Trail riding time

Several of our students list trail riding as their favorite equestrian pastime or as their ultimate goal. As the rainy season gives way to summer and fall, we often take our lessons outside the arena and help students (and their horses) develop trail skills. Our ranch provides a number of opportunities to practice the obstacles…

No ropes? No problem!

Pat Parelli says that when you take off the halter and lead, what remains is the truth. “Liberty” is the practice of engaging with horses without the aid of ropes or halters. If your horse decides they don’t want to be with you, well, you can’t make them do it. You have to learn to…

A matter of tack

You’ve probably noticed in our photos and videos that our students ride in various kinds of tack. On any given day you’ll see us using bareback pads, English saddles, dressage saddles, Western saddles, endurance saddles, hybrid saddles, and sometimes nothing at all — just the warm, soft back of the naked horse. We ride in…

What kind of riding do we do?

We often get this question when new students find us online or come to the ranch for a tour. Typically, they are asking if we do “Western” or “English.” Sometimes experienced horse people ask us if we teach a sport or discipline, such as reining or jumping or cowboy dressage. The answer is – we…

Youth learn trail skills with the buddy system [video]

You’ll often see our students riding with a buddy, especially on their first rides out of the arena. A little ground support goes a long way toward helping riders (and horses) build confidence. Plus, it’s just fun to take a herd hike around the ranch.

Focus gives you feel

Some of our advanced adult students worked on their focus in a recent group lesson. This included riding along as if nobody was throwing balls at them or waving pool noodles at their horses. Or bouncing the giant soccer ball. Or flapping a tarp and doing jumping jacks. When the riders focused on their destination…

Building curiosity and confidence with Inflatable Flamingo

River, Rockstar, and Regina enjoyed some liberty time with Inflatable Flamingo. Rockstar had never seen it before, while River was an old pro — this was her third time giving it a ride. How do your horses do with unusual objects? Our program helps you learn how to develop your horses’ curiosity and to be…

Youth field trip to the trail

Our youth students have put a lot of dedication and effort into developing their horsemanship this year. They put it to the test on the trail and everyone did great! They learned how to prepare their horses emotionally, physically, and mentally for the trail. They learned how to pack the trailer with all of the…

Horsing around outside the arena

Our trail preparation lessons aren’t just for trail riders. Getting out of the arena is important for all equine pursuits — and if you put the relationship first, the outside playtime will improve your arena skills as well. Our ranch offers a safe and controlled environment in which to explore different terrain, choreograph new patterns,…

Trail preparations are in full swing

Several of the adult students are working to build confidence, communication, and connection with their horses in anticipation of hitting the trails later this year. We’ve held group lessons to practice riding in different orders, maintaining appropriate distance between horses, and developing their horses’ confidence within and away from the group. In private and semi-private…

On pattern in the group lesson

One of our group lessons this week featured our interns Jan and Lisa BB (aka BB) and our working student Jessica. We played with patterns — a figure 8 the size of the entire arena — and ground poles and practiced transitions between the gaits. SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT READ ON IF YOU’VE NOT WATCHED…