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Bitterroot Ranch
1480 East Fork Rd
Dubois, Wyoming 82513
Fax: 307.455.2354


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Certified Horsemanship Association logo
Approved by the Certified Horsemanship Association.
Approved by the British Horse Society for horseback riding holidays.
Approved by the
British Horse Society
for riding holidays.
Bitterroot Site Map


Licensed Permittee of the
Shoshone National Forest.

Horseback Riding Clinics

Kelly Sigler Rider Biomechanics Clinic

July 27 - August 3, 2014

Kelly Sigler is a master in the field of Rider Biomechanics, a teaching method that focuses on the mechanics of what and why certain things happen when we ride. Kelly trained under Colleen Kelly and is now her most highly certified instructor in the US. Rather than just preaching "look up and get your heels down" Kelly will work to determine why the heels are coming up in the first place. Be it human, horse or other animal, we all move in a mechanical way which can be tested, trained and improved. This clinic will help you improve performance and learn to prevent injury in human and horse, while at the same time rehabilitating injuries you already have to help you ride pain-free. Beginners will come away stronger and safer on the horse, and more experienced riders will learn subtle adjustments that will make all the difference, whether the goal is gaining the competitive edge or just a more comfortable ride for both horse and human.

"I just wanted you to know how much being introduced to Rider Biomechanics has changed my riding! Utilizing the strategies you taught me has made my seat deeper and more secure as well as improved my overall posture. I have never been a confident rider but Rider Biomechanics is changing that every time I get in the saddle! It is amazing the difference that simple adjustments to posture, stirrup length and the way you hold your reins can stabilize you in the saddle and create a harmonious experience for horse and rider! My horse and I thank you for sharing this knowledge with us and I would encourage riders of ALL disciplines and abilities to embrace this philosophy and enroll in one of your clinics! This new awareness is transforming my riding and my relationship with my horse!"
-- Michelle Duff

"I took the rider Biomechanics clinic with Kelly Sigler last summer after having ridden for years. Learning how the slightest change in the position of my hand...and the direction of it as well, along with leg and foot positions...have made me so much safer and much more effective for my horse. I was shocked to experience the difference between the slightest angles and position and how it would change my balance on the horse, and how, if out of position, I could easily be pulled or knocked out of the saddle."
-- Barb Stanley


The ranch stay runs from Sunday to Sunday with the clinic taking place Monday through Thursday. Each clinic day will entail 4 hour sessions each morning followed by 2-3 hour trail rides in the afternoon.

Day 1: Sunday: Arrive at the ranch in the afternoon.

Day 2: Monday: Lateral balance. Work on side to side issues, which can be the most dangerous and cause the most falls. Move on to explore the mechanics of turning the horse.

Day 3: Tuesday: Longitudinal balance. Forward and back issues can attribute to falls, as well as a horse getting on the forehand and lacking impulsion. Learn to stop and start the horse while being biomechanically correct.

Day 4: Wednesday: Tempo. Work on speeding up and slowing down within the same gait with the horse working over ground poles and using different stride lengths.

Day 5: Thursday: Exercises to maintain balance and the biomechanically correct position going forward.

Day 6: Friday: Morning and afternoon rides.

Day 7: Saturday: Enjoy a long picnic ride in the National Forest.

Day 8: Sunday: Depart ranch after breakfast.

Centered Riding

In recent years there have been a number of important innovations in horsemanship philosophy and Centered Riding provides insights into how you can improve your riding and enhance communication and cooperation with your horse. It is based on a knowledge of human and horse anatomy, balance, movement, and on understanding how the mind affects the body and how both affect the horse. It uses centering and grounding techniques from the martial arts, along with body awareness, mental imagery and sports psychology. Rider and horse begin to move more comfortably and athletically, and achieve greater harmony. To insure a maximum learning opportunity in the clinics, classes are limited and instruction is offered in a variety of learning styles, including auditory, tactile and visual. Each day includes unmounted exercises, classroom lecture, and mounted work. With the proper technique and training you can improve your equine relationships and help to alleviate any aches and pains associated with riding. Riders of all levels and disciplines can benefit.


Donna Snyder-Smith Centered Riding Clinic

June 1 - 8, 2014

We are particularly pleased to have Donna Snyder-Smith, a level III Centered Riding instructor and, unquestionably one of the world's best, at our ranch instructional program. She will teach you how to be at one with your horse and how to ride more effortlessly, enjoyably and safely. This training combines morning lessons and afternoon riding at your own level in the spectacular terrain of majestic, snow-capped mountains and wide open plains around the ranch.

Donna has worked with such world famous and innovative teachers as Sally Swift and in the endurance field she has coached World Champion Valerie Kanavy and many other top endurance riders. She holds the prestigious Lifetime Award from the American Riding Instructors' Association and is the author of THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO ENDURANCE RIDING AND COMPETITION. We feel this is an exceptional opportunity to improve your riding skills in an ideal, horse friendly atmosphere far from civilization.

Donna is a master teacher of the bio-mechanics of effortless, effective riding. Using lectures, ground excercises and mounted work, each student is helped to find a better "body map". The techniques are easily learned, even by the novice rider, with improvements often immediately evident. A successful competitor herself in the sixties and seventies in open jumping, eventing, dressage, western pleasure and endurance riding, Donna understands the needs of riders with a wide variety of disciplines. Her clients have been successful competitors at local, regional, national and international levels including two World Champions in Endurance.

"I thank YOU, for the wonderful centered riding instruction (I learned so much!)...Donna has x-ray vision, ESP, a great sense of humor, and provided individual attention to nine diverse riders of varying shapes, sizes, and ages, help all make progress, and leave us wanting more, saying it ended too soon..."
--Jane Lomont, AZ

"I just got back from my Bitterroot Ranch vacation. I had a great time and am REALLY GLAD I took your course before going. The "stacking" exercises you had us go through were so helpful to me in maintaining my balance at all speeds and over all types of terrain. I progressed to the point that I can now, not only post the trot without thinking and with my heels down, but was also able to canter almost effortlessly. I was completely confident in the saddle at all times and rode with the intermediate group all week. Perhaps most significantly, as you predicted, my backside was never once sore!!"
--Kevin Whalen

"I have been working hard on the stuff that I have learned, and you know what? My horses have never traveled so well, and so light! The centering with the breathing and the soft eyes is just incredible. Yesterday I did a five hour ride in the desert and I have never felt so well on a horse; and the horse as well trotted up afterwards as never before! In summary, I am just happy and amazed about it all, and so are my dear ponies."
--Dr. Jaber Bittar, UAE (Five day clinic.)


The ranch stay runs from Sunday to Sunday with the clinic taking place Monday through Wednesday. Each clinic day will entail 4 hour sessions each morning followed by 2-3 hour trail rides in the afternoon.

Sunday: Arrival in the afternoon.

Monday: Focus: find out how the horse's back moves through feel.

Tuesday: Work in both the full seat and the half (jumping) seat to improve balance. Exploring work on communication with a minimum use of the rein

Wednesday: Learn the correct biomechanics for both the rising and sitting trot.

Thursday: Time to practice - Donna departs but students continue to have the opportunity to improve their newly acquired skills on supervised am & pm trail ride.

Friday: Morning and afternoon rides on the trails.

Saturday: Enjoy a long picnic ride in the National Forest.

Sunday: Departure after breakfast.

Sue Falkner-March Centered Riding Clinic

August 17 - 24, 2014

Sue Falkner-March is a Level III Centered Riding Instructor who studied under Sally Swift. Teaching is her full time job and her students include world class endurance riders, and an assortment of dressage and hunter/jumper riders, gaited horse enthusiasts, western competitive riders, recreational riders, as well as working ranchers and trainers. She is also a Connected Rdiing practitioner and for 20 years has been a student of the Alexander Technique.

In this clinic students will gain increased body awareness. They will learn tools to release unnecessary tension patterns, and rebalance their bodies. This will increase clear communication with the horse, as well as allow the horse to move more comfortably and fluidly under them. They will experience ease, lightness and increased comfort in their riding.

There will be time spent each day exploring body awareness exercises, off the horse, that will relate to the daily riding lesson. The riders will then have time to integrate the concepts learned in their riding lesson on the trail rides in the spectacular terrain around the ranch.

"Sue has been coming to our farm to teach for the past 18+ years...she has always been a favourite instructor of all the students, beginner and advanced riders alike. Her easy going nature and sense of humour make the lessons interesting and she is very adaptable if a horse and young or timid rider needs a different approach to learning. Her knowledge exceeds Centered Riding, she is also very knowledgeable in Connected Riding, the Alexander Technique and TTOUCH, and can address physical and emotional issues in humans and horses alike. She can teach riders new to her techniques and will always keep the lessons interesting and evolving for those who come back to work with her year after year." --Christine Schwartz, CANADA

"...I had not ridden in years and was a bit stiff in my hips and knees...Sue listened to my particular concerns affecting my comfort and made adjustments for me, I rode off feeling much more balanced and secure than I would have expected after so much time out of the saddle. Much to my amazement, after trotting, tolting and cantering, I realized that I was riding better than I ever had in my whole life! Sue was a thorough and kind instructor and I wish she lived on the east coast!" --Elizabeth Vandor, NY

"The Centered Riding message and Sue's ability to deliver that message enabled me and my horse SH Rock n Roll to achieve far more as a team than we otherwise would have. Anyone who is a student of horses will appreciate Sue's knowledge and what it can do to enhance their understanding of horses and riding."
Mary-Anne Dorchester, CANADA, Canadian Equestrian Team, Endurance, World Equestrian Games, Aachen, Germany /06

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This instruction will make you a better rider, no matter how experienced you are or what your discipline is. The goal is new brain patterning which will lead to better communication with your horse. Since the body is the tool of communication and tensions hold imbalance, we can confuse our horses. We need to clarify how to use our body from the joints with a minimum of interference. Ground exercises lead to kinesthetic understanding of how your body works so each day more than half the lesson will be devoted to unmounted work.

SUNDAY: Arrival in the afternoon.

MONDAY: Focus: find out how the horse's back moves through feel.

TUESDAY: Rebalance the horse longitudinally. Work on stopping the horse through balance.

WEDNESDAY: The mechanics of the rising trot.

THURSDAY: The dynamics of the bending line with the horse traveling in an arc.

FRIDAY: Morning and afternoon rides.

SATURDAY: Enjoy a long picnic ride in the National Forest.

SUNDAY: Departure after breakfast.

Monday through Thursday will entail 4 hour sessions each morning followed by 2-3 hour trail rides in the afternoon.

Please contact hadley@equitours.com for more information about these riding clinics.