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Horsemanship Clinic with Martin Black & Donnette Hicks


By Melanie Olmstead

So Different – So Similar

Martin Black and Donnette Hicks may come from different worlds, but ultimately they are united in the belief that,“good horsemanship is just good horsemanship.”

Donnette Hicks was in her early twenties when Martin Black hired her as a cook on the Winecup Ranch.  The first morning she showed up to the cook house, she stood like a deer in headlights, frozen by the lack of understanding how to feed a large crew of hungry men. Martin showed his leadership by stepping behind the grill and helping her pull off that first morning’s breakfast.

Her admiration for Martin grew as she observed him managing this large working ranch. What she admired most was how Martin, who was in his early twenties as well, was able to run a large crew of men. Some of the hands who worked for him were twice his age. These men respected him and his knowledge as he successfully ran this 1.2 million acre ranch.

“I found myself observing everything about Martin from his work ethic to his horsemanship–he inspired me.” To this day, Donnette still appreciates what she learned from Martin over thirty years ago; from how to get the pancake batter to the right thickness, to how he approached the Winecup’s cavvy of horses.

Since the Winecup days Donnette has accumulated a considerable education, including fifteen years of attending Ray Hunt clinics and coaching by dressage greats such as Olympic Judge Gary Rockwell. Throughout it all, Donnette has developed a passion for understanding the principles of dressage, and has accomplished schooling through the Grand Prix level and showing through the Intermediar levels.

When Martin, Donnette, and their spouses Jennifer Black and Jim Hicks, get together and bridge their worlds, they give their working students and respective horse communities an opportunity to join them.

This clinic is an opportunity for the public to participate with Martin and Donnette in a straight forward exchange as well as an opportunity to distinguish quality horsemanship for themselves.

Martin Black & Donnette Hicks
Horsemanship Clinic
August 27th and 28th 2016

Contact Josi Skiby 435-709-1762
Sage Creek Equestrian
3181 West 3000 South
Heber, Utah 84032



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