Bear Creek Horses And Saddles Training philosophy .................

 Anyone who enjoys trail riding will tell you that a good trail horse is worth his weight in gold. In our opinion, there is no such thing as "JUST" a trail horse. A common misconception is that if the horse isn’t good enough for any other sport, he will be fine for the trail. This is not necessarily the case. A good trail horse is born and trained as much as any other performance horse. In the past there was a tendency to overlook the importance of a trail-riding education. We train horses for very specific arena jobs but expect them to just automatically know how to handle the trail. Then we get frustrated when they don't. Horses need to be taught to trail ride just like they are taught reining, roping or any other skill. At Bear Creek Horses And Saddles we are dedicated to turning out nicely trained horses that are fun to hang out with and a pleasure to ride, only a select few will meet our criteria to become a
" Bear Creek Trail Savvy Family Horse".

Horses come to our Trail Training program at all stages of mental development and training levels, with this in mind, all horses go through a 30 day evaluation period. We have developed a check list in which the horses personality traits, natural abilities and trainability are scored. With this information in hand, we construct a training program geared to each individual horse ensuring that each horse develops to their full potential. We do not believe in rushing our horses, after all a rushed horse can quickly become a ruined horse. We emphasize safety first, with a proper riding foundation of using your seat and your legs instead of going straight to the bit. We want our horses to respond to the lightest touch of the reins. Soft hands lead to a soft mouth plain and simple. We stress the importance of trust, leadership and love to teach groundwork and to establish that partnership. Training is done in a slow and methodical manner, allowing the horse to teach himself whenever possible, building confidence and laying a good foundation for future growth.

All our horses go through extensive ground training. A Bear Creek Trained horse learns to be respectful of your space and will follow your lead. Our horses learn to stand tied patiently in cross ties, a single rope and on a picket line. They stand to be groomed and bathed. They learn to lower their head to be haltered and bridled. They load, unload and haul with no fuss. Most will stand ground tied to be tacked. A trail horse needs to be prepared for any challenge he might face on the trail and we do our best to ensure that our horses get a good start on their education. When horses and their riders are unprepared for the out-of-arena experience, a simple walk through the woods turns into a series of frustrating or frightening confrontations. It's a big scary world out there, you never know what you might come across on the trail, dogs running up behind you, turkeys flying out of the brush, a deer running across the path. We put a lot of emphasizes on the desensitization of our Trail Horses, our horses are exposed to anything and everything that presents itself to us at any given time. Ultimately our goal is to desensitize our horses to as much stimuli as possible. They become desensitized to plastic bags and the crackling of a plastic water bottle, flapping of the saddle bags, the tarp over the body, opening and closing of an umbrella, the cracking of a whip, tools and farm equipment and of course our silly lovable Border Collie Nick.

In the arena, before hitting the trails, our horses learn to navigate the man made obstacles. They will cross the bridge, walk across tarps, go through the noodles and more. As they progress through the levels, they learn lateral flexion, they will turn, stop and back with minimal pressure. As they continue to progress through the levels, they learn to walk, trot and canter on the correct lead with a loose rein. they learn to neck rein and to work off leg pressure. They will learn to do a nice correct spin, sidepass and rollback. He will turn on his hunches or the forehand and they will learn to open and close the gate. 

Here at Bear Creek we understand the importance of a well versed trail horse. We ride in rugged country, our horses are trained on some tough trails. They learn to climb and descend steep slick hills. They learn to travel over loose rocks and to maneuver rock ledges, walk through running streams and cross large logs in the woods. Once our horse hits the trail, they learn to guide with just a touch of the rein, miss trees with a squeeze of a leg. They develop cadence and learn to rate themselves accordingly keeping up with the group.They travel nicely with a group or happily go out alone with no hesitation.
We like to explore the woods with our horses, leaving the well traveled paths and cutting new trails as we go. We ride through tall grass and thick under brush, low hanging limbs and many other natural obstacles, again allowing the horse to teach himself whenever possible. Once a horse has completed the Bear Creek Trail Savvy Training program, you can rest assure that he is a confident, trusting, been there done that type of Trail Horse. He is a horse that we can honestly represent as a safe well trained well mannered family horse .

I f you are interested in adding a Bear Creek Trained Trail horse to your family, give us a call 270-286-4990, or email us at

[email protected]
Below you will find photos and videos of a few of the Quality Horses that have been through our program and some of the training that we do here at Bear Creek
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