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The services that I offer are as follows:
Throughout the year I have approximately 5 horses in at any given time that I am working with. During this time the majority of those horses are in for a duration of 90 days but I will ride a horse for less or more time depending on the horse and the owners particular needs. I highly suggest this 90 day period of time, although it might not be necessary for all horses or owners. Let me take a moment to answer a few questions that have been asked of me in regards to why I think the 90 day time frame is beneficial for the horses and owners.
In the past I would, like most trainers take in the “30 day” colt. Which was perfectly fine if when I was done the colt was going back to a rider that was capable of mentally supporting that young green horse in the areas and situations that would be required. Unfortunately more times than not, this was just not the case.
So a “30 day” well started colt mind you, would be returned to their owners only to have the rider not capable of giving that colt the support they needed mentally in the event that the horse got scared or had difficulty in a particular situation. Knowing how to respond to a young horse during these situations and keep them out of trouble is very hard for green riders and green horses to accomplish.
This of course was not only discouraging for the owners, but more importantly it was too much to ask of a young horse to fill in for these riders. This led me to feel like I was being dishonest to the horse and knowingly setting them up for failure.
Like most trainers that make the majority of their money on riding “30 day” colts, to stay out of the red I was forced to ride as many as 8 – 10 horses in any given month at a rate of $800.00. Keep in mind no other person rides the horses I have in training.
I ride and handle ALL the horses I am paid for, no one else does anything with them in regards to their schooling. I have no apprentices or helpers, it’s just me and trust me I thought I was doing a good thing by only taking in 8 – 10 when compared to the “charge them cheap, stack them deep” trainers out there. Now let me be the first to say that I always gave 100% to each horse and owner. But the reality of the situation made it virtually impossible to give those horses the quality time they needed and required every day no matter how much daylight I had.
So, I came to the conclusion that if I was going to give the owners the time they deserved and more importantly give the horses I was working with all the time they needed to learn, I had to drastically change up what I had been doing for so many years.
What I decided to do after considering things long and hard and weighing out what would be best for all parties involved was to cut back the number I take in from 8 -10 horses down to 5 horses at a time for 90 days on average preferably. This again is not to say that I won’t take a horse in for less time, I just feel that the greatest benefit to the horse and success to the owner comes from a minimum of 90 days.
Now one of the first things I ask and encourage a horse owner to do, is to really make sure that the particular horse they are looking at having me work with is worth the time and monetary investment. If the owners have determined that they do wish to go forward with sending me a horse to work with, it is now up to me as a professional to be honest and truthful and to give that owner the time and effort they paid for.
I also try and keep a fluid line of communication open with the owners regarding their horse/horses. Usually on a weekly basis I speak with the owner either over the phone or through email about their horse and try and update them with pictures and videos when possible to show the progress they are or are not making.
This is very important to me that this takes place. It allows me to let the owner know how the horse is doing and whether or not the horse needs more time or if it is best for the owner to not continue spending money on a particular horse. I really believe that it is bad for business and ethically just plain wrong to continue taking money from an owner, when I know fully that the horse will either not be a good fit or require to much time to become a horse that is suitable for the owner.
I encourage the owners to come out and meet me or watch me work a horse prior to sending me their horse. I also allow for 1 scheduled day a week for the owner to come out while their horse is in training to watch me ride and work their horse. I completely understand if an owner wants to come out and check on their horse at other times. I have nothing to hide and I encourage it. All I ask is to please be respectful while on the premises (please do not leave garbage lying around and if you come out please do so at normal business hours). Although I love dogs dearly, please leave them at home. Dogs are my second favorite animal but more times than not dogs and green horses do not mix well. I would hate for your horse, your dog or for another owner’s horse to be hurt by accident.
So why the 90 days? Well, in over 21 years and about 4 thousands horses later. I have realized that the 90 day time frame on the average horse is enough for the average owner to get along with their horse once I have completed my time with them and have successfully transitioned the horse back to their owner.
I basically sum it up like a child going to school for the first time after a long summer break. On the average horse the first “30 days” is spent just getting the horse into a steady routine learning new things away from home and settling into their new learning environment. The second month or “60 days” is now spent teaching the horse the value of the things that were taught in the first “30 days” and helping them to make sense of it all.
That way by the third month or “90 days” the time is spent getting the horse more proficient at the new things they have learned so that it starts to become second nature to them. That is not to say the horse is finished by any means. They are still green recruits but with a good solid start on their education. The horse has now acquired a new set of skills and they are capable of using them on average with the average individual.
One of the biggest benefits with me taking in only 5 horses for that “90 day” time frame is that it allows me to expose the horses I have in to so many great opportunities and situations. This would not be the case if I had twice as many horse in. At times throughout the year I am doing clinics and lesson groups or helping ranches with their cattle and come late summer when the situation allows, I try to get into some higher country to escape the heat. Because I only have 5 horses in at a time this allows me to take my work with me and I rarely leave a horse back unless it is absolutely too green to go at that time.
One thing that I must clarify is that, although I speak of the time the horse is in training as a 30, 60 , 90 day or longer period of time. The actually time that I work with the horse is based off of hours. Each month there is a minimum of “30 hours” put on the horse. Usual in the first 2 weeks of the first month I have already invested 20 hours or more on the horse. So the first month ends up being more in the neighborhood of 40 to 45 hours.
But more importantly, although I break it down into a hourly basis, sometimes the horse just needs more time on a given day. So I never let time be the deciding factor on when the schooling session for the horse is complete for that day. Horses are worked 5 days a week on a regular basis. I believe that the horses benefit greater from a couple days to rest mentally and physically. Plus it allows me to see how a horse might stand prosperity for a couple days.
I know most owners are not riding their horses 7 days a week, typically it is 2-3 days a week if their diligent enough. So it does not benefit the owner in the long run if I ride the horse down so much that it is never rested. It will never gives us a true indication of how the horse will be with any time off. The time the horses are worked during the day is not always at the same time. I might work the horse first thing in the morning or it might be the last one of the day.
I am obviously riding more than just your horse each month, so I try to mix it up and give all horses and clients the same amount of time and attention. When I am doing clinics or lessons over a weekend I pick the horses that are the most appropriate fit for the clinic or lessons I’m doing and use them during those days. The time I camp out on those horses during those situations is an additional benefit for the horse and you the client.
***Please do not hesitate to contact me regarding your horse and your particular needs and situation. I try my best to accommodate my clients and to figure out what time frame will be best suited based on your experience and monetary concerns.***
A deposit of $250.00 is required to hold a spot for your horse and the remaining $1250.00 is due at the time that I take possession of the horse. This cost covers the training as well as feed and board. All vet and shoeing costs are the responsibility of the owner. Horses are expected to be in good health and current on all vaccinations at the time that I take possession of them.
Monthly training fees are NON-REFUNDABLE unless otherwise discussed. In the case of a horse becoming ill while in training, or if i feel that the horse is not compatible for the owner and is liable to be unsafe, I will refund the remaining balance of the month based on a PRO-RATED system.
If you choose to remove the horse during training for any reason other then the ones mentioned above, NO REFUND WILL BE GIVEN. You must understand that I am running a business and if your horse is in for the month then it is taken up a spot that another potential paying client might have had. Once your horse is in, you are committed to the spot and month. If you decide to terminate training at any point for any reason then NO REFUND WILL BE GIVEN.
I hope that I have covered most of the concerns or questions you might have regarding training costs and duration. Below you will find the other services that I offer and the cost of those services. If you have any other questions no matter what it is, please do not hesitate to call or email. The only foolish question is the one never asked.
– Training – $1,500 per horse per month
( Call Chris to discuss your horse and your particular needs regarding time frame or monetary concerns/ $250 non- refundable deposit required to hold training spots)
***All major credit cards and Paypal accept***
– Winter Training in Arizona – $3,500/ per horse for 2 months
( The additional $500 cost for the 2 months in Arizona is to help off set the price of travel, facility and feed for the duration of the time there. )
– Team Sorting, Ranch Roping and Cow Horse Training and Showing
( Fees vary from one event to the next and will be discussed on a individual basis. )
– Lessons – Private, Individual and Group
– $15/per person per hour for group lessons
– $50/ per person per hour for private individual lessons ( Two Hour minimum on private lessons )
– Clinics ( See Below )
– Demonstrations for Fairs, Expos and any other horse related events
– Video Assessment ( See Below )
– Quality Ranch Horses and Tack for Sale
Winter Training in Arizona:
Cost: $3,500.00 for 2 months of training ( $250.00 non-refundable deposit required to hold training spots )
During the winter months ( Jan & Feb ) I go south to Arizona with the horses in training. I have a very nice facility leased with clean safe pens and pastures as well as exceptional hay and fresh water. There is a very reputable vet that is in close proximity to my facility, if there should ever be the need. These months find me doing a variety of things with the horses that are in training. Some of the things that a person can expect their horses to be exposed to during these months are:
– Big circles and lots of miles
– Pasture roping and doctoring yearlings out of a rodear on the desert
– Ranch ropings
– Team sortings
– Being hauled to new surroundings and environments and being exposed to new situations
This is a fantastic opportunity for horses of all ages and levels, the exposure that these horses receive during this time is very hard to duplicate anywhere else in a 3 month period.
Each year is a little different, some years the horses are used primarily to be buckarooed on, making big circles and pasture roping lots of yearlings.
Other years it is a steady mix of both pasture and arena exposure. I try to accommodate each client and their horses particular needs.
Clients that wish to have their horses started and/or exposed to the ranch ropings and team sortings on a casual yet competitive basis will incur additional costs aside from the standard 3 month training fee.
These costs consist of:
– Entry fees for the particular event entered
– Half of the fuel bill ( which I pay the other half )
– Half of the accommodations and food expense ( which I pay the other half ) that might be incurred if the event is longer than one day or requires a lay over.
– All expenses are approved prior to the horses being hauled to any event or competition
This opportunity to have your horses ready to go come spring is becoming a very popular option with a lot of my clients. The trailer has a tendency to fill up quickly so if you think you might be interested contact me. It’s never to early to put your deposit down and hold your spot for this training opportunity.
*Following clinics are limited to 10 participants with horse*
–Halter Breaking and Foundation Groundwork Fundamentals
-Helping the troubled horse
*Following clinics are limited to 12 participants with horse:
– Foundation Horsemanship (with introduction to the Core Balance TM exercises)
– Advanced Vaquero/Californio style Horsemanship ( Hackamore, Two Rein, Bridle Horse. Horse and rider qualifications and requirements must be met. )
– Traditional Low Stress Cow-manship, with a emphasis on rodear style pasture livestock handling
– Improving your team sorting and cow horse abilities ( Focusing primarily on the sport of team sorting )
– Introduction to the basics of the Californio style of ranch roping
– The “Trail” ( Getting you and your horse out of the “box” and preparing you for the road ahead )
Clinic costs are as follows:
1 Day mini clinic — $150.00/ per person
2 Day mini clinic — $250.00 / per person
3 Day clinic — $375.00 / per person
4 Day clinic — $475.00 / per person
*** Clinic spots are required to be paid in full prior to attending the clinic, this assures that your spot is reserved and that you are serious and committed.***
***Clinic cost may vary depending on travel and location***
**ADDITIONAL CATTLE AND ARENA FEES MAY APPLY**
My first experience with shoeing horses was 21 years ago. I was cowboying for the Sunlight Ranch at the time and I was required to shoe my own string of horses. I knew nothing at the time about shoeing, other than the fact that it was a skill set I needed and one at the time I did not possess. I was lucky to get the job accomplished with help from the jigger boss at the time.
Over the course of the next couple of years I fumbled around “slapping” iron on the horses in my string at the different cow outfits I rode for.
In 1998 I went to work, cowboying for the Meyer Company Ranch, there again I was required to shoe all of the horses in my string. During my time at Meyer’s I was blessed to have worked along side my good friend and cow boss at the time Pete Chavez. Pete is a highly gifted cowman, roper and horseman in his own right.
I learned many things from Pete during the years I was at Meyer’s, about cows, stockman-ship and horses. Pete helped me early on to see the horses feet more clearly, and in doing so sparked an interest in me to attend the Montana State Horse Shoeing School.
I enrolled in the M.S.U Horse Shoeing School in the fall of 1999, where I again was blessed to have the privilege to learn and be instructed by, in my opinion and many others, one of the best horse shoeing instructors in the country, Tom Wolfe. Here is where I learned the dynamics of the horses foot, how it functions and what is needed from a farrier to help the horse to stay healthy and sound. I learned the importance of a balanced level foot and the need to keep the horses feet well maintained.
I graduated from M.S.U that fall and received my A.F.A. certification as well.
I have incorporated my horse shoeing skills into my training business, and although my primary business is training, I do shoe most of my clients horses, especially first time colts. As well as do all my own horses.
I feel that it is a perfect fit for me to merge my training business in with my shoeing skills. It allows me to use my horsemanship experience to help horses that have trouble being shod or to give the first shoeing to a colt and have it be a great experience, without using torture devices or drugs to accomplish this task.
The shoeing of horses should not be a traumatic experience, one where it takes chains, twitches, vets and drugs to get accomplished.
Not only do I offer my services for shoeing, but I also offer my horsemanship skills to get a horse to feel comfortable about being shod.
Throughout the years I have helped many horse that were said “could not be shod” and guided them to a place where they were relaxed and accepting of the shoeing process. Sometimes with a first time colt, it is only a matter of an hour or two of working with them to get them feeling good about their feet picked up and worked with. Other times, in cases where the horse has had much difficulty and has been scared or hurt, it could take months to help them get to a point where they will put trust back into the human and allow them to work with their feet.
This is why I strongly recommend “doing it right the first time.” I routinely take young horses, yearlings and weanlings in for their initial stages of halter breaking. This is a perfect time to work with the young horses feet and really get them feeling good about having their feet handled and worked with. Teaching them that they can balance themselves on three legs while one is being worked on, with out leaning or pulling away from you. It’s so important how the feet are picked up and especially put back down. This will help make the years of shoeing and trimming trouble free throughout you and your horses life.
Here is an example of one of the horses that I corrected the shoeing on. The previous farrier had this horses’ hooves in a very harmful angle, which ended up developing under slung and crushed heels resulting in a tremendous amount of stress on this horses joints and ligaments. With just a simple 1 degree wedge pad and moving the break over back on the toe of the hoof, I was able to have this horse standing correct in about an hour and half.
Happy horse, happy owners! 😉
The cost for shoeing and related services are as follows:
– STRAIGHT SHOEING / $85
– NATURAL TRIMS / $35
– CORRECTIVE SHOEING / determined by horses needs
– IF YOUR HORSE NEEDS TO HAVE WORK ON HOW TO GIVE THEIR FOOT SOFTLY AND BALANCE PRIOR TO SHOEING –
$100 – FLAT HOURLY RATE
** MILEAGE CHARGE DEPENDING ON LOCATION**
The video assessment is designed to allow people to send in a personal video to me, showing issues or troubles you are having with your horse or your riding. In turn I will review and evaluate the content of the video, and respond accordingly to each issue or problem.
**Videos must be kept to less than 20 min.**
Cost: $35.00 for each video reviewed
–9 am – 4 pm with 1 hour lunch break
How do I get started or how do I attend a clinic?
To find current dates, times and locations of clinics and demonstrations visit the Clinic Schedule page on this Web site.
I can also design the precise clinic for your ranch or guest ranch. Let him know what your areas of interest or concerns are, and he will put together the best clinic for your ranch.
– Do I travel? Yes!
***I am also available to travel to any location nationally or internationally, year round.Terms of travel can be discussed on an individual basis with each client.***
To schedule a clinic, demonstration, or to be a host, contact Chris for additional information:
P.O. Box 895
Corvallis, MT. 59828