Don didn’t pick his career, he was born for it!
To him psychology plays a huge part in the success of every horse and student, as it takes a lot of mental discipline to create a winning attitude in both. To be a successful rider one needs to be open minded and learn from many different types of training experiences.
There is no training method that works for everyone. Regarding his own experiences with different riding styles and techniques he explains : „I've learned from many types of experiences. If nothing else, I’ve learned what not to do!“ - and that is meant as knowledge gained. His advise to riders of all calibers is to get as much professional input as possible.
The basis of reining work is the communication with your horse. Putting the horse in a position where it's easy for it to make the correct choice. He often refers to training reining as a „dance“, meaning it's not only about the improvement of maneuver, it's the ability to flow through transitions from one maneuver to another . Communication is the key to success when riding professionally or just training for fun with your horse. After working with so many successful trainers and riders over the years, Don is just as happy to teach beginners as well as open riders.
Originally Reining showed off the skills and athletic abilities necessary in the working ranch horse. It has now evolved into a high level sport of control. The discipline has increased vastly in popularity over the last ten last years, making him even more proud to be part of those who pass the knowledge on. To Don the increased following in reining is the uniqueness of the challenge, as many other disciplines have had a decrease in numbers.
It's just you and your horse out there trying to be more perfect than everyone else.
"A true adrenaline rush!“ he points out. Be part of it!
"Most people I help, are looking for a formula. If I do a + b it will equal c ! They think doing exercises will fix their problems !
This is true only to a point !
True horsemanship and top success come from "feel" and having a positive relationship with your horse !"
"The nature of reining makes its sport of high level discipline . That is "not" to be confused with high level punishment !
My goal is to teach this discipline through communication, not through intimidation !"
"Collection is important. More collection is not the answer to every problem!"
"Willing guided with little or no resistance ! The first line in the description of a what a reining horse is ; without willing guidance , how your horse stops or spins has no real significance
A quick check of your steering , everyday, gives you an indicator of your most important training. If it's working okay, then, move on to practicing other maneuvers ! If not, stick with the steering until it improves ! You'll probably find your other maneuvers have also improved without working on them
A willingly guided horse becomes willing in everything you ask !"
"Every training issue, positive or negative, involves two dynamics . The way you signal your horse and your response to your horses reaction ! It's that simple ."
"Until you know "why" your horse responds inappropriately, it's very difficult to understand "how" to fix the problem !"
NUMBER 1 SHOWING MISTAKE- practicing maneuvers too much
NUMBER 2 SHOWING MISTAKE-
Being nervous and asking everything faster than you do in practice.