Natural Horsemanship

Trimming Bridle Path  Lily saddling Cassie Kayle with Cassie Rocking Bridge

4-H CLUB:  Love horses, but can’t have one of your own?  Or, maybe you have a horse, but need some help with ground manners and basic horsemanship skills?  The Laurel Highlands 4-H Horse Club in Westmoreland County may be just what you need in 2015!  We will learn about safety around horses, horse care, breeds, personalities, barn and pasture management, and basic handling skills using natural horsemanship techniques and an obstacle “playground.”   Activities will be held at our “Stillwaters Farm” in Donegal, using our five older, trained horses (Appaloosas and Quarter horses).  In addition to learning horsemanship skills, we will enjoy field trips, poster talks and community service.  This is NOT a learn-to-ride program.  Students need to sign up for private lessons to get going in the saddle (see below!)

PRIVATE LESSONS: Natural Horsemanship Lessons are offered in a 6- or 8-week series, and include ground work, tacking up, riding in the arena, through trail obstacles and on the trail.  With the 8-week series, the 9th lesson is FREE (either as a make-up lesson if you miss one, or as a bonus if you don’t miss any of the previous 8 sessions.)  Dates and times can be arranged to fit your schedule – daytime for homeschooled or cyber school students, early evening for students in traditional schools.

ABOUT OUR HORSES: We have five healthy and seasoned, senior-age horses, who like working with kids, including two Appaloosas (Captain and Gilligan) and three Quarter horses (Rebel, Lady and Cassie).

ABOUT OUR METHODS: Our students start out by learning to work with the horses on the ground, first leading, then directing them through obstacle courses.  Everyone starts riding bareback with a rope halter and reins in order to develop balance and a secure “seat.”  Students then graduate to a Western saddle and snaffle bit.  A 12-foot safety line is used by the instructor until the student is ready to ride independently, and helmets are required for groundwork, grooming and mounted work with the horses.

Contact Barb McMillan <> for more information.