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☛ Today’s News 10-25-14




By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 25, 2014

Clark McEntire, 3-time PRCA World Champion Steer Roper, dies at age 86; Voters to determine fate of a new Fort Worth multi-purpose arena; Fort Worth’s Historic Stockyards District could add 245 more acres and D. R. Horton purchases close to 300,000-acre Great Western Ranch in New Mexico for around the asking price of $59 million.



Clark McEntire

Clark McEntire, three-time world champion steer roper and country-music singer Reba McEntire’s father, died late Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 in Coalgate, Okla., at age 86, following a lengthy illness.


The Stringtown, Okla., rancher was born Nov. 30, 1927 at Graham in Carter County to John and Alice McEntire. He was the PRCA Steer Roping World Champion in 1957, 1958 and 1961 and a member of the Rodeo Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Col. He was also in the Hall of Fame at several prestigious rodeos including Cheyenne, Pendleton and Claremore.


Clark and his wife, Jackie, were married 64 years and had four children: daughters Alice Foran, Reba McEntire and Susie McEntire Eaton and a son, Pake McEntire.


Clark suffered a stroke three years ago, the same week Reba was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn. According to Reba, he was “born and bred cowboy through and through and he had been sick for five years. His daughter, Susie, was also a musician and Pake tried his hand at singing country music also.


According to one news report, Reba remarked about her father’s long illness, saying, “He always told us kids never to run your horse to the barn. He was just taking his time to go home.”


Services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Kiowa Public School Auditorium.




Fort Worth’s biggest backers of a new arena at the Will Rogers Memorial Center are campaigning for a new $450 million arena that would have 14,000 seats. According to a Fort Worth Business Press article, potential configurations would range from 9,000 seats for rodeos to 12,000 for basketball and ice shows and up to 14,000 for concerts. It would unlikely become the home of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo’s annual month-long run, allowing the Stock Show to use the historic 5,700-seat Will Rogers Coliseum for other programming. The new center would complement the current Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum, which will remain standing.



Over half of cost of the new multi-purpose arena will be provided by a group of private-sector participants (foundations, individuals and organizations) led by Fort Worth businessman Ed Bass.  Private donators will also cover any cost overruns. The arena will be owned by the City of Fort Worth and managed by a nonprofit organization that will be responsible for its operational costs.


No property taxes will be used to build or maintain the proposed new arena; instead, voters are being asked to approve the three propositions. Public funding will also come from other sources generated by tourism within three miles around the new arena. The public portion of the cost would come primarily from three sources: Voter-approved taxes, at 15 percent; state share of hotel sales and mixed beverage taxes in a three mile radius around will Rogers, 18 percent and the city share of the same taxes from the three mile radius – 14 percent.


Voters will get a chance to vote on only 15 percent of the funding on Nov. 4, voting on three ballot propositions: #1 – a user fee (tax) on event tickets not to exceed 10 percent of the ticket price; #2 – a user fee (tax on livestock stalls and pens at $1 to $2 per day, not to exceed $20 per event and #3 – a user fee (tax on parking not to exceed $5 per vehicle, which will come out of the existing parking fee. However, even if one or all of those ballot propositions fail, it is unlikely it will stop the steamroller of the need for a larger arena. A previous vote, which included increased taxes to build the arena, did not succeed.



Unlike other North Texas arenas and stadiums, there is no private developer or franchise owner involved in the project. Therefore, all revenue derived from the city’s multipurpose arena will be redirected back into its operations and maintenance.



“If we were a freestanding community, we would already have a facility like this from a demand standpoint,” said Mike Groomer, president of Event Facilities Fort Worth Inc., a nonprofit that has paid for improvements at Will Rogers for years and has guaranteed to pay half the arena’s cost and cap the city’s expense at $225 million.


Conceptually, the arena could have up to two clubs and include a new Backstage Club and up to 30 luxury suites. The second club could double as a media area.  The facility would be somewhat smaller than the 20,000-seat American Airlines Center in Dallas, attracting concerts not aiming for that size attendance or ones making second swings through Texas.


According to Kirk Slaughter, the city’s public events director, said in an interview with the Fort Worth Business Press, that the new arena would allow Will Rogers to book multiple events on the same dates.


“The city’s expansions at Will Rogers in recent years, for example, allowed the bookings of the Appaloosa Horse Club National Championship and American Paint Horse Association Youth World Championship, which ran this summer in Fort Worth at the same time for the second year in a row,” said Slaughter. “Maybe we can bring another show in at the same time.”

Most of the information for this article came from the Fort Worth Business Press




According to a Oct. 25 article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, a proposed tax increment financing (TIF) district for the city’s north side and the Historic Stockyards District will generate several million dollars more for public improvements over the next two decades.  The district, which would add an additional 245 acres to the current 925 acres, would generate about $40 million, up from $25 million, in taxes.


The proposed boundaries stretch generally from Northside Drive on the South to just past Northeast 28th Street on the North to North Houston Street on the West and to Interstate 35W on the east. The major corridors include Northeast 28th Street, Brennan Avenue and North Main Street.




Even though Donald R. Horton, the founder and chairman of D. R. Horton Homes, the nation’s largest homebuilder, got out of the cutting horse business on Sept. 25, 2013, by selling all of his well-bred mares and their offspring for close to $1.2 million on 40 head sold, that money was only a down payment on his latest purchase: the 292,779-acre Great Western Ranch in New Mexico, where the asking price was over $59 million.


In a Fort Worth Star Telegram article, Horton said the purchase was a long-term investment with no “long-term investment, with no immediate plans for development. It will remain an active ranch operation and be made available for use by our key employees.


D. R. Horton board member Michael Hewitt said the company “will use it much like it does the two large ranches it owns in Texas, as a place to entertain brokers, bankers and other D. R. Horton vendors. “It’s a perk for the people we work with,” he said. He also said the ranch is a “good investment for the long term.”


According to public records, Horton also personally purchased large parcels of ranch land in Texas and New Mexico.


Horton became interested in cutting when he and his wife drove by the Will Rogers Coliseum during one of the NCHA’s major events and stopped in to see what was going on and he fell in love with cutting horses. He said he came up the hard way, using lots of common sense, experience, opportunity and financial savvy. He used that same approach when he entered the cutting horse industry.


It wasn’t long before he purchased The Smart Look, a 13-year-old daughter of the legendary cutting stallion Smart Little Lena out of Dox Royal Smoke by the legendary broodmare sire Freckles Playboy.  She has since produced offspring with earnings topping $1.5 million, including other well-known cutting sires, such as WR This Cats Smart, sired by High Brow Cat. At the time Horton bought her from non-pro competitor George Stout, she was in foal to Dual Rey.


The result of that breeding was the stallion Dual Smart Rey, with earnings topping $330,436 and a resume including the championship of the NCHA Open Super Stakes, ridden by Phil Rapp. Dual Smart Rey was retired from competition due to an injury near the end of his 5-year-old season; however, as a sire, has offspring that have earned over $800,000. He was the only horse Horton did not include in his sale and he is still standing at stud at the Brazos Valley Stallion Station LP in Stephenville, Texas.




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☛ Duties of a director of a nonprofit 10-25-14




By Rick Dennis
Oct. 25, 2014
You decided to participate in the election process to serve your favorite equine nonprofit in the capacity of a director. If you’re elected to such a prestigious position, exactly what are your duties and liabilities? To fully understand the duties of a director, I’ve included two distinct but separate illustrations on the subject matter. The first being provided by Grant Space and the second being provided by the Harvard Business School.


During my tenure, in the equine industry, I’ve noticed there are a lot of reasons why some individuals run for a directorship. For example, some want to participate in the election process to make changes in the association while some are asked to run to fill a gap in their area. Both reasons have theories but in reality does the participant fully understand his or her duties, responsibilities and the culpable liability that are attached to such a prestigious title.


To begin the educational process I decided first to include a brief explanation of the role and duty of a board of director from Grant Space:


Grant Space – Board of Directors

The board acts as trustee of the organization’s assets and ensures that the nonprofit is well managed and remains fiscally sound. In doing so, the board must exercise proper oversight of the organization’s operations and maintain the legal and ethical accountability of its staff and volunteers.


The main legal responsibilities of a nonprofit board are often summarized in the “three D’s”:


Duty of Care: Board members are expected to actively participate in organizational planning and decision-making and to make sound and informed judgments.


Duty of Loyalty: When acting on behalf of the organization, board members must put the interests of the nonprofit before any personal or professional concerns and avoid potential conflicts of interest.


Duty of Obedience: Board members must ensure that the organization complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, and that it remains committed to its established mission.


In addition to its legal responsibilities, the board acts in a fiduciary role by maintaining oversight of the nonprofit’s finances. Board members must evaluate financial policies, approve annual budgets, and review periodic financial reports to ensure that the organization has the necessary resources to carry out its mission and remains accountable to its donors and the general public.


One of the most disparaging items I’ve encountered while visiting with various directors is the lack of information and transparency trickling down to the directors from the top echelon of the association to make them fully aware of the happenings on a constant basis. One example of a lack of transparency and full disclosure can be illustrated in the following:


  • Recently I was advised by an associate of an ongoing lawsuit with a particular nonprofit. Upon receiving the information, I contacted my local director to inquire about the lawsuit. I was astounded to learn that the director not only didn’t know about the lawsuit but the director was also unaware that the lawsuit was recently settled out of court for a considerable sum of money.


My next question was, “If you’re a director, shouldn’t you be advised of and made aware of pertinent facts such as this since the Board of Directors are legally responsible for the operations of the nonprofit?”


The preceding question establishes the next questions. Exactly what is the role of a director with an equine nonprofit?


  • Are the board of directors simply figure heads to meet the requirements of the by laws of the nonprofit?


  • Do they really possess viable power to control and oversee the nonprofit?



  • Exactly how much information does a director know about what’s really happening with a nonprofit, from transparency and a dissemination of information from the powers-that-be?


  • Is the nonprofit and directors really being run by the Executive Committee of a nonprofit? Is it “the tail wagging the dog theory” and is a director simply an individual that ratifies the decisions made by an executive committee at the annual convention without knowing what he or she is precisely ratifying which can expose the directors to liability issues?


The second part includes excerpts from The Harvard Business School which describes the four “Whats” of accountability with a nonprofit, e.g.


  • Finances, Governance, Performance, and Mission.


The four “Whats” are not mutually exclusive but are instead integrative. For example, boards have not only fiduciary responsibility but also serve the mission and oversee performance. Donors consider mission in selecting which nonprofit to fund and many provide considerable flexibility with respect to performance and assessment and chief executives are expected to work with boards and staff to align mission, strategy and performance.


Therefore, if I were considering running for a board of director’s position my criteria would include being fully informed of the requirements of the role of a board of director; the culpable liability exposure associated with this position with a nonprofit; how transparent the association is with the dissemination of all information, which affects both the director as well as the nonprofit and the financial stability of the association.


The main points to remember are, being a member of a board of directors is not only a very prestigious position but also a very serious position of responsibility that can expose the director to liability issues if the powers-that-be are not completely forthright with how the association is being run on a day-to-day basis.  A nonprofit has a fiduciary duty to keep its members informed!


“Until Next Time, Keep ‘Em Between The Bridles!”


Richard E. “Rick” Dennis

Managing Member

Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500


Web Site:

Wind River Security, Consultation, & Risk Analysis

Wind River Drug, Alcohol, & DNA Testing

Wind River Ranch – Reined Cow Horse Breeding, Training, Exhibition, & Sales





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☛ AQHA settles Fujitsu lawsuit 10-23-14






By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 23, 2014
Since 2008, the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) has had Internet Technology (IT) companies working on a new computer system to record the breeding, racing and registration of Quarter Horses. Although the members were told they were working on a system, the cost of this system was never mentioned – with some individuals saying the amount was close to $8 million. On March 8, 2013, the new system went live; however, after less than a month, was quickly removed and the AQHA reverted back to their old system – the system they are still using today.


However, according to a lawsuit filed by Fujitsu America Inc., a California company residing in Richardson, Texas, against the AQHA filed on Aug. 19, 2014, in April 2010, AQHA and Fujitsu executed a Statement of Work (SOW) that provided for a major overhaul of the handling of AQHA’s equine system. The SOW required Fujitsu to create and build a completely new system for AQHA essentially from scratch.. The total initial cost estimate (before any required change orders) was $3.3 million, with the final $592,000 due at the conclusion of the project,


Fujitsu complained in the lawsuit that AQHA’s inexperience remained an issue throughout the project. Delays occurred and halfway through the project, AQHA began requesting additional functionality and changes to various processes that had not been part of the original SOW. Following full testing of the system, it went live on March 8, 2013; however, less than a month later, on April 2, 2013, the AQHA advised Fujitsu and the AQHA members that it was taking the new system offline and reverted back to its prior system.


AQHA identified a number of additional processes and functionality that it wanted to incorporate and both parties wanted to resolve minor bugs in the system and continue to improve its response time. In the lawsuit, Fujitsu said they believed the system would go alive again once the new processes and functionality were added and minor bugs and system responses were addressed. They also claimed in the suit that they continued to work on the issues with the system.


Currently the AQHA is still using the old system and according to the suit have hired IBM to conduct a technology audit designed specifically to review the $3.3 million system designed by Fujitsu. In the end, IBM made some suggestions regarding how certain queries could be written or minor changes made but otherwise concluded that the 3.0 system (as it was called referring to the $3.3 million bid) was functioning properly and was suitable for use by the AQHA.  (No mention was made in the lawsuit regarding the cost of IBM’s review.)


When AQHA was asked by Fujitsu what it would take to take the system alive again, AQHA came up with a list of 615 items that it wanted to incorporate into the system; however, of those items approximately 14 were within the scope of the original SOW and change orders. The remaining 601 were new processes of functionality what AQHA decided they wanted to add after the fact.


On Oct. 13, 2013, AQHA provided Fujitsu with a list of the additional 615 items and asked Fujitsu to provide them a bid to complete them. Court documents say that Fujitsu agreed to complete each of the items from the original SOW and change orders without any charge. The remaining items were expected to cost an additional approximately $2.3 million.


Fujitsu contends that AQHA failed to provide any definitive guidance regarding its plans and failed and refused to pay Fujitsu on the final invoice for services already rendered pursuant to the Master Services Agreement, in a March 29, 2013 invoice in the amount of $592,000. They claim AQHA continues to owe them $592,000 plus interest for services rendered.


On Aug. 19, 2014, the firm sued AQHA for that amount plus reasonable and necessary attorneys’ fees and costs of court in the preparation and prosecution of this action, as well as a reasonable fee for any and all necessary appeals to other courts and post-judgment interest at the highest lawful rate from the ate of judgment until such judgment is satisfied.


However, suddenly, according to court records, on Oct, 14, 2014, a Plaintiffs Notice of Dismissal was filed by Fujitsu American, Inc. pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(l)(A)(i) “without prejudice,” meaning they cannot sue again for the same items.


While this more than likely means that they were paid by the AQHA, a call was made to AQHA attorney Chad Pierce to find out if that was the fact; however, he did not return my call, even after I left another voice mail telling him what I wanted.


My only question is why do AQHA members and directors have to learn that their association has been sued (again) from articles on the Internet? The AQHA has a great, newsy web site where they put a lot of current news. I think the cost of a new IT system, as well as a lawsuit to collect the balance of it, and any news about what they are planning for the future and how much more it will cost, would all be appropriate to put on their web site, thereby promoting “transparency” and keeping the members and directors informed.

Click for Fujitsu Complaint>>

Click for Plaintiffs Notice of Dismissal>>



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☛ Today’s News: Beadle death; aid for Charlotte Ames 10-20-14




By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 20, 2014




Charlotte Ames, Capistrano Beach, Calif., was diagnosed with cancer of the thyroid following its removal. Although the surgery to remove the thyroid went well, she is now into radiation, with medical bills mounting.


Some of her friends have gotten together and came up with a unique way that anyone can donate to her; yet, receive something in return. They are running a Tee Shirt campaign to help with expenses; however the campaigns will expire on Nov. 6 unless the tee shirts sell to their quota.


If you would like to help, click on the following links to order a tee-shirt.



If you would like to send her a card or some monetary help, address it to: Charlotte Ames, P.O. Box 7744, Capistrano Beach, CA 92624. Anything would be appreciated.






Raymond Beadle

Raymond Beadle, with homes in Dallas, Texas, and New Mexico, was well known during his life for drag racing and his line of “Blue Max” nitro-burning Funny Cars, being the winner of 28 NHRA national events and championships in 1979-81, the IHRA national championships in 1975-76 and 1981 and being a two-time winner of drag racing’s biggest event, the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis. As racecar driver, race promoter and track operator, many in the business said he “changed the sport.”


However, in the cutting horse industry, Beadle was known as a horse lover who stood several of the most famous and popular stallions in the industry, including High Brow Cat, Freckles Playboy and Smart And Slick.


According to an article on, Beadle had suffered a heart attack in July and underwent surgery to relieve blockages in his arteries. This morning, Oct. 20, Beadle died at the age of 70 at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, of heart-related complications.


Beadle entered NASCAR Winston Cup as a team owner in 1983 by buying out the equipment of M. C. Anderson, continuing with Anderson’s #27 number. He started with sponsorship from Old Milwaukee Beer and driver Tim Richmond. When Richmond moved to Hendrick Motorsports in 1986, Beadle picked up Rusty Wallace. The team won the 1989 NASCAR Winston Cup title with Wallace driving the #27 Kodiak Pontiac.


By June 1990, Wallace left Beadle’s team and landed at Penske Racing for 1991, bringing the Miller Beer sponsorship with him.


At the end of the 1990 season, Beadle’s team suspended operations and left Winston Cup. Penske acquired their equipment and the car runs today as the #2 Miller Lite car driven by Brad Keseloski.


After his years of racing cars, Beadle operated cattle ranches in West Texas and Arkansas, as well as a Quarter Horse farm and breeding operation near Valley View, Texas, standing some of the cutting horse industry’s leading stallions. He said he opened the ranch at least partially as a way to entertain sponsors while racing and breed champions at both.


This year he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and was a finalist for the 2014 International Motorsports Hall of Fame. He was ranked 20th on the National Hot Rod Association Top 50 Drivers, 1951-2000; was a member of the 11th class of inductees into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, the 2006 recipient of the Bruton Smith Legends Award in the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame and a member of the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association’s All-American team in 1980.


According to friends, he adored his wife Roz and was close friends with many individuals in both the racing and horse world. Survivors beside his wife include a son, Ryan; two daughters, Tara Campisi and Amber Campisi; a brother, Ralph; and a sister, Debbie Sartain. Many in the horse world, enjoyed Beadle for himself and had no idea of his spectacular past.


A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, October 30, 2014 in the Chapel of the Prestonwood Baptist Church of Plano; 6801 W. Park Blvd. Plano, TX 75093 at 1:00pm.In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Baylor Health Care System Foundation Heart and Vascular Research at
- See more at:






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☛ AQHA Search Firm-Rule Changes 10-11-14






By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 11, 2014

Deadlines are quickly approaching for two major items within the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA).



The AQHA announced on Sept. 26, 2014 that they have selected an Executive Search Firm to search for the successor to Don Treadway, Jr., who announced this summer his intention to retire in 2015.


In August, the AQHA announced that they were accepting candidate resumes for the role of AQHA Executive Vice President, with resumes being sent to by Sept. 30, 2014.


Evidently not being satisfied with the results of resumes the received, the AQHA seven-member selection committee reviewed the credentials of several highly qualified recruiting organizations before selecting Witt/Kieffer, an executive search firm that provides leadership solutions for organizations committed to improving the quality of life. The firm is noted to be a top executive search firm specializing in not-for-profits as well as healthcare, higher education and life sciences. They have 45 years of experience in executive recruiting.


No timeline has been established for completing the search.


Click for AQHA search firm press release>>



AQHA members have until Dec, 31, 201 to submit items to be considered by AQHA standing committees at the 2015 AQHA convention scheduled for March 6-9, 2015 at the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas.


During the convention member-submitted rule changes and suggestions are also reviewed. The deadline will give staff and/or committees and councils time to prepare materials and communicate potential changes before the convention. AQHA standing committees will meet at the convention to consider the submitted items.


A rule-change proposal form can be downloaded at Once competed, the form should be returned via e-mail to or you can submit it by mail to: AQHA, Attn: (Committee name), PO Box 200, Amarillo, TX 79168.


Click for AQHA Rule Proposal release>>

Click for AQHA Rule Proposal form>.

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☛ Mastering the Turnaround (spin) 10-10-14

Posted by on Oct 10, 2014 in COW HORSE NEWS, CUTTING NEWS, REINING NEWS, RICK'S CORNER | 11 comments




By Rick Dennis
Oct. 10, 2014

Rick Dennis and Dual N For Me, a 2006 sorrel stallion by Dualin Oak out of Peppys Angel Telesis by Lenas Telesis spinning left in a 3-Year-Old Junior reining class.

At this point in your training and if you’ve been training in line with the preceding training segments, you and your horse should negotiate the following round pen maneuvers with ease:


  • Walk, trot, canter and stop in each direction, perform back ups and rollbacks on the wall with ease as well as moving the colts shoulders and front end out of the way with each rollback and direction change, and


  • The colt should also move off of direct rein and leg pressure.


The mechanics involved in turning a horse around is not an arduous affair and is actually quite simple. Simply stated, a turnaround is merely a forward movement in place. The two main points to remember is to use more leg pressure than rein pressure. One of the hardest portions of the turnaround (spin) is learning to move the horses shoulders and frontend over while using more leg pressure to negotiate the maneuver than rein pressure. This is accomplished by laying the rein on the horse’s neck as a direction cue (only) and applying enough leg pressure to initiate and complete the maneuver. I can’t emphasize this enough – “It’s all leg pressure and not, rein pressure!”


Effectively what happens when more rein pressure than leg pressure is applied is that your rein hand becomes positioned across the colt’s neck and tips the horse’s nose to the outside of the direction your attempting to turnaround (spin) in and binds the horse up.  This “binding up” prevents the horse from negotiating a fluid, smooth and correct turnaround (spin).


The above photograph of me exhibiting Dual N For Me in a Junior Reining Class illustrates me turning the horse around (spinning) to the left and my right hand is simply cuing the horse to move off of rein pressure and to the left while my right leg is applying steady pressure to move the horse’s shoulders and front end to the left to negotiate the complete turnaround (spin) on a stationary pivot foot.


To train the horse to turnaround (spin), begin at a walk in the round pen in either a right or left direction. After a few turns in the round pen, stop the horse, initiate a rollback into the opposite direction into the round pen wall. Once you’ve completely made the turn into the opposite direction, stop the horse before the colt can walk off. Apply rein and leg pressure from the inside position, or position next to the round pen wall, while holding a little back pressure with the outside rein hand to prevent the colt from walking out of the maneuver. The outside hand can also be used to cue the colt in the desired direction by using a series of gentle bumps.


Begin with quarter-turn increments. Once you’ve completely turned the colt around 360 degrees, stop the maneuver. At the conclusion, walk the horse off for a few complete turns around the round pen, stop the horse when you’re ready and complete the maneuver in the opposite direction. The main point to remember is to use enough rein hand and leg pressure to give a direction cue and enough back pressure with the opposite rein hand to prevent the horse from conducting any forward movement to walk out of the maneuver.


If the colt balks or refuses to execute the maneuver, simply apply steady leg pressure and bump the colt’s nose with the off hand into the desired direction and repeat as necessary to execute the maneuver. With enough practice and with correct hand and leg cues the colt will catch on really fast and will surprise you at the speed the colt will begin negotiating the maneuver. Once the colt can perform this maneuver in quarter turns, expand the exercise to half turns and then a complete 360-degree turn.


In the end you should be able to complete the rollback, apply leg and rein pressure and complete the turnaround (spin) exercise in a fluid, controlled and disciplined manner.




  • ONLY use enough leg and rein cue pressure to successfully negotiate the training exercise.


  • NEVER allow your direction hand to cross the neck of the horse, which will effectively pull the colt’s nose to the outside and away from the turn around (spin) direction.


  • NEVER stick the colt with a spur to cause injury, bleeding, or pain, which will cause a fear factor with the colt and will eventually develop into the colt fighting or refusing to negotiate the training exercise. Leg and spur pressure should be applied equally until enough pressure results in the colt moving off into the desired direction.


  • DO NOT over execute this maneuver or the colt will eventually develop a bad habit of trying to anticipate the maneuver each time you practice a rollback. Once the maneuver is an accomplished training exercise in the round pen, only use this maneuver when necessary.


  • Refrain from bitting the horse up with a more powerful bit, which will only cause problems. Keep with the same training bit the horse is accustomed to or the O-Ring snaffle.


  • Never back a horse up and into a spin which will cause the horse to start bringing its outside leg underneath the inside leg and cause the horse to be choppy, or in the worse case scenario, balk in the maneuver.


The following video link illustrates a 4-year-old mare, “Lil Red”, being trained in the round pen by me and transitioning from turnarounds (spins) in the snaffle bit to the bosal.


Click here for Lil Red video>>





Step 1:

The next phase of training involves simply walking out in the open arena and performing the box exercise. Basically, this maneuver simply involves walking the horse in a straight line and at a desired point turning the colt sharply – to the left or right, while applying equal leg and rein pressure to move the colt’s shoulders and front end over and out of the way at the same time to change the direction. Once the first corner of the box is complete, simply walk the colt in a straight line framed up until you reach another desired location and make another sharp turn in the same direction and repeat the leg and rein pressure until all four corners of the box are negotiated. The next step is to complete the box maneuver in the opposite direction.


Step 2:

Once the horse is fluid at performing the box maneuver, the next phase is teaching the colt to move off of leg and rein pressure in a small circle. To begin the exercise, simply tip the colt’s nose in a right or left direction and walk the horse in a small circle, all the while closing the circle tighter with leg and rein pressure cues until the colt’s nose can be tipped even more to the inside while applying back pressure with the off hand to stop forward motion. Leg pressure can be applied to turn the colt in a complete 360-degree turn-around (spin). At this juncture in the exercise, the colt’s small circle should be tight enough to make you think he’s about to stop from the tightness of the circle.


Once the spin is negotiated, DO NOT stop your horse but simply walk out of the spin and into a larger circle and in the same direction.  Repeat this exercise for two or three more times and then change directions and repeat in the opposite direction. The main point to remember is to hold enough back pressure for the horse to develop the habit of working off one stationery pivot foot while negotiating the turnaround (spin).  Another important main point is to never allow the horse to become out of collection. If this happens, simply bump the colt’s head back into collection before completing the maneuver.


Step 3:

Cleaning up the turnaround (spin) requires the use of another very effective training exercise or the “counter canter” or “counter arc” as some refer to it. This basically requires walking the horse in a straight line and at some point tipping the colt’s nose right or left and then applying a rein direction cue and enough leg pressure to move the colt off in the opposite direction. The main point to remember here is to always keep the colt moving forward and over. This motion will cause the colt to move its outside leg out and over the inside leg which will eventually allow the colt to perform a turnaround (spin) with lighting speed and still be very fluid.


To end the exercise, simply turn the colt’s head over, around and in the direction you are moving, much like performing a flex-and-bend exercise. After a few seconds allow the colt to straighten up, travel in a straight line and framed up in order to complete the training maneuver in the opposite direction. Another main point to remember is if the colt, at any point, attempts to back out of the maneuver, simply straighten the colt up, move him forward and start the maneuver all over again.


The main focus of the exercise is to have your colt turning around in place on the pivot foot and with the outside leg crossing over the inside leg. To check yourself, simply look on the ground after the maneuver and see if there is a perfect hole in the ground made by the pivot foot and encompassing this circle is a perfect box which is made by the colt’s front leg during the maneuver.


The following video link illustrates Chelsi Guillory and Some Hot Chic, a 2002 AQHA Bay Mare By Master Remedy and Out of Colonels Hot Chic By Just Plain Colonel learning to perform the “Counter Canter” and “Spin Basics”.


Click for Some Hot Chic Video Link>>

Rick and Dual N For Me, 3-Year-Old Junior Reining Champions.

With enough practice and patience the turnaround (spin) can be mastered and fully executed which will bring a greater reward in the show pen.

“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridles”!

The above Training Article is part of 2-Year-Old Colt Breaking 101, Art of The Round Pen, Saddling, Riding and Training; Segment 7, Mastering The Turnaround or (Spin).


Richard E. “Rick” Dennis
Managing Member
Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500
Web Site:
Wind River Security, Consultation, & Risk Analysis
Wind River Drug, Alcohol, & DNA Testing
Wind River Ranch – Reined Cow Horse Breeding, Training, Exhibition, & Sales




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