospital to a highly successful, 12-person mixed practice by the time he retired in 1987 to become a full-time educator. In his spare time, Dr. Miller was an avid skier, rider, world traveler and outdoor recreationalist; he and his wife of 68 years, Debby, still reside on their small mule and Quarter Horse ranch in Southern California.

Dr. Miller has dedicated his life to teaching equine enthusiasts and professionals more humane, scientifically proven methods of handling and training horses to create a better life for a species that has served mankind for thousands of years, and he remains active as an educator and writer.

This scholarship was established by his son, Mark, and his daughter, Laurel, to carry on Dr. Miller’s methods and legacy into perpetuity.

The University of Montana Western Foundation is grateful for this generous gift to establish the Dr. Robert M. Miller, DVM Scholarship and privileged to use his book to educate students.

Applicants can visit to learn more. All graduates from Montana high schools planning to attend or currently attending Montana Western are eligible to apply.

To learn more about the University of Montana Western Foundation, please visit