CLINICS & TRAINING
Our philosophy on training...
We are reluctant to use the term "training" at all due to the fact that it doesn't exactly resonate with what we do, but for lack of a better word, training will have to suffice. Both Pinto and Christa consider what they do with horses to be much closer to teaching than training. Working with the horses in their care, they help them to understand and accept the lessons, including them in the process and being considerate of their experience.
They don't teach habituated cues and responses but rather they educate the horse on appropriate communication techniques so the results are closer to a fluent conversation than pushing buttons. Because of this, it's important to educate the humans as well as the horses otherwise the team will struggle to communicate. "We develop understanding, confidence, communication and partnership between humans and horses".
The focus of any given session is the horse's understanding and willingness, not just "obedience". Of course a respectful, safe and reliable mount is the outcome they're looking for but having a horse who feels safe and is not only willing to accept support but actually looking for it is the goal. This means that the human partners will need to understand how to recognize when their horse is looking for support as well as how to provide it. For this reason, it's important that owners are prepared to develop their own skills as well. Horsemanship lessons to help unite the team are included in full training at the Rock'n Star Ranch.
Christa and Pinto are excited to offer their experience and skill to horses and humans for the purpose of educating both. They offer Horsemanship Lessons, Clinics, Full Time Monthly Training Services and Edu-Vacations as well and providing ongoing support after a horse in training has gone home, customized to each horse's/human's individual needs. Between them, they offer over 50 years of combined experience working with horses.
Photo by: Connie Eliss
About their style...
Over the years, Pinto and Christa have developed their own styles and pursued the things they were each most passionate about. Pinto became fascinated and inspired mostly by the process of starting the young ones under saddle, helping them to gain confidence and skills that would provide them with a good foundation while Christa's passion has become both refining and developing the more intricate skills of a good hackamore/bridle horse and helping horse owners to strengthen their bond, develop their relationship and reaching new levels of togetherness through offering guided Edu-Vacations and lessons.
Both Pinto and Christa like to use their own saddle horses to provide support and comfort to the horses they work with and often work with each other to find the perfect balance for each horse. Since it would be pointless to work with the horse and not with the human caregivers, Pinto and Christa both feel that having a program designed for both the horse and the human is an essential part of achieving success with any horse. Please don't hesitate to contact us to find out more about how we can help you!
How it works...
Full Time Training - $1250.00/mo + tax.
Horses who are enrolled in Full Time Training here at the Rock'n Star Ranch are worked with 5 days per week. In this way they will receive plenty of attention and the consistency of handling that will help them to create new and lasting habits without becoming burned out or shut down and we can preserve their interest in connection.
Although we are happy to work with horses for a single month as a way of assessing their needs or tuning up previously established understanding, a horse who is enrolled in Full Time Training for the purpose of starting will need to be with us for a minimum of 90 days. A breakdown of what is done in that time can be found on our blog page in the entry titled "The Time it Takes".
The process of learning to wear gear and carry a person is a big deal to a horse and is a major turning point in their lives. This is not a process to be rushed or hurried through. When the correct time is taken and the right attention is provided to the horses needs, the result is a solid foundation on which to continue a young horses education. Good, solid riding partners are created in years, not months but when a horse has learned it can turn to it's human partner for guidance, those inevitable speed bumps that come up become easier and safer to navigate.
* Although we recommend 90 days for horses enrolled in training for the purpose of starting, we feel it's important to make sure our clients understand how 90 days in training actually breaks down. When the horse is being worked with 5 out of every 7 days, 30 days in training works out to around 21 days of hands on work. In 90 days of training, a horse will have received around 63 days of hands on work. It's important to remember how important those "days off" are to a horse. This is often when they do the majority of their "soaking" and start to really take on board the lessons. Without this down time, they would struggle to absorb the learning. *
Who and what we teach...
Training our horses through communication wouldn't be a whole lot of use to anyone if they didn't have a basic understanding of how it works. We are happy to provide Horsemanship Lessons to anyone who is interested in learning about how they can better understand and communicate with their horse.
Christa is certified by the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) to Level 3 in Western Horsemanship and although riding is a big part of our Horsemanship Lessons, there's a lot more to it than just sitting in the middle and letting your legs hang down. We focus on development of feel, timing, balance and signal and of course an understanding of what makes your horse tick and how best to appeal to their natural sense of teamwork and partnership.
Lessons in Horsemanship are $85/hour here at the ranch in Pritchard/Kamloops BC, on your own horse and because we feel that learning to understand this perspective is so important in continuing your horses education after training, one lesson per week in included in every month of Full Time Training.
We feel that as great as lessons are, there's something extra special about the learning that's made possible at a weekend clinic. In an hour, you can learn a great deal but in two and a half days, you learn so much more!
You can also learn a variety of things that you may never gain access to during a one hour lesson. Clinics will put you in the unique situation to be managing your horse in a group of other horses (or sometimes cattle) and often out on the sprawling grasslands around the ranch here in Pritchard/Kamloops BC and for longer periods of time, stretching their comfort zone, and yours, to help develop your partnership.
We are happy to present Horsemanship and Stockmanship clinics and workshops here at the Rock'n Star Ranch, taught by Christa & Pinto Miremadi as well as supporting our good friend and mentor, Miles Kingdon by hosting a couple of his Stockmanship and Hackamore/Bridle Horse workshops each year.
Each clinic is unique and customized to each and every horse and rider in attendance. We don't teach a "program" or a step-by-step system so even if you came to multiple "Intro to Stockmanship" clinics for example, you would learn something different at each one.
Our focus is on helping to develop our riders/participants understanding of their horse, their unique needs and developing their feel, timing balance and signal in order to maximize the enjoyment, safety and confidence of both the human and horse in each partnership.
Partnering with our horses to learn to manage livestock respectfully, we develop our skill and understanding of how to use the science behind working stockmanship smart, not fast. Preserving our horses and our cattle we use timing, angles, understanding and skill to gain a deep understanding and more effective influence through ranch style stockmanship.
Hackamore/Bridle Horse Development...
Developing a good hackamore or bridle horse is not just a skill, it's an art, one that has been handed down from vaquero to cowboy and from cowboy to cowboy for generations. I have been lucky enough to have been exposed to some great hackamore and bridle horse men and women from a young age and have been seriously studying the art for the past decade. It has become a huge passion of mine and I'm excited to share it now with those who have a desire to learn it.
In my opinion, Hackamore and Bridle Horse Development is the only system that truly works with and for the the horse, preserving their power, their natural aptitude and their physical bodies in a way that truly honors the horse. Sharing this incredible art form with you now is a way to give back to the horse, a creature who has given me so much. In a Hackamore/Bridle Horse Development workshop you will learn:
- The history of the equipment, what it's made of, how and why.
- The art of using balance as signal and how that effects your relationship with your horse.
- The stages of development: hackamore, two-rein, straigh-up.
- How to effectively use this beautiful equipment to communicate with your horse.
- Develop your timing, feel, balance and signal in order to truly work with your horse.
"I will never have enough good things to say about the Rock’n Star Ranch.!!!
The place: heaven for horses!!! Magical, beautiful scenery, where horses live like horses should with space, space and more space!!! Took my boy there for the summer, to let him unwind from hunter jumper barn life. It was the best thing for him.
The people: so knowledgeable and dedicated to give the best care for the horses and build better and stronger partnership between horse and riders.
I absolutely love going to the edu/vacation clinic. What better way to learn from some of the best with your friends, 4 and 2 legged ones, and even making new ones.
I love so much that both Christa and Pinto with each their own style make such a great team.
I love the Rock’n Star Ranch….
Stephanie Barthe-Evans 🇫🇷🇨🇦"
"I have had the pleasure of knowing Christa and Pinto for many years. They have helped me through a variety of issues with several of my horses, so when I brought home my Haflinger mare and she immediately began causing trouble, I was so grateful to have someone to turn to for help!
From not getting along with my other horses, challenging me it seemed about everything, and not being the solid trail horse I thought I had bought....with patience, humour, and a passion for helping horses and their people understand each other, they have walked us through everything that has come up, even making sure we are having fun in the process! I can't wait for more opportunities for me and my little mare to learn, grow and overcome challenges together:)
Melody and Farrah""
"Having never actually met either Christa or Pinto, or seen Rock’nStar, sending Hawk into their care was a leap of faith. He wintered over in their herd and went in to formal training in the spring. Pintos’ ability to take the time needed to develop a relationship of trust and encourage a confident, well balanced partner is impressive. He is very good at setting up boundaries while also allowing the horse to have a voice.
All in all it was a great experience and that leap of faith turned out for both Hawk and me.
Powell River BC"
"When I made the decision to start my young horse, there was absolutely no question it would be with Christa and Pinto at the Rock'n Star Ranch. My personal goals are in learning and training in the Vaquero traditions and so having my young Arabian spend time over the next few years with people who love and respect this history was a natural fit. But whatever your goals are, whatever your chosen discipline is. the more time your horse has out in this incredible natural environment, the better it will be for them physically and mentally. Whether it's attending a clinic, giving your horse a boarding "vacation" or sending a horse up for training you will find that this is one very special place with some of the best people you will ever meet.
"When I met Christa at a clinic she was so helpful. My mom said can’t you find someone closer? We’re in Merritt and they're in Pritchard, I said "No! I want Christa to train my horse!" Spappy, Nikki, and Cash are and were forever grateful. We experienced their training, helping with tack, trimming, and clinics. Nikki & Cash benefited from Pintos patience and expertise. Cash was starting to have beautiful horse hooves, thanks to Christa and a pleasure to ride.
Sadly we lost her due to a freak accident in 2021. Spappy & Nikki full sisters with totally different personality’s will be our riding partners as we carry on our road. No road taken is without challenges or bumps along the way, (fires, flooding, evacuations, & COVID), were sure looking forward to new learning opportunities with the Miremadi’s! Both Pinto & Christa have a wealth of knowledge to share with both you and your beloved horses. So thankful that I meet you both & can continue to learn from you!
Laura Chivers, Spappy & Nikki"