Training Our Reined Cow Horses

We pride ourselves on the time and care that we provide our horses.  We care for our broodmares, foals and yearlings ourselves, insuring a proper foundation from conception to birth and until they are ready to move on to full time training.  All of our stallions are active working horses as well.  We handle breeding ourselves and have a dedicated veterinarian partner, Dr. Sadie Miller of Diamond B Equine that assists us with AI activities and mare care for outside mares.

Two Years Old

Our horses are started as two year olds.  When they are ready for training, we put the careful consideration into matching the right trainer with each horse.  We believe the two year old training year is crucial to the development and evaluation of the horse’s true potential.  Not every horse will make it as a Reined Cow Horse, some may be better suited to reining or cutting alone.  Even those that can compete in all three events may better suited towards non-pro riders or up and coming trainers.  We monitor the two year olds progress very carefully and work with our trainers to insure each horse reaches its full potential.  Our current trainers are: Todd Fitch, Clint Davis, Brandon Buttars, Flint Lee and Vicki Keller.

Three Years Old

Traditional Reined Cow Horse trainers follow a strict regime that starts with developing two year olds in the snaffle bit.  They are shown as 3 year olds in the snaffle bit, ideally, at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity every September.  If they are not quite ready for the NRCHA Futurity, the Idaho Reined Cow Horse Association has a fantastic Futurity/Derby event every October. 

Four & Five Years Old

As 4 and 5 year olds, the horses move on to the hackamore, a traditional vaquero training device.  Hackamores still require the use of both hands by the rider. The hackamore years see the horses shown in Derby events. 

Six Years Old

The next step in the process is to move the horse into the two-rein class as a 6 year old.  The two –rein technique combines a smaller bosalito (little bosal) with a bridle style bit (solid mouth piece) and reins.  Two-rein is a difficult technique to master but it is the final step to preparing a horse for full bridle competition as it begins the transition to single handed riding. 

Seven+ Years Old

As a 7 year old, the horse moves to the bridle, where it is shown one handed and is considered fully trained.  There are a variety of exceptional competitions specifically for bridle horses.  A healthy horse can continue to compete in these events for many years.