Posts Tagged ‘team roping’

Hello everybody,

Cow horse students in SwedenI am fresh home from my latest adventure, which was nine or ten days in Sweden. I had two three-day clinics there, all targeted towards training the cow horse. They only took ten horses for each clinic so that kept the numbers down. The people were thirsty for knowledge, and they learned a lot. It’s especially fun to go to a country that has really no experience with the working cow horse, or at least very little, and explain traditions and customs, the different styles of creating a working cow horse, and to set standards that they will hopefully uphold forever. They actually save many, many years of mistakes by learning about the refinement of standards while the cow horse sport is young! As always, it was fun to visit with lots of old friends, as I was there last year too!

Of course, many thanks to my wonderful friend, Hakan Bergh and Per Larsson, that put on the clinic. It was at Per Larsson’s ranch, where we had the clinic. We had a beautiful indoor arena, good dirt, and Holstein cattle – actually, they worked pretty well for this bunch of riders! They learned an awful lot about positioning, balancing a cow, position on a cow, rate with a cow, and how to succeed in putting a cow horse on a cow properly.

Horse trailer in SwedenThere were two or three people in the clinic actually riding their horse with a two rein bosal along with their regular bit, in order to help to bridle their horse better. It’s really nice to see people interested and maintaining the traditional standards of perfection and durability that approach can help to create. (more…)


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Well hello folks. It’s nice to be talking to you again; it’s actually nice to be home even though it’s only for about three whole days! I’ll fill you in as to what I‘ve been doing and who I’ve been doing it with. I’ve had some really fun times lately.

I went to Arlington, Washington, and did a three day clinic for Gretchen Salstrom at Black Raven Stables. We had a lot of cows, cow horses, cowboys and cowgirls. I had a wonderful time working with people that were very hungry for knowledge and everybody got a lot out of it. I was very impressed to have some of my old students back again, some that had been to my clinic as many as six times! I had one person stop by and he strangely enough had been to fifteen clinics! He was quite an individual. He brought two horses to one of the Washington clinics about ten years ago. Both horses, I told him, were basically a waste of time to make show horses out of.  He, being as hard-headed as he is, decided he would show me just to spite me and make these horses into show horses. After he showed up to about a dozen clinics, I began to see where he was coming from, because lo and behold, he amazed me. My own methods, my own theories, my own program actually amazed me also, that it really did work on these horses I considered substandard. He’d gotten these horses really soft and really happy. Their whole demeanor changed and believe me they did perform well. He came by to visit and say hi. I was happy to see him too. (more…)

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Well here we are and it’s May already. We’re getting everything wrapped up so we can leave for a week and go on the fabulous Ranchero Visitadores trail ride, which is a highlight event for me and any of the other participants that go. It’s a wonderful time to see old friends and to make new friends. To say it’s interesting is a total understatement of what goes on there, and it’s too bad I can’t tell you all about it—it’s top secret! But we do have fun!

I just came back from Brazil as you noticed in the last blog; I thought I would tell you a little bit about it. This was my 5th trip to Brazil. Dr. Enrique Penha and my friend, Flavia and her husband, Oleg met me at the airport in Sao Paulo. I was accompanied on this trip by my friend James Dixon from Moab, Utah. He actually put the Moab clinic on a month or two ago. James is really good to travel with. You know, they say you never know somebody until you either live with them, do business with them, or travel with them. I got to know James pretty good, and he’s a keeper! James and I traveled via Lima, Peru.  It was a long way around. We had some layovers we didn’t expect, so it was about a 30 hour trip each way, which kind of knocks the sap out of you.

When they met us in Sao Paulo, I wondered if they didn’t make those layovers on purpose just to socialize and take us to the most fabulous Brazilian BBQ restaurant and even to a Brazilian-French restaurant. The food was incredible!  The whole town of Sao Paulo was historic and interesting. After a 12-hour layover there, we flew another two hours to a place called Presidente Prudente. Then we drove another couple of hours to Santa Mercedes, to my wonderful friend Menees’ ranch. Menee is an excellent horseman with beautiful facilities in the middle of nowhere! This is truly in the outback of Brazil.

At this clinic we had about 10 riders but probably 200 people including spectators.  Included among the spectators were some gauchos from Paraguay. They had their little yerba mate cups that they sip all day with their silver straws, and they were wearing their bombachi pants, their tall boots, and their blousy shirts. Some of them look a little like Zorro and they are good horsemen. They’re very interested in the ways of the reined cow horse, and they’re modernizing a lot of their techniques.

We‘d work until about noon and then everybody wants to sleep until about 3:00, so you kick back in a big old hammock. It didn’t bother me much! There were a few more flies than we’re used to, but after a few days you quit swatting. They just come back so you get used to it and let them crawl on you. The weather was beautiful, a little warmer than I’m used to. It was their late fall there.  (more…)

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Holiday Update

Hi Folks. Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and we appreciate all of the wonderful friends we have made over the year and all of the wonderful results we have been able to see through all the clinics we have given and products we’ve made up for you.

We had quite a Christmas rush. Our training programs were flying out the door – we gave the local postman a pretty good workout!  It’s exciting to hear the results folks are getting from the Foundation Program and it’s great to see it getting in the hands of more and more people!

The CowhorseU Maneuvers Program, Level 2, is just now being introduced to the public. It takes all the skills that you developed in the Foundation Program and shows you how to use them to create some great maneuvers. Of course we spend a lot of time teaching riders how to evaluate and how to create maneuvers, and helps you troubleshoot different situations to make your horse as good as he possibly can be. In other words, it maximizes performance and teaches you how to ride too!

I’m doing a couple things different this year than I have in the past. I am attempting to be a team roper, I have been a “wanna- be” team roper for a long time, but I have never devoted myself to it. I have always heard everyone talk about how good it can be for show horses. It gives them a diversion, and gives them a job – something to do. They stay real sound (compared to the other things we ask them to do in the rein cow horse world). It keeps them fit, and it’s not boring for them or me. It’s exciting for both of us.

It’s really been quite an experience. It’s been humbling for me at times for sure. I am starting to see a little more progress on my part because I work on it every single day that the weather allows. So, I’ve got my little two horse trailer for sale if anybody wants it. I want $950 for it. It’s an old 89 circle j. I bought a used 3 horse pull-behind and I got a donkey. So now I am no longer a “wanna-be,” I’m a real team roper. Nancy is the donkey’s name. She is trained to gallop in circles. I heel the donkey a bunch on each of my show horses. It’s so awesome. I can’t believe how much it helps my horses and me. I leave the pen smiling – that is if I have a good day. I always feel better after I have roped a little. Hopefully I can share that with you guys. It’s such a healthy sport. I really, really enjoy it. So that’s enough about my roping.

We’re right in the process of booking all off our 2008 clinic dates now. If anybody is interested in hosting a clinic, call me 805-455-0162. I’m always interested in possible new clinic locations.  It seems like each year, 80% of our clinics happen, and 20% don’t, so that means we’re still 20% open!

Recently we went to Whitefish Montana. We had a private clinic there with my friends Steve Wisler and Brian Murphy, and it was wonderful. We had a wonderful time. We worked with them for three days and had satisfaction of seeing a huge improvement and then we stuck around town as they just happened to have a beautiful big mountain called Big Mountain Ski Resort, so we skied for three days after the clinic.

It’s not easy when you’re not in condition for skiing. Your legs can get pretty sore when you ski 3 days in a row. But, that’s okay. We have to get fitter because we have another clinic coming up in Moab, Utah on February 15-16. Anybody that is interested needs to give me a call. And after that clinic, we are going to Dear Valley in Utah to ski for three more days. It’s a tough life.

In the meantime we’ll be headed to the Denver Wholesale Trade shoe in Denver, January 11 – 15th.  It’s the largest western trade show in the world.

We have lots of new bits and spurs already designed, and lined out for this years’ show. Each year we try to come out with something new and better. I could not be happier with the feedback we are getting from our ads, our TV show, our clinics and just hearsay. We put our programs and products together because we really feel we have created something that many, many riders can benefit from.  We love to help and we love to hear about the results you’re getting too!  I get so many questions about other products too, that next year we’re going to be scouting some of the top manufacturers to find the best products we can – products that I have used or wouldn’t hesitate to use on my own horses, and make them available to you on our website.  The first of these is the new saddle pad line that I really swear by. I have been through a lot of them and this is the only one I have ever found that is really worth paying for.

Another really exciting line of products that we’ll be adding to the website soon are Don Brown’s handmade hackamores and braided work.  I’ve always thought that Don’s hackamores were sensational, the best I’ve ever used, but since I mentioned his work on one of my RFD shows, we got to talking and worked out an arrangement for us to offer his products for horsemen who really want the best while they can still get it.  If you’re interested in having a hackamore with Don Brown “magic” let us know, and we can help you come up with an incredible tool for your horses.  Don’s hackamore’s start at $500 but they are handmade one by one, buy a horseman-craftsman in his seventies, so in many ways they are priceless.  If you want the best – this is what you want. 

I would like to thank everybody again. We really appreciate having you on the team. Here’s to you. Look forward doing something for you in the year 2008.

God Bless You and Have a Happy New Year!

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