Question:   I was wondering if you could share some advice or best practices for an international participant that might differ from a ‘national’ one to attend a session or school in Idaho? My goal is to be submerged into the Vaquero way of riding and thinking and to learn as much as possible.

Answer:  Thank you for sending in your question.  We can provide international, as well as national  students, horses, tack, linens, kitchen necessities, airport transportation, most likely rain gear, and a heavy coat that fits for extreme cold.  But, bring your own personal things you wish to have with you.

I do not like to label my horsemanship, I don’t want to limit it “natural”, “classical vaquero”, “cowboy dressage”, “Tom-Ray”, or whatever other sort of labels are out there.  But, when I say Martin Black Horsemanship; What is it? Great Basin Traditions, and what does that look like?

To me, Martin Black Horsemanship is not a Ford or a Chevy.  It is more than just one of the above labels.  It’s all the good stuff. The stuff I’ve stolen all my life, from all the best horsemen, from all the different disciplines, from colt starting to problem solving to the competitive performance world; the “what works” and “what doesn’t work” from around the world. It is simply what I have found that works the best for me. And, you may be able to find some pieces that would work for you too.

I have no club fees, no membership fees, no extended courses that you have to sign up for in preparation to ride with me.  I encourage people to take what you can to whatever level you would like to go to, there are no limits.  I am happy with  people that have made a bigger splash in the horse world, knowing that I may have had a little influence on some of their ripples.

I encourage people to come to a clinic, semi-private session, or a two week stay in the horsemanship school.  It is not uncommon for people to sign up for the first two weeks and end up staying for the second two weeks.  I guess, after a while they get comfortable getting outside their comfort zones.  Yes, it is true, I do push people to broaden their perceived limits.

I look forward to seeing you,

Martin Black

sent in by Elisabeth via email