Meg Hays Clinic will now include a Tack Sale & Potluck

CWDS invites you to join us for the Try A Clinician – Meg Hays Clinic, Potluck and Tack Sale Saturday, September 6th at the Hixson’s Farm in Selah.  This is an opportunity for CWDS members to ride with an FEI competitor and trainer.  Meg can help you with your youngster or advanced horse. Her students have a wide range of skills and abilities and she is able to tailor her lessons to best meet the needs of the horse and rider. This is a great opportunity for you to bring out your young horse in a safe environment. It is not to late to join if you are interested. Send in your entry soon, please see the link below, as slots are filling quickly!

Meg Hays Sept Clinic 

We also wanted to let you know that ALL CWDS MEMBERS are invited to come and watch the lessons and share in our POTLUCK at noon.

Potluck Pic

Bring your favorite dish and visit with Meg during this time.

Also don’t miss the Tack Sale!

Horse Tack Cartoon

Do you have some tack that you no longer need – halters, bridles, saddles – you name it? For $5.00 per space, you can bring your items to sell.  Please contact Kim at 698-6778 for details – checks for the tack sale space are made payable to CWDS.  For those interested in participating the Tack Sale will run from 9am to 1pm. 

We hope to see you there!

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Dressage Clinic with Meg Hays – Sept. 6th

Megan Riding 1The Hixsons will be hosting a dressage clinic with Meg Hays on Saturday, Sept 6th.  If you ride an Arabian or Half Arabian, Meg has been to the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals and has won several Regional and National titles.  She has also shown her horses at open competitions.  She is willing to work with traditional dressage breeds as well as the non traditional breeds. This clinic is open to  CWDS members only and the lessons are $40.00 for 45 min.  To register please complete and submit the following form:

Meg Hays Sept Clinic

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Aug 3rd CWDS Schooling Show has been Rescheduled

Blue Schooling Show Logo

Please note that due to the extreme heat, the August 3rd CWDS “Fall Fun Schooling Show” has been rescheduled to Sunday September 21st.   Please contact Allison Enters at if  you have any questions.

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Trailer for Sale

For Sale:  Sundowner SunLite bumper pull two horse with dressing room/tack room, ramp, loading lights.  Includes easy lift hitch. Tack room includes two saddle racks, 6 bridle racks, blanket rack, 25 gallon bench style water caddy for water supply for your horse.  Used two seasons, new in 2005.  Price reduced $8750.00. This trailer is like new. Call Susi Rutherford @ 509-453-1005 or email,

Suzy Trailer 1

Suzy Trailer 2

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“Let’s Talk about Financial Well Being” – The Dressage Foundation

Dressage Foundation Logo

“Let’s Talk About Financial Well Being”

By Beth Baumert/President & CEO of The Dressage Foundation 
This article is based on the talk given at the USDF/USEF Young Rider Graduate Program held in January 2014 in Wellington, Florida. Whereas TDF President, Beth Baumert wanted to talk about The Dressage Foundation grants available to young people, she couldn’t help but put herself in their shoes and think of what she wishes someone had told her when she was their age. Here is the substance of her talk on what happens to money–personal money and TDF money.


             Money moves. It’s the nature of money. If I give you $10, how long will you have it? You might buy groceries with it, or you might add it to other money so you can pay your rent. You might add it to funds with which you plan to buy a car some day. You might give it to someone who needs it more than you. It’s hard to make money stop moving. You earn it and then you spend it. (Notice the sequence. You don’t spend it and then earn it. You earn it first and then spend it.)

            People who are financially responsible “earmark” money that they earn. That is, they categorize expenditures into what you might call “buckets” of money. I like to call them buckets because it sounds like you have a lot of money even when you don’t at first.

  • One bucket of money is for your necessary, fixed expenses. That might include your rent, your groceries, your phone-internet bill, fuel for your car, insurance, taxes and other expenditures that you consider necessary.
  • One bucket of money is to save for something important. Maybe you know your car may only last two more years so you’re saving for the car you will need in the future.
  • For developing professional riders, a training program is another necessary expense. You need to put aside some funds for your training.
  • One bucket of money is to give away to a cause that you’re passionate about. The universe gives to those who give. I’m not sure how that works, but I’m old enough to know that it works. It’s a Law of the Universe. I’m not saying you should give to TDF (although that would be very nice), but you should give to some cause that’s greater than you. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can’t give enough to make a difference because even if you start out by giving away $25 a year, that’s something. That means you have designated a bucket–even though it may be small–of money to give away for a cause that’s greater than yourself.
  • One bucket of money should be for you to save forever for your retirement. It seems ridiculous to think of that now, but later I will give you a very compelling reason to start now. My favorite quote about personal finances came from a young person who said, “If I’m financially fine right now, and I’m fine for the future, I figure I’m totally fine.” That means that from the very beginning, you save for your future; you pay yourself by starting to save when you’re very young. That’s especially important if you’re going to pursue a career that is financially challenging. Training horses definitely falls into that category, so I want to talk about saving for your future again later.

             Now I want to talk a little bit about The Dressage Foundation (TDF). TDF is, financially, like a bank. Donations come in from people who want to support the sport of dressage. Then TDF invests that money in several different ways:

  • TDF investment advisors invest the funds in the traditional way: In stocks of solid, respectable companies, in bonds and in CDs.
  • TDF awards prizes and grants to worthy recipients, and that’s an investment too. For example, when Catherine Chamberlain (AZ) was chosen for the International Dream Program (formerly called Olympic Dream) in 2012, TDF made a good investment because when Catherine came back, she spread the word about what she learned; she rode better and taught better than she would have if she hadn’t gone on that trip to Europe. As a bonus, Catherine has done fundraisers for TDF, and she has given back financially too!

Whereas TDF is, financially, like a bank, emotionally, it’s made up of a group of people like you who are passionate about dressage. We are a little army of donors that seek to “up the game” for riders at all levels. That is, we have grants for young riders, graduate young riders, adult amateurs, breeders, judges, instructors and high performance riders. We want to, bit by bit, change the game across the board.

            Now, I’ve already mentioned how easy it is to spend money. TDF is the same. It’s really fun to give money away, but those awards depend on donors–big donors and small donors. The big donors of TDF are like the generals, colonels and majors of our little army. They are directly responsible for the grants that TDF is able to award. Some of them are: Carol Lavell, her father Gordon Cadwgan, Maryal Barnett, Renee Isler, Ralph Dreitzler, Anne Ramsay, the Boomer family, Violet Hopkins and others. They are directly responsible for the grants that TDF awards–which was nearly $200,000 last year. These funds that are given as grants and awards are “restricted,” which means they can not be used to pay ordinary TDF operating expenses. Restricted funds are reserved for grant-giving.

            The smaller donors, who are the captains, lieutenants and foot soldiers in our little army are indispensable because they implement the ideas of our generals, colonels and majors. Some of them add to the restricted funds that are given as awards, but they also help pay for TDF’s operating expenses. Some of the major donors help with operating expenses too. Just as you, in your personal finances, have necessary expenses, the TDF office has printing, mailing, paying our extraordinary staff and professional advisors. The donors who help pay the expenses of operating TDF are extraordinarily important because, without them, we couldn’t survive.

            Now to get back to your personal expenses: Financial well being is within the reach of almost everyone, but it has to do with the buckets of money for saving and for giving away. The one for giving is from-your-heart generosity, and the one for saving comes from your head. Paying yourself is just smart.

            The US government has provided an avenue for you to become financially comfortable forever–that’s with a Roth IRA. An IRA is an Individual Retirement Account, and the key to its success is to start saving very early in life. If you don’t know what a Roth IRA is, learn about it online. I’m going to give you some examples. Currently, you are allowed to save $5500 per year in a Roth IRA, but even if can you only save $2500 per year, and you start when you’re 21, and the market does its average thing over the next 49 years, you’ll have over $1.5 million–tax free–when you’re 70 years old. If, however, you don’t start saving until you’re 30 years old, you’ll have about $1 million and if you’re 40 years old when you start, you’ll have $475,000, and if you’re 50 when you start, you’ll have about $125,000. Are you getting the idea? If you don’t know about Roth IRAs, learn about them online and start saving as early as possible. It will make you feel financially whole.

            And don’t forget about the bucket of money that you give away to a cause that’s greater than yourself. Generosity is always rewarded. It’s the personal quality that somehow magically bounces back to you. The Universe gives to those who give.

I wish you all great financial well being and, of course, success with your horses.

            Most important, to see how The Dressage Foundation can help you reach your dressage goals, check it out online at!



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Do you need money for your Dressage education?


by Carolyn Desnoyer, Gifted Fund Recipient 

Carol Lavell with Carolyn Desnoyer

Carol Lavell and Carolyn Desnoyer/Photo by Jennifer Bryant of USDF Connection 


My horse life has been pretty exciting lately. First came the news of winning one of the eleven Gifted Memorial Fund scholarships granted annually to Adult Amateurs in pursuit of dressage education. Then, quite coincidentally, came the opportunity to meet dressage legend Carol Lavell and thank her in person for her sponsorship of this wonderful program. My scholarship journey has really just begun. In fact my training week hasn’t even happened yet, but I’ve already gotten such enormous value from the experience! So when Ms. Lavell commented that “The money’s there. I just don’t understand why more amateurs don’t apply”, I was surprised and started thinking through the reasons Adult Amateurs may not take full advantage of the opportunity.

Perhaps I speak for the many amateur riders out there bound by the reality of trying to fit their horse hobby into an already-overbooked schedule, juggling work, school, family, and myriad other priorities that always seem to take away from time with our horses. We may feel that because we’re not able to spend hours every day in the saddle honing our skills, somehow we’re not “serious” enough about dressage to be worthy of a grant. We’re intimidated by the idea of riders who immerse themselves in the sport and are able to dedicate copious amounts of time to riding, taking lessons, and showing. But Carol Lavell and The Dressage Foundation have crafted this scholarship exactly for people like us, the “reality bound” riders! It’s intended to provide the recipient with a chance to get away from the pressures of daily life to spend several days of concentrated time riding, training and just bonding with the horse. Spending time grazing your horse, pampering him with a leisurely bath, or just having the time to stand in the stall and scratch his ears are all part of the intended plan for scholarship recipients.

Maybe just the thought of filling out the application is a bit intimidating. Rest easy, the process to apply is not nearly as daunting as it may seem at first glance. The Dressage Foundation’s website has excellent resources to assist, including an application checklist that details each bit of information required, step-by-step, and easily leads you through the process.

One piece of information required is your training plan. You are encouraged to think about your riding skills and your horse’s level of training, as well as training goals for both short and long term. Then you need to document what you would do differently from what you do now to achieve those goals, should you receive one of the scholarships. I found this part of the application to be especially valuable as it forced me to become more analytical about current strengths and weaknesses, both for myself and my horse. This is a marvelous opportunity for introspection! And having those goals in writing helped strengthen my resolve and commitment to really make them happen. Much like writing down a fitness goal, or a weight loss goal, actually documenting your training plan makes it real and helps you stay focused on it so you’re much more likely to achieve success.

Volunteerism is an important part of the selection criteria. Carol Lavell is a staunch believer in giving back to our sport and that is, in part, what led to the creation of the Gifted Memorial Fund. Volunteering your time to help beginner riders, holding an office for your local GMO, working on the newsletters, helping run dressage events and activities, are all ways you could get involved and there are countless more. We can each give back in some way and the intrinsic benefits received by giving of your time are immeasurable.

So my fellow Adult Amateurs, whatever your reason for not yet taking the plunge into this wonderful opportunity, I strongly encourage you to go for it! The application deadline is September of each year. Regardless of the outcome, you won’t regret the experience. You’ll learn a lot about yourself just from the application process and you’ll find a renewed dedication to your horse and yourself. Who knows, your efforts just might pay off in scholarship dollars too!

This article appears in the July/August 2014 issue of USDF Connection.  Thank you to USDF for allowing us to share the article with you.      



Not only are Gifted Fund grants available for Adult Amateurs this year, The Dressage Foundation is proud to offer grants to instructors, judges, breeders, young riders, high performance teams, and dressage clubs/groups.  The donors support dressage enthusiasts across the board! 

The following grants have application deadlines this summer and fall.  Mark your calendars today! 

Heldenberg  Training Center Fund  – Young Riders and Adult Amateurs

Applications Due:  July 1st 

Continuing  Education for Instructors- Instructors participating in the USDF Instructor Certification Program

Applications Due:  July 1st 

Region  9 Teaching Excellence Award- Instructors

Applications Due:  August 1st 

Caroll Lavell Gifted  Memorial Fund- Adult Amateurs

Applications Due:  September 15th 

Major Anders Lindgren Scholarships- Instructors

Applications Due:  September 30th 

Anne  L. Barlow $25,000 Grant- High Performance Teams

Applications Due:  October 25th 

Be sure to visit The Dressage Foundation website to learn more about these and other opportunities!

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June 22nd Schooling Show Ride Times

Show PicBelow please find the link for the June 22nd, “Dance Into Summer”, Schooling Show ride times.  To open the pdf click on the link below, which will bring you to another window.  When you get to that window click on the link again and you should see the document. 

2014 CWDS June Schooling Show Schedule

We look forward to seeing you all tomorrow!

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June 22nd CWDS “Dance into Summer” Schooling Show Reminder

Western or English Dressage

This is a quick reminder about our upcoming June 22nd “Dance into Summer” Schooling Show.  We have classes for everyone, including Classical Dressage tests from Intro Level through FEI,  Gaited and Western Dressage tests Intro Level through 4th Level, as well as Musical Freestyles.  For the younger children we have Intro classes and if they need to lead line, we have those as well, just write it on the entry.

If you have not already registered, we would greatly appreciate it if you would register as soon as possible.  Please complete the Entry Form below and submit it to Allison Enters by mail.  Her address is on the form. 

CWDS 2014 Schooling Show Series Flyer

CWDS 2014 Schooling Show Entry Form

If you would like to be involved in the show, but are not interested in riding, we also will need many VOLUNTEERS.  Specifically we need two people saturday at 5:00 pm to help set-up the arena and one more person at 9:00 am on Sunday to help with the show.  If you have any questions, or if you are interested in helping out, please contact Allison Enters at 907-244-1180 or via e-mail at

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Paula Helms Saddle Fitting Clinic – June 28th & 29th

Paula Helms Saddle Fitting ImagePlease join us at Ellen Roy’s barn,Last Chance Rance, 1502 University Parkway, Yakima, WA 98901 on June 28th and 29th for a Paula Helm Clinic. In the morning Paula will be teaching group Dressage Lessons on Suppling and Moving Forward and Leg Yields and Haunches-In. Riders purchase both days for a total of two lessons, one on each day. In addition, Paula will be fitting, flocking and demonstrating saddles for individual clients in the afternoon.

Both clinic days include a delicious continental breakfast and a lunch, beverages included. Snacks will be provided to “graze” all day and although the start time for meals is definite the end time is not, so it is okay if you arrive later than others to eat. We will have expert equine educational guest lecturers each day during our lunch hour. Please bring a lawn chair with you to sit.

Due to insurance reasons to ride in the clinic or to ride at the barn in your saddle for a demo/fitting, you need to be a CWDS member. Annual dues are $45, payable to CWDS and can be done at the time of the clinic. Clinic auditors do not need to be members.

Basic clinic fees pay for your meals and the lecturers. Auditors pay $20 a day or $30 for both days. Clinic riders/saddle demo people will pay $10 a day. Haul in fee to Ellen’s is $10 a day, overnight stalls are available in a neighboring stable, please let me know and I will help you make any arrangements. Also, if you have any dietary needs or allergies, I would be happy to assist. We will have vegetarian food available. Clinic fees for meals and lecturers for both auditors and rider/demo people are made out to CWDS, however all saddle demo/fitting/flocking expenses are paid to Paula. Please bring your checks with you the day of the clinic.

Group Dressage lessons will be in the morning and will last an hour, cost is $45 and will include two riders. We currently have one opening on both days at 1015-1115. You will be riding with me and my horse Hans Felix. He is easy going and so am I:)

We held a Paula Helm clinic last Fall and it was a great success, we hope to see everyone there. Please let me know if you have questions or need assistance. Marli Parobek 509.834.9714,

Tentative Schedule: Saturday, June 28th 2014

0830  Breakfast Served

0900-1000  Group Lesson #1 Suppling and Moving Forward:

                                    (Open Entry)

                                    Ellen Roy

1015-1115  Group Lesson #2 Leg Yields and Haunches-In:

                                    Marli Parobek             

                                    (Open Entry)

1130-1230 Torey Griswold:  Equine Chiropractor – Lunch Lecture

1230-1345 Michelle Long – Saddle Fitting 

1400-1530 Megan Hays – Saddle Fitting

1545-1745 Vangie Crago – Saddle Demonstration


Tentative Schedule: Sunday, June 29th 2014 

0830  Breakfast Served

0900-1000  Leg Yields and Haunches-In

                        (Open Entry)

                        Ellen Roy

1015-1115  Suppling and Moving Forward

                        Marli Parobek

                        (Open Entry)

1130-1230 Bruce Samels:  Equine Massage – Lunch Lecture

1245-1330 Allison Enters – Individual Lesson

1345-1445 Pete Dimoff – Saddle fit/flock

1445-1545 Holly Warner - Saddle Demonstration

1545-1545 Marli Parobek - Saddle Demonstration

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Yakima Valley Business Times article Features a CWDS Member

The Yakima Valley Business Times recently published the following article that featured CWDS Member Megan Hays in their April 18, 2014 Issue.  The article was written by Linda Prier and is reprinted here with permission of the Editor.


Not-so-easy Riders: 

Lessons, Training Can Help Novices Handle a Horse

Horse trainers tend to have been raised on and around horses. They carry the knowledge learned when they were just babes on into their adult relationships with horses and with the people who ride them.

Members of the Hart family, owners of Hart Ranch in Selah, have all been in the saddle since they could walk.

Roger was raised in Mabton and Sue in Sunnyside; after they married, they raised 2,000 mother cows on a large ranch near Conconully for 20 years.

During that time, their young sons, Willy and John, were in the saddle much of the day. It was here that they, like their parents, learned the art of training horses. Twenty years ago, when Roger and Sue decided to move back closer to warmer winters and to where they were raised, they purchased their horse facility in Selah and focused entirely on horses, with a few cows on hand for roping.

Hart Family on their Ranch

The Hart family — from left, Willy, Sue and Roger — have spent their lives around horses. Hart Ranch offers horse training services plus boarding and riding lessons. 

Hart Ranch specializes in training and boarding horses and giving riding lessons. The ranch is well set up to do so. The Harts have a huge indoor arena, over 40 indoor stalls and many outdoor spaces for boarding horses. They also sponsor a number of horse clinics, usually weekend events put on by renowned horse trainers.

Roger and Sue, both in their seventies now, still give riding lessons, but it is Willy who trains horses. And while he quit competing in team roping in the Pro Rodeo Circuit in 2009, that is going to change this year, now that the circuit finals will be held in Yakima.

Hart Ranch Saddles

Hart Ranch Tack 2Hart Ranch Tack 1 



All kinds of saddles, boots and other equine equipment abound at the Hart Ranch, which features an indoor riding arena, 40 indoor horse stalls and more space for boarding horses outside.

He has a large tack room full of saddles he has won over the years, and now those saddles are used for riders who come to Hart Ranch for lessons.

He said that as a child, his father taught the children by letting them ride with saddles, but without stirrups, which helped Willy and his brother learn balance. Another thing that really helped him was participating in FHA and in FFA in which English saddles were used.

“I learned to feel which lead my horse was on by using an English saddle,” he said.

The five most important things to teach a young horse are to “stop, stop, stop, stop and stop,” Willy said.

And along with teaching that important lesson, as a trainer, it is his job to inspire confidence in the horses he trains. “When a horse shows fear, it’s like taking your child to the haunted house. You have to be calm,” he said.

He said horses need to be taught by using small steps. “The art of getting on a young horse is not mashing on the gas pedal. You must imagine the reins as kite strings. You are very gentle, as you would be with a kite, and you are somewhat more aggressive with your legs,” he said.

He also said that it is often helpful to have someone on hand who is riding a veteran horse, for that horse’s presence creates an aura of calm.

He has trained several hundred horses; he tries to take new horses to different venues so they get used to scary new places. He specializes in colt breaking and colt starting and in team roping.

Hart charges $850 per month for training, and he provides full care. Lessons cost $40 per hour if people take their own horse or $60 per hour if they use one of the Harts’ school horses.


A Life in the Saddle

Like the Hart family, Megan Hays has been riding since she was a toddler. She said she has always been “horse crazy” and that she started riding Tuffy the pony when she was she was 4.

By the age of 9 she had graduated to Top Secret and was very active in the Yakima Pony Club, where she learned horse management and care, dressage and jumping. By the age of 17, she had progressed to a C3 rating and was clearing jumps that were over 3 feet.

She said that she has always really loved dressage and after pony club, she took lessons in Olympia, with famed dressage trainer and dressage judge Mike Osinski. After working with him, she won (with the help of her horse Satin) the US Dressage Federation’s Silver Medal.

Megan Riding 2

Hays said that dressage is a “ballet between horse and rider, where the rider communicates with the horse in a way that emphasizes harmony and grace.”

Megan Riding 1

Hays and her horses continue to compete. For them, competition this year begins at the end of April in Boring, Ore., and ends in September in Nampa, Idaho. Hays said that this year, she and her horse, Ca Zare’s Darjeeling (an Anglo Arab) are trying for gold.

Megan Riding 3

Megan Hays starting riding horses as a toddler. She specializes in dressage riding and started offering training last year. She also competes in dressage events around the country.

She started training horses professionally last year. She is in the midst of building an outdoor arena, which will be ready for use at the end of spring, but for now, she primarily goes to people’s homes to train their horses.

She currently has 15 students who range in age from 15 to 60. Some of her students are beginners, but most choose Hays as a teacher because they want to learn dressage or to learn basic dressage.

When asked what her biggest challenge as a trainer is, she said, “There’s a tendency for people to over-horse themselves.” By this she means that people tend to buy horses that they may not be comfortable riding or handling.

“It is my job to teach students to become more comfortable with their horses, or to help them find a horse that is the right fit,” Hays said.

Another challenge is taking in a horse, training it, and then returning it to an owner who doesn’t know how to ask the horse to do the skills it has learned. Hays said that to make sure that the owners progress at the same rate as the horse in training, she asks the owners to have a weekly lesson on the horse while it’s being trained (once the horse is safe to ride) so that horse and owner skills are in sync and improve together.

Hays is also a registered nurse and is on call at the Kittitas Hospital in Ellensburg, and she occasionally fills in at her parents veterinary practice in the West Valley.

She charges $575 per month for training and $45 per hour for riding lessons. She can be reached at 360-348-8519.


Teaching The Basics

Emily and Tristan Bettinger, owners of the Golden Nugget Ranch in Selah, have also been in the saddle since they were children. They were both active in 4H, and while Emily hails from Spokane and Tristan from the Washington Coast, they met up in Powell, Wyo., where they both attended North West College and graduated from a two-year equine riding and training program in 2008.

They started the Golden Nugget Ranch in 2012.

Emily Bettinger  Mr  Spaz Delight

Emily Scherzinger works with a horse in the ring at Golden Nugget Ranch in Selah.

“We are an amateur- and youth-friendly barn. Our training program is designed to produce safe horses who enjoy being ridden,” Tristan said.

He said they primarily offer Western-style riding lessons and that kids make up 80 percent of their clientele.

He said that their barn is set up to train six horses right now, but that most of their business involves teaching young riders the basics. “Getting the kids to the point where they are in charge of the horse is very gratifying.”

 Tristan Scherzinger  Kenny Chipney

Tristan and Emily Scherzinger of Selah’s Golden Nugget Ranch, work mainly with young and inexperienced riders trying to learn the basics of horse management. Here Tristan puts a horse through its paces.

 What’s the hardest part of being a trainer?

“Most trainers develop a technique and get comfortable with that technique. But horses, like people, are individuals, and you have to adapt your training methods to match individual horses,” he said.

But he added that good trainers know how to adapt and most are naturally adaptive.

And like the other trainers, Bettinger stressed that green riders should not be paired with green horses and that when he trains a horse for someone, lessons for the rider are included as well. 

The Bettingers have a large, outdoor arena and charge $40 per lesson for riders who take their own horse or $35 per lesson for two people who supply their own horses. Their phone number is 509-481-1196.


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