We come from various backgrounds and riding styles. We are very much in love with, and committed to the "life with a horse." We are not sure why anyone would make this their business if they are not. It is a life of hard work.
However, "A bad day with a horse, is better than a good day doing anything else."
Storm : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH6s-ullurM
Jazz : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nFsz3MQXCE
Max (arena) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=go-vSIoyEOM
Max in pond : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x08MOuOwi-I
Cheyenne and Sherbert:
People wonder why we charge what we do to start and/or train their horses. It is because we are the ones taking all of the risks, putting ourselves in harms way, building the obstacles, taking hours and hours to get their horse safe, and ridable for anyone. We do not "cowboy" the horses, use harsh methods or rush the horses. Every horse is different, and every horse needs a different time
We specialize in well trained, quiet, Trail, Competitive Trail, youth & family horses, started Mounted Shooting horses, and horses that simply have a very well balanced start, so that you can take them in any direction you would like to. We believe all horses should be safe, level headed, easy to handle and very well rounded. Our goal is to have horses that any level rider can get on, ride, have fun, trail ride and take their horse as high a level as they desire. We try to "over train" our horses so that they are ready for whatever their new owner may want to do with them. We try to make them as prepared as possible, and give them the tools they need to cope with new, scary or difficult situations.
Our horses will not come with some of the common vices. They all do the things that are taken for granted. The statements "I love my horse, he is perfect EXCEPT, "he hates fly spray" or "bridges" or "getting a bath" or "he is hard to shoe" or "he doesn't load very well"....none of our horses come with any of these issues.
Our training is not just about riding.
All of our horses are started, trained, ridden, competed, and finished in a bitless headstall. We believe in training with pressure and release. The horse should be able to find an "out" or a "reward" for doing what is asked. Our headstalls give that release when needed, but are also firm when needed. We believe you have a more relaxed horse, as well as more control with the headstalls. It is not a Bosal, or a hackamore.
It is not just a training tool, but a lifetime headstall.
Yes, we are bitless trainers. English, Western, Jumping, Dressage, Competitive Trail, it doesn't matter. We all came from a bit riding and training world...and we chose to find better ways. Anyone that says that you have less control without a bit...well there is no "politically correct" way to say it...needs to do some more research. We by no means try to push our ways onto anyone. However, every horse we sell, is sold doing everything in a bitless headstall. The only debate for some people is WHICH bitless to choose. That is an individual choice, and is you are going to make it, do the research and field testing.
We do not "start our horses in a bit, then transition away from the bit." As well, we do not "Start our horses bitless, and then based on training or competition level move them UP to a bit." They are started and always ridden bitless. You WILL see pictures on occasion of horses being ridden in various bits. These are new horses still in transition, or show horses that will be required to ride in a bit in certain classes. (We can not change the show world over night)
Will most horses transition back and forth from a bitless headstall to a bit? Yes. Will you want to ride your horse in a bit again, after the results you will get and you ride with a bitless headstall? No. Will your horse? No. Is that decision up to you, as the buyer of our horses? Yes. If you choose to buy one of our horses and at a later date put a bit in their mouth, there is nothing we can do about that. However, what we can do is assure that when they leave here, they do not have issues, vices or safety problems. We CAN say that at all levels, disciplines and tasks, they left here, doing them, and doing them bitless. The rest is up to you, as their new owner. We of course can not guarantee that the horse will not develope issues at a later date. We train horses, what their "people" do with them once they leave is out of our control.
The debate of whether or not you have more or less control with or without a bit, should not even still be going on. Your horse should be TRAINED, not "controlled" by various devices. If you do not have the control that you desire, then you and or your horse need more training, not more severe tools.
Often times people forget that real riding is done with your body, legs and voice. People complain about reins, bits, saddles, more or less bit, no response. However, riding is NOT done with just the reins or pressure, or the tools. Real riding is done with your own body.
People need to expect as much effort out of themselves as they do their horses. Become a better rider, become a more educated trainer. Take daily "inventory" of yourself, your body, your handling and riding. Pay attention to your horse, and its responses and reactions to you, your cues, and the tools you have decided to use.
Is it our concern, that perhaps "riding and training bitless" will turn away some potential business? No. Will "riding and training bitless" turn away SOME business? Perhaps, but there is just as much business for bitless. Our concern is the well being, safety, training and the future of the horses that we come in contact with. As well as the safety and happiness of our customers.
Bit or no bit has nothing to do with the quality of a horse. Their look, conformation, training and soundness, when you are looking for something to purchase, should be your concern.
For the large majority, this is your hobby. It is supposed to be enjoyable and safe. It is OUR job to train, fix issues and deal with things that most people do not have the knowledge or simply the time to deal with or fix. We try very hard to offer horses that we have put through the training, so that we can offer "horses without issues." Ground manners and no vices are just as important as "how does he ride." Everyone knows you spend just as much if not more time OUT of the saddle as you do in it. So not only do we focus on how they are under saddle, but also how they are "on the ground." That way you are ready, with a horse that not only rides great at all speeds, but is a joy to be around. This gives you the horse that you want to take to any level in whatever discipline you prefer. These things to are more or less productive, depending on the handler, and the tools used.