Through demonstrations and clear, concise explanations, our goal is to help you learn skills that will help you enjoy your horse.
Our head trainer, Michael Sparling, first taught not in an arena but in a college classroom. He brings to the arena a skill set honed in the classroom. You will notice a difference. He is able to translate complex horse behaviors into common sense language. With Michael, you get the wisdom of an experienced trainer who also happens to be an experienced educator.
Horsemanship Bootcamp is a multi-week horsemanship education program that is geared towards developing the human to understand the balance between using horsemanship, to be better for the horse, and horse development, to help the horse be educated so the two of you can enjoy success together.
While at the Bellwether Farm you and your horse will learn, as you are ready, to:
- Understand the mechanics and positions of clear communication.
- Develop a “feel” in how you present these to your horse.
- Evaluate your horse and yourself so you can identify the appropriate presentation or progression to help you and your horse to make positive change.
- Break down exercises to their component parts so you know how to teach yourself and your horse.
- Execute many of the following tasks as you are ready and time allows:
Groundwork – round pen work, hooking on, haltering, leading by, flag work, united circle, hindquarter yields, the half circle exercise, transitions, forequarter yields, backing up of the lead and the rein, rope work, trailer loading, bridling and saddling.
Riding – lateral flexion, four methods of moving the hindquarters, one rein stopping for balance, soft feel, transitions w/t/l, hindquarter/forequarter turns, riding serpentines, circles and lines, short serpentines, leg yields, haunches in, half pass, stops, mounting and dismounting.
Roping* – using ropes to develop your horse, exercises to get handy at managing a rope, basic swing, basic shots on dummy, roping dummy horseback, heeling a cow, heading and tracking a cow, holding a cow.
Cow working* - introducing your horse to cattle, reading cattle and a herd, tracking a cow, directing a cow, directing a herd, holding a cow.
*Dependent on interest and availability
We offer individual and group lessons. Additionally, we offer personalized workshops tailored to specific participant interests or needs.
*Pricing and schedule available upon request*
When we work with a horse, our goal is to assure them there is no need to protect themselves, that things will work out between us and there is peace to be found doing things together. Our focus is on getting a horse gentle while developing a clear and confident understanding of all that is involved with quality riding. It takes leadership, patience, and consistency to develop a horse and that's what we try to offer every horse.
Starting a horse no matter what it’s age or gender is about exposing the horse to things that may cause him some concern, to assure him there is no danger in what you ask of him from the ground or when riding. A quality start is extremely important to set up your horse as your partner for years to come. The following are some of the things that will be covered with your horse:
Groundwork (leading, yielding, rope work, flag work)
Vet Preparation (needle prep, deworming prep, lifting tail for temp)
Saddling on a slack rope
Bridling and giving softly to a snaffle bit
Riding in arena on a loose rein
Developing the beginning of a soft feel
Swing a rope, dragging a log
Horse Development builds on what has been accomplished in the colt start. Developing a horse’s understanding of communication in the snaffle bit. As much or as little work as is necessary will be done on the ground to catch the horse up with the colt start foundation. Time will be spent Developing and/or Improving on the following:
Responsiveness to legs and reins
Swinging a rope, dragging logs
Addressing “behavior problems”
*Training package pricing and schedule available upon request*
Photos Courtesy of Nicole Poyo Photography
Bellwether Farm offers a heated indoor arena and lounge, a beautiful outdoor arena and round corral, grass pasture with shelters, auto waterers and covered feeders.
At Bellwether, we believe a horse is happiest out with other horses, so we pasture all our horses. When off pasture all horses receive the best locally sourced grass hay available.
We encourage a forage first feed program, but you can only add so much energy through forage. If your horse needs something more you may choose to bring your own feed and supplements which we can feed for $30/mo.
Board is $300 per month.
We have stalls available for horses on stall rest or quarantine. Bellwether Farm horses are under the veterinary care of Stillwater Equine and farrier care of Kyle McConaughey.