Training a solid foundation for all disciplines
Hi! I'm Diana Tomes, owner and trainer here at Big Lake Farm. I'm a TIP trainer for the Mustang Heritage Foundation and I compete in the North American Western Dressage Association in ranch, trail, dressage, and groundwork classes.
My roots are in natural horsemanship, and I ride primarily western, however I work with horses and humans of all ages, backgrounds, and disciplines. I really enjoy colt starting and problem solving, and I love working with mustangs especially, but I think my strong suits are finding and fixing weaknesses in a horse's foundation, and helping horses and riders understand each other.
I've been a student of the horse since I was a child, and feel a deep gratitude for the profound effect horses have had on my life. Horses have seen me through changes, heartaches, traumas, addiction, failure, growth, and success. I've learned so much in my horsemanship journey that has transferred into the non-horsey areas of my life and made me the woman I am today. I feel it's my responsibility to give back to horses as best I can. I do that by constantly seeking to elevate my own horsemanship, constantly educating myself about how we can do better for them, how we can meet their physical and mental needs, and how we can work with them in a peaceful and compassionate way.
I am ALWAYS trying to learn and grow. My current studies are:
Mustang Maddy Horse Human Connection Academy--a 16 week deep-dive into the science of positive reinforcement training
Warwick Schiller video library--This is an absolute treasure trove of information for both training theory and technical maneuvers.
Georgia Bruce Equine Clicker Academy--a training course with study group facilitated by Georgia, dressage Olympian and training genius. My horsemanship has grown a ton thanks to Georgia's influence.
Stacy Westfall--The queen! I'm currently taking her neck reining intensive course, as well as a goal setting and leadership workshop series.
Amy Skinner Horsemanship--Amy's book, blog, clinics, video lessons, all of it. Amy's mentorship has been invaluable to me and my horses.
Jane Pike-- Mindset, Movement, and Nervous System Awareness for Equestrians. The benefits of Jane's coaching extend far beyond the arena for me.
Other Influences/authors I'm currently reading/always reading (in no particular order): Temple Grandin, Joel Salatin, Ray Hunt, Mary Wanless, Sally Swift, Eclectic Horseman Magazine, Amelia Newcomb Dressage, Ken Ramirez, Karen Pryor
Full-time training is $975 and includes all care plus lessons.
To learn more about the exceptional daily care your horse will receive while in training at Big Lake Farm, visit our Facility page.
For questions about a training program for your horse, or to reserve a spot on our waitlist, reach out to Diana.