Western Horseman

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Neck-reining is just one step toward getting in sync with a saddle horse. For a rider, achieving a greater degree of control is about measured progress and communication with his mount.

As demonstrated in my videos, Teaching Horses to Drive – A 10 Step Method, hitching and driving horses in false shafts is, for me, an important intermediate training step between having a horse drag objects on the ground and hitching to a vehicle.

When Stacy Westfall performed her championship run at the National Reining Horse Association Futurity in 2003, the crowd was impressed by her control without the use of a bridle or neck rope. But after the competition, the question Westfall heard most: “How did you do a rollback without reins?” Husband Jesse Westfall says he hasn’t seen another rider perform a rollback without a bridle in a winning program. So how did she do it?

You turned your colt out to pasture for a winter break. Now it’s time to bring him in and pick up where you left off on his training last fall. Before you saddle up, however, “the key is to first get your colt ready to work again,” says Rick Gaudreault, an American Quarter Horse Association Professional Horseman, cow-horse trainer and clinician. “He’s rested and matured all winter. I can almost guarantee that if you saddle up on a frosty spring morning, he’ll feel really good and buck, and could injure you or himself.”