Noted Horse Trainer Offers Workshops


Steve Sikora, a John Lyons-certified horse trainer, has added a free demonstration to his two clinics to be held Oct. 8 and 9 at the Payson Event Center.

The demonstration, which will include bridleless riding and other equestrian techniques, will begin at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at PEC.


Equestrians from around the Rim Country can improve their riding techniques at a clinic Oct. 8 and 9 at the Payson Event Center.

The Payson Parks and Recreation Department will co-sponsor the clinics and demonstration along with Sikora.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Oct. 8 clinic, Sikora will host the horsemanship session. According to town recreation specialist Charlene Hunt, Sikora will teach good ground exercises to help gain the horse's attention and control, then move on to working in the saddle. After 1 p.m., Sikora has committed to remaining on site to work individually with those equestrians who are having specific problems with their horses. The fee for Saturday is $100 for horse and rider. With no horse, it is $25.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 9, Sikora will focus on ground penning or getting control of a horse at liberty.

Hunt says the session will focus on working with horses that won't stand still to mount or are head shy. Once again, Sikora will remain after 1 p.m. to work with individual riders and horses. The fees for Sunday are also $100 and $25.

Sikora, of Chandler, has been a John Lyons-certified trainer since 2001. He is one of only seven certified by Lyons in Arizona.

According to a John Lyons website, the world-renowned trainer has been a "pioneer in the clinician movement and instrumental in changing the horse industry, forever. Many of today's training principles found their roots in John's common-sense approach to people and horses.

"His philosophy on the snaffle bit influenced positive changes in the horse show circuit. His teaching methods have continually evolved over the years as a result of working with his best teachers -- thousands of horses."

His career highlights include:

  • Co-authoring over 20 different books, producing over 30 video/DVD tapes, and more than 10 audiotapes.
  • eveloped a Certification Program that has produced over 200 professional "John Lyons Certified" trainers.
  • His partner of 27 years, Bright Zip, is in the Hall of Fame in the Appaloosa Association. Zip is one of the most recognized horses in the world. In 1994, Zip was honored as the Breyerfest Horse of the Year. Zip was laid to rest in 2003.
  • Has helped train Mounted Patrol Units all over the nation.
  • Is recognized as ‘America's Most Trusted Horseman' and is a major clinician and keynote speaker at large horse events nationwide and abroad.
  • Equine Affaire chose him the recipient of their first and only Exceptional Equestrian Educator Award.
  • Equitana USA chose to honor him with their Modern Masters Award for Outstanding Horsemanship.
  • He was chosen as the winner of the University of Louisville's John W. Galbreath Award for his outstanding contributions to the horse industry.
  • The North American Horseman's Association recognized John for Outstanding Safety Management in the Horse Industry, and he was the recipient of the Equine Adoption Society Plaque.
  • e was listed in Who's Who in America.

To register for the clinics or for more information, call Sikora at (602) 625-1961.

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