HOME | Mule foals 2020-2022 | RIVER RUN AT WORK | Spirit's All That Jazz (deceased) | Spotted, Gaited, Mammoth Jack | Foals 2018/2019 | Foals 2016/2017 | Foals 2014/2015 | 2012/2013 Foals | Foals 2010/2011 | Foals 2008/2009 | JT's Prodigy | Jazz's Prodigy | OUR BROODMARES | HORSES FOR SALE | CLIENT COMMENTS | Mounted Shooting | Northern Tier Trail Competition | Twin Tier Trail Riders



Here at River Run, working with horses isn't just a job, it is what we love to do. We put in the hours needed to help your horse reach its potential. When your horse comes in for training, it doesn't just get ridden in an arena, it gets ridden in real life situations. It will load in a trailer, clip, crosstie, get along with others, or alone. We ride our training horses! If it is a trail horse you want then that horse will go anywere when asked. Through creeks, over logs and through the woods. They will also get to know traffic and dogs. It is the same, no matter what you want your horse trained for, they will experience what you are going to do with them before they go home. Give your best friend the best chance you can! Send it to RIVER RUN!

April Smith/Trainer


I take in 2-3 horses at a time and usually do 24-36 horses a year. My schedule fills up very fast, sometimes a year ahead. So, don't hesitate to call and get on my schedule early. I have tune up horses and weekend clinics too. I spend a min of an hr and usually 2 or more with each horse. I work them 5 days a week. Usually the days they get of are the days it is raining. I trailer my training horses out on group rides when they are ready and one is scheduled that I plan on attending. These group ride range from 3-8 hrs. So I work your horse the whole day. If they go on a group ride the next day they have off. I have a round pen, outdoor arena and many trails. We have farm equipment, chickens, dogs, and children for your horses to be exposed to.


Tentative training schedule:


First week or two is ground work in the round pen. Working towards being saddled without fear, being respectful, and learning cues. They will be long lined for a day or two, then rode a day or two.  I use a side pull for long line work and a snaffle bit when I start riding.


Then we may go to the arena for a day or two to make sure I have control  to go out on trail. We work on flexions, horizontal and vertical. It creates a very soft and responsive horse that is always under control.


Then, out on trail we go. Whilst trail riding we work on leg yielding, ect. As well as navigating obstacles. Changing speeds calmly and with collection, ect. When I feel a horse needs to really focus on working on something we will spend a day in the arena now and again.  As your horse is showing good giving to the bit we can progress up to a shank bit and we will decide what your horse likes and does not, so that we know what you will be riding him in when he goes home.


In 30 days your horse will learn to: load, bathe, be shod/trimmed, stand tied in cross ties and at other obstacles like trailers and hitching posts. Yield to you and your legs, lead properly, and be a safe and sane mount.


In 60 days we will fine tune your horse to and really get those gaits more set. If your horse is not saddle trained at all then I recommend 6 weeks of training to get a good foundation on them.


The last week I like the owners to come and ride their horses as much as possible. This makes sure you are able to handle your horse and that you both understand the training. Lessons are free, on your horse, for as long as your horse is in training. Owners are always encouraged to come and watch any aspect of training. I have sound/sane horses, if the owner wishes to join us on trail rides, I can find an appropriate mount.


And of course you are welcome to ride and evaluate his progress any time after I feel he is safe for you to ride. I really like it when the owners are active participants. I get feedback on their likes and dislikes, and what they would like their horse to be able to to. I get to know the owners riding habits and skills and can help improve on those.  I also find out what I need to do to help them and their horse to make a good partnership.



I have been riding since I was 9 years old and have been training since I was 16 with 36 years of training experience ad 41 years riding experience I have gained experience in hunter/jumper, roping, barrel racing, pleasure, driving and my favorite, trail! I have worked for several different farms as a trainer including working with Arabians, Quarter Horses and Haflingers. With this many years training experience I have handled over 1000 horses and had the pleasure to virtually work with every breed of equine. Helping me to develop a talent for “reading/understanding” horses. I focuses on quality not quantity. Correct verses speed, takes time not gimmicks. The last 15 years has lead me to specialize in training gaited horses, including Mountain Pleasure, Kentucky Mountain, Rocky Mountain, Paso Fino, Tennessee Walker, Spotted Saddle, Missouri Fox Trotter, Mangalara Marchadore and a few mixed breed gaited horses and mules. I have found there was a need for a sound “trail riders” approach to training for these gaited equine. I own and stand at stud a Tennessee Walker/Spotted Saddle Horse Stallion who is producing looks, brains, conformation and natural gait. I also stand at stud a Mammoth Spotted Gaited Jack who is producing really nice spotted and solid gaited Mules with my TWH mares. Again, in the breeding arena I specialize in quality not quantity. Only producing 2-3 foals a year so that they get the handling and attention they require.
Mules have a tendency to be more logical when they are in tricky situations than horses and I feel the mature trail rider would greatly appreciate a gaited mule because of this tendency.


River Run Ranch
1329 Barney Hill Rd.
Elkland PA 16920

Email River Run