South Dakota Trainer getting on just fine in Eastern Nebraska | TheFencePost.com

South Dakota Trainer getting on just fine in Eastern Nebraska

Lindsey Salestrom
Lincoln, Neb.

Photo By Lindsey SalestromDallas Cunningham and his fiance, Chelsie, pose with her barrel horse, Vegas.

It’s been said, “All that glitters is gold,” and 24 Karat Farms in Gretna, Neb., has found plenty of shine in trainer Dallas Cunningham. He has been taught by some of the best in the industry including Jim McCutcheon, Cody Sapergia, Tim Mcquay, Tom and Scott McCutcheon, Troy Heiks, and Gunny Mathison, and has compiled his experiences into a successful training program. This spring Dallas opened up shop in eastern Nebraska, and is ready to embrace new clients in the area.

Dallas started training out of Sioux Falls, S.D., and built a sturdy client base with those interested in reining and barrel racing. Recently, he made an economical business decision to be more centrally located to be closer to larger, more frequent shows making it easier to show client’s horses, and to cut down on travel expenses.

“We also needed to upgrade the facilities we were using to maintain the quality and condition of our horses, with things like heated stalls and a larger indoor and outdoor arena,” he says. “Moving has been crazy. The process was hard enough, but the possibility of letting a customer down or upsetting future customers was much harder. Luckily, I had built a great working relationship with all my customers and most of them agreed this was a good move for me.”

Proving their loyalty and their belief in his work, many of Dallas’ clients continue to send their horses to his new location in Nebraska. “That makes a guy feel like he is doing the right things, not with just their horses but in how the customer feels about my program and the way they are treated.” Cunningham says he knows not all customers can afford to send their horse 200 plus miles to him for training, but he has pledged to be there when they need guidance by providing advice and using his network contacts.

The majority of Cunningham’s clients vary in the equine disciplines that they want Dallas to teach their horses, requiring Dallas to be proficient in several events. Luckily he has had plenty of experience by training under some of the best in the industry which have led Dallas to be a versatile trainer. “I have been fortunate enough to become friends with people that could point me in the right direction.” While working for Jim McCutcheon, Dallas could spend the day riding with other trainers, allowing him to learn many different techniques, methods and strategies, many of which he implements into the program he uses today.

When Dallas brings a horse into his training program, he believes it is extremely important for the horse to build confidence and trust. “Building confidence and trust in a horse starts on day one and is an ongoing process that never ends,” he says. Cunningham strongly believes in teaching horses to be extremely soft and gaining total body control. “If you can achieve these things before teaching any maneuvers, you will be a step ahead of the game. A horse that is able to stop long and hard doesn’t do it just because he can; he has confidence and is resistance free.”

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Dallas said he likes to keep his horses soft in all maneuvers including stops, turnarounds, and lead changes. “On my rope horses I like them to lope around in the palm of my hand with lots of rate. With the barrel horses, I do a lot of counter arcing and hip placement drills. Some people make training horses into a science when really it is just basics on basics. Keep it simple, adding speed is the easy part.” He stresses that no matter which discipline, every horse needs to be soft and have total body control to be successful.

Although Dallas takes horses for several events, he has his favorite disciplines in which he wants to stand out in. “Reiners are what I’m trying to excel in, but I am working hard to branch out into the cow horse events quite a bit more, other than that I have been starting and training barrel horses for some of the top barrel racers around. I also have been putting the foundation under a lot of rope horses,” Dallas says. “The bottom line is no matter what arena you’re in, whether it be reining, working cow horse, barrels, roping, or even pleasure, having the right foundation and body control is what sets them apart.”

Aside from training client’s horses, Dallas has also found a calling in giving lessons. “At first I wasn’t sure if I was cut out for the lesson deal, but I have found that helping people is just as rewarding as training their horses,” he says. “I really enjoy watching the light come on for people after tweaking them or their horse. It is one thing to teach a horse something, but you really have to understand how things work to explain to a person how to teach a horse something. That has helped me in just as many ways as I have helped my customers.” Currently, Dallas is taking non-pro riders for lessons, something he would like to build on in the future.

With a training program versatile enough to suit any type of performance horse discipline and an opportunity for people to learn how to work with their horses, Dallas Cunningham has brought a new standard of quality for training programs to eastern Nebraska. As Joseph French Johnson put it, “The man who works for the gold in the job rather than for the money in the pay envelope is the fellow who gets on.” Dallas Cunningham at 24 Karat farms will surely get on just fine.

For more information about Dallas Cunningham, call him at 402-340-2076; email at dallasc_28@hotmail.com or visit 24 Karat Farms’ website at: http://www.24karatfarms.com.

It’s been said, “All that glitters is gold,” and 24 Karat Farms in Gretna, Neb., has found plenty of shine in trainer Dallas Cunningham. He has been taught by some of the best in the industry including Jim McCutcheon, Cody Sapergia, Tim Mcquay, Tom and Scott McCutcheon, Troy Heiks, and Gunny Mathison, and has compiled his experiences into a successful training program. This spring Dallas opened up shop in eastern Nebraska, and is ready to embrace new clients in the area.

Dallas started training out of Sioux Falls, S.D., and built a sturdy client base with those interested in reining and barrel racing. Recently, he made an economical business decision to be more centrally located to be closer to larger, more frequent shows making it easier to show client’s horses, and to cut down on travel expenses.

“We also needed to upgrade the facilities we were using to maintain the quality and condition of our horses, with things like heated stalls and a larger indoor and outdoor arena,” he says. “Moving has been crazy. The process was hard enough, but the possibility of letting a customer down or upsetting future customers was much harder. Luckily, I had built a great working relationship with all my customers and most of them agreed this was a good move for me.”

Proving their loyalty and their belief in his work, many of Dallas’ clients continue to send their horses to his new location in Nebraska. “That makes a guy feel like he is doing the right things, not with just their horses but in how the customer feels about my program and the way they are treated.” Cunningham says he knows not all customers can afford to send their horse 200 plus miles to him for training, but he has pledged to be there when they need guidance by providing advice and using his network contacts.

The majority of Cunningham’s clients vary in the equine disciplines that they want Dallas to teach their horses, requiring Dallas to be proficient in several events. Luckily he has had plenty of experience by training under some of the best in the industry which have led Dallas to be a versatile trainer. “I have been fortunate enough to become friends with people that could point me in the right direction.” While working for Jim McCutcheon, Dallas could spend the day riding with other trainers, allowing him to learn many different techniques, methods and strategies, many of which he implements into the program he uses today.

When Dallas brings a horse into his training program, he believes it is extremely important for the horse to build confidence and trust. “Building confidence and trust in a horse starts on day one and is an ongoing process that never ends,” he says. Cunningham strongly believes in teaching horses to be extremely soft and gaining total body control. “If you can achieve these things before teaching any maneuvers, you will be a step ahead of the game. A horse that is able to stop long and hard doesn’t do it just because he can; he has confidence and is resistance free.”

Dallas said he likes to keep his horses soft in all maneuvers including stops, turnarounds, and lead changes. “On my rope horses I like them to lope around in the palm of my hand with lots of rate. With the barrel horses, I do a lot of counter arcing and hip placement drills. Some people make training horses into a science when really it is just basics on basics. Keep it simple, adding speed is the easy part.” He stresses that no matter which discipline, every horse needs to be soft and have total body control to be successful.

Although Dallas takes horses for several events, he has his favorite disciplines in which he wants to stand out in. “Reiners are what I’m trying to excel in, but I am working hard to branch out into the cow horse events quite a bit more, other than that I have been starting and training barrel horses for some of the top barrel racers around. I also have been putting the foundation under a lot of rope horses,” Dallas says. “The bottom line is no matter what arena you’re in, whether it be reining, working cow horse, barrels, roping, or even pleasure, having the right foundation and body control is what sets them apart.”

Aside from training client’s horses, Dallas has also found a calling in giving lessons. “At first I wasn’t sure if I was cut out for the lesson deal, but I have found that helping people is just as rewarding as training their horses,” he says. “I really enjoy watching the light come on for people after tweaking them or their horse. It is one thing to teach a horse something, but you really have to understand how things work to explain to a person how to teach a horse something. That has helped me in just as many ways as I have helped my customers.” Currently, Dallas is taking non-pro riders for lessons, something he would like to build on in the future.

With a training program versatile enough to suit any type of performance horse discipline and an opportunity for people to learn how to work with their horses, Dallas Cunningham has brought a new standard of quality for training programs to eastern Nebraska. As Joseph French Johnson put it, “The man who works for the gold in the job rather than for the money in the pay envelope is the fellow who gets on.” Dallas Cunningham at 24 Karat farms will surely get on just fine.

For more information about Dallas Cunningham, call him at 402-340-2076; email at dallasc_28@hotmail.com or visit 24 Karat Farms’ website at: http://www.24karatfarms.com.