"Riding the Winds of Change since 1975"
"What's the number one rule of riding? It's all relative"
The Four Winds has been owned by an equestrian family since 1975. We have always prided ourselves on a more classical approach, instilling connectivity between you and your horse. Our trainers come with rich backgrounds, equipped to take you and your horse to the top of the sport. Meet the instructors on the Trainer Page
We have searched long and hard for the caretakers that are our School Horses. They are a special kind of soul that will enrich your riding career with confidence, determination, and more importantly fun. They will keep you safe while in the tack, but educate you of the woeful fact that horses will always have a mind of their own! Our lesson program will daine to give you the communication and life skills that you need to progress successfully in this sport. Please give these guys a look on our Team Page.
At The Four Winds, it is believed that rider accountability and responsibility is key to a successful riding career. A successful Grand Prix rider once said, “We make our own luck.” There is a rare moment in this sport that riders can leave unaccounted for. Most scenarios are controllable including but not limited to: spooks, bucks, stops, pace, etc. As an Riding Instructor, if a student is in a situation that they cannot handle, then it is your responsibility to set them up with exercises in which they can succeed. Sometimes this is condensing the arena; sometimes it is dropping the fences down entirely; and sometimes may even be turning the time into a lunge line lesson.
Fundamentals start in the hunter arena. Hunter courses are all about rhythm and route – being able to ride from middle to middle and use the arena appropriately. All students, especially as they start showing, should be in the hunter arena until they are champions in the 2’6” divisions. After this has been accomplished, they may then move onto the Equitation and Jumper arena. All the basics that are learned in the hunter arena are then carried into the rest of a riding career. It is never about speed in our philosophy, but condensation of the arena and use of a good route to cut strides and technical approaches.
It is then believed that form follows function. Students must have great positioning. Four Winds provides quality services with a family atmosphere. Our program has been developed with over 40 years of experience. The Throckmorton family has been present in the show jumping world since 1976 and taken students from just learning how to ride all the way to the top of the sport. We have developed ambitious junior riders to become successful professionals, as well as helped the timid amateur gain confidence.
Four Winds has clear expectations that are reinforced with positive instructions. We grow students as an athlete and as a horseman. Our program is driven by the goals that they set, and we aim to keep them engaged in the learning process. Students should also leave our program confident on how to care for a horse as a young, unfinished project to a senior horse who needs maintenance. It is just important to teach them basic care, ground work and understanding of the horse as much as it is to teach to ride.
As the horses are such an important part of what we do, it is our philosophy that “Our Horse is Our Teacher.” We have been gifted this extraordinary chance to share these magnificent creatures. As you come to know them, you’ll realize that they have so much more to give than just being four legged athletes. We hope to build the character of youths and adults and to create leaders within the community.
“Competition is healthy in life. It is the only time in which you'll find tangible evidence of the strive to constantly better yourself. It is a positive thing to Learn also to lose. Just for the mere fact in life : you can always be better. I choose to compete with horses because while I strive to be better, they have always forced me to be honest with myself. And they have always been empathetic to that struggle for truth.” -Linnea Willis
Our teaching is based on “better basics”. If there is something worth doing, it is worth doing well. Horseback riding is an art that is in the details. We believe that better riding makes better horses. Alongside an encouraging style of teaching, we believe in a positive style of horse training. Horses should be taught how to work better, work harder. They should not be disciplined for spooking or having energy, but rather they should be redirected into a positive work ethic.
Much of this is achieved on the flat, through good dressage. While we are a show jumping barn, dressage originally means “to school the horse”. Jumping is the reward for good flat work and discipline of the ride. Jumping is about good rhythm and route, perfect execution of a step. A great jump is achieved by knowing how the horse carries itself and how to optimize the power created in a step. This must be understood and developed on the flat. Horses have only so many jumps in them before you start to wear down their bodies, so conditioning in other ways is imperative. We save the jumps for competition, and school over gymnastics and abbreviated courses.
This was a very well written article and parallel with much of what we believe.
"Winning doesn’t always mean the best rider; it means the best ride of that day, in that class. I was raised on the belief that good riding is good riding. Regardless of the horse you’re on, a good seat will always stand out.....It’s our job to train the kids. We cannot wait for them to have better horses; we have to train them to ride what they have. If we do so, we train them to become horse trainers. If they can train the difficult ones, they can train the talented ones."[i]
Our lessons have been separated into two different categories, Premier and School. Premier lessons are taught by the head trainer. The School Program is broken into Beginner and Intermediate levels along with riding groups of different abilities.
Please see our Lessons Page for more detailed information about how the program is broken down.
If you wish to book your lesson online, please go to our Appointment Page
Or Click Below:
Four Winds travels to both local horse shows and out of state horseshows. Participating in a horseshow incurs fees separate from the training and lesson programs. Please see the Horse Show Price Sheet . At The Four Winds, we require that 30 days prior to a competition, riders must have a minimum of three rides (one of which needs to be a lesson) committed per week to attend any rated (USHJA affiliated) horseshows or horseshows located off property. Any unrated (schooling show) divisions a student wishes to show in, if located on the Four Winds’ premise, will only require a rider to be in two lessons per week.
The three rides needed for rated or shows hauled to can be achieved by either owning or leasing the horse you intend to show a minimum of 30 days prior to a horseshow. This may consist of the lease of a Four Winds’ horse or any lease of a horse located on premise with proof of documentation. One of the rides weekly in the lease is mandatory to be a lesson with any of the Four Winds’ trainers. Lessons fees are excluded from any lease.
Click the following links for a brief Overview of Leases and our Four Winds' Lease Agreement.
Please see our Competiting Regulations for more details.
If you're completely new to horseshowing, please feel free to reference our Horseshows 101 packet.
For a generic list of horseshows that the Lesson and Training Program will be attending, please see our Horseshow Schedule.
Our Show lease is a month-to-month commitment, consisting of two rides weekly. Additionally, it will be required that you lesson once a week with a Four Winds’ Instructor outside of the lease. Lessons are not included in the lease fee.
There are two types of horses available: our school horses and our sale horses. There will be no more than three show leases assigned per horse, and a lease may continue throughout the year outside of Show Season.
As Four Winds also has many sale horses for your consideration, we have the privilege to offer our intermediate and advanced riders a variety of rides! If you'd like to check the stock that you may also get to ride, please visit our Sales Page.
Training and Sales
At Four Winds, we have professionals with extensive experience around the nation at all levels of the Show Jumping sport, as well as international experience. Be assured that your horse will be getting a well rounded education that will develop a responsive, kind performance horse. They will receive extensive ground work (longing) and be attentive and respectful in hand as well as under saddle.
Linnea Throckmorton has brought horses along from never having been backed all the way through the 1.40m show ranks. Her horses perform exceptionally well in the hunter, jumper and dressage arenas! She works closely with certified massage, acupuncture and chiropractic therapists to ensure optimal performance at all times and is fortunate to have CSU in her back yard for performance veterinary support.
Training prices can be found by clicking here.
For more questions, please contact Linnea at 970.691.1773
If you either wish to consign your horse with The Four Winds, we would love to market your athlete; or you want us to help you find your perfect match, please see our Agreements Page for more information
Please check out our Testimonial's Page to see our success stories as a training and lesson program as well as a boarding facility!