Welcome to our site, I'm Barb Gerbitz and I have been a horsemanship trainer and teacher since 1997. I’ve spent my time doing what I like best – starting colts, re-starting problem horses, and training intermediate and advancing horses.
The most important thing for me personally when working with any horse, at any stage, is considering them as an individual and working with them from where they're at physically and mentally, in a way that they can understand to form a partnership. For me it is about learning to preserve the body, mind and spirit of the horse, while working with the horse’s nature and mind to connect to their feet or working with their feet to connect to their mind.
I travel away from home often to teach, and have found an encouraging change that horses often bring out in people. That is, that people may show up to learn how to get something shaped up with their horse, but so often, also learn how to get something shaped up within themselves. I have gotten to witness this many times over. A horse has the ability to take a person to a place they thought they would never go or maybe never knew existed. Our day to day life may never, inspire or challenge us to make these kind of changes but somehow the relationship we have or desire to have with our horses seems to be the perfect combination to bring about that change. Horses have made many changes in me over the years and continue to do so. Seeing others experience that change is pretty special.
Teaching causes me to reflect a great deal and serves as a good reminder that we are all learning together and we're all trying to get along better with our horses. My goal as a teacher is to provide practical and effective methods to support the development of the horse and student through all of their stages of learning. Clinics provide an inspiring and supportive environment to learn new skills and develop positive and respectful relationships.
All horses benefit from an open minded approach which considers their individual needs. For this reason, I practice and teach horsemanship, vaquero style horsemanship and classical dressage to develop myself, my horses and my students. I have a great deal of respect for what each discipline provides and incorporate them all.
How do I define horsemanship, vaquero style horsemanship and classical dressage?
Horsemanship is a partnership which preserves the body, mind and spirit of the horse. This partnership is based on feel, timing, balance, leadership, trust, communication, collaboration and time. And achieved by working with the horse’s nature to connect to their feet.
Vaquero style horsemanship is the combination of horsemanship and vaquero traditions. The horse is systematically developed through the stages of the smooth snaffle, hackamore, two-rein and full-bridle using philosophy, exercises and approaches unique to vaquero style horsemanship. The discipline of Vaquero style horsemanship develops a strong, confident, obedient, refined and educated horse and rider pair capable of doing a variety of practical jobs obediently, precisely and on request to the best of the horse’s natural ability.
Classical dressage is the combination of horsemanship and the practice of the systematic development of the horse using gymnastic exercises and approaches unique to classical dressage to develop the strength, balance and coordination of the horse. (The classical approach which I refer to, does not incorporate auxiliary aids, equipment or exercises to force the horse into unnatural positions.) The classical dressage approach develops a strong, confident, obedient, refined and educated horse and rider pair capable of accomplishing all the physical/gymnastic skills an individual horse is capable of doing obediently, precisely and on request to the best of the horse’s natural ability.
As a student of the horse, I continue to move towards being, just plain better for the horse.
I hope to meet you and your horse someday soon.
But don’t take too long, we have work to do!