Martin Black has spent his lifetime ranching, riding, training horses, starting young horses, working cows and roping in the Great Basin tradition.
Martin grew up on the Ace Black family ranch in Bruneau, Idaho where he was influenced by his father, grandfather Albert and uncle Paul Black. After school he worked on ranches in Idaho, Nevada, and California, working with top horsemen and bridlemen, Charlie and Bill Van Norman, Ray Hunt, Gene Lewis, Melvin Jones, Tom Dorrance and Tom Marvel along the way. Growing up working cows from horseback, Martin had a unique opportunity to develop a great sense of feel for both the horse and cattle. When he was managing the Wine Cup/ Gamble ranches throughout his twenties, Tom Dorrance would come to the ranch and help the cowboys start the young horses and prepare their show-horses for the County Fair. During this time, Martin would realize the importance of timing for the horse. As he continued in his pursuit of excellence he would find the balance that would bring it all together.
Martin Black is willing to share his knowledge and experience with anyone serious about improving themselves and their horses. He has helped everyone from recreational riders to top horse-trainers in cutting, reining and racing, cowboys, cow-horse competitors, ropers, show-jumpers, and eventers. Everyone can improve their horsemanship by learning how to be more effective presenting themselves to their horse and learning to understand how the horse perceives them as an individual. Martin will build confidence in the horse and rider and take you to the next level, whatever that might be.
Buckaroo (vaquero) tradition is not just about working cows on a spade-bit horse, wearing jingle-bobs on your spurs and roping with a reata, it is also about working a horse in a way that allows them become confident and independent in any situation, doing any job. Martin will teach you to work a horse and learn to feel what that horse needs from you in order to accomplish this.
Martin Black is a great teacher and you will profit from attending any one of his courses, clinics or schools, regardless of which one you choose – horsemanship, colt-starting, ranch-roping, branding or cow-working, which may include, stockmanship, working cows in the A-pen, or competitive cow-horse training. If you are looking for the ultimate challenge, you may choose the April Ranch School in the picturesque Owyhee Mountains or the Horsemanship School in Bruneau, ID
In all his work, Martin Black uses traditional gear of the highest quality and function which originated from the Spanish-California vaquero and migrated to the Great Basin in the late 1860’s. The same gear, handmade to his specifications, can be found on the Traditional Gear page of this website. You will find everything you need for transitioning your horse from the hackamore to the two-rein and straight up in the bridle –bosals, hackamores, both in rawhide and kangaroo, mane hair mecates, silver bits (spade bits and half-breed bits), rein chains, rawhide reins and romal. You will also find Martin Black’s three dvd set, the Bridle Horse series which will guide you through proper fit and function, along with how to use each piece of equipment. Other valuable learning tools include the “Western Horseman Book” Cow-Horse Confidence” which will give anyone an outstanding overview of Martins method and philosophy and should be required reading before attending any school or clinic. Colt-starting Philosophy, taking your horse from the Round Pen to the Arena, Working Cattle in the A-pen, two Ranch-Roping/ Branding dvds and a new book co-authored with Dr. Steve Peters, Evidence-BasedHorsemanship round out the educational collection.