Because of this we are now offering 2 brand new services designed to help you and your horse.
The first being private phone consultations which are immediately available to help people who are looking for timely, private assistance in their work with their horse and also quick responses to any urgent questions or problems.
Phone Consultations with John Saint Ryan
To schedule a Phone Consultation
Phone consultation rates are $30 for 20 minutes and $50 for 40 minutes. These phone consultations will allow John the opportunity to provide personal help to those of you who are looking for private, confidential assistance with your questions, problems, and unique situations. To set up an appointment, please complete the online form. You will receive an e-mail confirmation within 24 hours. You will then receive your appointment time and we will provide you with calling and payment instructions.
Virtual Learning via video
Video Lessons with John Saint Ryan
About Video Lessons
Whatever your preferred discipline, be it dressage, western or Doma Vaquera riding, we all want to progress and improve on our working relationship with the horse. This service is designed to give you the best in feedback on any given situation that you are struggling with. Also to assist you in learning how to develop or school your horse for a particular movement. Sometimes a rider has regular lessons and yet feels they are not quite getting the understanding or connection with regard to a particular movement. Sometimes the rider/owner is struggling with one little issue that never seems to get resolved. This is where having another professional evaluate the situation can help. This is not to denigrate any of the professional trainers out there that may be helping you; it is simply an option to offer a fresh set of eyes on a project. Much like where John still takes lessons from other professionals such as Rodrigo da Costa Mattos. Rodrigos’ eyes on Johns’ riding keep him sharp and wanting to attain more.
Why Video Lessons?
Because in todays economy, clinics can be too costly, or just too difficult to schedule with everyday life. We appreciate how frustrating it can be to have everything apparently organized only to find a few days before the clinic that your horse has become too sore to ride, a member of the family needs your help, the person you had arranged to trailer your horse cannot help, etc. etc.
Then of course there are horse owners who live out on a limb where they have no access to help or instruction.
So having said all that we know that this service will be of great benefit to many different riders with many different problems or just the riders who have that deep desire to progress.
It is much better to feel you have someone in your corner helping guide you.
There are pros and cons. In our opinion there is nothing better than a one to one lesson, as it enables John to give immediate advice and direction as the moments unfold. However on the plus side with a video lesson you have the benefit of REWIND! We know for a fact that sometimes a person will call after taking a private lesson wanting to refresh their memory about something they worked on. Having the video record allows the person to find that spot and see just where they need to make a change.
Making progress on your own can be difficult without some clear direction and of course that is why many people try to get to as many clinics as they can. Video lessons have all the benefits of good instruction without the expense of travel and accommodation for you and your horse. Now with your own personal program you can focus on the work proper in an environment your horse is already comfortable in and your journey together is tracked and recorded as you progress. Sometimes that in itself is a wonderful tool in helping us realize that we are improving.
How do I participate in this service?
Send e-mail with details of your horse and the issues you are facing or the advice you need for a particular movement.
Tell us about your horse (age, experience, soundness problems, attitude, length of time you've had the horse, and how the horse is managed - stabling, turnout, daily exercise, etc.). Then tell us about yourself (age, experience, soundness problems, attitude, current level of riding, average weekly time spent riding, goals, concerns, interests, what comes easily, what is difficult for you, etc.) Ask any questions you like about anything: horses, training methods, riding styles, saddlery, tack, etc.
If this is Your First Video Lesson
Don't worry about the technical aspects, this isn't Hollywood, but try to shoot in good light and wear something that contrasts with the color of your horse (as in don't wear black jeans/breeches on a black horse, it makes it difficult to see when and where you are applying your leg aids).
Also as it is your first lesson we would like to see you get the horse, tack up and warm up on the ground. Don't try to do anything that you don't normally do, the purpose of this part of the video is for John to be able to see if there is anything in that foundation that he can help you with which may impact your situation under saddle.
If all is well here then you can omit this in subsequent lessons. But of course John will advise you in his analysis.
As you progress John will give you exercises to improve your horse in whatever way he sees beneficial. They may be classical exercises to help gymnasticize your horse or they may be based more on the psychological aspect to try and help relieve particular difficulties.
Step by step John will be able to see how your work is unfolding and what he can suggest to change something that you might be struggling with.
What can you expect from me regarding the evaluation of your video?
John will be looking at your horse with regard to his conformation and present ability to do what you are asking of him.
He will be looking at ways he might enhance your communication with your horse by observing your riding posture and application of the aids.
John will give you clear and valid suggestions that will set you on the right track.
The above points are of course for advancement in straightforward riding and communication with your horse. If you feel you are having specific issues with anything e.g. groundwork, saddle fit, trailer loading, fear of crossing water etc. etc. then we will ask you to focus on specific things in your video before you send it to us and then John will be better equipped to advise you on the steps you need to take.
What do I do if I am strictly a classical rider or strictly a Natural Horse person?
Through years of experience working with horses and Johns’ own education where he has sought out the best people he could possibly find as Mentors. John believes that there are so many ways to approach any given situation; we need to find the one that is most appropriate and understandable for your horse and for you.
As Tom Dorrance used to say, “There’s more than one way that can be the right way”.
Many of the movements are fundamentally similar from one school of training to the other, maybe there are slight variations but if John asked a Natural Horseman to walk his horse in renvers on a volte, he might lose that student! But if he suggested the student walk his horse on a 15 foot circle counter bending him to the outside of the circle, he'd have at least some picture of the exercise. “My job is to help you understand why I want you to do a specific exercise and if it is something you are unfamiliar with I will help you find ways to learn and understand it.” JSR