John Saint Ryan
John will be back in Australia in March 2020 to teach clinics in Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Check back soon for more details.
John Saint Ryan’s Background and Philosophy
John has a very unique background. Born in the UK, he fought and taught boxing and the martial art discipline of Muay Thai for 27 years while also having a successful acting career, which included being a stunt double for Sean Connery, and co-starring with Heath Ledger in the TV Series ‘Roar’. In 1992, John moved to the United States and was introduced to the horseman Tom Dorrance through Ray Hunt, where his love for horsemanship flourished. Together, John and Tom Dorrance created training DVDs including ‘Greetings from Tom Dorrance’, ‘Feel, Timing & Balance’, and ‘Visits with Tom’. When speaking of Tom Dorrance, John states “despite never having taken a lesson from a human in his life about horses, Tom still accomplished more than any man I know with regard to understanding how a horse thinks and behaves.”
John continues to strive to improve himself in the study of advanced horsemanship. John will help each rider improve by directing them toward a deeper understanding of their horse, and ultimately working toward riding skills that incorporate the feel, timing and balance necessary to lead to a light and responsive horse. He has a reputation as a truly talented, kind and gentle horseman.
John is also accomplished in the art of Doma Vaquera (akin to Working Equitation) and has worked with Master Horseman Jose Manuel Martin de Leon of Spain, and Rodrigo de Costa Matos of Portugal. In addition, John has a keen interest in Equitation Science and horse behaviour, especially in the way this applies to how horses learn. John has spent time integrating (or overlapping) the scientific aspects of horse behaviour and learning with his understanding of Feel, Timing and Balance that he learnt from Tom.
Whether he is working with Championship Show Equestrians or dedicated recreational riders, his focus in teaching is the same; to help the student develop a deeper level of communication with their horse and unlock the incredible potential that each horse has to offer.
“Let’s be perfectly frank and honest with ourselves regarding our relationship with any horse. When you finish your ride and you get down from the saddle it isn’t the people who watched you ride, the officials at some event or exhibition who have a right to judge you. The real thing that matters, the true judge of your ability as a horseman is standing next to you. It is the horse who will tell you by his expression, his body and the look in his eye if you helped him, if you showed him how he can be better and if you have a partner in this dance.”
For more information about John Saint Ryan visit https://johnsaintryan.com/
What to expect from a John Saint Ryan clinic
Participants will be helped to develop a clearer understanding with their equine partner through school exercises which will be designed on the day, dependent on the abilities of the riders taking part. At all times John will try to challenge your skills by encouraging you & opening up new ideas & ways to develop your communication with a view to helping your horse become healthier & stronger physically, while at the same time building confidence in both you & your horse so that you can become more ‘together’.
Participants booking in to John’s clinic should have a serious interest in the overall approach to educating the horse and rider. If you are looking for specific help for yourself and your horse on a particular project then private lessons is your best option. Before attending John’s clinic spend some time identifying your hopes and wishes for your particular discipline and your horsemanship journey.
John’s horsemanship clinics cater for novice riders and/or beginner horses through to more advanced riders and their horses. For John’s Horsemanship clinics participants should be able to control their horse in a group situation at walk, trot & canter. The central philosophy of Feel, Timing and Balance will be explained using school exercises to develop the connection between you & your horse. For the more advanced riders and horses, class participants will have the opportunity to try and practice various exercises taken from the truly classical way and make sense of why they would be of value to the rider and the horse. Incorporated into this will be the philosophy of how we should present these movements and exercises to the horse without force and in the true spirit of good horsemanship. John will invite questions from the group in an effort to de-mystify what may at first seem too ‘difficult’ or ‘complex’.
“My confidence increased while I was having fun! I had the freedom to make mistakes.”
“John breaks everything down and made me aware of how clear my aids needs to be. John is great at problem solving. He has brilliant ideas to help riders with different issues.”
“I felt at home with John. He is warm and compassionate. He explained everything until he could see that I had understood.”
The following feature about John Saint Ryan’s Australian visit in April 2019 was published in the THINK Horsemanship magazine’s 2019 winter issue.
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