Western riding has its origins at the end of the eighteenth century with the cowboys in the West of the United States and in South America. Extended riding throughout the work day raised the need for suitable riding styles and equipment that would provide long-term comfortable riding for both rider and horse. In addition equipment was added to assist the cowboys in their work, such as the horn at the front of the saddle. Here the cowboy could tie his lasso that he used for checking cattle that was caught and could attach other equipment.
The riding style was also adapted to meet the cowboys' needs; it includes riding with long stirrups, to ensure foot comfort during extended riding. The combination of an adapted bit with long reins (loose contact) allows the rider to choose between holding the reins with two hands or with one (neck reining). In this way the rider is able to control the horse with one hand and catch cattle with the other. Western riding provides the horse with maximum freedom and strives towards a situation in which the horse moves freely between commands.
Over the course of the years, with the advances in technology, the need for horses in cattle work has decreased. Various competitive sports have developed based on cattle work and communication with horses, including Reining, Cutting, Western Pleasure, Trail Class, Team roping, Team penning and roping.
At Grandpa Jack's you can learn the basics for all of these sports while acquiring communication skills with the horse, acquaintance with the field of training and experience in horse-grooming and stable-work.