Clinician & Ride Host: A Perfect Fit


ACTHA Ride Host Kenny Harlow hosts his rides at his beautiful Cedar Run Ranch in the rolling hills of Cumberland, Virginia. The ranch is also the base for his “Training With Trust” clinics, apprenticeships, certification, teen week, and “LOL” (Learning for Older Ladies) programs which occur throughout the year. When asked why he became involved in ACTHA he said, “It’s a great venue to spend time with your horse while continuing to learn horsemanship skills.”

Harlow has been a nationally acclaimed horse trainer for more than 20 years, in part thanks to John Lyons. Many years ago Kenny attended a 3 day clinic of John’s and states “he had a profound influence on me, I learned more in those few days than I had in my lifetime. So with an old truck, a gooseneck trailer and 2 unbrokes I headed west to become a graduate of the very first John Lyons Certification Program.” While Harlow has worked with Richard Shrake, Bill McGuinness, Kathy McWilliams, Josh Lyons, Jose Mendez, Julio Mendoza, Tommie and Chantal Turvey to name a few he is quick to point out that he also has learned from the back yard trail rider.

Blue_10-18-13_0159smAn introduction to Kenny Harlow wouldn’t be complete without introducing the horse that changed his life. One of the unbrokes Harlow took with him was a small blue roan paint with blue eyes, that Harlow appropriately named Blue.

Harlow calls Blue his best friend.  Together they traveled over 700,000 miles across the country, the first 10 years in a different state and a different barn every week.  They learned together, taught together and took care of each other.  If you have ever had the opportunity to see the two of them work together, give a demonstration, or break a horse you would understand how strong that bond is.  And for Harlow that is one of the true meanings of horsemanship.  Now at 24 years old Blue is basically retired, leading a life of leisure, happily grazing in the field.  On a rare occasion he will demonstrate his talents for us, or assist Kenny with a particularly difficult horse.

ACTHA Rides at Cedar Run Ranch

Kenny_Justin_4-27-12_456smKenny has been offering rides as an ACTHA ride host for three years now, and like many of the ranch’s events people travel from other states for a weekend of camping, socializing and education. As a working horse farm the ranch includes; indoor and outdoor riding rings, camping, RV hookups, 2 cabins and meals at the ranch. While most people choose to camp out, setting up temporary horse fencing or panels, stalls are available in the barn if needed.

As testimonial to his own experience Kenny knows the benefits of working with different trainers in different disciplines. Side by side with longtime office manager Taryn Duncan, they work hard to ensure ACTHA members can take full advantage of learning with some of the best in the business, knowing full well many of them may not get another opportunity to do so.

Besides demonstrations, clinicians offer private lessons throughout the weekend. During past ACTHA events, Kenny’s visiting clinicians have included Scott Purdum of Advantage Horsemanship, Jamie Dodson of Legacy Mustang Preservation, and Julio Mendoza FEI Dressage Rider, Instructor and Pan Am Games Medal Winner. Besides the trail competition and educational opportunities Kenny and Taryn ensure the fun isn’t just on the trail and offer night time entertainment and shopping with their many devoted sponsors and vendors.

Michael Lyons Guest Clinician for April ACTHA Ride

Kenny with friends at his ranch; Michael Lyons with girlfriend Julia, John and Jody Lyons

ACTHA riders look forward to enjoying clinics and private lessons from renowned instructors and clinicians while attending events at Kenny Harlow’s Virginia ranch. This April, Michael Lyons will be the ranch’s guest clinician, a remarkable opportunity for ACTHA members. In the photo above, Kenny enjoys some free time with friends Michael and John Lyons with their wives, who stopped by Kenny’s place earlier this month.

Day 1 Cedar Run Ranch Spring CTC

Day 2 Cedar Run Ranch Spring CTC

For more information about
Kenny Harlow or rides at the
Cedar Run Ranch, visit:


Story and Photos By Jen Wenzel
This story appears in the January issue of the ACTHA Monthly

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