Get in touch with your horse


A horsemanship clinic to be held Friday-Saturday in Encampment will offer Valley equestrians the chance to learn more about what their horse’s body language is telling them, and what riders’ body language tells the horse.

The clinic, sponsored by Jean Burger of Encampment, brings renowned horseman Chris Irwin to the Valley to work with local riders to teach them how to build a better relationship with their animals and get more from them.

“Whether you ride Western or English, or whether your horse is Arabian, Tennessee Walker, gaited, Quarter Horse or reining horse, he (Irwin) can help put you more in touch and get more out of your horse,” Burger said.

For Burger, it is the fourth year she will be bringing Irwin into the Valley to help local riders. There is no charge for people to attend the event.

Irwin will also be bringing another trainer he works with, Buddy Brewer, to assist. Burger said her property—where the event will be held—has both a round pen and an arena, so with two areas and two instructors, riders and horses will get plenty of attention from the experts.

Irwin doesn’t really teach riding style and can work with any style of rider, Burger said. Instead, Irwin focuses on helping forge a stronger connection between rider and animal. “He can help the rider get more well connected with their horse so that they understand what the horse is speaking, and the language that their body means to the horse,” she said. “People will learn how to communicate much better with their horse and get things done faster and with more cooperation.”

Even those who do not bring horses to the event are welcome, Burger said, and even those without their horses present will still have the opportunity to learn a lot about how human body language might affect a horse’s behavior, and what a horse’s body language can tell riders.

The event will be held Friday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Blackhall Mountain Ranch on Blackhall Mountain Road just outside Encampment. There is no charge to attend, and lunch is provided. Those interested in attending are urged to call Jean Burger at 307-327-5365 or email her at


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