With racehorse welfare making national headlines, the horse industry is being scrutinized for putting money before the well-being of young animals. Racetrack injuries and deaths may have sparked mainstream interest in the issue, but high-stakes stock horse futurities beg the same question: ARE YOUNG HORSES PUSHED TOO HARD, TOO SOON?
Craig Cameron is known as the “cowboy’s clinician.” He travels the country, presenting clinics and sharing his philosophy on training and riding horses. Cameron also hosts clinics at his ranches in Bluff Dale, Texas, and Lincoln, New Mexico. His goal is for riders to build a relationship of trust and confidence with their horses.
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.
This online article is a supplement to “Conscious and Cautious Breeding,” a health column that appeared in the August 2009 issue of Western Horseman. Chart by Melissa Cassutt • Photograph by Sebastian Gerhard There are many genetic equine diseases currently being studied. The chart below details the symptoms of each of these documented diseases and the associated breeds.
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.
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.