When my daughter was 2, I bought her a $2 horse DVD, hoping it would occupy her for a few hours. Instead, it spawned an enduring love for all things equine. When she was 4 1/2, I decided to investigate different ranches in the area, and we started with Cloud 9. We chatted with Tara, and after Tara observed my daughter with the horses for a few minutes, she said "You know you really should start her in vaulting. I'm training a horse for the fall to do the vaulting, and she'd be good at that." I nodded, having no clue what vaulting was.
When I got home, I looked up vaulting on you tube and realized Tara had proposed that I try my daughter at gymnastics on top of a moving horse! I promptly dismissed Tara as crazy and looked into other ranches.
However, when this spring rolled around and it was time to sign my now 5 year old for lessons, due to rave reviews about Tara and her ranch from friends as well as the fact that Cloud 9 offered way better value for my dollar than any other ranch in the area (more classes in a session, longer lesson times and certification) we registered Ellie for lessons at Cloud 9 Ranch.
Here is where I have to eat my words! Tara has completely blown me away! Ellie was part of a class with five other girls, and Tara was so good with them. Good doesn't even begin to describe it! She was patient, calm, encouraging and gently challenged the girls to face fears and better their skills. Tara took everything in stride and was never phased by anything the little ones threw her way! She seemed to instinctively know when to push the girls and when to pull back. I also loved that she not only taught the girls the basics of riding but also got them very involved in the responsibilities of horse care - hauling saddles, carrying bridles and grooming. She's been great with answering questions and explaining how the world of horses and competitions work for parents who have no idea what their little horse lovers are getting them into!
And as for vaulting? Nine lessons later I was at the fence, camera in hand, enthusiastically cheering on my little gymnast (yup Tara was right)!
I can't say enough good things about Tara and Cloud 9 Ranch! Michelle Peters Fall 2013
Riding lessons at Cloud 9 Ranch have been an excellent learning adventure for our children, over the past two years. Tara is an amazing teacher who sets high standards in a fun environment. Because of this, the kids respond to her with great respect. As well as learning skills of horsemanship, they have also seen the values of patience, confidence and teamwork reinforced and put into practice. We requested Tara’s advice on purchasing horses and subsequent training for them. Again our experience was positive. We would have no hesitancy in highly recommending Tara and Cloud 9 Ranch for all your riding lesson or horse training needs.
Albert & Alyson Wolfe May 2013
We are a (young) retired couple who wanted to try lessons to see if horses were for us. Tara was recommended by a friend who knew her way back in 4-H and thought highly of her. We took lessons last fall and this spring from Tara and are now in a position of buying our own horses and setting up our place for them. We don't have any comparative experience with other riding instructors, but we are most impressed with Tara.
We have also had our grand kids take a lesson with her. She is serious about safety for both riders and horses, but also very patient and encouraging. She ensures that her horses are very well trained and safe. She encourages us to work through why things happen. She always looks at why, if the horse did other than what we requested, that happened - and it's usually that we were unknowingly giving the horse contradictory instructions. This way we are taught to analyze calmly all the factors including our own behaviour, instead of blaming the horse. I have past work experience relating to psychology and teaching adults, and in my opinion Tara teaches at very high standards. And most of all, you can always tell she likes what she is doing, and loves the horses.
H. Dusablon November 2012
I am in agreement with everything that my wife has said above and would like to add my own comments. I had accompanied my wife to riding lessons as a matter of support and was expecting to ride only very occasionally. Due to Tara's expertise and enthusiasm, I have acquired an interest and enthusiasm that I wouldn't have thought possible. Tara is calm,
reassuring, and encouraging always during lessons. Her understanding of horses, students and teaching are superlative. Her love and enthusiasm for horses, and eagerness to share those things is obvious from the first meeting.
I have taken many courses in many different areas in my life and I say, without reservation, that Tara is absolutely the very best instructor I have ever had for anything. She loves what she does. Her knowledge of and constant awareness of the needs and moods of horses is impressive.
If one of her students were to achieve something that Tara herself couldn't do, I am positive that she would feel nothing but pleasure at their accomplishment; That, and a determination to try to develop the same skill. Her own ego never comes into the equation.
For Tara, it is really all for the horse's sake.
We had asked her to look for a horse (now two) that would be suitable for us, and when she found one that she thought would do, she was as happy and excited as if she were our own daughter.
P Collins November 2012
I would like to take this opportunity to let you know how my lessons have been flowing lately and to thank you sincerely for your hard work and discipline that you showed at the CHA Instructor Certification course at Roseau River Bible Camp.
I have since taught lessons and have implemented what I was taught. Thank you so much for the encouraging words , I have grown and will continue.
I hope your days are prosperous as well.
God bless :)
Look forward to seeing you again one day.
~Lisa Mcleod June 2012
~ horse ~ experience :Courage,Confidence and character.