Please check my Events page for location and contact person if you are interested in attending one of my clinics.

Natural, Classical Horsemanship

Most of my clinics are 3-4 days if I am traveling. The first day of a new clinic is primarily time for individual lessons so I can get to know the new riders and new horses. The second and third day can be a variety of arrangements. Commonly I do 2 hour sessions with 2-3 riders in a small group. I also offer a morning session for up to 6 riders coupled with an afternoon session with the same arrangement. This type of larger group clinic works better if all the riders are close to the same skill levels.   Giving people the most attention I can is my primary goal.

Committment to Good Riding:

In each clinic I work very hard to help all riders advance their riding skills. My background of classical and natural horsemanship influences how I teach riding, emphasizing relaxation as well as technique. Some riders need more help with relaxation, some need more help with technique and form. I try to meet students where they are and ask them where they would like to see improvement in their riding. It's very important to me to treat each horse and rider team as  indiviudals and come up with a plan that helps them both build new knowledge, new feeling which will inform them well after the clinic is over.

The Horsemanship Focus:

I focus very specifically on gaining ground with our horsemanship over the 3-4 days of clinic. I pay close attention to how rider's and horses approach each exercise we introduce to them. This allows for a slower rhythm of learning and helps riders build on their timing, their position and the feel of their horse while he/she performs a movement in balance.

Balance, Cadence, Relaxation, Engagement:

Every movement of the horse be it a western, jumping, event, dressage, endurance horse... demands all 4 of the above qualities.  My clinics primarily focus on these qualities and I use a variety of exercises to try and attain them as best we can over the course of the clinic. Some rider's will need more of certain exercise then others, it all depends on the individual horse and rider. I try to group riders together who have similar needs so that each rider can also watch other riders work on skills they themself are trying to attain.

Sample exercises performed regularly at my clinics:

  • work in hand ( shoulder-in, traver, rein back, half pass, turn on forehand, pirouette in hand, ect...)
  • calm, forward, straight  ( from the ground and in saddle)
  • exercises for the crooked horse ( set a plan for each horse and their assymetrical patterns)
  • the importance of jaw mobilization for true throughness ( engagement, thrust, connection, lightness)
  • lightness and the use and release of the aids ( seat, legs, reins, voice)
  • helping each horse and rider begin the process of working  in relaxation from back to front, with the correct use of the ring of muscles needed for balance.
  • lateral work and the individual horse; adapting the classical work for your horses assymetrical patterns
  • exercises which help riders with their timing and feel; the never ending process of listening to your horse,  understanding your position in the saddle to ease the task your horse is doing for you and feeling for the release when your horse has given you his best.

Calm, Confident and Clear; Riding outside the arena:

I offer select students and horses a chance to build on their confidence and control while riding the open land near my home in northern New Mexico.  These sessions take place in late spring, summer and early fall.  I only travel out with 3 people maximum in order to give a lot of attention to each student. Depending on fitness these rides last from 2 hours to full days.