The Wil Howe Ranch is located in the Hells Canyon country of eastern Oregon. For over 35 years, we've been a comprehensive source for the hungry horseman, specializing in offering the finest all-around reined ranch versatility horses and "Cadillac" trail horses as well as unique horse training and horsemanship education, information, and equipment. We provide a down-to-earth, useful, and practical approach for those searching for a better horse through real and tangible horse training knowledge.
Knowledge is the door, application is the key…
We have something far greater to offer the horse world than just training techniques. Our motives are sincere and our message brings the truth that you can achieve more with your horses than you ever thought possible. People who take advantage and use our program are successful with their horses, get results, and reach their goals, because we bring out the best in them...so they can get the best out of their horse.
People may doubt what you say, but they will always believe what they see you do! Give us the opportunity to make the difference for you and your horse.
The reason we're able to do what we do, with both people and horses, is because of Wil's philosophies on horses and life in general and his ability to communicate effectively with students and clients.
Get to know us and our program better--here's where we're coming from...
Practical and personal might be the two best words to describe how horseman Wil Howe comes across. He is a unique mixture of cowboy, horseman, and philosopher, having spent 45 years making a living with horses from the cattle range to the competitive world of showing. Although he has specialized in reined cowhorses and cutting horses, Wil has trained over 23 different breeds for a variety of events.
This versatile reinsman and his wife Beverly have been teaching clinics throughout the west coast since the early 80's and have created a vast following. Wil was one of the first trainers to share the concepts of horse psychology as an approach to training horses. Their honest tell-it-all approach has made them an effective and dynamic teaching team, making their clinics, schools and videos stand out from the others.
Because of his generous and caring personality, Wil felt the need to educate people about the true nature of horses and the importance of having complete control of their mount, not only for safety and enjoyment, but performance. With a down-to-earth way of teaching, Wil keeps his program simple, useful, and in practical laymen's terms. He is straightforward and gets to the point by putting the black and white back into the understanding of horsemanship with the logical truth about horses...no mystery, no magic! Wil explains the importance and true understanding of the responsibilities involved in horse/rider relationships. He likes to put things into the proper perspective, he says, "by shedding light on the gray areas and misconceptions of horse psychology."
Wil feels that people put too much emphasis on a horses' intelligence and end up categorizing them as kind, gentle, loving or extremely smart animals. "Horses are very sensitive, not to be confused with intelligence or loyalty." It is necessary to get this set in your mind early on if you are following his theory. Wil believes horses react to what's happening around them. They are mentally at the development stage of a small child throughout their lives and do not reason. "You wouldn't let your 1,000 pound, two-year old child sit on your lap, nor should you allow your horse to." Wil relates your leadership role to that of parental guidance: "You must take the responsibility of being in charge."
"I help people to have a more fun, safe and realistic relationship with their mounts. More people than not haven't been getting the enjoyment from their horses that they should. What I can show them will save their life, give them a solid foundation for their horsemanship program, and teach them how to teach their horse. With that, I'll also show them what to teach them. We're all trainers the minute we touch a horse, right or wrong. My job is to share with people the secrets and the little things that count, which make a real difference in their horse's performance." This is the platform upon which he preaches.
Wil Howe sends a message of reality with methods that apply to all circumstances, sharing what he calls "the Rest of the Story", leaving no questions unanswered. Here is one uniquely versatile trainer, possessing an uncanny way of knowing how a horse thinks. Wil has been called a "speed reader" of horses. He shares everything down to the small and specific details on how you too, can read a horse, allowing for much clearer communication. "All this you can do yourself, and greater!" Wil preaches in his clinics. "You don't have to be born on a horse to get results. You just need to know what makes them tick."
He has capsulized his knowledge into what he calls his "From Foundation to Finished" training program. Communicating through the understanding of horse psychology, equine behavior, and their subtle body language, Wil shows how to get your horse's undivided attention and develop a willing attitude of trust and respect by applying his round pen training techniques which offer the proper balance between training the mental and the physical, rather than just going through the motions, producing only physical exercise for the horse.
This ground work, though only a small portion of Wil's program, is the vital starting point and prerequisite to establishing your leadership role in your relationship with your horse. What he reveals is the answers to the "hows, whys, and where-to-be" questions often not addressed by other clinicians. The uniqueness of Wil's program lies in his 10 Steps, a series of building block exercises performed under saddle in a snaffle bit. The sequence in which these steps are taught is the formula for success. "Horses, the simple creatures that they are, have to learn things in small, bite-sized pieces in order for them to retain what they've learned."
And, yes, old horses can learn new tricks. This program helps horses of any age or level of training." Through teaching your horse to be supple and responsive on all four corners and able to accept all forms of pressure, these steps allows you to maintain that "giving" attitude in your horse, keeping him tuned for reliability even in the midst of competition events or panic situations.
Wil's program goes much further than the basics of snaffle bit training, offering people the opportunity to advance their horse "Beyond the Snaffle Bit." For Wil, the ultimate goal is to have a horse riding in a full bridle with a silver ported bit in its mouth, handling and giving to it without resistance.
The Vaqueros are the foundation for the whole thing--the California Reinsmen. They lived on the backs of their horses. Nowdays, we're just weekend warriors, and for many it's just easier to continue to pull and manhandle their horses with a snaffle bit all of the time, keeping them in that retarded state of training rather than taking the time to learn how to advance and ride with some finesse. When you get a horse bridled up, you can take hold of him and feather those reins a little; they respond so much nicer than in a snaffle. Wil shows you, step by step, how to move from a snaffle bit to a curb bit, producing a collected horse that listens with ease to the light touch of the rein. Following his advanced reining and bitting techniques can put a handle on any horse. This art of finishing training is Wil's specialty, and no other clinician today offers this information or goes to the lengths that Wil does to teach the details of neck reining in a finished bit.
Wil & Beverly, both perfectionists in all areas of horsemanship, are a highly effective teaching team, known for their tremendous enthusiasm and patience which they exhibit when they work hands-on with both horses and riders in their clinics and schools. They customize their methods to apply to all phases of working performance events, as well as pleasure/trail riding. Personal attention is given to each student, enabling them to reach their maximum potential. The Howes' intense instruction develops better riders with exercises that improve seat, leg aids, hands, and timing. They also teach the importance of the proper, effective, non-abusive use of spurs.
Wil stresses "Get in tune with your horse and get results! Many riders and horses have reached a plateau and are ready to move on. They need direction--one might have a colt going, have him riding good, and by the time he is five years old he may be more seasoned and conditioned from use but is really no further along in his education. My 10-Step Program can give them that direction. For anyone with a reiner, cutter or pleasure horse they are showing, or have shown, my schools offer a great tune-up."
Wil and Beverly are able to teach you how to achieve a bright new response in horses whose routines have become dull and hum-drum. Many show horses, even barrel and rope horses, soured by performance events, leave the clinics and schools with a new outlook, renewed spirit, and zest for competition. Students learn exercises and techniques to keep the interest level up in their horses and are able to go on with a more in-depth knowledge of the level their horse really is and what he really needs. Many trainers won't share their inside secrets, keeping their students dependent on them, but Wil shares it all!
"Where There's Wil...Theres a Way"
To learn more about Wil & Beverly click here and view articles written about and by them over the years.