Combine Your Equine Education and Vacation
by Kim Roe
There’s a hot trend in equine education and travel: combine them! Opportunities can be found worldwide, but some of the best training and adventure is in North America. Top instructors and clinicians are inviting students to come to them, and most offer an opportunity to ride in spectacular country. Many give you the option to bring your own horse or lease a horse provided by the instructor.
These experiences range from a few days to a few weeks. Called camps or horsemanship clinics, they all promise a fun time, beautiful scenery, and a journey that will lead to a higher level of understanding and communication with your horse. Most offer small group intensives that will not only improve your horsemanship skills but introduce you to new friends.
The following clinicians are just a few of the many who are inviting riders to join them for intensive horsemanship clinics at their ranches.
Steve Rother’s Horse Creek Ranch is found in northeast Washington state. The ranch features indoor and outdoor arenas, round pens, extreme trail courses, creeks, ponds, a lake, waterfall, and mountain and open pasture riding. Horses can be leased or you can bring your own. They even offer an opportunity to work cattle. These educational camps are considered a complete immersion into horsemanship. Groups are kept to a minimum in order to ensure plenty of one-on-one instruction. Find out more at www.horseteacher.com.
Jonathan Field offers camps at the spectacular James Creek Ranch in Merritt, British Columbia. Situated on 600 acres, James Creek slowly meanders its way across the ranch. Jonathan Field’s Horsemanship Program at the James Creek Ranch offers individuals an educational horsemanship experience like no other. Camps are a fantastic opportunity to completely immerse yourself in developing your horsemanship. The ranch offers an open, challenging environment where you can learn the practical application of Jonathon Field’s Horsemanship Program outside of an arena. The focus is a purpose-oriented experiences for you and your horse, framed by a magnificent horizon of fenced pastures, open meadows, and beautiful trails. Jonathan Field teaches you directly. Riders must meet prerequisites in order to attend. www.jonathanfieldhorsemanship.net
Chris Cox hosts week-long horsemanship camps for all levels of riders. Chris’s goal is to lead you to a higher level of communication with your horse. You will receive group lessons as well as personal instruction from Chris. The Diamond Double C Ranch in Mineral Wells, Texas boasts its own bunkhouse hotel, The Lonesome Dove Hotel. You can bring your own horse or lease one of the Diamond Double C Ranch horses. When you return home, you’ll have a newly enriched concept of how to communicate with your horse. There are 5 horsemanship clinics offered and prerequisites that need to be met. Chris’s program is designed to start at the beginning and build a foundation and one-ofa- kind relationship with your horse. Each clinic is designed to be progressive in order to build your knowledge, communication, effectiveness, feel and timing, and to accelerate your horsemanship as far as you want to take it. Chris has also designed a clinic to help riders develop more confidence for those who have had a traumatic horse accident or experience. www.chris-cox.com/_pages/clinics
Kim Roe grew up riding on the family ranch and competed in Western rail classes, trail horse, reining, working cow, and hunter/jumper. She trained her first horse for money at 12 years old, starting a pony for a neighbor.
Kim has been a professional dressage instructor in Washington state for over 30 years, training hundreds of horses and students through the levels. In recent years Kim has become involved in Working Equitation and is a small ‘r’ Working Equitation judge with WE United.
Kim is the editor of the Northwest Horse Source Magazine, and also a writer, photographer, and poet. She owns and manages Blue Gate Farm in Deming, Washington where she continues to be passionate about helping horses and riders in many disciplines.