BY PIPER WHELAN
You’re in for a fun, stimulating weekend of schooling and competing at the Horse Ranch’s 2015 Extreme Horsemanship Challenge Clinic and Competition on Aug. 28-30 at Fort St. John, British Columbia. Now in its 13th year, this event is led by Natural Horsemanship clinician Glenn Stewart.
During this challenging and enjoyable weekend, participants have the opportunity to both improve their horsemanship skills and show off their abilities in an obstacle course and a number of tasks.
“I wanted to have an event that tested all four savvys: the two on the ground and two in the saddle,” says Stewart, who was the 2010 Calgary Stampede Extreme Cowboy Champion. “I wanted to see how people and their horses handled going all six directions: forward, which is (used in) most events, backwards, right, left, up and down. I wanted to test as many different areas as possible, looking for speed, softness, connection and understanding.”
The entry fee for this three-day event is $600. The event is open to riders of all levels and disciplines, and entries will be accepted until all 16 available spots are filled. Participants are welcome to camp at the ranch, where they will enjoy campfires each night. Last year’s participant feedback included statements like, “I had no idea how much I could learn in such a little amount of time,” and “What a cool weekend filled with a lot of different aspects of horsemanship, and the competitions was so exciting.”
This clinic and competition is a chance to “learn about the horsemanship skills that the judges will be looking for and how to prepare and develop a great horse on diverse obstacles, as well as build your fundamentals and skills” relating to elements of a variety of disciplines. Stewart’s clinics feature his particular method of horsemanship, in which he introduces horses to concepts in a way they can more easily understand.
“The first two days are a clinic where we help them with the four savvys, and give them tips on how to get and lose points in a competition,” says Stewart. “It is also a chance to improve or get help in areas they feel could be better.” The third day begins with more horsemanship, and then moves into the competition. There will also be demonstrations throughout the event, on “anything from trimming, conformation, colt starting, liberty, bridle-less riding and anatomy. Each year is unique.”
As for what Stewart hopes participants will get out of this event? “I hope they have a lot of fun, learn something and bring their best chili for the chili cook-off Saturday night.”
For more information, visit the Horse Ranch’s website. Also be sure to check out their Facebook and Twitter pages and Stewart’s YouTube channel for more on Natural Horsemanship and the Horse Ranch’s upcoming events.