Don West
 Professional Horseman - "Equine Success Coach"
specializing in paso and naturally gaited trail horses

invites you to

at West Gait Equine Learning Center
near Fruita, Colorado, U.S.A.

"The candle of life burns brightest in the winds of adventure!" 
So, "Saddle Up - Let's Ride!"  
I have three basic rules that I always try to follow when I'm working with horses:  I don't get hurt, my horse doesn't get hurt, and... I'm having fun! When you come ride with me, those rules will apply to you, too! Want to learn basic horsemanship; what I call Horse Handling-Horse Sense, Sit-Down Equitation, and Synergistic-Synchronistic Riding? Want to ride my ranch bred and raised easy riding naturally gaited Paso Pleasure Horses into some of the most awesome slick rock canyon country in the World? Want to look for wild horses? For a riding/learning experience you'll never forget: Come Ride With Me!                     Saddle up-Let's ride!    Don West

Don West is a professional horseman in every sense of the word.. For over sixty years he's been a horseman; a breeder, trainer, teacher, clinician, author, promoter, and equine product designer. For the past thirty years he's been specializing in Peruvian Paso, Paso Fino, and all the other breeds of naturally gaited trail horses. Over the past decade, traveling from coast to coast, billed as "America's Favorite Pleasure-Trail Riding Clinician", Don performed at all the major horse fairs and expos around the country. Not just another "clinician", Don is really an "equine success coach", "your learning leader for equine adventure". Don is also an expert on saddle fit, basic training for trail riding, back country horse travel, and low-impact horse camping.

Don has a lifelong history with horses, a passion for teaching, and a deep love for the out-of-doors. He's a trained and accomplished experiential educator. He has a B.S. degree from Penn State U. in Outdoor Recreation Education, and did his Masters work in transformational counseling at South West College in Santa Fe, N.M. His saying, "A comfortable horse is a happy horse, and a happy horse makes for a happy rider." sums up his basic, straight forward, no-nonsense, easy to understand approach to basic horsemanship and training for trail riding. 

 Don invites you to "Come Ride With Me!" at his home place near Fruita, Co. Learn what he calls "horse handling-horse sense", "sit-down equitation", and "synergistic-synchronistic riding", and/or ride the beautiful, breathtaking, rim-rock canyon country. You can ride Don's Paso- Pleasure Gaited Trail Horses, his own breed, created by crossing his pure blood Peruvian Paso mares with his Mountain Pleasure Horse stallion, or you can bring your own horses. 

Don is the co-owner, product designer, and field tester for Have Saddle-Will Travel, Inc., the INNOVATIVE OUTFITTER  for people who were "Born To Ride!". He's the creator of the Don West "Signature Series" Trail-Lite Saddles and Tack, "the sit-down saddles with the fit built in... not added on", designed for today's Peruvian Paso, Paso Fino, and other naturally gaited or short backed horses. Don is also the designer of Saddlebag Software (SSS) Systems, a line of Cordura™ horse packing gear and  lineup of great trail riding outerwear. 

Besides being an irratable, tough, grumpy old man, Don is an author, poet, and cowboy philosopher. Over the years his articles have appeared in many well-known horse magazines and equine publications. He's the author of four books, the award winning "Have Saddle, Will Travel, Low-Impact Trail Riding and Horse Camping", "Paca, Paca A Sure Cure For The Trots (Everything You Wanted To Know About Peruvian Paso Horses, But Didn't Know Who To Ask)", and his latest book  "Horse Handling-Horse Sense™: A Practical Guide for Today's Pleasure-Trail Riders (especially for naturally gaited horse riders)." For those who like cowboy poetry he wrote "Lessons in Life, Love and Learning - Selected Poems by Don West" . 

Here's a little sample of Don's poetry:


Ya' know, it's hard to express in a poem the emotions that come to a man,

when your pony ya' straddle, sittin' tall in the saddle,

 and ya' take up the reins in your hand.


Ya' connect with your old childhood heroes, ya' commune with the earth and the sky,

time seems to stand still, yea' it's more than a thrill,

 it can bring a tear to your eye.


'Cause ya' know then what's really important, and you're right where you're wantin' to be,

when ya' ride out alone, the whole World is your home,

 and your spirit soars high and flies free.


So, if you're heedin' the call to adventure, and you're able to follow my lead,

then go saddle your horse, and ride the one sure-fire course,

 that takes ya' to what ya' most need.


Go follow the trail of the cowboys, and the others who rode out before,

with a good horse beneath ya', your cares can't defeat ya',

 and like an eagle your spirit will soar! D.W.


Last Updated: September, 2012

Don & Maria West
PO Box 700 Fruita CO 81521-0700
phone: 970-858-3607--fax: 970-858-7861


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