Training Horses for Young Riders

Today I visited River’s Chiquita, our high-energy,  3 year old American Blazer filly being trained by Loren Price (who I highly recommend).  What a joy to see her lope with Loren after only two weeks of training.   She stood calmly as he saddled her without even being tied up!  She faithful submitted to Loren’s ground, hand-motion commands.  Her powerful energy was under control.  I was reminded that the Greek word for the English word “meek” found in Christ’s teaching actually means “strength under control” and was used in the context of a powerful stallion.

My question to those who train our horses is always the same: “Will this horse be a good and safe horse for our ranch kids?”  My heart leaped with even more joy to hear Loren resoundingly say that Rivers will be a great horse for kids.  At only 3 years old she will have years to serve our children and teens.  Rivers is a beautifully well built bay with a speck of white on her forehead.  She will be close to 15 hands (each hand equals 4 inches) when fully grown (horses grow until they are 5 or 6 and I have even heard of them adding an inch or two as late as 7 years old).

Each horse being trained costs between 400 and 1000 dollars spent over 4 to 8 weeks of training.  Once they are trained then all they have learned must be reinforced through continuing their ground work and exercises as well as consistently riding them.   A well trained horse who has already been trained by a professional will cost minimally 1500 to 2000 dollars and often much more, which means having our own horses trained saves Blazing Hope.  2 of the 4 horses being trained were born here at the ranch and one came here at 6 months old.

The trainers we employ to serve the children are professionals who work hard not only to train horses to be a safe and pleasurable but who themselves are always working to learn more to become better trainers.  We have recently changed trainers to better train our horses.  Barbara Dunn is certified John Lyons Trainer who has invested much to become an experienced and well educated trainer.  She is thought highly of  by the Bureau of  Land Management who employs her to train wild Mustangs.  John and Josh Lyons are two of the nationally-known horse trainers in the field of natural horsemanship.

Loren Price is our other new trainer who comes highly recommended by American Blazer Horse Owners and is generally thought of as the premier Blazer horse trainer.  It has been our privilege to observe His excellent work at the last two Idaho Horse Expo shows where his trained horses have been prize winners.   Like Barbara, Loren is always seeking to improve his experience and education.  You can check out the American Blazer Horse at

“Because the Blazer Horse is bred to be a sound, balanced individual and a willing partner, Blazer Horses are competitive in several areas of equine competition, as well as being reliable trail and family horses. On the trail or on the rail, cutting cows or dancing through a dressage test, the American Blazer Horse is ready, willing and able to follow the equine endeavor of their rider’s choice.

The trait most prized by Blazer Horse owners is their honesty. They are kind and willing, and often are quickly accepted as a member of the family, rather than just another horse. When one Blazer owner was asked “How can your little horse carry 200 lbs. of rider and gear into National Reined Cow Horse Competitions and score in the 70’s” her reply was simple, “He may only weigh 762 pounds, but 761 of it is heart”.

The Blazer adapts easily to new situations and is accepting of their surroundings, giving them the unflappable nature required for family life or as first horses for riders just learning their skills. Many Blazer Horses prove to be excellent family horses that perk up when they hear little voices, and come quickly for the caress of little hands. They often adopt “their kids” and take excellent care of their charges.” (The American Blazer Horse Website)

You can see why we love the Blazer horse (we have 13).  Their adopting  “their kids” means much to a ranch like ours that majors first and foremost on using horses to bless children.

To invest in this vital training you can give via the Network for Good at or by sending us a check here at Blazing Hope Youth Family Ranch, 5520 Stamm Lane, Nampa, Idaho.  Thank you for your generosity.  Our March giving income was outstanding  but our April income has been significantly less.  If you have any questions, please give me a call at 208-697-0011.

Blazing a New Path for Christ and for Children,

Michael Oris Howard

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