Parma, Idaho

The RT Cowhorse Academy

A comprehensive foundation for performance horses.

When we say “start with the end in mind,” we’re looking beyond the futurities. We compare a three year old performance horse’s futurity to high school graduation–very important, but also the gateway to a long and fruitful life full of many achievements! We aspire to train horses for physical and mental longevity.

The RT Cowhorse Academy prepares young horses for their careers. The goal is to make sure the horse’s potential is maximized–whether that’s the highest level of Open competition or a beloved Youth horse.

Ryan’s foundation has taken horses to the highest level of competition, including the Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Finals and World’s Greatest Horseman.

 

Very ebony boon

Ebony came to Ryan as a two year old

The RT Cowhorse Academy Preschool is a 30 day halter training and groundwork program available year-round that takes a (preferably!) unhandled colt and introduces:

Halter breaking teaches a horse how to respond to a human’s body, giving directional control over the horse’s body. This starts in the horse’s mind. This control translates to riding later on, but also makes a colt that’s safe to handle. Working with the way the horse thinks creates a relaxed and respectful teammate.

Horses understand personal space from other horses from the time of birth. My technique uses the way horses communicate with each other so they understand personal space.

The Details

Preschool is available year-round for colts and foals of all ages. Unweaned foals can be enrolled on their mother’s side. The sooner your colt gets this foundation, the better! Please call Ryan for availability and booking.

The RT Cowhorse Academy kindergarten is a 90 day program for unstarted two year olds. This program includes mental engagement, body control under saddle, and exposure to the real world.

Horses can’t start kindergarten without a preschool foundation. For colts that haven’t completed the RT Preschool course, the 90 day Kindergarten program starts with an assessment of body control on the ground, response to halter cues, and patience. 

More info on Preschool

Horses understand personal space from other horses from the time of birth. My technique uses the way horses communicate with each other so they understand personal space.

The Details

Kindergarten horses are started in groups, or classes. Classes start every 60 days beginning on January 1. Slots fill quickly, so please make your reservation early!

The horse continues a consistent, well-rounded education and begins to show us his strengths and talents. By the end of Primary School we will pick a path to match the owner’s goals and the horse’s potential.

Halter breaking teaches a horse how to respond to a human’s body, giving directional control over the horse’s body. This starts in the horse’s mind. This control translates to riding later on, but also makes a colt that’s safe to handle. Working with the way the horse thinks creates a relaxed and respectful teammate.

Horses understand personal space from other horses from the time of birth. My technique uses the way horses communicate with each other so they understand personal space.

The Details

Kindergarten naturally flows into Primary School, so most of our Primary School students have been through the RT Kindergarten. We do accept colts from other programs, however. Please call Ryan to discuss your horse and your goals.

High school is where responsibility turns over to the horse. The foundation has been laid, guidance is still present, but we are teaching the horse to function as an adult on his chosen career path.

Halter breaking teaches a horse how to respond to a human’s body, giving directional control over the horse’s body. This starts in the horse’s mind. This control translates to riding later on, but also makes a colt that’s safe to handle. Working with the way the horse thinks creates a relaxed and respectful teammate.

Horses understand personal space from other horses from the time of birth. My technique uses the way horses communicate with each other so they understand personal space.

The Details

High School is a natural follow up to the RT Cowhorse Academy two year old program, so most of our three year olds are Primary School graduates. We do accept horses from other programs, however. Please call Ryan Thomas to discuss your horse and your goals.

“Graduation” at RT Cowhorse Academy means Futurities. We consider these the gateway to the rest of a successful career–no one wants to peak at a high school football game! Graduation is also a celebration of amazing horses. The energy, anticipation, and camaraderie of futurity season is unmatched.

Halter breaking teaches a horse how to respond to a human’s body, giving directional control over the horse’s body. This starts in the horse’s mind. This control translates to riding later on, but also makes a colt that’s safe to handle. Working with the way the horse thinks creates a relaxed and respectful teammate.

The Details

Futurities are achieved by starting with the end in mind. If you have the goal of competing, it’s important to get your horse enrolled as soon as possible. Part of the job is head hunting, so if futurities are appealing to you but you don’t have the right horse, we’d be happy to help.