Lessons, Horse care, Training
I was fortunate in that I grew up with horses. I was fascinated with horses at an early age, around three as I recall, as soon as I could recognize them as horses. When I was between the ages of three and ten my father was transitioning out of an ever-shrinking family farm, complete with dairy cows. Once the cows were gone, the barn became available for horses. Lucky for me, my father, Raymond, had grown up farming with horses, and knew how to care for them (as no ten year old could be expected to know about the complications of horse care). My father came up with a plan to board the horses of other neighborhood children. While not making a huge profit, the boarding did subsidize my horses. I was an avid reader and was soon applying what I learned to my own horse(s). I was also happy to share what I learned with my friends and other children.
After graduating from high school, I began my college studies at the University of Wisconsin. I spent the summers after my freshman and sophomore years teaching at a large horse camp, Valley View Ranch, in North West Georgia. I apprenticed as an assistant riding instructor under a talented public school teacher the first summer and was the head Western riding instructor the second summer. In the summer between my junior and senior years, I had had a social work field placement at the Wisconsin School for Girls, a residential treatment facility for adjudicated delinquent girls. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in social work. After spending two years as a children’s developmental disabilities counselor I found Colorado in 1976.
Once again I taught riding, this time at a Camp Shoshoni in Rawlinsville during the summers of 1977 and 1978. This job also afforded me the opportunity for many pack trips, it may well have been my ideal job. I returned to UW Madison in ’78-‘79 to obtain my M.S.S.W. I continued to teach riding through the University of Wisconsin Hoffers Club. Upon graduation I worked in Boulder, for the Colorado based Attention Homes as a weekend relief counselor while also teaching riding at local Boulder horse boarding facilities including the former Briar Meadows and Joder’s (Jodar Arabian Ranch). Together with a graduate school friend, we pioneered a riding program for those troubled teens. Following this, I was the Head Riding Instructor at the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center for three years. Since then I have been a self-employed riding instructor for thirty odd years.
During this time my instruction has been a significant influence on some of students; several of those who began riding under me have gone to successful careers in the horse industry as instructors and trainers. Countless others have experienced the “anchoring effect” of having horses in their lives. They did not need to own the hose in order to experience the profound effect of horses as teachers.
I would also like to acknowledge my human teachers, especially Linda Telligton-Jones, the late Sally Swift and the late Major Anders Lindgren.
-- Lois Kamrath, Unicorn Ranch Trainer and Instructor.
Unicorn Ranch offers horse riding lessons, English, Western, Arena Trail and Dressage. We accept adults as well as children. We have school horses available, or you may trailer in. We are situated just off of Arapahoe rd, Lafayette, CO, between 95th str and hwy 287--near Erie, Boulder, Longmont and Firestone. Kids lessons start at $40 per lesson and adults at $50. Our prices include horse use.
I always knew I would teach. I started teaching in my early twenties, not riding, but English as a second language to teens. I followed that with teaching dance to tots, pre-school, farm education, gymnastics.
Teaching for me is about teaching the whole child. Some children come to horses with challanges that they can either leave at the barn door or maybe have a horse help them with, some children have wonderful, innocent lives which they can share with horses. Horses provide an way for children to reach outside themselves, to connect with animals and with natrure in an uncritical enviroment. Which I guess I should explain that I don't teach for showing (which is fine, if the horse and rider to chose to do that, I will help them do their best), I teach for the best rider and horseman that child can be. Children at the barn are allowed to be themselves -- to learn to love animals and the outdoors.
--Pam Blignaut, Unicorn Ranch Trainer and Instructor.
720 270 5553.