Natural Horsemanship: Diamond Cross Ranch

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

Diamond Cross Ranch is a historical working ranch in Jackson Hole owned by the Golliher family, Horse Trainer Grant Golliher and Third Generation Rancher Jane Golliher. Jane’s grandparents were among the earliest settlers and homesteaders in Jackson Hole in 1912. As a family, they grew up caring for the land.

Over time, many ranching families departed the valley as property prices escalated and gave way to development. However, the family’s pioneering spirit and dedication to their Western heritage led them to conserve the open space as one of the few remaining historic family-owned ranches in Teton County.

In a day’s work, horse gentling—referred to as natural horsemanship—is among the many tasks that take place on their ranch.

We teamed up with Diamond Cross Ranch to rescue and gentle horse Jazzy from a kill pen. Grant has made it his life mission to rescue and gentle horses for the better good of others and it is an honor to watch his process with Jazzy.

They found Jazzy at a kill pen the day before she was scheduled to get on the truck to the slaughterhouse. So they had to make a decision quick. Grant has since been working with Jazzy to gentle her.

Diamond Cross Ranch believes that natural horsemanship is about building trust and inspiring confidence. Their natural horsemanship method is based on techniques derived from observation of free-roaming horses and rejecting abusive training methods.

When the gentling is complete, Grant will place Jazzy in a good home where she can enjoy a long and happy life.

Grant has also been donating his time to gentle a three-year-old horse named Velvet for a cowgirl and horse enthusiast, Chris, who worked incredibly hard to raise her. For Grant, it is very rewarding to take a young horse that needs a good foundation and make something good and valuable out of it, to mentor the young horse and teach it work ethic.

“Once you do something with a horse, they want to smell you. They remember the smell that followed the action. If you abuse a horse, they’re going to remember that smell for the rest of their life.” – Grant Golliher

“The important thing about this is you don’t restrain the horse; you don’t take away their freedom to make choices.”

– Grant Golliher

“One way I look at my trade is just like a good craftsman; this is my craft and I’ve worked hard at being as good as I can be at it.” – Grant Golliher

“For me, certain horses have triggered learning and change because when looking in the mirror was not enough, they reflected my actions in ways that helped me see myself as I was, not as I pretended or hoped to be.” – Grant Golliher

“Horses, I learned, cannot lie.” – Grant Golliher

Photography by Jake Steven & Carly Butler

Cinematography by Jake Steven

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