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65 armen Bryant


In It for Life It’s not so unusual for young girls to hit a horse-crazy stage. Some even manage to stay involved with horses


through their teen years and work in the horse business for a time.


Carmen has managed to build a life with horses as a cor- nerstone. “My love of horses as a child, initially moti- vated my present career,” says Carmen. “I remember thinking, ‘Someday I want to be a horse trainer.’


“Dreams can come true! I became a trainer and showed horses successfully for many years. Now, my greatest joy is teaching others.”


When Your Opponent Is a Cow


Carmen’s love of teaching – and her students -- is crys- tal clear: Even during a riding lesson on a morning when the arena is fogged in, Carmen’s laugh trills through the haze as she tells a story on herself in order to provide a student an example of something not to do when on or around a horse.


The compliment that means the most to Carmen – and one she hears often: How patient she is with her stu- dents. And yet, she’s a stickler for detail, asking stu- dents to repeat steps or maneuvers until doing it the right way becomes habit for horse and rider.


“The biggest portion of my business is one-on-one teaching people how to ride, train, and show cutting horses. Like a basketball coach, I teach my students the concepts, footwork skills, and strategies necessary to outmaneuver and control their very athletic opponents. In their case, the opponents are cows,” she explains.


Finishing School for Riders “Like a modeling coach, I also teach students the art of


presenting them- selves with confi- dence, poise, and show ring presence, which elevates their score,” explains Car- men.” The higher their goals, the more time and dedication it will require!” Smiling a very big smile, Carmen adds, “The thing about my business that I’m the most proud of is the progress my students have made.”


Early each year, when cutting season begins, she spends many a cold wet weekend at shows, coaching in earnest — sometimes on horseback herself — her students and their mounts. She loves these cuttings as much now as she did when she and her husband, Norm, were themselves on the show circuit for up months each year.


Hoofbeats and Heartbeats


Carmen also has a gift for helping to quiet the ringside concerns of her nervous students, whose anxious heart- beats sometimes seem louder than their horse’s hoofbeats.


Carmen, who operates Bryant Ranch in Oregon with Norm, says word of mouth advertising is what works best to draw new students. It helps, too, that her students are very successful; that attracts others.


Carmen’s desire to help others improve their riding is ob- vious; she couldn’t hide that love if she tried! Having a flexible schedule and the ability to shift lesson times around to meet students’ schedule demands is also an at- tractive benefit to riding with Carmen at Bryant Ranch.


Contact Carmen at 503-319-5817 or carmencbryant@yahoo.com.


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