Introducing people to a horse-rider relationship and recreating positive past horse experiences as well as building new ones is the goal of Jahn Hoover’s business Into The Wild Equine Adventures. Located in Mill City, Oregon in the heart of the mid-Willamette Valley Cascade Range, this trail riding enterprise offers inexperienced as well as past-experienced riders the opportunity to see the forest beauty from a horseback vantage point.
Jahn says he became a horse trainer by accident. As a horse owner since childhood he originally sent his horses out for training, but noticed that they always seemed to return to him with missing pieces of behavior. As an admirer of Clinton Anderson’s Down Under Horsemanship methods, Jahn began to explore the use of them to train his own horses. Who else would know his animals like he does?
A random viewing of “Buck”, the Buck Brannaman documentary on quiet and stressless horsemanship, piqued Jahn’s interest in this methodology and soon he was incorporating it into his personal training sessions. He observed Buck in a training session at the Benton County Fair Grounds one year and now will be in the arena with Buck at his Oregon clinic next year!
A three hour trail ride with Into The Wild Equine Adventures begins with a brief training session. Jahn starts the novice rider with instructions in neck flexing to show how to stop a horse. This involves pulling one rein down the rider’s leg to turn the horse’s head, which will cause it to stop traveling. Jahn uses gentle control hackamores instead of bits as they offer greater control of the horse with an instant release upon turning.
Once the skill of stopping is achieved, the riders practice serpentine riding patterns to learn turning right and left and to build an initial relationship with the horse. The final lesson is backing up and more left and right turns. Once these skills are demonstrated, Jahn and his trail hand take the riders out on the trail.
Jahn maintains a stable of 12 trail horses, using 6 each day so the horses get time to rest. He and his trail hand take 4 riders on each trip with Jahn maintaining what he terms “alpha horse presence”. This means he constantly requires and insures that his horses function with sterling behavior at all times. The wooded trails of the Monument Peak Trail System, out of Gates, Oregon, offer 12 miles of trails, plenty of wild life, streams and viewpoints during breaks.
The popularity of these trail rides has given Jahn the motivation to expand his business into overnight campouts in the Mt. Jefferson wilderness area. There he will offer a night around the campfire, cowboy tunes, dinner and time with the horses. In the morning, the crew will ride to a view point, stop for lunch and photograph opportunities before returning to camp and a dip in the nearby lake. Details are pending but will appear on his web site before the summer season.
If you want to experience horses up close and personal in a forest setting with a professional horseman, contact Jahn Hoover at 503-586-8072 or through his web site. His quiet and confident manner will put you instantly at ease and will lead you to adventures in the wild.