Old school natural horsemanship techniques are combined with the science and leadership techniques of today to build a solid foundation for every partnership and discipline. Through a deeper connection between horse and human, Modern Horsemanship is encouraging the trust that enables healing, growth, and leadership.
Cynda Block’s life from birth has centered around horses and their magical connection with human beings. Growing up on a ranch in Arkansas, her family loved to breed Quarter Horses, cattle, dogs, and live off the land, which continues to this day. Her parents, a pharmacist and an anesthesiologist, turned their hobby of raising horses into a passion. Cynda was raised around ranchers, cowboys, and horse trainers; she spent her childhood observing and studying them, and knew from an early age she had the gift of being able to read and listen to horses. Her love of horses was memorialized when she wrote, “For the love of a horse” on an empty water jug as a young child.
Cynda saved as much money as she could for horses, her love for them growing more each day as they were her greatest teachers. During her junior riding career, Cynda’s trainers included some of the industry’s greats such as Leonard and Leigh Berryhill and Jackie Kurshka. They all trained in the Quarter Horse, Paint Horse and Palomino circuits, and between them share over a thousand World Titles.
When people today ask Cynda about her own world titles and trophies, she tells them, “It was an amazing time in my life and I’m grateful, but they are in a box in the garage.” As she tells her students every day, she cares more about excellent horsemanship, exemplary sportsmanship, and their resilient character more than she does ribbons.
Though she has studied the methods of Monty Roberts, Pat Parelli, Chris Cox and John Lyons, Cynda has developed her own technique of first reading the horse, without even touching them. She starts communicating using body language and within the first few minutes she knows their strengths and what challenges she’ll face when handling them before ever putting on a halter. Her go-to training tool for all horses and breeds in any discipline is the rope halter, as she was taught as a child that she could do anything with a horse using a lariat, and to this day she uses it daily in a wide variety of situations.
Not only did Cynda learn from the greats, but also from the people that treated horses poorly, literally breaking them and their spirit. It taught and showed her there are better ways to work with a horse. One of her favorite stories is when she was able to climb on a big, bold quarter horse gelding without a halter on her family’s ranch after a group of cowboys spent an hour trying to “break” him and make him yield.
Cynda had observed all their efforts. She then approached the horse in the pasture, sitting next to him on the grass and holding his face in her hands. He then followed her over to a log and stood still as she climbed on his back. Needless to say, the men were speechless as she rode with confidence over to them. That day shaped Cynda forever as humans and horses understand each other.
Many people will never be on the World Championship stage, but everyone can be a horseman, and Cynda’s mission is to continue her family’s legacy and teach future generations that the relationship with a horse begins on the ground. It is not just with the handling, but to understand how a horse thinks and communicates as they are unique, like humans, and are influenced by how they were raised and educated.
Cynda enjoys life on their 185 acre ranch in Sedalia, Colorado with her family, many beloved horses and four dogs.
For over two decades Lauren Filter has been actively involved in the equine world, immersing herself in barn life and consistently learning about horsemanship and the industry, as well as being a thriving business owner and entrepreneur. Modern Horsemanship is the culmination of her diverse business background and love of horses, teaching both horse and human how to draw from the strength of the other to fully step into all we are meant to be.
She started her career mastering emergency medicine, working her way through EMT and paramedic school. She completed her international board certification exam for flight paramedic just 10 years after finishing her initial EMT class. She credits an incident at a horse show when she was a young teenager that sparked her love of medicine. This moment also showed her she had the invaluable talent of staying calm in the midst of chaos, able to simultaneously handle a frightened horse and come to the aid of her injured trainer.
Even at an early age, Lauren showed entrepreneurial tendencies. She cleaned the tack for her trainer and hand-walked injured horses during their rehab time to earn the money for her riding lessons. Interspersed in her career as a paramedic, Lauren has worked alongside several veterinarians, integrating her love of medicine with her love for horses.
Through working in various barns, owning and boarding her own horses, along with training and showing with multiple trainers over the years, Lauren gained experience in the industry from business leaders. As an avid learner, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in business administration where she now enjoys consulting and sharing best practices with trainers, helping them to be as successful as possible.
Lauren’s expansive career has included teaching countless EMS and CPR classes, mentoring numerous paramedic students and EMTs, and coaching small business owners, while regularly seeking out continuing education opportunities to expand both her medical and business skills.
Lauren enjoys ranch living with her many horses and beloved dogs. She is an avid traveler and gives back to her community by sharing her work and the healing power of horses.
“When you can’t do everything,
do everything you can.”
– Daniel Stewart