Bryan McVicar

Discipline: Cowboy Challenge / Horsemanship

Bryan grew up on a high country farm deep in the mountains of the West Coast of New Zealand. Horses were the primary means of transport on the farm so Bryan got very quickly immersed in riding and training. Everything from packing deer carcasses to cutting cattle was done using horses. Soon Bryan needed to test his ability against others. He competed in jumping and gymkhana competitions which led to eventing and some rodeo. 

Dressage and Eventing become a big part of his life once he started breeding warmblood thoroughbred cross horses. Breeding, raising and training these horses has given him a tremendous understanding of how horses work and how to help people get along better with them. He learnt to break in the old style stockmans way, roping up legs, demanding discipline from the horse. This never sat well with Bryan, he was always looking for a less stressful system of working with a horse. This led him to embrace horsemanship. He studied with Parelli, Ray Hunt, Ken Faulkner(AUS) observed Brannaman, Roberts and many others.

Horsemanship was the missing piece of the puzzle that he had been looking for. He ran with it. Applying what he learnt to starting colts and working problem horses, he is now an established clinician helping others get along better with their horses.

Bryan has a unique ability to explain clearly how things are from the horses point of view. How a rider should work with the horse, sit correctly and the best use of hands and balance to assist the horse bio-dynamically to enable the horse to give its utmost.

A certified master farrier and saddlemaker, Byan also has a deep understanding of how to fit saddles to horses, combine this with his reputation as one of New Zealand's leading colt starters and problem horse trainers gives Bryan a really well rounded and holistic approach to teaching both people and horses.

Key learnings to take away from Bryan's sessions:

  • Cowboy Challenge - How to create a round, balanced horse working in soft feel able to stop and turn in a collected manner.
  • Applying horsemanship to competition - Explain the big picture on how horsemanship can improve a riders performance.
  • Creating and maintaining an equine athlete - How to achieve a soft, supple and responsive horse working willingly in self carriage.
Brian McVicar riding through water

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