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Plus This

Learn how to "plus" your maneuvers with help from AQHA Professional Horseman Dick Pieper.

The American Quarter Horse Journal
July 8, 2013

Dick Pieper and Culatazo

AQHA Professional Horseman Dick Pieper demonstrates lateral flexion in Part 1 of "Plus This." (Journal photo) BELOW: Dick gives some insight on his theory of training horses and the basis of his "Language Of Horsemanship." (Courtesy of www.pieperranch.com)

Whether you want to ride a winning performance horse or train a nice horse that you can enjoy, you’re going to need the basics.

In the new “Plus This” series featured in The American Quarter Horse Journal, AQHA Professional Horseman Dick Pieper starts with the basics in the July issue. In subsequent parts, Dick will move on to more advanced maneuvers, many of which are called for in reining or similar events. Dick demonstrates how you can use these maneuvers to teach a horse to be handy whether he ever enters a show pen or not. For those of you who decide you want to show, Dick wants you to have your maneuvers so sharp that you plus them every time.

Dick breeds and trains from his facility in Marietta, Oklahoma, where he and his wife, Brenda, stand $8 million sire Playgun and AQHA reining world champion Texas Kicker. Dick is a multiple world champion and AQHA judge who also has had judges’ cards with the National Reining Horse, the National Cutting Horse and the National Reined Cow Horse associations. He serves on the board of directors for the Ranch Horse Association of America and the American Stock Horse Association. He’s a former president of NRHA, a former NRHA Futurity champion and a member of the NRHA Hall of Fame.

What Dick is going to talk about in “Plus This” isn’t new. Xenophon talked about the basics of using your body correctly and teaching your horse to use his body correctly when he invented dressage in the 12th century.

In “Plus This,” Dick is going to use his principles and work in order. With any horse, Dick won’t move forward until the horse has grasped each basic – lateral softness, collection and hip movement – thoroughly and completely. The renowned horseman’s goal is to produce a horse that is so conditioned to do what the rider asks that any rider could pull the horse out of the barn in the middle of a snowstorm in the middle of the night after a week off, and the horse would respond correctly to the cues the rider gives him. Dick wants his horse calm, with no distress, just an automatic response to his cues.

If you have a July Journal in hand, flip to Page 96 to see how Dick gets started with the basics. Not a Journal subscriber? That’s OK – visit www.aqha.com/journal to subscribe today and receive access to the digital edition before your print copy arrives in the mail.

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