James, aka Coasting the Stars. 

It’s been a while since I’ve made a post, I nearly forgot how. So many people have been asking me about the this site and my videos that I thought maybe it was time to start again. This post is about a very special horse to me. “James”

As I was walking James out at the Idaho Reined Cow Horse Futurity in Nampa, Idaho, Smokey Prichett a NRCHA Hall of Fame trainer asked me if “James” was “the one”… I asked him, “what do you mean?” Smokey replied, “the one who taught you how to train a cow horse.” 

I pondered that question as it had never crossed my mind. But… Yes, he was. The most valuable thing I’ve learned about horses so far, I learned from James. 

James is a serious athlete, and through his training I had tried and several different times to contort his body into maneuvers and exercises, few of them ever helping at all. Usually, they irritated him more than anything. But one thing always worked with James, what is that one thing some might ask? 

Simple… Keep it simple. James taught me about form to function. He always worked best when you allow him to stay out of his own way and keep his spine as straight as possible. The more you try to bend him like a pretzel the worse he gets. Not to say that a more stiffer horse couldn’t use a bit of bending, and not to say that James doesn’t bend either. However I do find that since he showed me this and started me in the journey of form to function, it makes me wonder why I didn’t study the horses body and its laws of practicality before I became a horse trainer. Silly really. Simply put “you can not soften a mouth by pulling against a shoulder, or any other body part for that matter.” Typically since practicing these methods James showed me and after doing more research I have revamped my training program completely. It’s really nothing more than showing the horse how to stay out of his own way.  No different than learning a few shortcuts on a difficult dance step for a human. 

Anyhow, here is the three videos of James and I winning the IRCHA Futurity. I truly love this horse, and since having him I’ve really opened my eyes to how many I could have enjoyed as much as him…

Cody McArthur
Herd work
Reined work
Fence Final

About codymcarthur

I am a horse trainer wo hopes YOU enjoy horses as much as I do!
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