See, feel, and think like a horse for better results, in and out of the saddle

The first session of our Secrets of Horsemanship clinic series focused on bridging the gap between ground work and riding. We shared stories from our experiences and research, introduced some new ways of thinking about the horse-human relationship, and took to the arena for simulations and demos. As you can see from the smiles in the photos,…

Journey to Gymkhana

Our Friday afternoon lesson students share a common goal: to participate in the gymkhana series at the local rodeo grounds while putting their horsemanship first. To work toward that goal, we are practicing all over the ranch, helping humans and equines develop the skills to remain calm, connected, and focused regardless of any distractions or commotion that occurs around them….

Riding with one rein

Lisa and Jan have been practicing one-rein riding. Riding with one rein helps riders master the emergency stop — bending the horse’s nose to your knee — and overcome their instinct to pull back on two reins, creating imbalance in the rider and something to brace against for the horse. To ride with one rein,…

Secrets of Horsemanship clinic series: Register now!

Have you ever wondered … What is my horse thinking? What can I do to become a better rider? How do I get my horse to ______? Join us for a clinic series with Erin and Lisa Murphy and learn the secrets of horsemanship through focus, feel, balance, and timing. Our goal is to provide…

A little bit about bits

One thing you’ll see here at the ranch is people riding in halters instead of bridles. This is not because we have anything against bridles. Rather, we use the halters with rope reins to help the students learn how to use their hands softly and politely. Most humans have a natural tendency to grip, grab, or move…

Working Student Positions Now Available

One of the best ways to gain experience in all aspects of horsemanship is to participate in the daily operations of a working ranch. Our natural horsemanship facility has opportunities for working students to learn how to care for horses, ponies, and donkeys living in herds. You’ll also learn how to care for our very…

Lucia helps Tessa maintain gait at the halt

At the end of Lucia’s lesson, Lucia noticed that Tessa the pony was trying to go to her food before Lucia released her to do so. Lucia practiced helping Tessa maintain her responsibility to stand still until Lucia said she could have her food. When Tessa stood still, Lucia gave her a loose rein and…

Halloween Playday

Thank you to all our volunteers and families who made the Halloween Playday a success!  

Trail ride in the beautiful fall weather

We enjoyed the cooler temperatures and beautiful scenery on a local trail last week in an instructional trail ride. Each horse and human pair practiced riding in different places in the line — front, middle, back — plus water crossings, bridges, strollers, hikers, dog walkers, and more. Judging from the smiles, everyone had a wonderful…

Fun with focus, focus with fun

Games are not just for youth camp. In a recent lesson with Barbara and Regina, I set up three barrels, made a loop out of a lead rope in the middle of the triangle, tossed in a few carrot sticks, and then explained the rules. We started off simple: Go to the first barrel, pick up a…

Learning canter departures

In a recent lesson, Scott learned how to ask Parker for the canter from the walk, the halt, and the backup. He also practiced moving with the canter — the more “still” a rider looks in the saddle, the more they are moving fluidly and harmoniously with the horse! — and transitioning from the canter…