Pages Navigation Menu


Are you training or untraining your horse? 11-26 -16




By Rick Dennis
Nov. 26, 2016


Rick Dennis and Dualin Oak.

I’m often asked, by my students, “How do I maintain my horse in the proper training mode after I take my horse out of training?”


The easiest answer to this question is, “Always ride the horse in the same manner you were taught by your trainer and ride often.”


It takes approximately three days a week to maintain a horse’s training. As a professional reined cow horse trainer, it’s easy for me to train your horse but the hardest element comes afterwards (i.e.) training the student to ride in my style.


Teaching comes easy to some and to others it’s very hard to impart the fundamentals necessary to establish a cohesive equestrian team. Some trainers are very astute at training your horse but find it difficult to impart this wisdom to the student and often become frustrated by inefficiency on the student’s behalf.


Notwithstanding, great trainers aren’t always great showmen and great showmen aren’t always great trainers. In order to be a great trainer, showman and teacher, it takes a lot of skill, hours of repetition and a deluge of patience.


Another hazard some trainers have is adjusting the training of the horse to fit the skill of the rider. A lot of trainers can train a fast horse but consequently a lot of trainers can’t train a slow horse or a horse that fits the rider’s skill level.


In order to reach the proper balance, I always have a training or schooling horse around for students to learn on. In so doing, I provide the student with an opportunity to learn on a horse that’s normally above their experience and skill levels but trained exactly the same way their individual horse is trained. This builds confidence along the way.


The only way a student is going to increase his or her equestrian proficiency is by learning to ride horses above his or her present skill level and by competing against more skilled riders. A more apt way of describing this transition is by the old adage, “You can’t win on a slow horse.”


Therefore, while in your in training ask as many questions as possible to properly understand the maneuvers as well as applications necessary to maintain the proficiency of your horse when it’s out of training. If you don’t quite understand what the trainer is trying to tell you, simply ask him or her to repeat the maneuver requirements until you thoroughly understand it. My advice to my students is to make a diligent effort to ride often and ride the horse in the same manner you were taught during private instruction every time your in the saddle.


While riding your horse at home and you become confused or you can’t quite execute the maneuver exactly the right way, contact your trainer and ASK. At all times be cognizant of your posture and use the same hand and leg cues you learned during training while riding at home. Correctness is the essential element required to maintain your horse’s training. If, on the other hand, the equestrian becomes lackadaisical in his or her riding style, the horse will eventually adopt this new riding style and will revert from the original training. If you allow your horse to cheat during a maneuver, the horse will cheat you in the show pen


“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle”


Copyright 2016, all rights reserved.




Richard E. “Rick” Dennis

Managing Member

Contact Phone: (985) 630-3500


Web Site:

468 ad


  1. Rick,
    This article is me. I’m forever not remembering my hands and feet. LOL. Thanks for reminding me.

  2. I read about what Quarter Horse News wrote about you on the Justice For Dual Peppy page. I read your original article about Dual Peppy. Quarter Horse News is so minor league compared to you. love your latest article. A lot of info in a small article.

  3. I wish I could teach my students as well as you teach us trainers. Really a good article. From time to time we all need to be reminded. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Way to go Rick. Another good article on common-sense riding.

  5. Kinda got you in hot water Rick. Asked my wife to read your article then I told her, see I told you not all men are stupid. LMAO. My wife loves it too.

  6. Happy thanksgiving. Very nice article. Always like to spend my spare time reading articles on during the holidays.

  7. Are you getting walked all over by your horse?? Sounds familiar. LOL

  8. Rick,
    You have some incredible horses and a lot of success and history in the horse industry. I really enjoy your articles. You’re not like the other big-time trainers who don’t give out a lot of training info.

  9. I like your writing style and the knowledge you give us. I’ve been a fan for awhile.

  10. I really enjoyed your article. This is so true.Thanks for reminding us to remind ourselves. LOL

  11. You make everything about riding sound so simple. Why does my brain go dead when I’m in the saddle?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *