Jeff’s Background and Philosophy
Jeff Sanders is a sixth generation California, born in Merced California and raised on the Central Coast, right in the heart of Vaquero country. He is one of the very few teaching the California Vaquero style of horsemanship who was raised in the traditions and is truly a Californio himself.
Jeffʼs family has a long history of running cattle and riding stock horses in California, starting over 160 years ago. Jeff’s great, great, great grandfather started working as a vaquero in Petaluma California when he was a teenager in 1854, over a decade before the first big Texas cattle drives. This tradition followed down through Jeffʼs family and he can trace his horsemanship all the way back 160 years on one side of his family and over 100 years on the other side.
Having been raised in the California horsemanship traditions since childhood, Jeff’s parents passed the knowledge down to Jeff the same way it had been done for a couple of hundred years. Staying true to the Vaquero tradition of passing knowledge from generation to generation Jeff learned his horsemanship directly from the source. While books are good, nothing can replace learning both the oral traditions and the practical application directly from those who had it passed down to them from the old time California Vaqueros.
Jeff and his parents took the skills of the old time Vaqueros and applied them, not only on the ranch but also in the competition arena. Jeff credits his as well as his parentsʼ success in competitions to the fundamental principles of old style California horsemanship.
He has also been fortunate to have had the opportunity to apply the skills and philosophies of the old California Vaqueros while day working on ranches in California, Colorado, Wyoming and Nevada.
Jeff still day works when he is home but is steadfast in his dedication to spreading the traditions of the California Bridle Horse throughout the world. Traveling throughout the US, Australia, Western and Eastern Europe and even Israel teaching this style of horsemanship, Jeffʼs hope is that this proud tradition that respects the rider and honours the horse will not just survive but will once again flourish.
Jeff is a fierce advocate of the classical Vaquero tradition which is grounded in finesse, respect and empathy for the horse and building a solid foundation to enable incredible lightness and communication between horse and rider. Vaquero principles are more akin to classical dressage than to modern western riding and Jeff’s students come from all disciplines and backgrounds.
More information about Jeff can be found on his website http://californiabridlehorse.com/
What to expect from a Jeff Sanders clinic
Attending a clinic with Jeff is like taking your horse and your Horsemanship journey to University. He has been coming to WA for several years and is gaining a growing number of dedicated students from a variety of disciplines including dressage, western and pleasure riders.
Typically, Jeff holds 3-4 day clinics where you can expect to learn historical and practical applications for rider position, body control and lateral work. Participants will be able to see how the movements and manoeuvres we ask of horses directly correlates with the jobs we ask of them to perform and the horse’s biomechanics. Jeff’s clinics are limited to 12 riders. Riders are split into two groups, each group participating for a morning and afternoon session. On the last day of the clinic Jeff spends time with each rider individually.
Clinic fee: To be confirmed
Auditor’s welcome. $50 per day or $130 for all 3 days. Book your tickets by clicking on the link.
Click on the link below to apply to ride in Jeff’s Clinic.Click here to apply to ride in Jeff’s Clinic Click here to book Auditor tickets
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