I grew up in the Rodeo business with my dad, Frank Thompson, four-time Wrangler NFR steer wrestler and world champion in 2000. I partnered with him on selling horses throughout high school which allowed me to train on a wide variety of horses at all different levels. In addition, I’ve spent my whole life training under master horseman Brent Lewis, eleven-time NFR tie-down roper and 2000 average champion. While attending college I focused on my roping career which led to training under Tate Kirchenschlager, the 2021 American Rope Horse Futurity Association Champion Header and trainer of the 2019 AQHA/PRCA Head Horse of the Year. These are three of the best mentors a guy could have in our industry. They instilled in me that your horse is your teammate. Partnering with your horse allows for that extra try in and out of the arena that makes a truly exceptional performance horse.
Education and partnership. We start by evaluating where your horse is in their foundation work before we introduce roping. I think it is important to know what makes the individual horse’s mind tick so that I know what and when to ask it of them. I might ask a horse for most of their ability because I do think it is important to progress them and then come back down a few steps to slow things down in their mind, solidifying their grasp of the skill and allowing them to gain confidence in their abilities and to trust me. I break larger skills into manageable steps. It’s very important that horses stay soft, broke, and responsive regardless of the speed requested. This “advance and retreat” approach creates a fundamentally sound and sane horse.
Go to the Bridle
I lope a lot of horses in a soft bridle to allow fluidity of movement and keep feel for those light-mouthed horses while I’m preparing them to be roped on. I am a big fan of the Dayrl Davis correction because through it I can provide collection and the appropriate level of pressure to gain the response needed. Here we are talking about bridles but truly I strive for our horses to work primarily off of my feet.
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Location: Cheyenne, WY
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