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Horsemanship clinics at dude ranches are just one way to improve your horseback riding and horse handling skills on your dude ranch vacation. While working ranches are the most likely to host regular horsemanship clinics, guest ranches and luxury dude ranches may also offer similar clinics and demonstrations for guests to watch and often participate in.

McGinnis Meadows horsemanship clinicsHorsemanship clinics at McGinnis Meadows, a Montana working cattle ranch and guest ranch

The Hideout Guest Ranch in Wyoming, USA, is this year holding 'Authentic Horsemanship Clinics' in April and October 2012 - week-long training clinics led by the guest ranch's full-time horseman Ramon Castro and assisted by Marijn Werquin. Sign up for the clinic and you'll get hands-on lessons in colt-starting techniques, natural horsemanship training, clinics in desensitizing, leadership and horses training, working horses with cattle, equine massage and team penning. Best of all, you'll get the chance to put your new learnings into practice as you saddle up and ride out on the ranch.

If you want to learn about horse safety, sign up for Three Bars Ranch's 'Introduction to Horsemanship and Horse Safety' program in May 2012. The Canada guest ranch has teamed up with the College of the Rockies to offer a week-long horsemanship and horse safety program.

Colorado guest ranch Zapata Ranch is hosting a whole range of themed weeks and horsemanship clinics - from the 'Women's Week and Horsemanship Clinic', to the 'Horsemanship Clinic' week held in conjunction with its sister ranch, Chico Basin Ranch. The latter includes one-on-one horsemanship instruction, educational demonstrations, rides through the surrounding meadows and dunes and working cattle and bison on horseback. Leave the week feeling a deeper connection to horses and will understand how to better communicate with them. You can even bring your own horse.

Working ranch McGinnis Meadows Ranch in Montana, USA, is this April-May 2012 hosting another Horsemanship Program embracing Buck Brannaman-style horsemanship. Work from the ground up using the ranch's horses, or you can bring your own - all levels of riders are welcome. The program features daily instruction and offers guests a great way to fine-tune their riding skills with McGinnis Meadows' team of experienced horsemen and women.

For more information on horsemanship clinics, visit

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