From: Claremore, OK
Phone: (580) 490-6188
- 2020 Summer Spectacular Classic Champion
- 2020 Non-Pro plus The Open Classic Champion
- 2019 Summer Spectacular Classic Reserve Champion
- 2016 Bonanza Classic Challenge Champion & Reserve Champion
- 2015 Breeders Invitational Derby Reserve Champion & Classic Champion
- 2013 NCHA Super Stakes Open Champion
- 2010 NCHA Open Futurity Reserve Champion
- 2010 NCHA Summer Spectacular Open Derby Reserve Champion
- 2004 NCHA Open Futurity Champion
Top Three Horses Trained
- Spots Hot
- Little Rattler
An Open Futurity winner as a 21 year-old non-pro, Wesley Galyean had always known he wanted to be a cutting horse trainer. There was no plan B for him. Cutting has been in his family for three generations, both his father Jody and grandfather Kenneth Galyean were trainers. A lot of people tried to convince him to go to college and skip the horse training, but Galyean said it was in his blood. If it’s what you love, keep on fighting, work hard, pray hard and give it everything you have he said.
How I got started: My dad is a horse trainer. In the pleasure horse world, he was phenomenal. He won the Congress five years straight. Then he came into cutting. He’s won the Futurity and a lot of Fort Worth shows. He taught me from an early age how to control the horse’s mind and be a great horseman.
Biggest mistake I’ve made in cutting: I’m a big believer that making mistakes is how you learn. One mistake I made was showing Spot when he was four at the Super Stakes. We scored 223 and a 221 in the first couple goes and in the semi-finals I kept that same throttle down approach and ended up losing a cow. It was truly my fault. I just needed to go be clean and stay out of his way. Those things help educate me and make better choices in the future.
Biggest myth about cutting: The biggest myth that people don’t understand is how hard it is to get these horses trained to a high level of competition. It’s very tough. A lot of people like to say “well they just got lucky” but to be able to do it consistently is the challenge.
Favorite quote: “God, family, work.” In that order.
Most memorable moment in cutting: Winning the Futurity on Spots Hot! All the hard work and adversity that we hit on that journey, there were so many times we thought we couldn’t handle it. When the pressure was on me to get him showed in the final, I wasn’t sure we could do it. The feelings I had going into the finals were indescribable. It was the greatest feeling in the show pen I’ve ever had.
Training philosophy: I want my horses to be disciplined and do it the right way, but at the end of the day if we make mistakes I want my horses to be confident. I believe confidence trumps style any day. Confidence can raise horses to a level above what we can train them to do.
“I try to put, into my horses, confidence and to just never give up. I want them to try as hard as me. When they do try, I try to be conscious of it and really reward them for it so they can set that in their memory.”
Do you have any preferences when you’re picking cows?
“It depends. When you get to the finals you want to cut good cows but sometimes good cows are just 219s-222s. More times than not it will work against you, but I feel like you have to be more of a risk taker… and do something more special than everyone else… A lot of times when you’re in the finals you’ll want to cut a cow that will really test you… It’s important to have a good team around you. A lot of times you [and your team] get in the groove with picking good cows and you just see what happens.”
Why do you do what you do?
“I’ve been doing it since I was 8 years old. I love the sport… I love to compete every single day. That’s the thing you’re competing everyday that you’re working horses. I love the thrill of cutting horses, I’ve been on all types of horses and you can’t beat the thrill of a cutting horse, the strength and the challenge. You’re trying to control something that’s uncontrollable. I enjoy getting to do this for a living, it’s not even a job!”
What have you learned or adjusted in your program in the last few years?
“I only have a few horses showing in the show pen, not a ton. I have really tried to focus on running my race, not worrying about anybody else, what they have or how many great horses they have…And just make the best of the horses I have… I am just trying to constantly get better mentally and capitalize on my blessings… Life is always about perspective…So many people think the situation with COVID is terrible, but if you change your perspective, we are at home more, take advantage of that. Watch films and take the time and every day try to make that horse better, and have quality works.”