Ready, Set, Warm Up

In this exclusive online article, Dan Byrd shares his warm-up routine to prepare your mounted-shooting horse for a stage.

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Between shooting events, Dan spends a lot of time keeping his horses legged up on the track or trail.

Mounted shooting can be hard on a horse. The intense sport demands tight turns, boomerang-style direction and lead changes, and nothing short of a flight to the finish line. Because of this, mounted shooting horses need a fair share of athleticism, agility and heart. Just like any athlete, your horse needs a complete warm up before shooting a stage not only to stretch his muscles, but also to focus his attention on you and get him in a competitive frame of mind.

Top mounted-shooting horse trainer and competitor Dan Byrd of Cave Creek, Arizona, stresses the importance of a proper warm up.

“Mounted shooting is just as mentally and physically demanding as barrel racing, roping, polo or any other sport,” he says. “You can’t expect your horse to go in the arena and perform if he hasn’t been prepared with a solid warm-up routine.”

About 30 minutes before shooting, Byrd warms up his horse using a variety of horsemanship maneuvers that supple the horse’s body and prepares him for the high-speed challenge ahead.

 

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Ready To Work

ImageMonte and Stoney Jones use cow work and performance- horse maneuvers to produce versatile ranch horses. Here, they outline the five skills every ranch horse must have, and tips to achieve them when starting your colt.

Monte Jones and his son, Stoney, have spent most of their lives horseback. While working on several West Texas outfits, they’ve become known for their low-stress approach to starting ranch- and working-cow horses.

Monte got his start more than 40 years ago, day-working with his uncle on a ranch in Stonewall County, near Aspermont. At the time, sound horsemanship principles weren’t emphasized as much as they are today.

 

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Develop A Strong Defense

Here’s how to give your horse the judgment and self-assurance he needs to keep cattle from crossing the line.

Last month, we discussed how working cattle is similar to a team sport, such as football. You and your horse are on one side of the scrimmage line, and the cow is on the other. The herd, or the “goal,” is behind you. Also like football, each team is either on offense or defense. The cow’s movement and position with regard to the herd, gate or other “goal” determines which role your horse must play.

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For the Farm & Barn

Lighten your workload with this lineup of 20 products built to make chores easier and less time-consuming.

From ATVs to manure spreaders, waterers, misters, and gate openers. Read on for more information on each, including options, pricing and where to buy.

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In Search Of Wild Horses

New Mexico’s high desert is an unforgiving land, one of climatic extremes, sparse water and dry forage. But to the bands of wild horses lurking within the juniper, sagebrush and pines, it’s a place of freedom and peace.

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From Cowboy To Competitor

Making the leap into ranch-horse versatility competition has been a learning experience for Tripp Townsend and the ranch hands at Sandhill Cattle Company. But training their horses for competition has become a part of their everyday ranch routine.

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Ranch-Raised and Arena-Savvy

Mike Major of Fowler, Colorado, the source for "Make a Major Improvement," our September print feature on shoulder control, has spent his entire life horseback and working cattle. The ranch-raised horseman brings all that riding experience to the competitive arena and has since he was a youngster.

 

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