Horse Training at RL Valley Ranch – Athens, Ohio


“A Good Start is Half the Finish”


Here at the RL Valley Ranch, we strive to offer you the best in natural horsemanship training. From our life experience of making a living with horses, the ranch, cattle, and the competitive world of showing, we offer a unique mix of cowboy, natural horsemanship, and horse psycology. Wether you need your next young prospect started right, a horse that needs some “miles” out on the ranch, or a horse that just needs some “tuning up,” RL Valley Ranch can accomodate your horse training needs. Horse Training at RL Valley Ranch is very hands on- we encourage owners to be involved in the process by coming weekly for lessons. We have 12×12 stalls with skylights, a round pen, outdoor arena with well maintained footing, over 400 privately owned acres with miles of trails, and cattle available year round.

Being a small family owned and operated ranch ensures your horse will get the best in care, plenty of attention, and the time and miles it takes to make a good honest horse.

Training is $700/month. This includes, hay, feed, daily stall cleaning and daily turn-out, your horse being worked with 5 days a week, and a weekly lesson for the owner. It does NOT include farrier work, worming, dental, or additional fees for stallions or problem horses. (If you have a horse with a specific problem, please contact us to discuss pricing)

Cattle are available year round for an additional $100/month. Wether you are interested in cutting, roping, penning, sorting or reined cow horse, we can give your horse confidence and experience needed to excel in these events.


“There is Nothing Like a Good Horse for a Job, and What Makes a Good Horse is a Job”


“Let your idea become the horse’s idea.” – Tom Dorrance

We expose all horses in training to various ranch work, such as checking the fence, gathering, sorting and doctoring cattle. Here in Athens, Ohio, the terrain has a wide range of challeges for your horse to become accustomed to. From slippery hills and banks, creek crossings to rocky hillsides, your horse will learn how to confidently navigate all different types of terrain.

We welcome all breeds and types of horses. We believe that a good training foundation can be used in ANY discipline. We have trained horses that have gone on to be cow horses, polo horses, grand prix jumping horses, draft horses, ranch versatility horses, cutting horses, rehabilitating ex-race horses, and many others. If a horse is soft and supple in both body and mind, he can be trained to do just about anything.


We recommend leaving an unstarted horse for 60 to 90 days. We feel it takes time to develop a horses mind and gain their trust and confidence. Please note that what to expect while your horse is in training is for an unstarted horse. If your horse is already started, more can be done more quickly.

What to expect in the first 15 days:

Ground manners

Circle on the lounge line at walk, trot and lope.

Pivot on hind and front end

Desensitizing with sacks, jugs and ropes.

Flex and bend lightly to lead rope.

Acceptance of saddle.

What to expect in 15-30 days:

Back up lightly

Stand quietly for saddling and mounting.

Walk, trot and lope with rider.

One rein stops.

Pivot on hind and front end (open and close gaits)

By end of Training (60-90 days)

 Stop and back on command

 Soft and supple direct rein steering

 Horse will know their leads

 Basic lead changes

 Side Passing

 Drag a log

Basics of neck reining

We cannot gaurantee every horse will be able to do the above tasks in a set amount of time. Each horse is an individual. The above is a general guideline as to what to expect while your horse is in training. Some learn quickly and will progress through the program faster than others. After 90 days a horse may be considered “broke” but is certaintly not “finished.” A 90 day horse has a good solid foundation for you to take and finish in any direction.


“Recognize and Reward the Slightest Try” -Ray Hunt


Not only will your horse learn a good solid foundation at RL Valley Ranch, you, the owner, will learn valuable lessons as well. Our program is very hands on- we teach you how to use natural horsemanship to accomplish your riding and training goals. Some skills you will learn include:

Reading your Horse

Leadership in Groundwork

Effective Round Penning and Lounging

Application of Softening and Suppling Exercises

Learning to Have Soft Hands and Effective use of the Reins

Improved “Harmony in the Saddle”

Application of Leg Aids

Learning the Importance of using Proper Tack

Learning Lightness, Timing and Feel

For more information, please feel free to contact us. We welcome visitors!