Come Join Us!

I am always amazed at how awesome God is. I am so blessed to be truly living out my dream! I can think of no better life than to be surrounded by horses and people who are just as nuts about horses that I am. I am so excited as we begin to expand our School of Natural Horsemanship. I don’t want to be another stable that just gives riding lessons.

It is fun to ride a horse, but when it is only riding around in circles it can be boring for the human and positively frustrating for the horse. Is it a wonder we see so many ill behaved and dangerous horses?  Why do most horses run as far away from us as possible when we take their halter off? They are communicating in the only way they know how that they are miserable with the way they are treated. I am so thrilled to be a part of the cutting edge of natural horsemanship.  So much information is now available to anyone about how the horse thinks and why they react the way they do. We can truly have a horse as a partner.

 So many people share the life-long dream of owning a horse, yet people become disenchanted at an alarming rate. They find they are in over their heads. Some of the common mistakes are buying a horse because it is pretty but not well trained or buying a young, green horse for a child.  Beware of those that will sell any horse to any one!  Choose a horse carefully and evaluate if their “horse-anality” will blend with your ”personality”.

This is why I am so excited about the new classes and clinics we will be offering in the future. My goal is to help train people to understand how to be better horse owners.  Its a wonderful feeling when you have a horse that WANTS to be with you and wants to please you. You really can make your dreams come true!

May God Bless You Richly This Day!

Claudia “Sprite” Gaughan

Stable Manager of Flying G Ranch

Why Horses are GREAT for Children

There’s no doubt that horses are fun, but did you realize that allowing your child to participate in horse related activities can enhance important skills, including goal-setting, self-reliance, and follow-through. At The Flying G Ranch, we are dedicated to providing high quality horsemanship programs for that very reason.  Horses are so beneficial for children and their growth. It is an ideal activity and hobby to get involved with (It’s great for parents too!).

 Here’s a few of the great benefits of participating in riding lessons and horsemanship camps from the American Youth Horse Council:


Wholesome fun

Horses make wonderful childhood companions. Children are naturally attracted to them, and that makes horses a desirable alternative to TV-watching, Internet-surfing, or just “hanging out.” Horseback riding also puts children in touch with nature, and can be enjoyed alone or in groups.

When the whole family gets involved, the time spent together with horses can enhance the bond among family members and become the stuff of treasured childhood memories. Moreover, the benefits of horse involvement are enduring, as a child’s “horse habit” can evolve into a rewarding lifelong hobby.


Character development

Handling, riding, and caring for a horse or pony can develop a host of positive traits in a child, including responsibility, accountability, patience, level-headedness, empathy, kindness, and self-discipline.

“The most important thing I’ve learned,” wrote one 17-year-old study participant, “is that hard work and believing in yourself can get you anywhere.”

Even equine nature itself can exert a positive influence on a child.

“Horses can’t be made to feel guilty, or talked into saying yes when they know they should say no,” observes Dr. Janet Sasson Edgette, an equestrian sport and child/adolescent/family psychologist, and author of Heads Up: Practical Sports Psychology For Riders, Their Families, and Their Trainers ( or www. “They simply respond to what their rider does. Riding enables kids to realize how their choices, attitudes, and behaviors affect the other living creatures around them,” she adds.


Scholastic enhancement

The perseverance needed to ride well can translate into improved performance in the classroom. “Riding increases a child’s focus and intensity,” observes California trainer Carol Dal Porto, who prepares youngsters to compete on the Appaloosa circuit. “You can’t let your mind wander when you’re riding a 1,200-pound animal.” This learned concentration later shows up in kids’ schoolwork, “to their parents’ delight,” adds Dal Porto.


Health benefits

Riding is terrific exercise. “People who think the horse does all the work have never really ridden,” notes Katie Phalen, an instructor at Waredaca Farm in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Apart from its aerobic benefits, riding also helps a youngster develop balance, coordination, and flexibility, she notes. Moreover, the activities involved in caring for a horse–grooming, hefting buckets and saddles, cleaning stalls–can make for a great upper-body workout.

Then, too, as children learn how important good nutrition, veterinary check-ups, dental work, and regular exercise are to a horse, they begin to appreciate their own health needs.


OK, But Aren’t Horses Expensive?

They don’t have to be. Besides, as all parents know, expense is a relative term in child rearing.

“One Pony Club dad summed it up this way,” notes national Pony Club past president Melanie Heacock. “‘I knew that when my daughter turned 13, I was going to be spending a lot of money–at the shopping mall, on behavior counseling, or on horses. I chose horses, and I’ve never regretted it.’”


In the 21st century, when parenting is not a job for the faint at heart, horses provide a way to keep youngsters positively engaged during those “scary” years from pre-teen through young adulthood.


Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to share that article. I think it sums up the purpose, heart and soul of Flying G.

Hope to see you all soon at the Ranch!

 Claudia “Sprite” Gaughan



Buying The Right Horse


Buying a horse can be a very scary and intimidating thing. Too many people settle on a horse because it is pretty, or well bred or because the seller tells them it is a good horse.

If I had the secret of knowing when the “right horse” comes along, I would write a book and make millions! Unfortunately it is not that simple, but I do have a few simple things I observe about a horse. The most important one to me is how well the horse listens and responds to me on the ground. If the horse is resistant or belligerent on the ground, what makes me think things will be better when I get in the saddle?

I see how easy the horse is to lead, pick up their feet and move their front ends and hind-side away when I gently press. I see how much pressure it takes to back the horse up. If anything takes more than four ounces of pressure to move, then consider buying another horse or be willing to put some extra training into him.

Resistance to these simple commands could be a pretty good indication that the horse is resistant in spirit too and will not willingly do as you ask.

Today’s  Bible Verse:

Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Romans 8:14

Let’s Be Polite


We humans can be very impolite to our horses. We tend to go out into the pasture, grab our horse, saddle them and hop on without even giving them a little time or attention.


 How would you feel if your best friend treated you this way? What would you think if you were quietly eating dinner and your friend barged through the door, grabbed your arm and pushed you outside and said, “We’re going to the movies! We are going to see the movie I want and if you try to resist I’ll snap you with a riding crop!”  Not a good relationship huh? Is it any wonder horses run from us when we try to catch them?


 Instead, go out into the pasture and just give your horse a good scratching in all his “itchy” spots. Praise him and then leave. Do this often so the horse realizes they can enjoy their “pet humans” sometimes. This is called the Friendly Game and you should always spend a few minutes each day with your horse for fun, non-demanding time. This sets the horse (and you) in a better mood so when you do ride it will be a better experience.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. James 3:17


Reward the Slightest Try

Image  Horses are very sensitive animals. They need to be in order to survive in the wild. They know they taste pretty yummy to predators, so they need to be able to react quickly to the slightest thing. Quick thinking and reactions are the horse’s best defense in the wild. Even though our horses live quietly in their pasture, their brains are still wired by God to perceive and react to the slightest stimuli.

We can use this to our advantage as we ride. I have seen horses respond to the lightest of touches by the rider. Never lose sight of the fact that our horses are very, very sensitive creatures. We need to always begin with the lightest of signals and then progressively work up the phases until the horse responds. Once the horse gives the ‘slightest try’, then release the pressure. Releasing the pressure is the horse’s reward for doing the right thing.  Do not make the mistake that many novice riders do by not releasing the pressure as soon as the horse responds. I see all too often the rider asks the horse to do a task. When the horse responds, the rider continues to “ask” while the horse is performing the task. Where is the reward in that? No wonder our horses become dull and non-responsive. They need to receive that reward of immediate release of pressure when they obey.

I can not over-emphasize how important phases are. Start with phase 1 being the gentlest of signals. Then add a bit more pressure for phase 2.  Don’t rush up the phases but give each phase a few seconds before moving up to the next one. If you remain diligent and consistent with your phases, your horse will soon begin to respond at lighter and lighter phases. Your horse will figure out the consist manner and will decide it is best to respond sooner rather than later. The final goal is a light horse that responds the slightest of signals.

Watch this video by Linda Parelli:

Sometimes We Need a Fresh Breath

It is so easy to get bogged down in routine, especially when it comes to our horse and our horsemanship goals. Life just tends to send us off into the rut where we feel like we are just spinning our wheels and going no where, or worse yet, backwards! Do you ever feel that way?  I know I do at times. That’s when I begin to seek “Inspiration” in my life to keep me moving forward towards my goals.

This Fall, I will be offering what I call “Inspiration Classes” for horse lovers and horse owners. These classes are designed to empower and equip you to achieve your goals. If you are looking to increase your confidence, rekindle your passion for learning and become more effective as a leader, then contact me so I can tailor-make a program for you.

I can assist you in setting specific goals and an action-plan to enable you to create the type of relationship with horses you dream about.

Horses are GREAT therapy and can provide a fantastic way to provide direction and purpose in a person’s lives.  If you or someone you know is struggling to over come a trauma or blockage in their life, these classes may be an ideal starting point to provide the break-through you are looking for.

If you are interested, or would like to talk with me more, call me at 214-284-6425 or email me at

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