Hello, welcome to High Point Hideaway. My wife Lisa and I started the original High Point Hideaway in Grafton, Ohio
back in 1992. We moved to Grapeland, Texas in 2006.
I broke and trained my first horse at 15 and I’m ½ way through my 40’s now so I’ve done this for a while. My wife
started training in late teens also but I won’t say how old she is now… but both of us have ridden pretty much
since the age of 5. We each come from different backgrounds with horses though. Lisa had a much more formal
and proper beginning with riding lessons and showing hunters, while I rode bareback until I was probably 9 or 10
on horses that were “green broke” at best. When I was in my teens and started getting serious about horses I
mostly rode Arabians and trained them for speed events.
Through the years Lisa and I have had 4-H horse clubs (18 riders in our club “Intrepid Riders” one year); too many
students to recall all of them, a “bus load” of them have traveled and showed on the road with us. We have had
some really talented students go on to show many disciplines and always be highly competitive.
So, if you think this qualifies us to break and train your next horse, then please feel free to read on.
Thanks, Rick & Lisa
1st off, like I said we’ve been doing this for a long time, and people always ask who’s “method” do you use?
We don’t use anybody’s “method”. I don’t believe in such a thing. A horse is an animal that thinks and has a
personality of their own. They are not a card board box that no matter which “method” you use to fold it, it will
still be a box. Every horse is different.
2nd, when you send me a horse to get broke to ride, I assume that is what you are paying me to do. To ride and
not chase it around the round pen with a special stick or a bag or a tarp. In my opinion no matter how much you
chase it with a whip or a bag or a tarp, etc… none of that has to do with real life. However, I have been chased
by dogs, neighbors, kids, rogue cows in the pasture, had horns honked at us, and a whole list of other things that
can’t be prepared for or fixed from the ground in a round pen no matter how “desensitized”.
3rd, everyone has a term or a gimmick, but if you think and use a little common sense you can figure some of
this out for yourself. “Gentle Breaking”, as opposed to what? Snubbing them down or twisting an ear, and then
spurring the buck out of them. I don’t believe most folks do that anymore. How about this one, “we do all of the
ground work”, way to broad of a term. My idea of ground work is getting a halter and a saddle on and leading
them to the round pen, try to chase a lap or 2 just to get the air out of the saddle. Then just remember sooner or
later somebody’s gotta swing a leg. No matter what you do from the ground, nothing is the same as you sitting on
the top of the horse and asking it do something that you want to it to do. So if you see one of our videos and it
says 6 days under saddle, that means the horse got here 6 days ago. Not 30 days of ground work first. They learn
the practical ground work as they go.
Lastly, but maybe the most important thing we can tell you is your saddle and pad fit. We start on average 60 horses
a year here. Proper saddle fit may be second hand for some people, but not all. Your horse can’t say to you, “hey,
that is pinching my withers, or you got me cinched up way too tight”, but they can sure enough show you…crabbing,
biting, wiggling, bad attitude, bucking…So as you are getting back up off of the ground. Maybe it wasn’t them, it was
you!!! Well, next time someone tells you that if you buy a special $40 halter with knots in special places and that will
fix your problems and make your horse better, I think I’d be more concerned with what’s on its back.
Now it may seem like I’m poking at some of the others who do this. But before you send me a horse and ask me
who’s “method” I use, I just want you to use a little common sense. Remember, the problem with the word
“professional horse trainer” only means that someone has taken money to train a horse, it doesn’t mean they
train horses for a living, and that there is any one method for breaking horses. I’ve been at this for 30 years and
your horse may be the next one to teach me something new.
You all need to check back here from time to time, I'm sure Rick will have to Rant on about something else
Latest update July 2013
Colts and people
Are you 30, 40, 50, or even 60 years old and haven't rode since you were a kid, you're probably not going to get
along with that 2 yr old colt you just bought from the sale barn or just got back from the trainers that has only
30 or 60 days on it.
If you raised a 2,3,4, or even 6 yr old colt for your grandchild or child, that has no desire or ability to ride, and
the colt hasn't been handled its whole life other than when it came home from the trainers after only 30 or 60
days, this probably isn't going to fit either.
If you have no horse knowledge and you go and buy that cute weanling for your youngsters to bond with and
raise, this usually doesn't work either because you don't understand that a baby that was just pulled off it's
momma and never had hands on it, will hurt you and your kid more ways by accident than you could hurt
someone by trying.
While there are exceptions to all these, they are few and far between and if you and your kids are just getting
started, or you haven't rode in 20 years, here is my advice to you. Go spend the money and buy the old broke,
been there-done that-horse. Learn to ride and then move on to younger less experienced horses.
Here's my opinion on spurs. 90% of the people I see wearing them shouldn't, at least not ride in them.
Most people don't have enough leg control. Example, your horse bucks and you squeeze harder with spurs,
your horse spooks and jumps sideways, you poke him with a spur and he leaves you. You climb on or off and
you rake your spur across his ass and he leaves you again.
A spur is made to push, not poke or punish and if you're laughing at this statement saying "if my horse doesn't do
what I want I'll give him the lead treatment and get it out of him." Well then you're a perfect example, you don't
have the temperament to wear a spur.
If ya'll would learn how to sit in the middle of the saddle and learn to ride off your legs first, most of you would
see that you don't need a spur.
If you are starting colts or riding green horses you as the trainer/owner you don't need a spur if you would teach
the horse right in the first place.
If you want to wear your spurs to the local cattle sale, feed store, cantina, etc... to look the part, more power to
you, but for your safety and your horses sanity take 'em off till you learn to ride. Happy ridin'