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Horsin’ Around

Roger Thompson
Fort Collins, Colo.

Well, I saw that Tony Bruguiere of Fort Collins wrote a very nice article about the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo and I hope you are not getting tired of hearing about it, but I was very impressed with the demonstration by Julie Goodnight and Stacy Westfall. They both worked with their horses so well that I thought it was worth sticking around and watching Chris Cox and his green horse.

I suspected it would be some nice, gentle saddle horse someone furnished for the demonstration, and that was not going to impress me. I was thinking they would not want to get this trainer in trouble, as has been done to myself in the past during some training situations. Surely they would try to take care of him and when they ran in a nice looking sorrel mare, as I said before, I was not impressed.

“Boy,” was I surprised when this sorrel came in and Chris was right there, standing in the center of the round pen with a coiled lariat in his hands. He let the mare circle around the pen for a few minutes to show her that there was no escape. That’s when she began kicking at him. That’s also when I would have made her run until she indicated she wanted to quit.

Maybe that’s the difference between a modern trainer and the old cowboy way, because he swung a big loop and caught her around the neck. That’s when she really got serious about trying to kick him. At this point, I could tell she was no gentle saddle horse; or someone had given her a bad disposition.

The program indicated Chris only had an hour-and-a-half to get the job done. I really had my doubts about it. But as soon as the mare settled a little, Chris brought in his saddle horse and mounted. This did not have the calming effect I thought it would, and only aggravated the sorrel. As Chris moved in closer, keeping the lariat dallied so she would not run away, she decided to fight. She bit, struck and then reared up and landed in the saddle with Chris.

Well, I saw that Tony Bruguiere of Fort Collins wrote a very nice article about the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo and I hope you are not getting tired of hearing about it, but I was very impressed with the demonstration by Julie Goodnight and Stacy Westfall. They both worked with their horses so well that I thought it was worth sticking around and watching Chris Cox and his green horse.

I suspected it would be some nice, gentle saddle horse someone furnished for the demonstration, and that was not going to impress me. I was thinking they would not want to get this trainer in trouble, as has been done to myself in the past during some training situations. Surely they would try to take care of him and when they ran in a nice looking sorrel mare, as I said before, I was not impressed.

“Boy,” was I surprised when this sorrel came in and Chris was right there, standing in the center of the round pen with a coiled lariat in his hands. He let the mare circle around the pen for a few minutes to show her that there was no escape. That’s when she began kicking at him. That’s also when I would have made her run until she indicated she wanted to quit.

Maybe that’s the difference between a modern trainer and the old cowboy way, because he swung a big loop and caught her around the neck. That’s when she really got serious about trying to kick him. At this point, I could tell she was no gentle saddle horse; or someone had given her a bad disposition.

The program indicated Chris only had an hour-and-a-half to get the job done. I really had my doubts about it. But as soon as the mare settled a little, Chris brought in his saddle horse and mounted. This did not have the calming effect I thought it would, and only aggravated the sorrel. As Chris moved in closer, keeping the lariat dallied so she would not run away, she decided to fight. She bit, struck and then reared up and landed in the saddle with Chris.


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