Jon Ensign Horsemanship

jon ensign horsemanship clinics

I discovered clinician Jon Ensign at an equine expo in Brazil. I immediately recognized that he has the qualities necessary in an excellent horseman. The focus, the patience, the softness, the experience, and the empathy necessary for the optimum communication with the horse.
— Dr Robert Miller

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During all clinics, your safety is my number one priority and your horse is number two.  It may sound insensitive, but we can always replace your horse but we can’t replace you.

For all clinics, I require riders and handlers to wear heeled boots and I strongly recommend long-sleeved shirts, jeans/chaps and helmets (riding clinics).  For the horse, you will need a rope halter with a 12 foot lead and a flag for all clinics, with the addition of a saddle and bridle for riding clinics. 

All disciplines are welcome at all clinics.  The descriptions below are a guideline of what you can expect, however, I do tailor each clinic to the abilities of the participants. 

Finally, keep an open mind and have fun with your horse!

Colt Starting

This clinic is for unstarted young horses, or an older horse that needs to be restarted.  The first two days of the clinic will center on exercises to get your horses’ respect on the ground and desensitize him to behaviors and things that he will encounter during the first saddling and ride.  During the next two days, we will use these exercises to saddle and ride!  This is six-hour, four-day clinic.  We will take frequent breaks as we do not want to push a young horse too fast too soon.  I have found this extended clinic session really is very successful and builds the most broke colts, and I feel it is what sets my colts apart. 

Foundation Horsemanship

This clinic is designed for beginners - horses or handlers.  It is great for horses that are missing bricks in their foundation, or new horse owners. You will learn how to get respect on the ground and desensitizing techniques as well as proper handling basics for beginners.  The emphasis is on groundwork and we will do some riding when everyone is ready.  This is a three-hour, three-day clinic.

Horsemanship I

This riding clinic is for horses that are broke to ride safely under control in a group setting.  We will work on exercises that will get collection and softness, and further control and responsiveness.  I prefer that you use a snaffle bit for this clinic. This is a three-hour, three-day clinic.

Horsemanship II

This clinic is for riders that have been through Horsemanship I.  We will refine earlier exercises for a softer feel, quicker responses and build on your relationship with your horse.  Bring a curb or bosal if you wish to this clinic.  This is a three-hour, three-day clinic.

Cow Working

This riding clinic is for horses that are broke to ride safely under control in a group setting.  We will use the cows to further refine our horsemanship skills - this is not a cutting clinic or a working cowhorse clinic.  I like to use cows because it gives a practical meaning to all the exercises we learn.  With the cows, we will be working on improving your stops and pivots - both hind and front - as well as sidepassing and backing to control the cow.  This is a fun way to advance your skills!    

Ranch Horse

Bring your horse out to the stunning Gallatin Valley in Montana for a very unique and amazing clinic. Both horse and rider will develop skills as they work through various aspects of ranch work on and around Jon's horse facilities in Belgrade, Montana. These five day events will be a special combination of Jon's horsemanship clinics and having the rare opportunity to truly ride like a cowboy. Be prepared to ride long and hard, through beautiful hills, mountains, meadows and streams. This will be both an unforgettable and demanding experience; riding, working cows, sorting, penning, roping, and even branding.

Private

Jon will be available for pre-scheduled private, semi-private, or group lessons either at his ranch in Montana, or scheduled outside of class times at the clinics. If you are interested in a time at one of the clinics, please contact us regarding time, rates, and space availability. This is an invaluable time to get undivided instruction for you and your horse.

Ranch Apprentice School
Bring:
Horse
Special hay or grain
Saddle
Pads
Hobbles
Rope 45 to 50’ soft
Rain gear
Snaffle bit and any other head gear you may want to use

Will Provide:
Pasture board or pay extra for pen (no inside stalls)
Grass/Alfalfa mix hay
Water
Lunch will be included

Not included in price:
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Lodging: Only 8 miles from the locationThis will be a week long course that will cover all daily ranch activities with GOOD HORSEMANSHIP being first and foremost.

There will be no set schedule; Daily actives may include some or all of the following under Jon’s instruction:
Good Horsemanship
Roping
Ear tagging
Calving
Doctoring
Feeding and checking cattle
Sorting and moving pairs
Pulling calves
Some indoor arena work
And any other obstacles you may encounter on a working ranch

Rach Apprentice SchoolJon Ensign's Clinic Schedule >