Horse Training Tips

Jim Anderson, the 2014 colt-starting champion, focuses on the basics of good horsemanship.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Progressing to bareback-and-bridleless riding does not happen overnight. But Jim Anderson says if you establish the fundamentals, like he did with Six Flo Buck, high-level maneuvers come easy. (Credit: Journal)

When Jim Anderson rode into the Road to the Horse Wild Card competition in March, he had Six Flo Buck about as smooth as you can get a horse, especially with just 12 months’ training. 

The bay 4-year-old is a nice reiner, having already won the 2013 Saskatchewan Reining Horse Association limited open futurity. “Maverick” is also accomplished at obstacle courses, having won the Extreme Cowboy Association futurity championship. And he can do liberty work, being directed around Jim as if he were being longed but with no halter or bridle. He rides bareback and bridleless, and also has a few tricks in his repertoire.

The talented pair was named fan favorite and Wild Card champions, securing Jim a spot in the Road to the Horse colt-starting championship

And then as he worked with his new, barely handled Four Sixes Ranch colt, 3-year-old Speedy Cream, during three round-pen sessions and a final obstacle course, his actions were a tutorial. To get a horse as well-trained as Maverick, here’s where you start. And it all comes down to a solid foundation. 

Jim said he likes to gain control of a horse’s head and neck, the shoulders and the hindquarters, so that all can be moved independently. 

“If we run into trouble, we have the exercises (working on those specific body parts) that we can positively reinforce what we want,” Jim said in the May American Quarter Horse Journal. “When you get a good understanding, that’s when you get confidence, and then that’s when that trust really comes.” 

In “A Focus on Fundamentals” in the May Journal, Jim shares his horse training tips and enlightens readers with his horse-training exercises for, 

  • The head and neck
  • The shoulders
  • The hindquarters
  • Cadence and speed
  • Tracking straight
  • The stop and backup

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