4 Week Ranch School
April 1 – 29,2021
When you’re ready for the real deal…
4 Week Ranch School
Martin Black is a 5th generation rancher with years of teaching clinics all over the world. Martin has successfully competed in high performance events showing horses and rodeoing. While at home, he works cattle with the Vaquero (Buckaroo) style of traditional stock handling.
Ranch School is all about getting you better prepared for cattle work and ranch roping. The emphasis will be on low stress stock handling where slow is the fast way to get the job done.
Martin will help you with the three most important skills that will improve your cattle handling success: stockmanship, horsemanship and rope handling. These skills all need to be working together, in some fashion, as any shortcoming in one area will impact the others.
Martin has a unique way of seeing things from the cattle’s perspective, teaching stockmanship by using the cattle’s self-preservation, balance point and flight zone. He emphasizes the importance of rodear and traditional cattle handling – keeping them in a herd is the lowest stress way of managing them when sorting, doctoring and even branding. You will learn that even the smallest change in your horse’s positioning, even the tilt of the nose, can make a big change happen in an individual cow or even the whole rodear. Practical learning experiences and saddle time will be emphasized. Foundation horsemanship exercises will be taught that directly apply to your stockmanship and roping.
For those of you already roping, you will be working on improving, refining and learning new shots, dummy and hot heels roping and live cattle. For those who have never handled a rope, and are interested, Martin has taught countless people how to rope who had never even picked up a rope before. Quite often learning correct muscle memory instead of retraining incorrect habits leads to success earlier. This is meant to be an inclusive school, no roping or cow experience is necessary but you must be comfortable walk, trot, lope and with riding out alone, possibly for extended periods of time.
This is a progressive school for advanced riders comfortable at all gaits. Riders and horses should be confident riding out alone for extended periods while doing the day’s job (i.e., gathering or driving cattle)
The morning will start with a quick meeting to lay out the day’s objective. One certainty when working with cattle is that the specific plans will change but that the objective remains true.
Plan on being in the saddle anywhere from 6-8 hours, or more a day. We are done riding when the objective has been completed.
We will visit at the end of the day to discuss what the heck happened and hopefully take measure of our progress. If horses are humbling cattle are, well, cattle are another level.
The day’s work will vary, and may appear to have no rhyme or reason but trust that it will all make sense in the end. One day we might be working on getting our horses, and ourselves, prepared by using the hot heels or dummy. Another day we might be trailering out to gather hundreds of cattle, sort them and ship cattle off the winter range. Or we might be at the other end receiving the truck loads of cattle, mothering up the babies and trailing cattle to the summer range. We may even have the opportunity to participate in a branding. Then the next day we might be riding out into the desert but working on timing and foot fall exercises. The only limiting factor during these learning opportunities will be what your mind can absorb.
Martin has a unique awareness of reading and handling cattle – this school is a fantastic opportunity to learn some of that. With Martin’s guidance, you will gain experience in stockmanship and roping, while creating those good experiences we all want for our horses.
We will be camped at Shoofly, which is about 45 minutes from Bruneau. Join us with your own LQ trailer or stay in the bunk house (limited availability!). Or experience living in true Cow Camp accommodations: dry bunkhouse (shack), buckaroo teepees, or sleeping under the stars.
We will be enjoying the sights and temperatures of the 3,000 to 6,500 foot elevations, during the beautiful western spring. We will experience Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter, often all in one day. Camping in the high country is a possibility if the students desire but there will be limited, rustic accommodations.
Shoofly is off grid with limited electricity and cell phone service.
Information and Some of the Details
• April 1 – 29, 2021
• Limited to 8 participants
• 25% non-refundable deposit
• Private Room with bathroom and kitchen $800
• Living Quarter Trailer/RV Space $200 we provide water & septic but bring your generator
• Dry Bunkhouse $600 (access to electricity, community bathroom and kitchen)
• Camp Wagon $300 (access to community bathroom and kitchen)
• Teepees $300 (access to community bathroom and kitchen)
• Dry Bunkhouse without electricity or Camping in your personal trailer $250 (access to community bathroom and kitchen)
• Bed rolls and/or bed linens provided
• Starlight ambiance and stories around the camp fire, priceless, but no charge
• Sundays will likely be the day off to resupply or revive. Nurturing blisters if necessary
• Closest restaurant are 25 minutes away in Grand View, 45 minutes in Bruneau or 50 minutes to Mountain Home
• Large grocery stores and chain stores are located in Mountain Home. Smaller markets are located in Grand View and Bruneau
• Closest Fuel & propane is available in Grand View
• Laundromats are located in Mountain Home
• Plan to bring all your own husbandry & First Aid supplies (Ibuprofen, Icy Hot, Imodium, toiletries, chocolate, lobsters, wine, more chocolate,
more wine, more Blue Bell (ice cream)
• Closest airport, and car rentals, are located in Boise about an hour and 10 minutes away Pickup/drop-offs can be arranged
• Limited cell service at Shoofly depending on your provider and patchy service to and from. There is decent cell service back down the paved road
or a 10 minute walk up to the top of the ridge
• You are welcome to bring 1 or 2 of your own horses for the school – just let us know what their ranch/roping experience is, if any.
• Experienced ranch/roping horses are not necessary. While this is a great opportunity for yours to learn, Y6 horses will also be available for
• There is limited availability to keep your horses in steel pens. Usually, student horses are more comfortable out in the big fields with the
Caviata, in the herd environment
• Shoes are necessary. Bring spares for your personal horses. Even the pens are very rocky
• Feed stores are located in Mountain Home (40 miles from Shoofly)
• You can bring your own hay or check on availability/pricing with Shoofly. We will do our best to have good forage for you to purchase at Shoofly.
If you don’t prefer our hay no hard feelings, the feed store in Mountain Home will also have it
• On days we trailer out, your horse must be able to travel well with other horses or you will have to bring your own trailer
Meals: Provide your own OR hook up with a local cook for hearty meals
• Stove and grill will be available. Refrigeration will be provided but it is limited. Plates, utensils and cleaning supplies will be provided
• We don’t typically break for lunch while away from Shoofly. Plan to pack along whatever you might need for victuals
• Days tend to be longer when we are trailering out, so plan to pack a lunch, or when available, we might stop at a restaurant. Or we can eat lunch
after sundown back at camp
• A local cook has offered to prepare hearty, rib-sticking, cowboy grub as ready-to-heat meals. We will put you together with her – price being
dependent on what you choose
Horses and Gear:
• You can bring your own horses for the school
• You will need at least two horses for the school
• Y6 horses are available at $400 per horse for the entirety of the school
• Bring your saddle, head gear, ropes, halters, rain gear, the kitchen sink, etc
• Saddles and equipment are available for lease – $200 for the entirety of the school
• Gear will also be available for purchase
• Bring all medical supplies for both you and your horse
Level of Riding:
• Comfortable at all gaits and on the open range
• Ability to ride for 6+ hours each day
• Confident to ride out alone
• This is an inclusive school in regard to skill level. There will be plenty of different learning opportunities, some requiring more ranch
experience than others
• Horse shoeing, $125 by local farrier
• You can purchase hay at market price. Check ahead of time.
• Transportation to/from airport $100
Shoofly is located outside of Bruneau, Idaho. We know you want a look at where you will be living for a month “off-grid”! Check out the following:
• Jacks Creek Wilderness Area
• Owyhee Uplands Backcountry Byway
• Parjue Canyon
• Great Basin
While all of Martin’s books and DVDs will be helpful, these books and DVDs will be especially so for the Ranch School:
· Rodea Style Ranch Roping Series (DVDs)
· The Bridle Horse Series
· Working Cattle in the “A” Pen (DVD)
· Cow Horse Confidence (Book)
· Hackamore Reinsman, Reinsman of the West and Vaquero Style Horsemanship by Ed Connell (Books)
· The Essential Martin Black Series (Books)
Please Note: Deposits are non-refundable. If you are unable to attend a clinic you may transfer your deposit to a future clinic. You also have the option to apply your funds towards purchases from www.martinblack.net