California Vaquero Tradition


Modeling our training philosophy after the California-Spanish horsemen of the 17th and 18th centuries; men whose stature in society was reflected by their ability to train exceptional horses, and whose very lives often depended on the product of that ability, we have developed a training program worthy of the name “Vaquero”.

With over 50 years of professional experience behind us, we are positive we will be able to make your goals a reality. From developing a strong foundation of confidence and obedience in a young horse just starting his career…

To putting the finishing touches on your show horse…

We are very proud of our record of taking horses that have been labeled as “spoiled, ruined, or not trainable” and turning them into productive and enjoyable horses again.


“I had my horse with a different trainer before I found Mike. “Pete” was with the other trainer for several months and had made little progress. When my daughter tried to ride him, he literally ran into walls.

Within a short time Mike had “Pete” going like a normal horse. “Pete” showed in Hunter Under Saddle classes and was always in the ribbons. When Western Dressage was just getting started, Mike had suggested we give “Pete” a try at this new venue. “Pete” did great, usually scoring at the top of his division.

I would never take a horse to another trainer. Mike is the “Best”!!!! ” ~Peggy C.


“I brought my horse, Sonata, to Vaquero Training Center after rescuing him from an auction house and finding that he was very aggressive, had terrible ground manners, and a severe rearing problem. I called Mike after being turned down by a couple other trainers because of the severity of my horse’s issues. Mike was helpful and insightful from the beginning. He diagnosed the root of my horse’s vices quickly and was able to re-build Sonata’s work ethic with time and patience. Mike’s approach of acceptance and working through issues instead of fighting against the horse creates a much happier working horse. Mike’s skill as a riding instructor is just as impressive. My confidence had taken a huge hit after a bad fall and Mike took the time to help me through it.

Because of Mike’s logical and straightforward teaching technique I am able to comfortably work with my horse and have even shown him and taken him on trail rides, something I never thought would be possible. There are too many positive things to say about the Marquez family and the rest of the VTC family.”

~Kristin G.

We work with many disciplines, breeds, behaviors and ages.