Introduction to Cow Work Clinic

Have you ever thought about showing in cow horse classes? Or just want to have the experience of working a cow?  Need to start a horse on cattle? I will be conducting an Introduction to Cow Work Clinic series at Jerry and Alice Singletons(Mt. Vernon, AR) on October 12, 19 &  26; starting each evening at 6:00p.m. (earlier if you let me know). We have lights and will go as long as we need to. I will limit the registration to 10 per night. Come to one or all. Cost is $50.00 per session. I ask everyone to contact me so I can arrange for the appropriate number of cattle. Yes, we will work live cattle. We will also analyze correct stops; turns; and roll backs to maintain positioning on the cow. We will also spend some time on learning how to read the cow, positioning and control.

Location is:

Singleton Ranch; 88 Bristol Rd; Mount Vernon, AR Be careful with Google Maps- it sometimes send you the wrong way (opposite end of Bristol Rd) to get you there. Bristol road makes a loop off Highway 36. Spread the word- We are going to have fun on these cool October evenings.

Contact : Steve Jones

(501) 733—0016


Experienced Trail and Ranch Horse for Sale

I am offering for sale this 2004 AQHA gelding – Four Fly Warrior (aka Cheyenne).  $3500.00

He stands 15.1 hands and weighs about 1250. Bred by AQHA Best of the Remuda Award recipient, Haythorn Land and Cattle Company. I bought him at the Haythorn Production Sale in 2005. He has not left my possession since then. I have a young String I’m training now and Cheyenne is not getting rode much. So I’m offering him for sale so someone else can enjoy him.

He is an experienced trail horse deluxe. He has carried me and others all over the Ozarks, Rocky Mountains, Western Prairie and the Sand hills of Nebraska. He’s gentle, easy to catch, doesn’t get excited about much and loves attention.You can turn him out for six months; catch him up; circle him a couple of times on the lead line; tack up and ride him off. Fact: turned him out mid-December and caught him up in mid-June. I rode him for about 30 minutes and put a beginner adult rider on him for the next 3 hours without incident. When Cheyenne is legged up and in shape, he has lots of stamina. He’s hobble broke; stands tied on a high line; eats from hay and feed bags; and travels well.

I’ve used him often for clinics and demonstrations. He responds to body cues- gait transitions; turns; side-passes; two-tracks; stop and back of of leg pressure. No need to pull on his face. If it doesn’t feel right to him, he just stops.

He has been used on a variety of Ranch Work as well. He has sorted lots of cattle in the pens for health work and loading trucks. He’s the best calf dragging horse I’ve ever rode(if you have a need for such). Calm in the herd; picks his way around the herd and out with calf without exciting the bunch or himself.


Additional photos and photo of Registration papers follow-

From Ground to Saddle Series – Part 2


The second part of my From Ground to Saddle Series will be June 5th (6:00 pm)at the Singleton Ranch (Jerry and Alice) in Mount Vernon, AR.  This session will focus on developing softness in the horse’s body; and developing relaxation and cuing with the body of the rider. Come join us-

Every Day Is a Training Day


Anytime we are around our horses, we are reinforcing positive behavior or inadvertently reinforcing non-useful behavior. Problems often arise because the human is unaware of his role in creating or reinforcing these undesired behaviors. If you buy into the Alpha/Beta theory, then you must be Alpha all the time, not just when it is convenient. If you establish to the horse that you are in charge, then act like it or the horse becomes confused and resorts back to the “fright and flight” instincts.  When we have a problem, it is easy to focus on what it is going wrong, rather than why is it going wrong. However, getting away from the problem and working on things that build a foundation toward overcoming the problem helps the horse and rider get more in tune with one another. In essence the horse must have trust in the rider (Alpha). Then when faced with the problem, the horse has more recent, positive experiences to build upon. Instead of resistance or flight, the horse learns to rely on the human (Alpha) for direction and self-preservation.

Developing more trust, confidence, and respect when riding will carry over into problem solving.  Putting more time and effort into preparation shortens the time that it takes to solve the problem. Notice I said “shorten” not eliminate problem solving. Every horse will have their “demons” that they must overcome, just like people. As the rider becomes more proactive, the horse will begin to willingly wait and look for guidance from the human, staying in a learning, attentive state of mind. The horse learns to go with the rider’s flow and the rider learns to go with the horse’s flow. This is horsemanship as it should be.

There are six rules that I try to follow in a training program. These rules work for young horses and old, problem horses and the really broke ones.

  1. Have a plan. Know your goals for the day and focus on how to get the horse to willingly respond. Don’t overdo it though- work on something; get a positive response and ride off and let the horse relax.
  2. Never get angry, frustrated, forceful, or tentative. If your horse gets troubled, resistant, or afraid, you must stay relaxed, positive, and confident. Be willing to adjust to fit the individual horse and situation.
  3. Maintain impulsion. Keep life in your horse’s feet and the drive coming from the hindquarters. Without impulsion, everything is more difficult, if not impossible.
  4. Use your seat. Subtly communicate speed, direction, gait, slow down, and stop through your seat, pelvis, and lower torso.
  5. Use your legs. Communicating lateral movement with the legs is a skill often underdeveloped.
  6. Avoid using the reins to stay balanced in the saddle. Being able to ride through all your horse’s gaits and back down to a halt on a loose rein is important to develop confidence and control. Minimizing rein pressure keeps your horse’s feet free and he will stay mentally soft and light.

Developing a Supple Trail Horse

DSC00133A supple and flexible equine that yields to leg and rein pressure is the basis of many different disciplines. The basic maneuvers required of a horse are backing, stopping, guiding, turns, leads, lead changes, and roll backs.  All of these maneuvers are developed by being able to control a horse’s head, shoulders, and hip.  Horsemen simply use those controls with the pressure and release technique to encourage the horse to learn all of the essential elements of handling. In all of our training, we want to develop relaxation in the horse.  Generally, the slower you go and the more black and white you make it for the horse, the more the horse understands it and the more relaxed the horse will be.

I have a very strong philosophical belief that recreational trail horses should be the most highly trained and responsive horses in the industry. Why? There are several reasons. 1) Safety. A safe horse is a broke horse. When you are riding on the trail you have little or no control of the circumstances that you may encounter. You need a horse that you can control with no resistance and little effort. 2) Enjoyment. You trail ride for recreation, relaxation and pleasure. What is fun about riding a horse that is unpredictable, uncontrollable and a nuisance to ride? 3) Comfort. Hours and miles in the saddle is physically challenging for even the most dedicated trail rider. Riding an unresponsive or belligerent horse increases the physical demands on the rider and reduces the time spent in the saddle. Thus, it cheats you out of opportunities to see or experience those once –in-a-lifetime events that can occur while on the trail. 4) Cost. What is it costing you to feed and care for those horses you are keeping that you prefer not to ride?  What does it cost you each time you make a trade for a new one? The good ones may cost more on the front end, but after that the expenses are the same. 5) Time. How much valuable recreational time are you wasting because of reduced time in the saddle as the result of stress, anxiety, or physical demands from riding a horse you don’t like? Time is valuable these days. I want a horse that I can catch, trailer, saddle and ride with no effort. Like cost, it takes more (time) on the front end, but the dividends are very high after that.

I am scheduling Clinics for Spring and Summer 2017-  If you are interested  in hosting a clinic, contact me for dates, cost, and  horsemanship emphasis. I customize based on your interest and goals.         (

  • Clinics: Building the Foundation; Fundamentals of Western Horsemanship;  Building Confidence for Horse and Rider; Building Confidence for Horse and Rider; Ranch Versatility & Stock Horse (including cow work).

Let the Horse Participate

img_0202We as humans are the predator – we want and need to control things. And, we want it NOW. The horse is prey- he reacts to the circumstances. The horse doesn’t care when or how it happens, as long as his comfort returns. Yet, the horse has the ability to reason to some degree, if for no other reason than to seek release from pressure. In the training process, we need to allow the horse to seek the right answer. That means we may need to hold a cue a little longer or change the cue ever so slightly and allow the horse to figure it out. This is how you get quicker responses, softer feel. Your horse will be more relaxed and confident. A true partnership will start to form. This philosophy is the basis of the lessons that Tom Dorrance described and Ray Hunt taught. It’s taken me years to grasp it, but the picture is getting clearer.

Successful training results from the human understanding how to see life from the horse’s point of view.

Here is how we include the horse in the training process:

  1. Listen to him. The horse will tell you what he’s thinking. He can communicate confusion, fear, understanding, excitement, or level of effort through his body language.
  1. Build a basis for communication. Ray Hunt always said, “Reward the smallest change and the slightest try.”
  1. Always be consistent in your cues. Start from the ground and then progress to the saddle with lateral and vertical flexion, control of the feet, and control the movement of the body. This will build a supple, willing horse, and give consistency to communication.
  1. Expect and accept failure. Each cue is not going to be understood and executed. Therefore, failure becomes a “teachable moment” in which we can re-evaluate our communication. It is also an opportunity to back up and make sure the fundamental training steps have been learned.
  1. Build a foundation for success. Everything we ask a horse to do, he already knows how to do. We are just asking him to do them exactly when we want him to do it. All a horse can do is move forward, backward, sideways, left, right and stop. Everything we ask is a combination of these maneuvers or change in speed. Start slow and build momentum. Allow the horse to buy into our system.
  1. Wait on the horse. Sometimes the horse knows what we are asking him to do, but he is not confident of himself or natural instincts say there is potential danger. If we wait, let the horse try, and have success, then that builds confidence in the horse. Success will build success and give the horse confidence to try new challenges. He will also learn to trust you more in the process.
  1. Challenge you and your horse. How do you know your horse is ready for a new challenge? Ask for it, and see what happens. Make sure your insecurities are not hindering your horse’s educational progress. Progress cannot be measured by always executing the past lessons. Add challenges to your routine that causes the horse to think. Horses become bored from monotonous routines.

I am scheduling Clinics for Spring and Summer 2017-  If you are interested  in hosting a clinic, contact me for dates, cost, and  horsemanship emphasis. I customize based on your interest and goals.         (