Jose Alejos Arrives for Training

Jose Alejos, an internationally famous horse trainer who specializes in starting horses, especially those destined for the Olympic sports (dressage, show jumping, eventing), has come to Red Top Farm in Johnston this spring. Initially, Alejos was coming to start horses for DiAnn Langer, who owns Red Top along with her husband. When Ann Thal, who teaches and trains at Greystone Farm, heard this she arranged for Alejos to stay a little longer and make his services available to more people.

Jose Alejos will be giving lessons and clinics as well as helping people start their horses from April 27 through May 12. His specialties include colt starting and the training of problem horses. He will be available for single sessions as well as for more extended training time, depending on what people require.

Alejos was at Red Top last June, where he was one of the clinicians presenting an intensive six-day course on the development of the young horse. According to Ann, this clinic was extremely well-received, and many people who did not get a chance to participate were hoping that Alejos would be back this year. 

“He’s an amazing horseman. He comes from generations of horsemanship in Guatemala, and his background is really what horsemanship should be about,” says Ann. “Originally, horsemanship was based on the horse being useful, and I think we have strayed away from that a little bit.”

Ann says that Alejos understands how horses think, and he has special insights into how to train them.

“I call my method ‘rational horsemanship’,” he explains on his website. “It is based on the natural interactions that occur among horses in a herd. Rational horsemanship takes advantage of a horse’s natural reaction to pressure and . . . its reaction to the release of pressure.”

Alejos’s methods are intended to make a horse become increasingly responsive to the rider’s aids. They involve sensing “when the horse is just on the verge of giving to pressure, at which point I reward the horse with the release . . . In just a few short weeks, my rational horsemanship approach can produce a responsive, balanced and happy young horse that a professional or good amateur can continue working with in their specific discipline.”

Lessons, training and auditing are available on a limited basis. Anyone who would like to participate should contact Ann Thal: or 941-730-1165 or via Facebook. For more information on Jose Alejos, visit his website: