An all inclusive Irwin Insights Vacation.

Starting a young horse skill course

A 5-day comprehensive skills certificate course in starting young horses for riding with Chris Irwin and his team of Master Certified Trainers at Willow Ranch.  



This course is designed for more experienced equestrians who are ready to work with Chris and his Master Certified Trainers on the essential handling skills and groundwork training a horse needs to be calm and confident for its first few rides under saddle.  

Participants may bring their own horse(s) to work with in the clinic.  If you do not have your own horse or are travelling a long way to get to Willow Ranch, we can provide an appropriate horse for you to connect with.

Not all horses may be ready for their first ride after the 5-day course.  

No horses will be rushed beyond their true ability to learn how to learn.  

No participant will be expected to perform a first ride on a young horse if they are not ready, willing, and able to rise to the challenge.



With 15 potential skills credits available in the Great Beginnings Course it is realistic for participants to achieve 10 credits for 1st Level Master Certification even if you or your horse is not quite ready for the first ride.


  • Daily theory sessions and Q&A with Chris

  • Horse Handling Essentials: Levels 1 &2 = 2 credits

  • Round Pen Training: = 1 credit

  • In-Hand Training: Levels 1 & 2 = 2 credits

  • Loose Lead Training: Levels 1 & 2 =2 credits

  • Lunge Training: Levels 1 & 2 = 2 credits

  • Long Lining/Ground Driving: Levels 1 & 2 = 2 credits

  • Problem Solving

  • Preparing for 1st Bridle and 1st Saddle

  • Preparing for 1st Mounting

  • Riding (on a WR school horse): Levels 1 & 2 = 2 credits

  • 1st Ride on the Young Horse:  = 1 credit

  • Trailer loading = 1 credit  

Upcoming Date(s):

Due to COVID-19 we will not have courses in 2021,  but stay tuned for 2022 dates

All Inclusive

All the Irwin Insights courses are All inclusive, this means that we completely take care of you! You do not have to worry about anything, and can completely focus on processing all the information you receive during the course.

While staying in one of our cozy and state-of-the-art cabins the Willow Ranch team will take care of all your meals, snack and drinks. 


At Willow Ranch we love to take care of people, so we will make sure that we will do everything we can to provide you with everything you need. 

Do you want to relax a bit after a day of learning, and want to see the beautiful nature around the ranch? Our guides love to take you on a short ride at the end of the course day.  Do you want to wake up watching the horses while enjoying delicious Italian espresso? The Willow Ranch team will make sure you get that. Are you worried how to get to the ranch from Edmonton Airport? Our shuttle will take care of that! Wondering what to do in your down time? Use of our gym, library and "ranchgames" are also included.

We believe that offering all inclusive, really means all inclusive! 


The use of our horses for the course is also included, but if you prefer to bring your own horse(s). We have a horse hotel where your horse can stay in during the course. And of course this is also included in the course. 

Other Options

Its important to us that everyone can enjoy a holiday at Willow Ranch exactly how they like it. 

Thats is why we like to offer some different options of how you can join us for the course besides our all inclusive option.


Join for the course and the meals, but stay somewhere else. A great option for guest that are traveling with their own camper or RV (we have some spots on the ranch where you can park your RV). 


Join in for the full course but take care of your own meals. A great option for guest that live in the area.

More info and Sign Up

To sign up or for more information on our course please send us an email  ( or give us a call ( +1 250 566 4100)