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The Original Wil Howe Ranch

From Foundation to Finished

Training Session

This course is truly an institute of knowledge, more than most students find comprehensible at first.. like "drinking from a fire hose"! It addresses the full range of horsemanship--understanding horse psychology, ownership, maintenance, and care, including health, training, tuning, and advancing to your goals. From our underlying basic fundamentals of horsemanship and all the "little things that count" to the refined art of finishing training, Wil and Beverly fulfill the school's reputation for excellence in teaching applicable information.


The six-day format allows us to elaborate on Wil's philosophy of horse psychology, which is actually a way of life and the basis of his entire program. The course follows the From Foundation to Finished training program as presented in our video series. Starting with the ground work, Wil shares his all-important "Guidelines for Acceptable Equine Behavior" and takes students through his 10 Steps and the variations used to advance horses from the snaffle to the bridle. For Wil, the ultimate goal is to have a horse riding in a full bridle, carrying 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 Reinsman. They lived on the backs of their horses, we're weekend warriors. For many now a days, it's just become easier to continue to pull and manhandle their horses with a snaffle bit all the time, keeping them in that retarded state of training, rather than taking the time to learn how to advance them and ride with some finesse. When you have a horse bridled up, you can take hold of him and feather those reins a little; they respond so much nicer than when in a snaffle.


This session fully encompasses the training process required to prepare a horse for a finished bit, showing 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. You are given a complete understanding of the techniques involved in the handling, reining, training, and tuning of a bridled horse. This art of finishing horses, Wil's specialty, is rarely offered to the public, 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.

We provide the finest education for the "hungry horseman."
Your thirst for knowledge will be quenched!


During the week-long Foundation to Finished training session, you'll learn:

  • In-depth equine psychology

  • Personality traits - reading and dealing with your horse's character

  • The roles of physical confirmation and mental disposition

  • Leadership in groundwork

  • More effective, in-depth round penning techniques

  • Safe hobble training and squaw hobbling-understanding the truth about restraint training

  • Bitting-up exercises with several variations, depending on individual factors of each horse

  • Applications of softening stretches and physical therapy exercises for enhancing collection and "carriage of frame" for the horse while ridden

  • Traditional snaffle bit training with emphasis on collection, flexibility, and control for all disciplines

  • Training and tuning horses of any age through the 10 Step Program

  • Practical use and understanding of traditional Californio Vaquero reining training techniques

  • Advancing through a series of bits into the finished bridle

  • Effective techniques for use of hands, with details of handling reins, control, and timing

  • Improved "harmony in the saddle" and breaking hindering habits through self-awareness exercises while on horseback

  • Practical application of leg aids and body control for safety while trail riding

  • Tack and bit discussions

  • Ownership - picking the right horse for you

  • Care and management of horses and facilities based on individual goals

  • Health care tips from experience

  • Overview of equine dentistry and the effect of poor dental health on performance


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