Back in the early ‘80s a group of us riders got together to form the Texas Reining Horse Association. I am lifetime member number thirteen. Our gurus were B. F. Yates, Dave Golden, Walter Nunn, and Buddy Ralston, among others. Buddy had been a student of the great Monte Foreman who advocated scientific horsemanship back in the fifties, but he was not known for wordiness.
One day, Walter went to him to get advice on how to improve the flying changes on his famous mule Clementine. After several frustrating attempts, Buddy handed Walter a two foot length of water hose with this instruction:
“When you come across the diagonal, use that to ENGAGE that mule!”
Another time, Dave had gone to work with Buddy on a reining horse to improve its sliding stop. He rode and worked the horse for fifteen minutes, all the time expecting instruction from Buddy, who just watched. Finally, Dave rode up beside him and asked what he thought. Here’s Buddy’s response:
“Well, Dave, some days you saddle Muffin, and see what Muffin wants to do.”