…About trainer Phil Bonanno Jr.
This is the man to train your horse or help you train your horse. Before I moved my horse to 4B Ranch he had gotten kicked by another horse breaking his front leg almost completely in two. During his recovery he was not happy, he started biting and tried to run over me. I was scared of him. After his leg healed I could not lunge him I had no confidence in him or myself. Phil has helped me find my confidence. I can now free lunge Solo and get him to start, stop, reverse and speed up or slow down on voice command. Phil teaches the horse you are the boss not him. He does not believe in whipping the horse to get him to listen. If you need help with anything Phil is ready to help. He will not do it for you but will show you how to do it. Solo will walk, stop and reverse on voice command. It is now a pleasure to be around Solo. Thank you God for helping me and my sister find 4B Ranch. This Ranch is now part of my Family. They have changed me and Solo, we are a team now
I had wanted a Paso Fino for over a year; starting to believe that what I had heard about the breed was a myth. I was about to give up on the search for my dream horse when I found Phil. He listened to my list of needs for a Paso Fino to compete in competitive trail, Phil told me that he did not have any at that time to meet my criteria’s but he would help me find it. Driving some distance to inspect a horse for me to buy from someone else with no benefit to him, other than helping me find my love for the Paso Fino Breed. I took Spirit of Anfitrion (Spirit) to Phil for him to train; then came the hard part training me. Phil encouraged me to be involved throughout the entire training process, which was a great and exciting learning experience. The day came when I brought Spirit home, along with my wonderful memories of time spent in the barn, on the trail and camping with our new friends the Bonanno family. There is no way I can list all that you did for us, it was more than I ever expected. An experience that was not just about training a horse, it was of compassion, respect, and gentle care. Thank you Phil for, simply my dream horse, it is not a myth!
Howdy there Phil,
You really are an asset with what you have to offer, even to the “backyard horse people”. Your, method is a wonderful thing that others find to be an important factor in your training program. You allow the owner to be able to watch you work their horse(s), and to see the treatment and handling of the horse(s) at all times. By telling you their problem areas and habits, you are able to work through the situations in a safer and more productive manner. It doesn’t seem to bother you what breeds or ages they are, you feel them out and move them along to get them another step ahead. You have not only taught my horse(s), you have also allowed me to learn. Even when I ask questions, you let me know what you are aiming towards and it makes it easier for when I do the same things with the animal. (I recommend) you to others that are looking for a horse trainer/riding instructor. They always come back and say thank you to me for pointing them in your direction, and say “he really knows his stuff” and that they are very happy with you. I am so glad that I was able to meet you and see you work with my horses. You have done a great deal in a short period of time. It is going to make a much more enjoyable time for me and my horse. I hope you continue to keep up the great work. Thank you very much and my horses thank you as well.
We’d like to thank you forthe terrific job you’ve done with Pretty Girl – she’s a changed
horse! The time and work you’ve put in, and the care you’ve given her show through in so many ways.We love the portfolio you’ve kept while training her, and know that it will prove
helpful to us as we continue to work with girl on our own.
Thanks for being an A-1, training and riding Instructor! You belong in the Hall of Fame for Paso Fino training. Lots of patience for the one + one team
Tonia and Mike Lalor
We would like to share our experience with the 4B Ranch & the Bonanno Family. Four years ago we purchased our first Paso Fino Horses as we relocated from Florida to Alabama. Being that we only had two weeks of lessons during our purchase we knew there was a lot more to learn, especially riding had been very limited to trails with a guide for pleasure. When we arrived at our new location and the horses were delivered, the horses were cold here in the winter and we were scared to put the new blankets on them for the first time! Help! Then we met Phil Jr. this professional horse trainer that changed our lives. He traveled over 2 hours several times a week to train us for the horses were already well trained and former show horses at that. Little did we know the huge responsibility of horse owners. Over 3 years training continued and we improved and grew as people with a purpose and a passion to let others know about these wonderful Paso Fino’s the horse without a bounce. The Paso Fino’s especially gated for people that have physical difficulties, senior citizens who just want a smooth ride and a wonderful companion, or anyone that loves horses in any of the disciplines. We have observed Phil Jr. every breed of equine and the results are happy horses and happy people. The Bonanno family are warm and wonderful professionals who go far beyond themselves to consider every option people need for a perfect fit with their horses. There professional facility has an indoor arena also to insure the horses are trained in inclement weather. Their dedication is awesome. Phillip Jr. the main trainer has unlimited energy, enthusiasm, and commitment. They have boarded our horses and provided personal care and excellent veterinary diagnoses and treatment to ensure the horses are sound prior to purchase and during training. The facility is kept immaculate and the farrier service is the finest. Where else could you find personal care for you and your horse as here
We highly recommend the 4B Ranch. It has truly become a blessing in our lives. Time after time they have cared for our horses like they were their own even to the dedication of showing up at inconvenient times to trailer our horses for assessment and treatment for the recovery they needed.
John & Mary Kay Tortoiello
@ Circle T Ranch Ohatchee, Al
When my wife and I first acquired our horses we had no idea as to what we were doing. Like most folks we bought books, talked to individuals who owned horses, and attempted to do all the right things. Then one day our Veterinarian was giving the horses a checkup when we started discussing training for both of our horses. The “Vet” indicated he knew a young man who was an excellent trainer. Well we contacted this young man and we were invited to their facility on Georgia Mountain. When we arrived my wife and I met Phil Bonanno Jr. and his family.
My first impression of Phil Jr. was, “My God I have horses older than him”. Since that first meeting I have gained a great deal of respect for Phil and his abilities with horses. He has taken a couple of older horses and converted them into ideal companions for both my wife and I to enjoy. We are now able to ride and interface with our horses without fear of doing something stupid which could cause injury to the horses or ourselves.
Phil not only trained the horses (which was the easy part) but, he also trained us. He was extremely patient with my wife and explaining things over and over again. During this process he taught the horses to be patient with us also. When we would do something dumb, the horses would look at us like, “are you ever going to get it right?” The end result has been not only have we learned about our horses and how to take care of them but, we have gained some new friends in the process.
One final note is the method Phil has used in the training of both horses. He has a love of horses that shows. He has never deliberately harmed them or, let his emotions over-ride what is best for the horse. The final, final, note is the facilities. The entire ranch is well maintained. The stalls are cleaned each day and, have an automatic watering system. The horses are put to sleep each night with music.
Will & Jackie Clements
Union Grove, AL
While searching for a trainer for our 3 year old Tennessee Walking Horse Duke , we came across the web site for 4 B Ranch. The facility looked nice so I made the call and talked to Phil Jr. Even though the facility looked great and he seemed knowledgeable we opted to use a trainer closer to home.
October 2006 we dropped our horse off at a trainer’s facility in hopes for him to be broken for a trail horse. After two months at that facility we were told Duke was untrainable and he would never be good for anything. This came as a big disappointment to us since we had raised him from one day old. We knew Duke wasn’t perfect he was head shy and a bit pushy. But we thought this could be worked through. The day we brought him back home we found him to be a lot worse about his head and scared of almost anything. Not wanting to give up on this horse we began searching for another trainer so we contacted 4 B Ranch again. We decided to visit the facility and see it first hand. We liked what we saw and what Phil Jr. had to say. The next step was the evaluation in which he came to our house to meet Duke. After Phil Jr. looked him over and watched him move, he told us he thought our horse was smart and there was no reason he shouldn’t be trainable.
January 2007 Duke was delivered to 4 B Ranch. Phil Jr. started addressing Dukes “issues”. He informed us that due to the trauma Duke experienced at the other trainer’s it would take time and patience, but Duke could make the horse we wanted him to be. We were encouraged to visit when ever we wanted and on these visits we could see his progress. The progress was slow at first, but before you knew it we took our first ride. We had taken several short trail rides, but for us the real test was a trip in April to KC Ranch in Double Springs. On this ride we got to see what a good foundation Phil Jr. had set for Duke. With that ride under our belt we felt comfortable with bringing Duke home.
May 2007 we brought Duke home. We must say he has made the horse we wanted. Phil Jr. definitely put forth the time and patience it required to take a young head shy, pushy horse and make him a patient, trusting, manageable mount.
This experience has been enjoyable and we have always been made to feel welcome. Everyone at 4 B has been friendly. The facility has always been clean and the horses are treated with kindness. Due to our experience we decided to take our other 3 year old filly to 4 B for training.
Thank you 4 B Ranch!
Paul “Koda” & Rachel Mcbride
Testimonial on Training……..
My dream has always been to travel to different places and trail ride. Unfortunately my horse, Cody, was dangerous to trailer load, very spooky on the trail and absolutely would not cross water of any kind including mud puddles. The only riding I could do safely was in an arena. I felt trapped. Because of this I had decided I needed to just go ahead and sell Cody. Why have a horse when you can only go in circles?? Then I found the advertisement for 4B Ranch, thank goodness! Through Phil’s quiet and patient training techniques, Cody now loads without incident and is a fantastic all around trail horse. Phil also taught us to trust each other which was an issue we both had after a few minor accidents. Cody even rides without a bit now and prefers it. I’m finally getting to live my dream thanks to Phil and the 4B Ranch family!