Welcome to 2018

2017 is history. It was a year of mixed emotion, my decision to retire from cutting was huge but it was a good time to do so.  2018 brings me the time to share with my recreational riders what I am most passionate about GOOD HORSEMANSHIP. No matter what discipline you choose, to make it easy for your horse, a good seat, kind hands and proper communication is most important. Barrel Racers, Working Equitation, Cowboy Challenge, Western Dressage, Cutting, Penning, Hunter Jumpers or just riding the backcountry its all about the basics. Check out the facebook page for Prairie Oak Ranch and join us for some basic fun with your horse. I can guarantee I can make a difference with you and your horse while having a good time.

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Happy Summer

It seems that just a few weeks ago we celebrated Easter and now we are now just days away from the first day of summer.

Life at Prairie Oak Ranch has been busy as usual with a few changes in the programs.

I have decided to quit coaching and training cutters. My focus now will be clinics on horsemanship and my regular horsemanship programs with trips to the mountains.This was not an easily made decision and I thank all of my cutting students over the past 15 years. Its been a great ride, many National and Provincial Championships as well as a world title, a top 15 and a  top 20 in the NCHA World standings.

I still have some great lesson horses available as well will  be offering some programs where you can come and learn to train your own horse under my guidance.

There is a summer full of ranch clinics so stay posted or give the office a call.

403 850 0617

Next report will follow Calgary Stampede. Wishing all competitors good cuts and kind cows.

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Spring Has Sprung

Happy Easter from the Prairie Oak Ranch Crew

Binky has been the barn mascot for about 7 years. Yes she is a a pig but not just any pig, she has her likes and dislikes and she is a fine connoisseur of wine ( Chardonnay only ) on a hot summer day.

She is not always pleasant , probabaly lack of sleep, but in general if you sit down for a visit,scratch her ear and listen to her  mumble she will be your best bud.

It has been a different year for me at the ranch .Two foot surgeries one in August 2016 and the last one in January 2017; so I am just getting back on my feet you might say.

My program has changed I am no longer going to be involved wth cutting. Thats not saying if someone wants some help I wont give it but my days of hauling are done. It has been a great experience mixed in with some very dark days but luckily I came out on top and that is a good way to finish ones career. As they say you are only as good as your last ride which was a a top 20 in the open NCAH world finals in 2009 when I personally retired from showing; or your last student which was Allegra Claughton 2016 Canadian Junior Youth Champion,Calgary Stampede Champion and Alberta Youth Champion. I met many wonderful folks on my tour with Andrea Rudkin and JimWilson in their quest for a world title. Andrea won the  world 2k limit and Jim finished with a top 15 buckle. I finshed in the top 20 open and was more than pleased as cast and splints on my hands for most of the year were indeed a handicap. The memories of 2007,2008, 2009 will not soon be forgotten thanks to the folks south of the 49th.

Moving forward I hope to continue with my international coaching, online video lessons and of course the encouragment of receational riders to become better horseman here at the ranch.

I can’t say I will slow down but will change direction. I am grateful to all my wonderful clients who have stayed with me through the course of time. Those that still wanted to compete I have moved on to other trainers and know they will be in good hands.

When not teaching I hope to find time to travel a bit more, maybe write a book but won’t mention any ones name:) and just enjoy life; its all to short to be doing something that isn’t fun anymore.

So Happy Easter to all of you . Remember I have not left teaching and training but have changed direction. feel free to drop in for coffee, and watch the “whats happening page” for upcoming activities.

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January to Remember

Its difficult to decide  which weather report you should plan your day,week or for that matter hour around. The one thing that has been constant is that January has been colder than normal with plenty of snow. Thankfully in my area the wind has been kind and blizzard like conditions have been few. However we go from -30C to plus 8C in just a few days and as nice as that is to us humans it becomes a deadly walking surface for the  four legged critters. The -30 made riding unpleasant inspite of a heated arena, so many students and horses had a few days off. The latest  report is a drop in temp and a bit of snow, the latter being much appreciated to cover the ice. But the heat is on so riders don’t weaken. Our barn has been reno’d allowing more space to dry out your horses after your ride and while you enjoy a beverage in the coffee room.

The Silver Slate Winter Series is full speed ahead to which we are a proud sponsor of one of their classes. The Santangelo family puts a huge amount of effort into these activities whether its cutting , barrel racing, penning or working cow horse. Prairie Oak Ranch thanks you for this effort as it gives our students a safe place to play.

Our seminars on Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings have been well attended. If you have any subjects you would like to see offered don’t hesitate to send a request though our web mail.

Since I am unable to be very mobile for the next 6 – weeks I will use my time wisely and keep my web site updated on a more regular basis.

Until I am back riding I am fortunate to have family and friends that will over see my students and continue to work with you on your riding journey.




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Congratulations Allegra – Calgary Youth Champion 2016

Three years ago this young gal at the age of 9 came to ride at Prairie Oak Ranch. She was full of energy, passion and ability, put that all together and three years later you have a Calgary Youth Champion scoring a 219. Her partner was Quixote Special kindly loaned to her by Arnon Levy since her own horse Tule had been injured.

This year has been good for Allegra as she currently sits in number one position in both the Canadian and the Alberta Youth with her great horse Tule.

Mother nature must have received the rain request in triplicate.  She can quit now so the farmers can get in their crops and hopefully we should be good for moisture content for awhile.

August comes with few shows so we fill in the month with summer camps which start August 15th. The children have a great time riding, roping, and ranching. High on the list of learning are the many knots that will be valuable later on in life with or with out a horse. Friendly competitions over the obstacle courses and of course learning how to build a loop so they can rope the variety of objects on the course. Naturally all the horses have been schooled very well and have great patience allowing lots of ropes around the ears and legs etc.

The cutters will continue to ready themselves for that last two weekend shows of the year in September and then aged events  begin.





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“How time flies”

Back in April,whenI started my spring blog, I thought mother nature had missed the memo for the much needed rain we requested.

Now here we are on the “Canada Day ” long weekend dodging tornado warnings , hail and plenty of rain. The grass is coming, the crops have survived the hail and we are just a few days away from the Calgary Stampeded and the Mecuria Cutting (which includes the Bill Collins Youth Cutting). Last year was the first in many years we did not have a representative from Prairie Oak Ranch, Hopefully this year will be different. Allegra is leading the Alberta Cutting Horse Youth and splitting 2/3 in Canada ; never the less she still needs to qualify this coming weekend for a place at the Calgary Stampeded.

We have had a good buffalo calf crop this year with just one more cow to calve bringing our small herd to 13.

The mountain trips have been great (a bonus for the ranch students both recreational and cutting) the trails after the floods a few years back are returning to normal again.

Alaina Braybrook riding Time in Montana won the Novice Challenge Shootout last weekend in Okotoks. She was reserve last year so she had her heart set on doing the best job she could and in deed she did in 2016. She captured the championship saddle donated by Greg Dunn and Associates a former Prairie Oak Ranch student.

In fact during a recent conversation with some of the cutters during the presentation awards which included Scott Wardley another former student; that 10% approximately of the amateur/non pro cutters started cutting under the guidance of the Prairie Oak  Ranch Crew .”The Wright Team” believes strongly in the grass root cutters as they are the future of our associations and the ones who buy the aged event horses when they have finished that part of their career.

Well until next time keep one leg on each side of your horse and your mind in the middle.









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Wishing you all A Happy Easter

Greetings from Prairie Oak Ranch

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Welcome to 2016

Seems I had a blog ready for December and January but didn’t push the right button. So here we are the beginning of March and I am just catching up to the rest of the world.

Cuttings  at the Silver Slate Arena have been going well for The Wright Team. We might be small but so far we have been mighty. Alaina Braybrook and Allegra Claughton have been picking up checks nearly every class in the 2k limit rider. Dave Cuming is enjoying the Arizona Sun but we will hopefully see him on a more regular basis, April.

We have some new talent on the horizon for the coming season Taylor Anderson, barrel racer / team roper extraordinaire has now set her sights on cutting. We welcome her to the Wright Team at Prairie Oak Ranch.

We have been fortunate this year thus far with above normal temperatures. Makes it easier on the feed bill but will need moisture sooner than later.


Prairie Oak Ranch has been hosting a seminar every second Wednesday (Wine Wednesday) with special guests including veterinarians, farriers, saddle makers, Light treatments and a visit with the Alpha Omega Pharmaceuticals Rep. We will continue these through until July where we will take the summer off to enjoy the extra daylight. Any one wishing more info on the up and coming seminars don’t hesitate to send a message and we will get back to you.

We have a used department for tack so if you are in need of anything from show blankets to bits give me a call.







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Happy Halloween



Was I texting while driving and missed the summer:)??? It seems to have gone by that quickly. I have missed a few months of keeping up here on the Prairie Oak Ranch site and I can only say it has been so busy with new riders I have not had time. Life should settle in soon with the new programs and all will be back to normal

Show season for the weekend haulers is over and the Futurities are winding down with the Wrangler Futurity at Stampede Park, bringing the Canadian Shows to an end for 2015. We wish all the competitors the very best of luck and to Dave Cuming and The Badger Next Door kind cows as he makes his debut in the Agrium in the Non Pro 7 up October 18 2015

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Horsemanship Part 2

Part 11

I  became a thinker of the ‘hows and whys’, we as athletes, riders and horses for that matter, do the things the way we do. I asked myself “what do all of these have in common”? The answer that came to me was balance,timing and feel, flexibility and centering or core . The rest with proper guidance would ultimately fall into place.

Now to the less informed this all seems pretty simple; just as I had thought Keep one leg one each side and your mind in the middle was but realized with more experience such was not the case.

Your horse reacts to pressure, your mood swings and your energy, and will  take flight when things go wrong.

A person has a tendency to force this creature into doing things just because, but it has become more apparent as time goes on that the old saying :You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink applies to more than that.


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