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ahead of his time

     Cecil 1940                                                                                              Mildred 1941

           Husband & Wife since 1940  

Now 87 years young, Cecil has had horses all his life.  He learned much of his knowledge about training them from an uncle. His uncles training techniques were based on the Berry books on horsemanship.  Add to that his many years of training and working with hundreds of horses. 

Cecil uses a whip as an extension of his arm, a tool to gentle a horse and get them to trust.  “Horse’s get so they can understand you, you can talk to them.  Use the whip as a tool to teach the horse, then they trust you.”  Cecil explained.  “That way if they ever get into a jam, like tangled up in barbed wire or a rope, you can just say ‘whoa’ and they’ll wait for you.

“Horses trained this way will follow you around,” Cecil went on to explain, “You can send them away and then call them back to you.   Cecil believes that his method of training and gentling the horse teaches them to trust you always no matter what type of situation they may get themselves into.

He told of a little six year old girl and a three-year-old palomino gelding that he had raised.  The girl’s mother was looking to buy a horse, but she wasn’t sure the little girl could handle the big gelding.  Cecil taught the little girl to cue the gelding with a short, three foot, whip.  “She would just tap him on the forearm and he would put his head right down next to hers and follow her around the barn,” Cecil recounted                              Cecil & Spot 1935

In the late 30’s Cecil trained a paint horse that was owned by the family to be a trick horse.  The horse would bow, count, kneel and lay down all on cue from the whip. 

“In the 40’s, I had one horse I trained to jump.  I set up a corral with a jump in it and I could send him out over it.  He’d jump five feet high and then I’d send him around and ask him to come back to me.”  Cecil said.  He was actually a thoroughbred that Cecil also roped calves and ranched on.

Cecil & Pat 1941       

In the late 40’s and early 50’s Cecil roped calves on a buckskin Coke Roberds bred gelding at many of the rodeos in eastern Colorado, western Kansas and southwest Nebraska without using a bridle.  Cecil said, “The horse worked better when he was completely free, the horse stopped harder.”  Remember, this was back in the days when they were roping 350 and 400# calves over a long score.                                                                                                                        Mildred & Dunny

Cecil used this same buckskin gelding during branding to drag calves from a small trap and hold one end of them for branding.  The horse did all this work without a bridle moving both forward and back on command.                             

In the 50’s Cecil trained a pair of buckskin fillies that he raised to roman ride.  He would work these horses loose around him running together jumping feed bunks placed around in the corral.  He could call one of them in and ask the other to continue the maneuvers then ask them to switch positions or work together again on command. 

Cecil & Coke Roberds fillies 1943

If all of this sounds familiar, it is.  Many of today’s horsemanship clinicians use some of these same techniques in their training methods.  This is why we have chosen to dedicate this page to our Dad, Granddad and Great Granddad.  Cecil’s method of training creates that much needed trust between horse and man

Cecil has lots of stories to share, years of insight on horses and lots of good advice to those who will listen.  He is a horseman in the true sense of the word, caring and sharing his life with the horse

Cecil & his team 1945 Cecil & Jack the family race horse
Cecil & Pat 1941  

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