Western bootmaker Lucchese went behind the scenes with Phillip Ralls in his reined cowhorse program, showcasing the physical drama of the intense, fast-paced western discipline.
One might compare reined cowhorse to the English riding world’s eventing: a horse and rider perform in the cutting pen, complete a reining pattern and then apply both the cow and the reining skills in the ultimate test of taking a cow down the fence. The sport is firmly grounded in the traditional tasks that a working cowboy and his horse would be expected to master out in the pasture, but showcased in the arena.
Phillip Ralls is a professional reined cowhorse trainer based in Paso Robles, California, ideally located to continue the traditions of the vaquero style of riding required in the discipline. He brought western bootmaker Lucchese behind the scenes to talk about reined cowhorse, horse training and horsemanship, with glimpses of the training process from his Paso Robles ranch.
“When you get done with those horses and you’ve taken that time and you’ve put that much thought and effort and time and care, those horses go on and last a lifetime. There is no shortcut. Take the time and do it right the first time and you don’t have to worry about it.”
Well said, Mr. Ralls. Go reined cowhorse, and go riding!