Read more about our StaySafe Initiative and what amenities and restaurants we have available.

Horsemanship Clinics - Tanque Verde Ranch


Western Riding

One of our goals as a traditional western ranch is to assure that there is always opportunity for guests to expand their abilities as a rider. One option is to partake in is our Horsemanship Clinics. The Horsemanship Clinics are designed to teach communication between the rider and the horse. Starting before you even saddle up, through groundwork to leg cues and rein management. You will learn all the skills necessary to gain control of a horse’s five body parts and create the ultimate riding experience. There are four clinics available; take one course or all of them -- it’s all up to you. Ground-working Clinic The Ground-working Clinic taps into the foundation of the trail. During this clinic you will learn how to gain control of the horse’s hind feet. Think of the horse as being rear-wheel driven. When you have control of it’s hind feet you gain control of the horse’s hip to take care of the steering which leads to ability to handle forward impulsion and speed. This course helps teach the horse’s footfalls by each individual foot. Following with instruction for combining all four feet simultaneously you’ll learn how to read the horse. Learning which lead it is in when you start moving is important for knowing when you’re in the correct lead for the chosen direction and how to change the horse’s lead when necessary. Horsemanship 101 (From the ground up) This clinic covers all things from saddling a horse to lunging exercises. Instruction about fitting and adjusting the saddle correctly will be given. Learn how to cinch a horse up correctly and how to fit a breast collar. Also learn how to ensure that you have the correct size saddle for both the rider and the horse. Next is getting into the six steps to correctly bridle a horse. The bridle is the headgear on the horse. This includes a headstall and a bit and reins, all of which are important and necessary for control of the horse. Moving forward you will do ground-working exercises. Learn the steps involved in gaining control of your horse’s feet. Learning the horse’s footfalls and understanding the rider’s relationship to footfalls is important for gaining control. Getting to know timing with the horse’s footfalls in relationship to the horse’s gait. If your horse begins to speed up and lose it’s regular stepping cadence to it’s gait, the horse is no longer walking, but beginning to either trot or pace so it is important to understand this relationship – This includes two-beat, three-beat, and four-beat instruction. Doing lunging exercises will take your skills to the next level. These exercises teach the rider about body language in both themselves and the horse. They develop communication skills between the horse and rider. Engaging in these exercises will perfect the basis of knowledge necessary to move forward to Horsemanship 102 and the Intermediate and Advanced Horsemanship lessons. They are of great value for those who would like to learn more to help them eventually pass the Tanque Verde Ranch lope check and for better ability while learning to trot and lope. Opportunities for Question and Answer follow following the clinic.  Horsemanship 102 (A True Connection with your Horse) This is where the instructor will start getting into leg cues necessary to direct the horse in all directions; forward, backward, left, right, and side-to-side,. Leg positioning coincides with Leg cues. Receive instruction on the primary positions for the rider’s legs to best communicate with the horse and move the horse in the directions earlier discussed. Another important skill to have is Rein Management. Consider that ideal communication with the horse involves 80% communication through the rider’s legs and 20% communication through the reins. Rein Management Exercises are the final touch necessary to get the best communication possible. These exercises teach you more about effectively getting directional changes from the horse in holding and moving the reins to get the most from your riding experience. Opportunities for Question and Answer follow following the clinic. Advanced Horsemanship Clinic (Putting your instruction into practice) (Must successfully pass intermediate Horsemanship Clinic to participate) This is where all basic techniques are perfected. Instruction in the saddle is necessary to advance your horsemanship instruction. In this course you will refine your leg cues, leg positioning, and rein management skills. Finally, gain control of your horse’s body parts; neck, poll shoulder, ribcage, and hip. This is where everything falls together and you become a true horseman. Gaining control of these body parts helps complete the puzzle of communication with changing gaits and more. This course will practice through exercises of walking, trotting and some loping in a way that you’ll recognize your growth as a Horseman in communication and being one with the horse. These clinics are for riders of all experience levels and do not have to be attended in sequence. You’ll be able to jump in at any point, with excellent horsemanship instruction in each clinic. Attend all clinics for optimal results. Engage in one or all and you’ll learn from the best, improving your riding along the way. Make it a family event, or drop the kids off at Kids Camp and take some personal time. It’s all up to you!