From NFR Bareback rider to top two-year-old cutting horse trainer, JD Garrett has made a name for himself across multiple industries.
Growing up in South Dakota, he has always been involved with horses and ranching. While competing in the rodeo world, Garrett would start colts for Tom Lyons in his down time.
Garrett said many people have helped him along the way but cutting horse trainers Shannon Hall, John Mitchell, Greg Wright, Tom Lyons, and Bob Pecora, a performance horse trainer, have all been instrumental in his career.
After a childhood spent in the saddle showing in western pleasure, English and cutting, John Mitchell decided early on that dropping the reins was the sport for him.
Originally from Australia, Mitchell began riding horses for Winderadeen, a large quarter horse breeder in New South Wales.
Afterwards, Mitchell went to work for well known trainer Graham Amos to learn how to train cutting horses. Along the way, many others have had a hand in helping develop him into the trainer he is today.
Mitchell came to the States for the first time at 14 years old and celebrated his 15th birthday there.
Ty Cole got his start riding range colts in Montana. After attending a cutting, Ty’s fascination with horsemanship was sparked. Ten years later, he specializes in yearlings, trains them for a year or two and then sells them mostly to cutting and cow horse competitors.
To learn his craft, he spent 6 months riding with Zane Davis. He said everything changed for him when he worked for Tom Campbell, based in Texas. Tom had a good string of horses and soon Tom said, “Alright, you’re up.” Ty got on his A string horses for the next few days. He said that helped him develop feel and how to cow up a horse. He said he felt those horses think independently about the cow.
Eight-million-dollar trainer Matt Gaines is a big believer in coaching. It’s why he and other leading trainers go to each other’s ranches to work horses: to learn from each other and pick up on things they may not be seeing or feeling themselves.
In fact, our featured trainers make use of CHTO videos to keep abreast of what other trainers are doing, so they are not left behind and to help stay competitive. It’s also why he likes to give clinics. Simply put, coaching produces success!
It’s why all professional sports have coaches as Gaines has repeatedly pointed out, cutting is no different.
“I can look back over my career and there has been numerous times when I have felt out of sync or my own program doesn’t feel right. I will call people who I know share the same theory of cutting and same basis of the program,” Matt explained.He tells how his experience with contacting other trainers, such as Paul Hansma or John Mitchell, in times of need has helped him realize the small training habits that may need to be tweaked. In Gaines opinion, that one adjustment can be the catalyst for lots of improvements to come. Keep on Reading!