Manager and Head Coach, Nicole Rau, was born in Denver, Colorado. Growing up in the inner city of Denver, she was blessed to join the Westernaires, a precision mounted drill team, in 1991. It was here that she discovered her passion in life. It was horses that set her apart from her peers and kept her away from negative influences.
Horses became more than an activity to her, they became a form of therapy and education. Nicole began sharing her love of horses with others as a riding instructor in 1997. She also began professionally training client horses in 1996. After moving to Fort Collins in 2001, she decided to pursue her degrees in Equine Science and Psychology at Colorado State University in an effort to bring the same joy to at risk children that she had.
Nicole is considered a truly gifted and passionate horsewomen. She is experienced in precision mounted drill, trick riding, and jumping at liberty where she excelled to the highest possible divisions with the Westernaires of Golden, Colorado. She has trained extensively in reining and stadium jumping. She was a very active member of the College of Agriculture, sharing great experiences with Colorado State University.
From founding the Colorado State University Vaulting Team in 2004 to holding several officer positions in the Collegiate Horseman’s Association, the Mountain Riders Horse Club, the CSU Vaulting Team, the CSU Equine Council and the CSU Agriculture Council in addition to competition with the CSU Judging Team and Equestrian Team; Nicole has participated in a full range of equine activities making her a versatile member of the equine industry.
In addition to CSU involvements, Nicole has also spread out her talents to participate with several therapeutic riding organizations along the front range in an effort to promote the benefits of riding and vaulting in physical, mental and cognitive abilities.
She founded the 501c3 non profit organization, Complete Equestrian Vaulters in 2009. This has allowed hundreds of students the opportunity to participate in equine activities that may not have had the financial resources to do so. She continues to use horses as a tool for therapy for many of her clients. In 2022, the Board of Directors, voted to expand this non profit organization to offer therapeutic riding; changing the name to Complete Equestrian, non profit.
Nicole is heavily involved in serving the American Vaulting Association, where she has served as the Region IV Secretary from 2010-2017. She has been the Region IV Regional Supervisor since 2017-2020 on the AVA Board of Directors. She also sits on the AVA Safety Committee since 2010.
With a passion and talent for both people and animals, Nicole realizes what a wonderful tool the equine species can be in improving the lives of those they touch. After completing her college career, Nicole now carries a B.S. degree in Equine Science as well as a B.S. in Psychology. Nicole enjoys spending her time in the equine industry motivating and educating her clients.
She stays busy with her two boys, Marshall and Jackson. She considers herself truly blessed to be living in a way that can serve so many lives.