About Jeff Sanders
Jeff Sanders was born in Merced California and raised on the Central Coast - right in the heart of Vaquero country. He is one of very few teaching the California/Vaquero/Californio style of horsemanship who is truly a Californio, himself.
Jeff’s family has a long history of running cattle and riding cow horses in California. Starting about 100 years ago, Jeff's great-grandfather on his mother's side, ran cattle in the grass covered foothills surrounding Patterson, California. Raised by his brother-in-law, a well-respected Vaquero in the San Joaquin Valley, Jeff's father learned not only the value of traditional stockmanship, but also the California way of making fine bridle horses. Having been raised in the California horsemanship traditions since childhood, Jeff's parents also passed that knowledge down to Jeff the same way, staying true to the Vaquero tradition of passing knowledge from generation to generation.
Jeff and his parents took these skills and applied them, not only on the ranch but also in the competition arena. Jeff credits his as well as his parents’ success in competitions to the fundamental principles of old style California horsemanship. He has also fortunate to have had the opportunity to apply the skills and philosophies of the old California Vaqueros while day working on ranches in California, Colorado, Wyoming and Nevada.
Jeff still day works when he is home but is steadfast in his dedication to spreading the traditions of the California Bridle Horse throughout the world. Traveling throughout the US, Australia and both Western and Eastern Europe teaching this style of horsemanship, Jeff’s hope is that this proud tradition that respects the rider and honors the horse will not just survive but will once again flourish.