As you can tell by our name, we put the utmost importance on a horses’ Foundational training. If the foundation is solid, so will be the horse and a horses training is NEVER finished! There is no end to the things a horse can be taught. The idea is also that once a horse learns to learn and interact, they will always be open to learning new things and trying new tasks. We do not “break” horses to ride. They are taught the skills needed to understand and perform the necassary parts to be ridden. Our philosophy strongly follows Classical Dressage training in that it is done methodically and as quietly as possible. Our focus on the the balance and comfort of the horse so that he is able to learn and process the entire session instead of just getting bits and pieces of it.
We do a lot of work with Wild Mustangs and not-trained rescue horses. Some of them are older, some have been abused, some just never got the time spent with them to get the basics in place for the next step in starting a horse to ride. If a horse cannot be easily caught, led, tied, bathed, lunged, trimmed and saddled, there is really no reason to get on yet. These are the most basic building blocks of a horses’ training and should NEVER be skipped. Some horses come to us in need of being gentled and halter trained, we offer a very competitive reduced rate to get us the time needed to prepare these horses for the saddle and a rider without rushing them. This would be like asking a child to spell words without first memorizing and understanding the alphabet. The language has to be in place in order for the horse and rider to be as successful as possible.
There was a time when I worked under the pretense of “problem” horses. I no longer see them in that respect, I have learned over the years that there is usually some Physical or Neurological issue that is keeping them from focusing on their handler or the task presented. Now when a horse comes in we look at teeth, hoof health, nutrition, muscle development and any other possible factors that could be preventing them from processing the training and handling. There is no such thing as a “problem” horse, just either under educated or there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. It always bothered me why when using natural horsemanship, the horses would still be very resistant. Now I understand that they are trying to convey some sort of pain, lack of confidence or some other issue that is preventing them from cooperating. Horses might be the most forgiving and tolerant species of animal, so, it did not make sense that they would simply refuse to do things. Since coming into this way of thinking, I have not had a horse yet refuse to do something that they understand and are capable of doing.
I spent many years studying Natural Horsemanship and psychology of horses, but there were pieces missing. I went on to study reining, Cow Work, Rail classes and Trail. I showed Mules for several years all-around and did well with very young mules. In 2008 I had the life-changing experience of meeting Manolo Mendez and the art of Classical Dressage. Over the years since, David Kneller and myself have had several opportunities to participate in his clinics and now his material is readily available on the internet. In 2010, I discovered Circensic Dressage through Allen Pogue and his Trick Training. This has also been an invaluable tool to help us understand each horse and bridge the language barrier between us. Trick Training is a fun and easy way to develop good responses from your horse, balance, patience and a positive pay-reward system. It also help develop a horses’ unique personality and character, allowing your horse new ways to express how he thinks and understands things.
We also love to do tune-ups and one on one training with you and your horse to develop good horsemanship and communication. We want to help you to understand your horse and why he does the things he does, how to approach certain aspects of cross training and how to address the issues you may be having with your horse. Our specialty being the ability to work with a horse, figure out what he understands and how to put the pieces together in a way that makes it fun and enjoyable for you and your horse. We offer private lessons, clinics on a wide ranging variety of topics, monthly training and will tailor a system that suits you, your horse and us to the greatest benefit of all. Foundation training is the same for all disciplines and no steps should be skipped, some of the worst and most dangerous issues can be solved my making sure all the parts are in place and understood before moving on to a chosen discipline.