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About Us

Hello, my name is Kate Thomas. I operate and run Owl Canyon Horse Services. The OCHS ranch is a full service equine facility catering to the needs of both horse and rider through horse training, riding lessons, clinics, summer camps, birthday parties, and boarding. I hope you find our website informative and helpful.

I have had a passion for horses all my life. At a young age, my parents would take me to the local farms so that I could ride the ponies. When I got too big for the ponies, I took to the supervised trail rides in the rocky mountains. I started taking horse back riding lessons in 2001 and have continued taking lessons with several instructors throughout the years. I have experience in English (low level Dressage and flat work), Driving: both pleasure and marathon (combined driving); and many area's of Western including reining, trails, barrels, cowboy dressage, and more. I also have experience in other areas of the horse world including liberty work, trick training, working Equitation, and driving. My current focus is Reining and Cowboy Dressage along with training for well mannered and all around horses.

Let me tell you about my pride and joy. My bay Arabian gelding, Ben, has taught me an incredible amount over the years. My family purchased him in the summer of 2004. Through my teenage years, he helped teach me patience, hard work, and dedication. As I got older he began to teach me there was more ways to control a horse then just using the reins to steer and kicking him to go faster (he didn't approve of rough riding - he would bite my foot if I kicked too hard, or not move forward an inch if I used the reins too hard - he was very strict about this but never once did he hurt me), he instead taught me about using my whole body to guide rather than force. After practicing this new way controling his movements with little to no rein pressure, I began to ride him bareback and without a bridle. We were able to do flying leadchanges, alternating leadchanges (where it looks like the horse is skipping), and we even started some paiffe (fancy trotting in place). We went on countless trail rides in the mountains, he was always the Steady Eddie of any group we rode with, and he faster than any horse we raced (he was a former race horse afterall!). But alas, he was aging, so as I began teaching children to ride and understand horses- he was my main lesson horse. He adores children and still teaches them today. He knows voice commands well and senses that children, especially the timid ones, need a calm steady horse, and that he is every single ride. He is my first pride and joy, I look forward to meeting more incredible horses, but he will always be my first.


I worked for Blumenthal Friesian farm from 2007 to 2010. JR Blumenthal was a director of FHANA (Friesian Horse Association of North America) and a former Friesian horse judge. I have been involved in the training of some of the top Friesian horses in the nation whom have taken several national, grand championships.

Currently, I own several horses that we use for lessons and summer camps. You can read about them on the "Horses" tab. I have experience training horses ranging from unstarted and green -broke horses to horses that are trail safe and have a solid foundation for movements such as spins, stops, correct leads, flying lead changes, collection, half pass, side pass, and more. I specialize in getting a respectful and willing horse. I thoroughly enjoy helping people create a stronger bond with their horse so they can feel safe and get more enjoyment out of their partnership. Read about my style of training and instruction below.



Training
Owl Canyon Horse Services' horse training is based on horse-friendly methods called Horsemanship in which we use the horses natural language - Body Language. We take the time to build a relationship with each horse to show them that they can trust us as their leader. We establish ourselves as the herd leader by teaching them to give to pressure. They quickly learn that as soon as they try to do what is asked they get a reward. Their reward is the release of pressure. We don't believe in using treats as bribery, but instead using treats, sparingly, as a reward for good effort on their part. Once the horse has a general understanding of the pressure and release method, we teach them to move different parts of their body such as their head and neck, shoulders, ribs, hindquarters, and each leg, separately. When they learn to move specific parts of their body when asked of them; we will then ask them to move two or more parts of their body at the same time. We always make sure they are physically and mentally capable of completing a task before we begin. If they are not mentally or physically prepared for a task, we will go back to the basics until they are ready. We believe each horse is unique and take the time to work with each horse as an individual.

Instruction
Owl Canyon Horse Services strives to make your dreams with horses become a reality. At OCHS, no dream is too big nor too small. Riding lessons are catered to your specific needs and desires. Confidence is gained through understanding how horses behave, how they interact with other horses, and by practicing safe methods under guidence of a professional. It's important to understand why horses respond the way they do, so that we can understand when and where to apply pressure to them. We offer Clinics for a small group of people to enjoy a more in-depth look into horsemanship. By keeping Clinics small, we can go into more detail and positively impact the relationship between each horse and rider team. We gladly welcome beginners through the advanced horseman or woman. We work with both English and Western riders. We know everyone has their own unique way of learning and we strive to meet people on their level of understanding for quality instruction.

Owl Canyon Horse Services grew from a dream and with great passion as grown to a place where people with similar dreams and aspirations can grow and dream together. Contact us today to begin your adventure and enhance your experience with horses.

The Facilities

The ranch is located in Wellington, Colorado on 50 acres situated on a hill overlooking the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

We have a maintained 200ft by 180ft outdoor arena, a maintained 50 foot round pen, and plenty of trails within the property to enjoy.

The 7-acre Front Pasture


The Arena - 200ft by 180ft

The 50' Round Pen

The Trails

The Boarding Pens