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Denise Montoya



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A girl, a truck her dog and a horse

Posted on February 13, 2015 at 3:20 AM

January of 2014 I decided to start teaching full time and I built a website. It was very "field of dream" like and boy did they come!!! I have been so busy this past year I can't even keep up with the flood of phone calls/emails coming in. I went from 2 lesson horses to 6 and have had some very unique challenges. I am but one person in need of help with organization, customer contact, bookkeeping, advertising, not to mention a lot of my time goes into caring for the horses, getting them turned out, properly fed, exercised and my favorite mucking stalls...


Being a single mom and owning a small business has been quite challenging this past year. I apologize to the people that have slipped through the cracks. I extend a warm thanks to the ones who didn't and were persistent in getting through to me. We have had some very fun and memorable times. Each and every student that I have I treat as an individual and I do the same with the horses.


Not everybody is ready to learn hard concepts and memorize them in a cookie cutter fashion. Not everybody wants to show and bring home those very expensive ribbons. Some people just want to feel safe being around horses, some people are happy working them from the ground learning how to communicate with them better, some people just want to brush them and be around them or just want to ride on the trails and feel safe. I feel that I am good at reading peoples intentions even if they say they want something more, maybe they are not ready yet. I have worked with a lot of fearful people that have been on nightmarish trail rides and "lived to tell the tale" but swore they would never ride again. To me this is sad because they could have had a fulfilling life around horses but were traumatized at one point. Then they read about me and my methods though my website and came back to a safe and fun filled experience which is all they wanted in the first place... I very much enjoy working with new and or fearful people.


I am very happy to announce that my business has grown so much that I was able to move to a bigger facility with more amenities I now have a real round pen in which to conduct private lessons in and have my students feel safe and uninhibited in. There are 2 arenas one of which is covered, the stalls are bigger and more private, I have my own tack room with an office/lounge area and two private turnouts for the horses to mingle in when they are not working. I am working on hiring help in the areas I need most right now and I am very much looking forward to a happy and successful year! Thanks to all my students who have made this "field of dreams" possible for me. I can't wait for some of you to graduate to the trail so we can have many more fun times, conversations and learning experiences...

"cowboy training"

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 12:30 AM

So, I was kinda spoiled growing up in that I never had to tack up my own horse... My friend and I used to ride at her grandparents house and we borrowed the neighbors horse so we could both ride. My horse's name was Clipper. Her grandfather took care of everything and we used to ride for hours. The first time I got bucked off, the horse spooked and then started bucking, I hit the ground hard and my friend made me get back on. I was so scared. I thank her for my horse addiction!!!  

When I was working at the rental stable I saw how real cowboys handled the horses, or Vaquero's I should say, and boy did I make up for not tacking up my own horse as a kid! I was always softer than the guys were but I was still pretty tough and I still went after the horses pretty hard, so they never thought I was a pushover but I was able to get farther with some of the horses because of my approach. I was developing my own skills and learning a lot about the horse's and how they interacted with one another. I used to sit in the corral for hours after work and just watch their interactions, how they fought, how they played, how they groomed one another, how they sought out companionship, I was so intrigued and everybody else thought I was crazy.

After I was introduced to Pat Parelli's horsmanship I felt like I finally found my way! There was a different way of going about this and it just seemed to click with me and I finally got it! I was so excited, I learned the seven games and how groundwork can be fun for both me and the horse... I now tell my students that the only limitation to the seven games is your imagination! I then started seeking more mentors and reading everything I could about natural horsmanship. I love Clinton Anderson (and his little aussie accent!), Buck Brannaman (if you haven't seen the documentary about him, please do, it is so worth it), Ray Hunt ("The slower you go the faster you will learn."), and Leslie Desmond. it's harder to find a female mentor in horsemanship just as I found the same to be true in my film education but lets leave that for another blog entry... they are out there you just have to look!