Prior to becoming a full-time professional cutting horse trainer, Bill Riddle taught history. His classroom experience helps him relate to the amateur and non-professional clients he has helped through the years, resulting in their earning more than $2 million. A 2002 Zane Schulte Award recipient and National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame member, Riddle served two terms as vice president of the association, and in 2007 was elected president. His cutting earnings exceed $4.4 million, and major wins include the NCHA Derby in 1981 and the senior division of the NCHA Futurity in 2010. Riddle trains horses and teaches cutting clinics from his Ringling, Oklahoma, facility.
Mozaun McKibben has made an art out of winning ranch horse championships. The Whitesboro, Texas, horseman has racked up several American Quarter Horse Association titles, including 2011 and 2013 Versatility Ranch Horse World Champion, and 2012 Ranch Pleasure World Champion. In addition, he has champion titles in Stock Horse of Texas and Ranch Horse Association of America competition. McKibben also adopts and trains Mustangs for the Mustang Heritage Foundation’s Extreme Mustang Makeover.
Bobby Kerr grew up in Canada, and started riding when he was a boy. After working for other horsemen and horse owners for a number of years, he went out on his own, training cutting, reining and roping horses in Hico, Texas. In 2010, Kerr attended the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Fort Worth, Texas, and decided to compete the following year. He earned the Fan Favorite award with his Mustang Poncho in 2011, and in 2012 won the Legends division and the Fan Favorite honors with Maypop. He now uses both horses in his rodeo act, and is preparing two Mustangs for the Mustang Million competition in September in Fort Worth.
Buster McLaury starts hundreds of young horses under saddle every year. He made a living as a cowboy for many years. In 1984 he met Ray Hunt, and the noted horseman’s influence transformed how McLaury worked with horses. Rather than operating as a dictator, he learned to be a leader, paying closer attention to the horse’s mindset and modifying his methods to fit each individual’s needs.
In the new Western Horseman book, Ride Smarter: On to the Next Level of Horsemanship, popular horseman, clinician and 2010 Road to the Horse Champion Craig Cameron helps readers learn to see things from a horse’s perspective.
Cameron builds on the topics introduced in his 2004 book, Ride Smart, and offers advice on a variety of topics, including horse selection, bit choices, disciplining a horse, cross-training between arena and trail, using patterns and obstacles to advance your horse and your horsemanship, traveling with your horse, and problem solving. Each chapter includes “Here’s How,” simple and practical training tips; and “True Story,” a personal anecdote about a memorable experience.
In this “Here’s How” from Chapter 8, “The Use of Cues,” Cameron talks about the importance of learning to use spurs correctly.
As head trainer for the Four Sixes Ranch in Guthrie, Texas, Chance O’Neal starts colts and trains the ranch’s top prospects for competition. He also shows Four Sixes horses in cow horse and ranch versatility events.