Michael Cooper never worked for a cutting horse trainer and literally came from nothing. He is from Missouri originally and learned about cutting when he traveled to Arkansas to visit relatives who happened to work for a cutting horse trainer. They offered to let Cooper work a cutting horse and he couldn’t believe what he was feeling. He learned by watching everything he could about cutting and even wore out training dvds.Keep On Reading!
Best buddies – Lance and Cade as youths killing time at a horse show.
After slingin’ dirt and cashing checks in the cutting horse youth and non-pro classes, childhood friends and successful showmen, Lance Cooper and Cade Shepard are now beating the pros at their own game!
They both handed in their non-pro cards one day apart after their wins in the Summer Spectacular Derby last year. Shepard had won almost a million dollars and Cooper was approaching a half a million when they became open riders.Keep On Reading!
Michael starts his clinics with a classroom session to find out participant’s challenges and goals.
There are really good riders, really good showmen, good trainers and good educators and it’s very rare that you find one that is all four. Michael Cooper is all four.
That’s according to Sheila King, who came from Tennessee to watch Cooper give a two day clinic put on by Cutting Horse Training Online at Weatherford, TX on July 3-4 at Stormy Cutting and Cattle Ranch.
As most cutting horse shows start back up in June, it is time to think about your strategy for the rest of the year and get your head in back in the game! Top trainer Michael Cooper offers some great insight into how to do just that!
Michael Cooper spends time with each of his clients on developing their goals. He said setting goals depends on three things: the horse, the rider, and the steps they need to take together to accomplish those goals. For example, what does the client want to do with their horse? Show more themselves or have Cooper show it to try to win the most money on it?
Together, they also decide if it’s an open or a non pro horse or if it can be both at some shows. From there, they work out a plan for the horse. If it’s a horse they just want to show in the non pro or amateur, Cooper will still show it every third show or so at the weekend level to keep it tuned up and increase its money earned.
Garth Bullis began his horse career in the English world and soon moved into the western disciplines. He tried reining, and roping but still hadn’t found his niche. He came across cutting in a video and thought it was the coolest thing he had seen. After finding a retired cutting horse trainer who helped him learn, he became hooked.
He purchased a mare in 2014, got her started and showed her. She taught Bullis a lot. The pair ended up winning the Minnesota Non Pro Breeder’s Futurity and all three go rounds before that. He really felt like cutting was what he should be doing and after his dad passed away, he decided to really go for it.
With all the recent turmoil in cutting with declining membership, staff turn-over and controversies over how to make the sport fairer and more accessible, it can be hard to stay positive. But two cutters who have optimism to share are Star Roberts and Amy Jones.
When they started out in cutting, both knew that they weren’t going to go buy a six-figure cutting horse, if ever. They each began with a horse that was at their level and gradually moved up in horse power as they developed. Their trainers helped them learn and improve, knowing full well that they were not going to spend a lot of money on a horse. As a result, both riders have thoroughly enjoyed their time in the sport, making great friends.