Riding Styles & Ability Levels at Siwash Lake Ranch

Private & Exclusive, by Nature™
It could be that you're a very accomplished equestrian and your partner is a complete novice, eager to try a riding adventure with you. Perhaps you've never ridden, or you did when you were younger, and now you're keen to learn again because your children are riders...


Whether you're a complete beginner or an expert rider, whatever your pleasure, the Siwash Synergy with Horses™ experience is one-of-a-kind and remarkably enriching. This natural horsemanship program delivers a powerful, personal experience that coaches guests to be assertive and work on intuitive skills for building confidence and establishing trust with their mounts. At Siwash you can learn as much about dealing with horses and riding as you wish, in a safe, supportive environment.

While we embrace all riding styles (our daughter rides both in the Western rodeo arena and in the English hunter jumper ring), during your stay at Siwash you'll be riding classic Western style. And we'll teach you everything you need to know.

If you are a novice, our goal will be to turn you in to a competent, horse-loving rider with a basic understanding and appreciation for the principles of natural western horsemanship. We strive to inspire.

Advanced riders are welcome to ride at their preferred pace, and our program offers more challenge and freedom for them than the average guest ranch. Our string of horses is very diverse, with forward moving mounts suitable for experienced riders—as well as those more suited for beginner and intermediate riders.

Even if you usually ride using the English discipline, it's no problem at all to switch over to our Western style riding. People who ride English generally have great balance and a well established seat; standing them in good stead when riding Western. We welcome English style riders.

  SLR cowgirl   Siwash Lake Ranch - Rider and waterfalls

There are a lot of similarities between the different riding styles... We'll even rise for the trot in Western (saves the horse's back and your butt!), but it's not quite as accentuated as posting, English style. The main differences between English and Western riding are in how you hold and guide the horse with the reins, how you use your legs (relaxed unless you're asking for a change in movement), and the saddle itself, which is more roomy and designed for comfort during long days riding the range. We use a gentle but firm approach in Natural Western Horsemanship style and our horses are trained for self carriage. They go well on a loose rein, with a natural, long and low frame. We'll be coaching and crafting your riding for a light touch, striving for a soft feel on your horse's mouth.

Siwash Lake Ranch - Children's horsecare programWe gauge it for each individual guest—some are keen and want to learn everything possible during their stay here; whereas others would rather mount up, learn the basics only, and get going down the trail. It's your holiday, so we'll adjust to your needs, beginner through advanced.

We teach in small groups at the barn, in the round pen, in our rodeo size riding arena, and most often, during impromptu lessons while out on the trails. Guests who are really keen on taking their skills to the next level may request a private lesson if they wish.

Children who demonstrate an ability to safely control their own horse are welcome to ride the trails with their parents. Those children needing more practice can be led around the barn area and home meadow when the opportunity arises.