Board Member Spotlight – Lester Buckley

This is the second in a series of articles we are doing on the members of the WDAA Advisory Board.

Those of you who have attended the well regarded Light Hands Horsemanship Clinic in the Santa Ynez Valley of California know that Lester Buckley is one of the most popular and highly regarded clinicians to participate. There aren’t many horsemen left anymore who can match his story… and he is perhaps most unusual because after years of managing large horse remudas for cattle ranches in both Texas and Hawaii, his concern and respect for the horse remain paramount in his training philosophy. As a clinician, his skill at teaching students to improve their horsemanship and the training of their horses is remarkable, and his self-deprecating manner and humorous stories set a relaxed and confidence-building atmosphere, good for both his students and their mounts. Lester epitomizes the Westerner: soft spoken, amused at his own foibles, and patient with both his horses and his students. Lester gives clinics around the country. He and his wife, Mary, live in Hawaii.

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. It was the beginning of a life long career in horse training. From untouched mountain horses in the Canadian Rockies to top bred, finished show horses, Lester has trained over 2000 horses in his career. To show his respect and appreciation for the horse, he became a committed lifelong student of the horse. He has studied and apprenticed under several of the top trainers and clinicians in the world. Intrigued with the preciseness and art of the classical horsemanship, Lester decided to study the fine art of Dressage and Sport Jumping. He searched to locate the finest instructors, leading him to travel to Germany where many of our Olympians train.


Currently Lester studies under Dressage and Jumping Masters there in Germany and has earned his level IV and III Bronze Performance Medals respectively. The Equestrian School in Germany invites him to offer clinics at the school, teaching groundwork, basic and advanced Western Riding as well as problem solving. With broad theoretical knowledge and his varied riding and training experience, he offers a well-rounded understanding of the nature of the horse and its training.


Visit his website at


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