Anyone horseback who has ever led another horse probably has had the pony horse balk at some obstacle along the trail. Colorado horseman Marty Marten of Berthoud says the best way to deal with a potential obstacle is the same thing he recommends to make the initial ponying experience a comfortable one for both horses—preparation.
Dick Pieper and his wife, Brenda, operate Pieper Ranch in Marietta, Oklahoma, where they stand the cutting stallion Playgun. Pieper trained and showed reining horses for many years, and is a past president of the National Reining Horse Association and a member of the NRHA Hall of Fame. After the Piepers bought Playgun in 1993, he began to concentrate on cutting horses and has amassed earnings of more than $350,000 in the sport. Pieper now focuses on starting 2-year-old performance prospects and giving horsemanship clinics. He will be featured in the March issue of Western Horseman in a feature story entitled "The Evolution of a Horseman." That issue will be available on newsstands in mid-February.
Jay McLaughlin trains for Carol Rose Quarter Horses in Gainesville, Texas. The multi-event trainer has nearly $780,000 in lifetime earnings in working cow horse, reining and cutting events. Riding A Shiner Named Sioux, he captured the 2010 AQHA Junior Reining World Championship, and, aboard Genuine Masterpiece, McLaughlin won the 2010 AQHA Junior Working Cow Horse World Championship. At the 2011 NRCHA World Championship show, he captured the both the Open Two-Rein World Championship and Reserve World Championship in Open Hackamore.
Teryn Muench, a performance horse trainer from Marietta, Oklahoma, makes his living starting colts and laying the foundation a horse needs to compete in Western performance events. A champion in American Stock Horse Association events and ranch horse competitions, Muench also competes in Mustang Makeover events, winning the 2011 Mustang Magic Trainers Challenge and the 2010 Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover.