Total Earnings: $91,532
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.
Garrett operates Garrett Training Stables out of Millsap, TX and focuses mostly on two-year-olds and spending time with his wife Nikki and their three children without having to constantly travel to aged events. Garrett recently sold a horse at the 2021 NCHA Futurity Western Bloodstock sale for $210,000. The strength in Garrett’s program comes from his ability to work with what the horse naturally offers him to reach its full potential.
What’s your training philosophy?
“I just let things build and use what they give me. At the beginning keep it simple. Try not to complicate it…”
“I should have them broke enough that I can help them when I need to and it will grow as we go on…”
“The stop initiates that turn. If we can get still quick that will slow the turn down and letting them be comfortable in their own skin [as we build them up].”
“I like it when there is a thought that comes from [the horse]. I can swoop [one] around but it won’t do [anything for the horse].”
What is the most important quality you must have in a horse?
“An honest horse that goes and tries.”
What has been your most memorable moment?
“Making the  Futurity finals was pretty special. And watching horses [I’ve worked with continue] on their careers.”
What are your goals?
“To get better. I feel like I have always been a student my whole life, about a horse. I feel like I am always learning.”
Can you teach someone feel?
“You can teach timing.”
“On a horse that’s really feely, I’m going to blend with what she’s going to allow me to have and be a part of with her. My legs for instance… leaving [the cue] long enough so it make sense when I’m moving body parts.”
“When I step to the flag, I want them to recognize that something’s [there]. I am going to let them have a thought. Let them investigate [the flag]…Blend in with what they give you.”