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Looking for "cowboy" for problem horses in NorCal

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  • Looking for "cowboy" for problem horses in NorCal

    I only say "cowboy" because it would need to be someone who isn't afraid to get on and ride out some bucks. Would consider anywhere from the East Bay to Marysville. I have a horse whom I might want some help with. I wouldn't call him a problem horse per se, I'm just not sure on how to progress with a certain issue and could use some assistance from someone who is willing to get on to ride it out. I'm sure there are holes in the horse's training and I'm looking for someone to work with to help me fill the gaps. It would be helpful to have someone who will work with me on the ground, in the saddle, as well as get on the horse.
    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

  • #2
    I don't know CA geography well but Ezra Marrow is a wonderful guy and fabulous with horses! http://www.ezramarrow.com/Welcome.html Here's his website-I knew him in CO and would use him in a heart beat if I lived in that area!


    • Original Poster

      Thanks. I've actually worked with Ezra before. I'm looking for a different type of situation, where I could possibly board my horse for a month or two and have him in training.
      "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


      • #4
        Look on Buck Brannaman's website at his 2012 Clinic Schedule. He's done some clinics in CA and I would contact the persons or farm listed as sponsors for those clinics. They might be able to give you recommendations or help you themselves depending on where you are located. (Sorry, I am not real familiar with CA geography.)

        I highly recommend someone who has worked with Buck!
        Dreaming in Color


        • #5
          I can't think of anyone in the area you're in, but, if you go farther north, up in Redding and close by, you'll find some cowboys that can help you. I bet if you checked in at the livestock auction, they'd steer you to someone. Now, I don't know how tough you want to get with your horse, but, from what I've seen, most of those guys can knock some hide off a horse. I've hauled equipment to some of the ranches, that's what I've seen.
          GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!


          • #6
            Originally posted by Pocket Pony View Post
            I only say "cowboy" because it would need to be someone who isn't afraid to get on and ride out some bucks. Would consider anywhere from the East Bay to Marysville. I have a horse whom I might want some help with. I wouldn't call him a problem horse per se, I'm just not sure on how to progress with a certain issue and could use some assistance from someone who is willing to get on to ride it out. I'm sure there are holes in the horse's training and I'm looking for someone to work with to help me fill the gaps. It would be helpful to have someone who will work with me on the ground, in the saddle, as well as get on the horse.
            Hands down I recommend Jerry Tindell. He's based in SoCal, but comes up north quite a bit for clinics. He's in Half Moon Bay this weekend: jerrytindell.com

            I've worked with him ever since my mule was born, and chose him to start my mule as well. When he clinics, he usually takes horses on the road with him so that he keeps up the training, which is great because the horses get so much exposure to interesting things. Last year, my mule learned to high line when Jerry did a week long clinic in the Sierras.

            He's not a "cowboy" per se, but he's very gifted and and can fix all kinds of problems. Last year, he had a big draft in training that had a rearing problem. Other trainers gave up, but Jerry got him figured out and he is now a fabulous trail horse.

            He emphasizes ground work and has a great workbook called "You ride the horse you lead".

            His training rates are more than reasonable as well.

            If you aren't comfortable sending your horse down south, then I would also recommend you posting this question in the BAEN forum because I know you will get a lot of suggestions there.

            Good luck!
            Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for the recommendation for Jerry - he isn't far enough away to rule out, so I sent him an email.

              Anyone have any opinions of Charles Wilhelm?

              "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


              • #8
                I've heard of Charles Wilhelm, read about him some. If he's the guy with the beard, I think I know who you're asking after. My opinion only from what I've heard/read, he's another NH trainer (fairly sure he's NH, don't think I have him confused with any of the million other NHer's) who can do just about what any other NH trainer can do. I've never used him nor do I know anyone who has. I'm neutral on him, not great, not sucky. Only from what I've read.
                GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!


                • #9
                  I have used Jim Groesbeck, Wilton area, and never been disappointed. He has started most of my horses, and I sent a mare I rescued to him. In 30 days he did amazing work with her, and when I got her she couldn't reliably be caught and haltered. He can sit a horse. He rode with Ray Hunt, and used to have Hunt clinics at his place. jwgtraining@msn.com
                  Mystic Owl Sporthorses


                  • #10
                    Another very good and very experienced trainer is Steve Wright in Clements at thewrightranch.com
                    He starts lots of horses including warmbloods, does tuneups. I loved what he did with my Hanoverian gelding.

                    Best of luck to you!


                    • Original Poster

                      Excellent suggestions, everyone - I'm contacting each of these trainers - more suggestions welcome!
                      "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


                      • #12
                        You could try Michele Ulrech and/or her assistant, Amanda. They're at Brown Ranch, Danville/Pleasanton area. Michele has a website.

                        (Rod?) Hernandez is located in San Ramon/Castro Valley area. A friend was very happy with the job he did with her youngster.

                        Dave Wilson (don't have # handy, but he's on BayEquest) has worked with my guy's trail riding issues. He's not "fixed" yet, but we're working on it and he has deifnitely improved!


                        • #13
                          Ok...at the risk of "advertising," I am in San Ramon and I do have a stall open and I do keep a cowboy on retainer, former bull rider, young and stays out of their face....I don't cost as much as Charles and Rod.... just sayin' :-) Cheers Bethe
                          Bethe Mounce
                          Head Trainer, AmeriCan Romance Equestrian
                          Brentwood CA


                          • #14
                            I highly recommend Don Douglas. I've sent him a couple of horses with specific issues in the past including a bucker who would also kick on the ground (not a mean horse just unbalanced under saddle and with some hind end issues due to a bad accident).

                            Most recently I had a friend send him an unhandled Belgian PMU mare. He actually came and helped us load her. She had been in the 5 acre pasture that the "rescue" dropped her in for several years. The people there said we wold never get her out, that she would die in that pasture.

                            Long story short we had her loaded in about 10 minutes. He brought panels and one of his roping horses. I brought a bunch of horse friends and we herded her in, she hopped in the stock trailer to be with the horse he brought with a little pressure. He had her working under saddle within a couple of months.

                            He's kind and consistant and just an all round great horseman.

                            here's his website


                            • #15
                              I boarded with Charles Wilhelm for a year. I started out with my (then) horse in 30 days training and stayed on as a boarder for a year. This was right after he moved to Castro Valley, when he was still trying to get established in the East Bay.

                              He doesn't do much that is much different from any other NH trainer. He isn't all flash and used car salesman marketing. But he isn't touchy-feely either. He can be blunt when it comes to telling owners what they need to hear.

                              I don't know how much of the actual riding he does any more. I was there from 1999-2000. Back then he did it all, and I saw him a couple of years ago when he was the guest clinician at the Horse Expo here and he did all the riding and work then, too. But he might have assistants working under him at home.

                              The care was exceptional and I remember my time there fondly. I would recommend him, with the caveot that you as the handler/rider/owner need to really make use of the lessons that are part of the training there.


                              • #16
                                You might consider going up to Alturas in the fall for a week with your horse at Bryan Neubert's place.

                                For sure he will help you as Buck Brannaman would to find the holes in your horse's training, and help you figure out what YOU can do to get through it. If there are parts that you are not capable of dealing with yourself, I'm sure Bryan would know what to do with the horse- without abusing it, roundpenning it into further defiance, etc.

                                I know Alturas is a looonnngg ways from the Bay Area, but I would think that the knowledge of how to fill the holes in your horse's training yourself would be appealing.

                                Bryan probably knows somebody who is closer to your home, who could help you. His son Luke is down southish in Paso Robles, another idea you could possibly pursue.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks - and I appreciate the comment about roundpenning. The person I worked with locally did that and I didn't like it. The horse wasn't going to give it up and the person didn't seem to have another action plan other than running the horse around for a couple hours. I found it to be non-productive and turned me off to this person entirely. That isn't the way I want to go with this horse.
                                  "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


                                  • #18
                                    Pocket, here's a nice link to an article that Tom Moates wrote about roundpenning clinicians, as opposed to the folks that learned from the Dorrance brothers, Ray Hunt, etc who know how to use the roundpen properly:

                                    A quote from that story (written by Tom Moates, chapter two in his book "A Horse's Thought":
                                    "If you drive a horse forward around a pen, then back off that pressure, you create a vacuum that sucks the horse in. It's a trick that works, but the horse has very little choice in that scenario really because if the pressure applied is hard enough to drive him forward, then it is certainly hard enough for him to desire relief from it."

                                    This really gets right to the 'conundrum' where Ray Hunt always says, "Make the Right Thing Easy, and Make the Wrong Thing Difficult," but
                                    Bill Dorrance said, "You don't want any part of making anything difficult for your horse."

                                    They are saying the same thing.

                                    Folks who drive horses around and around a roundpen don't know that they are adding pressure to the horse, in a situation that he actually needs LESS pressure to be able to make the decision to 'do the right thing', or 'take the good deal'.
                                    There are absolutely plenty of NH type trainers, who DID spend anywhere from an afternoon watching a clinic, to several years, with Tom or Ray, that really never learned this.

                                    The ability of your chosen 'cowboy' to really help you and your horse with the holes in his training that are causing your current problems- and by that, I mean FILL the holes so you don't have 'new' issues with the same problems in the future- depends on his understanding of the above. Good luck- there absolutely ARE people out there ('cowboys', dressage trainers, anything-trainers really) who do understand.
                                    Do some internet reading from Bryan Neubert, Josh Nichol, Harry Whitney, Tom Moates. I found my own FABULOUS local helper/'trainer' at a Buck clinic- he has helped me immensely and will probably continue to do so.


                                    • #19
                                      Ditto Jim Groesbeck. He started my two Andalusian crosses, half brothers, very different horses. One was straight forward, the other I unfortunately sent to another trainer for two months where he learned nothing good and good pretty solid on running off.

                                      I had them w/ Jim for 5 months, my choice, I wanted a really solid start on them. Best thing I ever did. The one that was messed up to start is actually the mellower of the two now, they are both lovely though. My husband will happily go riding with me, and has from time to time come home from work and said "Let's go for a ride!". Mastercard commercial priceless.

                                      Jim also took beautiful, beautiful care of the horses. I actually had professional pictures done before I brought them home, thinking they will probably never again look that good, for sure they won't be ridden that well