Horsemanship Retreats

The Vista Verde Horsemanship Retreats have been very popular for guests looking for a bit more in-depth focus on their riding skills.  We refer to this special event as a Horsemanship Retreat, as it is really all that you get in a great horsemanship clinic with a retreat-like feel added in after hours.  The ranch is so quiet, the group intimate with smaller numbers, and it is a great time to recharge and relax when you are not riding.  The clinics offer an intensive riding experience for novice to intermediate riders.   Clinic numbers are limited to 10-12 participants to insure a more productive learning environment.

Jason Patrick will be leading the March 2016 retreat.  Jason is a ranch raised Colorado cowboy who grew up training horses. Over the last 12 years Jason has been a highly sought after clinician, traveling to expos and clinics all over North America. Known for his colt starting and natural horsemanship, five years ago Jason decided it was time to take his horsemanship to the next level and began to focus on the showing of Reined Cow Horses. He works at the Whispering Willows Ranch in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Today Jason is consistently winning and placing in the money at the largest shows in the country.

2016 clinic dates are:

March 20-24, 2016

Rate: $1,795/person

Non rider rate: $1,295/person


John Lyons will be leading our October 2015 horsemanship retreat. John has been presenting training clinics and horsemanship symposiums since 1980, has written many books on horses and horse training, and is the founder of John Lyons’ Perfect Horse magazine. He lives and works out of Parachute, Colorado.

Lyons’ approach to establishing a partnership between horse and handler is based in part on the principles of operant conditioning. He encourages owners to notice what is going on with their horses and to use consistent cues and reinforcement to encourage positive behavior. He places a strong emphasis on safety of handler and horse, using gentle techniques, and eschewing dramatic results in favor of setting specific goals, then teaching them by use of clear signals, responsible methods, and consistency.

During the course of the clinic, riders and horses will learn the foundation exercises, lessons, and principles of the Lyons Method. Riders will, first and foremost, learn to effectively control their horse. Whether a pleasure and trail rider, or an experienced competitor, all riders have the same common goal: to improve the level of control they have over their horses. The clinic will help you reach that goal and take your horsemanship to the next level.

Participation in this 4-night, 3-day clinic will be limited to a small group of riders and auditors. Riders may bring a non-rider companion to take advantage of other ranch activities during the October clinic dates.


$1,900/non-rider: Guided trail rides, hiking, mountain biking, and fly fishing available for non-riders

$100/auditor/day: For non-guests who just want to come up to the ranch for the day to audit the clinic and enjoy lunch with our guests.

Please note: If you are bringing your own horse, a current health certificate will be required. Board is $100 for the 4 nights.