2017 Hands-On Clinic InfoHOC 17 Image.SM


You continuously ask, “Why are the Varian horses so gentle to handle on the ground and train so well under saddle?” So, we are offering an intense hands on 2 day clinic Saturday, April 22 & Sunday, April 23, 2017.


Varian Arabians Hands-On Clinic, The Varian Way offers a variety of learning opportunities for horse enthusiasts.

Morning clinics for up to 20 participants will feature lessons on how we train our young horses and the opportunity to learn one-on-one from a fantastic group of clinicians. Participants will work with a Varian Arabian horse or their own 3 year old or older horse (no stallions).

Afternoon clinics for up to 18 participants will feature under saddle lessons and the chance to work one-on-one with the acclaimed horseman Lester Buckley, Arabian industry leaders Brett & Marjie Becker, and Varian trainers Jaime Hernandez and Mike Perez. Students may bring their own horse (no stallions) or work with a horse provided by Varians. 

Auditors Welcome
Both morning and afternoon clinics welcome auditing guests to attend and watch and learn. A lovely continental breakfast and lunch and drinks are included with registration for both participants and auditing guests.

Ground-work clinic requirements:

  • Participants should have some minimal prior experience with horses.

Under-saddle clinic requirements:

  • Participants need prior riding experience.
  • Space is limited to 17 participants.
  • Participants may bring their own horses (no stallions) or ride a horse provided by Varians.
  • There will be a limited number of Varian Arabian horses available for participants in the under saddle clinic
    Please email Angela at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get on a list if you need to reserve one.

    Participants who bring their own horse need to supply their own feed. We will supply a paddock, which we will clean daily.

Hands-On ClinicWhere:

The Hands-On Clinic will take place at Varian Arabians in Arroyo Grande, California. Varian Arabians lies among the gently rolling hills of the Central Coast of California. The farm is located 1-1/2 hours north of Santa Barbara, fifteen minutes south of San Luis Obispo. Varian Arabians is a peaceful place to visit, beautifully landscaped and surrounded on all sides by permanent pastures and rolling hills. Guests are welcome to bring trailers and RV’s for overnight dry camping in our sandlot or we have a variety of beautiful and comfortable hotels available nearby.  Lodging info HERE

Overnight camping - no hook ups - $25 a night.



  • Register
  • Pricing
  • Clinicians
  • Gallery

Use the form below to register as an Auditor for the Hands-On Clinic:

Hands-On Clinic - Auditor

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For Varian Hands-On Clinic:

Saturday and Sunday, April 22 - 23, 2017

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Hands-On Clinic Pricing
The Varian Arabians Hands-On Clinic offers two types of registration: Registering as an actual participant in one or all of the clinics (limited availability), and registering as an auditor (i.e. audience member/ unlimited availability). All fees include a lovely continental breakfast, lunch and drinks. Please see pricing options below.

Clinic Participation Pricing
If You Are Bringing Your Own Horse 
 • In-Hand Clinic using your own horse - $650 per student for both days
 • Under Saddle Clinic using your own horse - $950 per student for both days
 • Full Package using your own horse - $1400 Includes in-hand clinic and under saddle clinic for both days

If You Are Using a Horse at Varian Arabians
 • In-Hand Clinic using a horse at Varian Arabians - $750 per student for both days
 • Under Saddle Clinic using a horse at Varian Arabians - $1150 per student for both days
 • Full Package using a horse at Varian Arabians - $1650 Includes in-hand clinic and under saddle clinic for both days

Online registration not available for clinic participants.
To register as a clinic participant, call (805) 489-5802.


Auditor Pricing
 • $70 per person/Saturday
 • $70 per person/Sunday
 • $125 per person for both days.

(Please note: Payments to be made in full at time of registration. Refunds will only be given if space can be filled. Rain or Shine.)

2017 Hands-On Clinic: Clinicians

 Lester Buckley

Lester Buckley

Lester Buckley grew up in the historic cattle country of North Texas. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Equine Science from Sul Ross State University in Texas, where he was also the “Outstanding Horse Science Student.” While training horses during college he met Ray Hunt, renowned horseman and clinician, and that laid the foundation of all his future horsemanship.

With broad theoretical knowledge and his varied riding and training experience, he offers a well-rounded understanding of the nature of the horse and it’s training.

"Lester Buckley is one of the ‘great horsemen’  in my mind… if you don’t know him, meet him.   If you haven’t ridden with him, ride with him, because he will set you on the most wonderful new road to training your horses in the most thoughtful and understandable manner…  after you have spent time with Lester you will say as we do here at Varian Arabians…  Lester is magical in the different thoughts he brings to training.    If you are serious about horses, training horses, taking care of your horses, you will love Lester Buckley. Lester has come up with a soft and gentle very clear and concise way to teach horses so they can understand with no punishment.  Lester has made a profound step up in how we are training horses here at Varian Arabians… it is an exciting time.” ~ Sheila Varian



Brett BeckerMarjieBecker


Brett & Marjie Becker:

Concentrating on Arabian and Half-Arabians, Becker Stables specializes in all major divisions with an emphasis on the Western, Hunter, English and Show Hack disciplines. Brett and Marjie have accumulated countless National championships through their hard work, consistency and honest approach. Creating a legacy that will make history, their amateur program boasts some of the best riders today.





JaimeHernandezMike Perez


Jaime & Mike:

Jaime Hernandez and Mike Perez are well respected trainers for Varian Arabians. Jaime has been training Varian horses under saddle for 20 years and Mike has been halter training Varian foals for 15 years. Both have been trained by Sheila in the Varian Way and bring their own unique knowledge and years of experience to the barn.




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