Horsemanship schools are places where you can learn about a variety of horse topics from care to riding. What’s more interesting that learning about horses? After all, if you’re reading this page you are probably horse crazy and will do anything you can to learn more about horses!
It’s great to learn more about things you are passionate about, especially if you are considering becoming a professional horseback rider or horse trainer. If you want to learn more about every aspect of horses or are considering a career with horses that includes more than just riding then these schools could be for you!
It’s great to learn more about things you are passionate about, especially if you are considering becoming a professional horseback rider or horse trainer. If you want to learn more about every aspect of horses or are considering a career with horses that includes more than just riding, then a horsemanship school could be for you!
Many Horsemanship courses are in depth longer programs run by
natural horsemanship trainers,
but the scope of a horsemanship school goes well beyond that. Any school
that includes horse care, groundwork, feeding, equine behavior,
psychology, farrier work as well as riding and training is considered a
horsemanship school because it teaches more than just how to ride.
Many youth programs such as the 4-H horse program partner with local universities to offer courses for local youth where they bring their own horse to learn everything from feeding, riding, to safely ground training a horse.
There are also non 4-H extension programs at Agriculture based colleges
available for children and adults. These programs range from two days to
one week in length and are taught by college age instructors that have
gone through proper training on how to effectively and safely teach
Natural horse trainers offer shorter natural horsemanship clinics
which are one day to several weeks in length where horse behavior relating to
groundwork and riding is the main topic. These courses allow you to
have daily natural horsemanship lessons that build on each other to help
you and your horse progress dramatically in a short time. Topics that
may be covered in these clinics are saddle fit, what is and is not
natural horsemanship equipment, ground safety and handling, riding using
natural horsemanship methods and natural horse care.
If you want to learn natural horsemanship in-depth for a career, and the practical business aspect of owning a horse training business then one of the longer horsemanship courses would be ideal for you. In these natural horsemanship courses your stay is much longer, typically several weeks to several years. Many programs of this nature offer a certification or endorsement of a particular method of natural horsemanship training when you pass the program up to the standards the school requires. Some such as LaCense Ranch in Montana guarantee job placement in the equine industry for its two year program graduates.
You will learn equine psychology, horsemanship training, groundwork, behavior, feeding practices, basic farrier care, business management, proper equipment, improve riding skills, better timing and feel in training, what causes and how to change “bad” behaviors both on the ground and while riding. Most horsemanship schools of this type have their own brand natural horsemanship equipment or some they endorse such as particular types of rope halters or leads.
Let's face it. Horses are an expensive passion! Attending
horsemanship schools can add up! A 2 day clinic has an average cost of
about $600 just for participation. That doesn’t include stabling fees,
hauling, health certificates and shavings in that cost.
I’ve attended several shorter courses with natural horsemanship
trainers where I have hauled out to their location or a barn that hosts
the clinic. Unless your barn can host the course you’ll have to haul out
to their farm, or a host barn where the clinician is teaching. Many
clinicians will give a discount to the clinic organizer or host. If you
are interested in going to a horsemanship school but can’t haul out or
afford to attend a longer program then you can try bringing the
horsemanship school to you! It never hurts to ask, and many clinicians
will reward your hard work at helping them organize, fill and staff
their clinic with volunteers with a discount or even some free lessons!
If that is out of your budget there is an even more affordable
option that allows you to still take part in horsemanship schools,
auditing. Many clinicians allow people to come watch, take notes and
sometimes even participate in non-horse simulations along with the
paying riders. Auditing can cost anywhere from as little as $25/day up
to several hundred for a longer course. Auditing can be a very
affordable way for you to increase your knowledge, sampling different
training techniques. A bonus here is that it is often easier to see what
is going on with a horse and see why the instructor is saying what they
are when you are not the one handling the horse in the moment. Call
around and see what trainers are coming to you and see if you can audit!
I hope you have enjoyed learning about some of the types
horsemanship schools there are out there and what to expect. Need some
basics first? Check out my
natural horse training
page to give you an idea what to expect with natural training methods.
Like I said before, many of the big name horse trainers have longer courses that you may want to look into. Check out the links below for other schools in Natural Horsemanship.
Parelli Horse Training-
Offers clinics by certified instructors all over the world as well as
longer courses of two weeks and up at their campus in Pagosa Springs,
CO. Some scholarships are available
Clinton Anderson Horse Training- Downunder Horsemanship has an intern program as well as certified instructor courses at his ranch in Stephenville, TX.
Chris Cox - Video courses, clinics, etc.