While our main focus is the working cattle operation, La Cense Montana is also committed to educating students on the benefits of natural horsemanship and preparing them for a career in the equine industry.
La Cense works in a non-profit partnership with the Equine Studies Department at the University of Montana-Western (UMW) in nearby Dillon to offer the nation’s only four-year degree in Natural Horsemanship. This Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Horsemanship offers three option areas: management, psychology, and science.
Much of the on-the-ground learning for this degree takes place at The Montana Center for Natural Horsemanship (MCH) and at the top-notch training facilities of La Cense Montana, where the course curriculum is founded upon a style of teaching and learning called the La Cense Method. Hands-on experience is the key factor to the classes offered towards this degree. Some of the classes are 6 Natural Horsemanship skills classes, Equine Science, Equine Facilities, Basic Horse Care and Nutrition, and Colt Starting. All of these classes cumulate towards the Sales Prep class that involves donated colts from reputable horse producers. Students start and prepare these colts for a competition and sale.
MCH Mission Statement
We are the first American Center for Horsemanship promoting natural horsemanship, education, and economic advancements to perpetuate traditional, western values and the inherent strengths of people in the communities in which we live. We believe that every horse and person deserves a chance to make the most of their life. Our goal is to bring together horsemen and horsewomen, professional and amateur, as well as educators, scientists and researchers to improve and expand horsemanship in the horse's world.
The La Cense Method
Learning natural horsemanship through the La Cense Method was inspired by natural horsemanship masters such as Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt, and Ronnie Willis.
Taking a positive and respectful approach, our trainers gradually build trust, and free the horses to be confident in all they are asked to perform.
La Cense trainers work to develop instinctive communication and high-level confidence between horse and human, both in the saddle and on the ground. We advance a ‘roadmap’ to mastery of the physical, mental and emotional connections that form the basis of natural horsemanship.
By replicating the instinctive language horses use to communicate with each other and to teach their young, La Cense trainers establish an amazingly effective method of communication. We believe horses raised in harmony with their true nature make the best riding companions.
Relying on modern, pedagogically-based methods, the overarching goal of the program is to foster students’ passion for horses into a lifelong and rewarding career, while affording them the unique opportunity to learn what’s only possible from time in the saddle.
Our Sister Ranch
We also host horse education students from our sister ranch, Haras de la Cense, located near Paris, who study here in Montana as part of their comprehensive horsemanship education. For more information about Haras de la Cense, click here.