A Cowboy’s Faith: Fewer hours on horseback – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Fewer hours on horseback

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Maturity takes its toll on a wannabe cowboy’s horseback riding enthusiasm and already limited abilities.

Never a world class horseman, ample ambition and plenty of guts brought success training young horses.

Starting untrained horses to ride for many owners throughout the Midwest kept a calendar filled more than four decades. Notable “real cowboys” bought their horses for initial breaking and spread the word about the humble service to countless others.

It must be emphasized that the horses were not “finished” show, working, or ranch horses. They were “30-day horses” requiring additional riding when owners got them home.

Key to the program was that the horses, often untouched upon arrival, were handled every day. They had to be tied solid and exposed to a rider on their back the first day. Saddling followed as the horse stood alone to become accustomed to the handler’s expectations.

Always moved slow, the saddled horse was led in a pen the next day becoming more accustomed to being worked with. Tied back in the stall, the horse was mounted and dismounted by the gentle trainer voicing compliment for calmness.

Progressing, the mounted saddled horse was asked to turn tight circles both directions inside the stall. After continuing maneuvers, the stall gate was opened, and the horse was ridden at a walk into a larger pen.

Sessions always ended by gently turning the horse in circles and then backing him straight for a few steps. A horse learns very fast with praising gentle consistent calm control.

Within a week, the horse can be urged into a slow jog trot in a large circle. He will soon be asked to speed up into a slow lope.

Ridden cautiously in the pasture at different gaits, the horse becomes accustomed to the outdoors. Riding bareback is good for the additional exposure.

The gentle, green-broke horse must continue to be ridden regularly for a year or longer to become a “broke horse.”

Exhibiting in six circuits more than 30 horseshows annually, collecting numerous yearend championships, slowdown has now come. Unbroke horses are not being accepted for training.

Fewer shows are attended with less prizes being won while the goal remains to ride a horse some every day.


Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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