Creating Solid Ranch & Arena Horse Prospects

Where are you located?

Ontario, OR, and various ranches in Nevada, Oregon, and Idaho

Whose training methods do you use? 

Most of the specifics of our program come from my dad, Martin Black.  I grew up starting colts with Dad and continue to pick his brain with horse questions.  The overall training methods we use come from my grandfather, Ray Hunt, and of course his mentor, Tom Dorrance.  All of these men have helped shape what we do and our overall philosophy.  However, my greatest teacher has been my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Our focus is based on taking the horsemanship philosophies of Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance, and mixing them with Spanish Vaquero traditions in stockmanship and roping, to put solid foundations on horses going to the rodeo arena or back to the ranch.

                                                                    ~ Wade Black

A picture is worth a thousand words, so take a look at the following video to see the horsemanship philosophy of Training for the Cross or contact us HERE.

(Video by Emily Kitching, Eclectic Horseman Communications)

Foundation for Perfection.

What horse training options do you offer?

We offer a "Foundation to Finish" 4-month and 3-year training program, which creates solid ranch & arena horse prospects with lots of miles and lots of experience.

Although un-started and green-broke horses continue to have a low value in the U.S., well-trained horses ready to do a job and solid arena horse prospects are still in high demand.  Training for the Cross is focused on meeting this demand through our "Foundation to Finish" programs.  Horses coming out of the program will not be patterned, and will have a solid foundation ready to take to the ranch, or to be specialized in the arena.

Your horse will learn the Foundation for Perfection while doing ranch jobs such as riding outside, trailing and moving cattle, roping, opening and closing gates, working and roping live cattle, day work, sorting cattle, breaking in roping steers in the arena, and branding calves (heading and heeling).  Over 75% of the roping will be done outside on ranches in Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon.  We center the jobs on building a foundation that can be used on the ranch or in the rodeo arena.  We think some of the best foundations put on horses are the ones that were instilled while doing some sort of practical job.

Your horse will learn where to put their feet in the 4 stages of the Mechanical Foundation of Maneuvers, while learning to read flight zones and balance points through working cows and roping.  We work to instill a foundation that will make them solid heading and heeling calves at branding.  This makes for great rodeo horse prospects, all-around ranch horses, and all around fun horses to ride and do a job on.

A short 2-page handout with more details about the Foundation for Perfection can be found here.  Training for the Cross follows a checklist that Wade developed at Montana State University to test his students' progress.  A more extensive handout that Wade used at MSU which contains his overall training methods and theories can be found here.

Our goal is that your horse will leave with enough confidence in where their feet need to be while doing a job (i.e., working cows, or roping), that an inexperienced rider or roper could relax and have fun doing the job (i.e., roping at a branding) with your horse.

How much do you charge?

1.  4-month program costs $2,500

This includes:

  • Teeth, two sets of shoes, transportation to and from ranches and/or day work, and feed and board for six months.
  • Setting foundation, using jobs to build on the foundation, taking the foundation to do jobs, maintaining foundation (over 4-month time period).
  • Horses started through TVCC work experience program then ridden for the summer being used on a studentís ranch.

2.  3-Year Foundation to Finish program costs $5,000

This includes:

  • Teeth, several shoes, and feed and board.
  • Setting the foundation, using jobs to build on the foundation, using the foundation to do jobs, maintaining the foundation (over a 3-year time period).
  • Horses will be housed with TVCC horses for 3 years and used in all TVCC classes:  colt breaking, cutting, reining, working cow-horse, advanced horse training, and arena horse skills; as well as, used on the ranch in Jordan Valley, taken to brandings in the Treasure Valley, and used by the Ranch Roping Club.
  • All horses trained in this category should be (with an inexperienced rider):
  • - Able to do a simple reining pattern and work a cow.
    - Quiet and confident in the branding trap.
    - Quiet and confident roping and doctoring outside.
    - Quiet and confident coming out of the box team roping.

Interested in selling your ranch or arena horse prospect at the end of training?

Your horse may be videoed at the end of the training period to give students experience in marketing and selling horses.  If you are interested in selling your horse, they can be listed on the website with a video clip, short description, picture, and pedigree.  These "For sale" listings will be on the website for 1 year with no charge.  If the horse sells, TVCC will gratefully accept any commission you would like to give, with the proceeds going back to the Equine Production and Rodeo programs at TVCC.

If you want to contact us about the horse training program, please fill out the Contact Form found at the top, upper right of this page.   

DISCLAIMER:  There are only a limited number of horses taken in this program, and the horses are handled as if they are our own horses, having a job to do and "working" for their living.  We in no way abuse our horses, however, we do use our horses.  If your horse is used to being babied, this will feel like boot camp to your horse. Training for the Cross is a program that uses horses to do ranch jobs.  The focus of our training is to produce solid ranch and arena horse prospects.  We are not set up like the average horse training program.  We take a limited number of horses based on the number of TVCC students in the program.  If you are concerned your horse will not do well with the life of a ranch horse, or is too young to handle long hard days, we recommend you find a training program that would better fit you and your horse.  There is obviously a higher risk of injury riding through the rocks than in the arena.  However, we have found that the horses come out of this experience mentally and physically stronger.  We feel the need to be very clear on what the training will be like, so that you will know what to expect.

Photo by Antoine Cloux

Photo by Antoine Cloux