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Rising K Ranch

Klay Klemic is a showcased Cedar City, UT horseback riding lessons instructor on!

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   My name is Klay Klemic and I have been riding horses my entire life, and have had the opportunity to learn from several great horse trainers as well as a few good cowboys. I have worked from horseback on large cattle ranches in Northern Nevada, Northern Utah, Arizona, South Dakota, and New Mexico, which taught me how to work long hours and stay on top of a few rough horses. Thankfully, I went on to learn refinement in horsemanship from some good full-time reining and cowhorse trainers, such as nearby Jim Montgomery in Veyo, Utah.

   Each horse I take on to train here at Rising K Ranch receives a solid foundation in the Cowhorse tradition, and will LEARN at least the basic arena maneuvers such as a decent stop on a loose rein when you sit down in th saddle, the beginnings of a good spin, and general suppleness all throughout the horse's face and body. Just how far the horse goes into being a reiner or cowhorse is up to the horse's own ability and interest, as well as the intent of the horse's owner; but even the basic ranch horses and mountain trail horses we train here will receive the foundation of cowhorse work. It is this suppleness of the horse's entire body and wilingness in his spirit that is the primary focus of most of our horse training, as this is the general foundation that is used in all other areas and places for the rest of the horse's life no matter what he ends up doing.

 Each horse I take on to train here at Rising K Ranch will LEARN such ground manners as leading safely, lunging, feet handling for farriery, and trailer loading.

   Each horse I take on to train here at Rising K Ranch will LEARN to be comfortable with being roped off of and will learn to be comfortable with dragging logs and live cattle; and will learn to be comfortable carrying a pack saddle with all its many straps and brichin's and loaded panniers up in the mountains.

   Each horse I take on to train here at Rising K Ranch will LEARN to be comfortable with my obstacle course, which includes such things as log bridges, tarps, and tires.

   Each horse I take on to train will be taken on mountain trails, and will LEARN to be comfortable with water crossings, fallen logs, steep hills, strong winds, and whatever else the mountains may have to teach the the horse.

 I have capitalized the word "Learn" because my goal in horse training is not to simply force a horse to go through things; but to take the time to build a willing partnership with the horse. This is accomplished by understanding and blending 3 different aspects of horsemanship.


1. Horse Psychology. Understanding how a horse thinks naturally aids in understanding what to ask of him and how much to ask of him in our training process. Understanding how a horse learns is essential in effectively training horses. This understanding of a horse's psychology comes, not from my own observations, but from years of learning from older horse trainers and horsemen who themselves learned from other older horse trainers and horsemen. Horse Psychology, understanding how a horse thinks and learns, is what allows us to create willingness.

2. Horse Anatomy. This is the "Form to Function" aspect of horsemanship and horse training. While the psychology aspect creates willingness, the understanding of anatomy allows us to use that willingness in a manner that is best suited to a particular horse at any certain point. Many times, we ask our horses to do things that they are quite willing to do, but are simply unable to do, either because of the way they are built in their conformation or by the position their body is in at the moment. For example, if a horse has high hocks, steep shoulders and a short and high neck, it would be quite unreasonable to demand a perfect sliding stop of him. Such a horse may well surprise us with unexpected abilty and talent; but it will be through more time devoted to teaching him how to reach with his hind feet, lift his shoulders and use whatever good is in his body to his best advantage. Simply getting frustrated with the horse and thinking the horse is not trying hard enough will do us no good in our training.

3. Timing. In order to acheive success in horse training, it is absolutely necessary to have proper timing with your cues such as your legs and hands. This timing, for me and for most horsemen and horse trainers, is not attained by reading books, watching videos, or riding your own horses. This timing is only attained through years of riding with horseman and horse trainers who are far better than you and by riding horses that are far better than anything you could make or train on your own. For quite a while, it is the good horse that makes a good horse trainer and not the horse trainer that makes a good horse. Once you have ridden a few truly great horses and have had several years of coaching from truly great horse trainers, you will have the timing in your hands, feet and seat that makes it easy to use a horse's willingness (horse psychology) and anatomy to the best advantage. Once a horse trainer has had such help from other horse trainers and from top-notch horses, he will be able to make even his two year old horses better than anything most people will ever ride.

Pricing: $650/Month with a 3 Month Minimum Stay

This includes feed twice daily.

The horse will be ridden (or otherwise worked with) 5-6 days per week depending on the horse's best interest.

Each horse is boarded in a 12x12 covered stall.

Videos of each horse's progress in training are posted on the Rising K Ranch Facebook Page quite often.

   If you are interested in a week-long "Tune-Up" or some such thing, I recommend you bring your horse out for a Riding Lesson where you can evaluate what you and your horse really need. 

   To learn more about Riding Lessons, click here: riding_lessons.

A Typical First Ride for a Young Horse in Training at Rising K Ranch

For the first several rides on a horse, my primary intent is not so much to "Train" the horse to do anything; but is simply to give the horse time to gain confidence with a rider on his back as he moves around the round pen naturally. For a horse's first rides, pulling on him with either a bot, bosal, or even just a halter usually creates life-long bad habits, so I do all I can to keep out of his mouth or face. If he must be pulled on, such as when the rider first climbs on his back, he should be pulled on with only one rein for the purpose of moving his hip out of the way to keep him from moving too quickly and scaring himself. Once the horse is calmly moving his hip away from my leg, I can allow the horse to walk or trot out at a loose rein. At this stage, I am not concerned about where the horse goes, as long as he is moving forward.

Honey is a Two Year Old Roan Filly that Came to us to Learn to be Good around a Ranch and in the Mountains. She had previously been poorly started and had developed a rearing and striking problem. This video shows how she is doing after 90 days at Rising K Ranch.

Sammy, a horse that came to us to learn how to be good in the mountains and around the trails.

Moonshine, a horse that came to us to learn how to smooth out his stops a little and primarily to learn how to handle himself on the mountains.

A method I developed in October, 2019 of how to train a horse to accept his first farriery work. This idea came to me primarily through listening to Monty Roberts, an accomplished horse trainer, talk about how a horse's mind works. This method works very well for training horses like the one in the video, who want to set back on the rope and rear up when you try to work on their hooves. This method ultimately takes less time than fighting with a horse does, and it is much safer for both man and beast.

Teaching a Client's Horse in Training to Feel Comfortable Climbing Rocky Country

    About us

    Rising K Ranch is a Horseback Trail Ride and Riding School in Utah, located perfectly between Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks.

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    Rising K Ranch
    2937 W 3800 S
    Cedar City, Utah 84720
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