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Jimmy Williams - under rated genius

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  • Jimmy Williams - under rated genius

    I've seen his name mentioned in threads off and on, but couldn't find one devoted solely to him.

    We talk alot about superstar trainers, yet JW is never mentioned in the same breath as GM or Klimpke. Why not? He was a supurb horseman and he trained many, many winning horses (cutting, hunters and jumping) as well as creating some of the top US riders.

    Yeah he was a west coaster and a cowboy, but boy howdy could that man ride! Just watched an old video of him riding a cutting horse in an english saddle with his hands tucked under his armpits. He stuck that saddle like a burr in a Fresians mane.
    Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

  • #2
    I thought/think he was/is great, too. I once posted a video of him bitting a young horse and some NH chick had heart palpitations over the way he did it. He was truly a great horseman but somehow, he didn't 'click' as RK did, seems like. I remember the indian bridle he made up for the jumper who couldn't stand to have something on his head and his rider, can't remember her name, did great things with the horse. Maybe he was too homey or down-home, I don't know.
    GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

    Comment


    • #3
      He was hardly underrated on the West Coast. Perhaps it's just been a few too many years when there wasn't as much publicity. Mary Mairs (before she became Chapot) was one of his many, many successful students.

      Besides a guy in a cowboy hat is inevitably going to be upstaged by an elegant dressage rider with a German accent any day.
      Last edited by betonbill; Oct. 7, 2012, 01:07 AM. Reason: addition

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        I do think he is under rated, west coast or anywhere. You hardly hear his name mentioned even though he created many top horses and riders. I'm guessing he is too "down-home".
        Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

        Comment


        • #5
          Jimmy was a great trainer and a wonderful person to be around. I'll agree with the underrated thing and maybe it's because he simply went about doing his business and never got involved in the marketing himself on a bigger stage.

          He brought along some extremely talented horses and riders. Any conversation with him could turn in to a real educational experience . I wish there were a few more traners like him, around today.
          I can explain it TO you,but I can't understand it FOR you

          Comment


          • #6
            The horse with the strange bridle was ridden by Susy Hutchinson I believe.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by littlecreek View Post
              The horse with the strange bridle was ridden by Susy Hutchinson I believe.
              You are correct it was Susie Hutchinson and Samsung Woodstock

              http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_cdwuRRFV2Y.../Susie+WEG.jpg
              "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by littlecreek View Post
                The horse with the strange bridle was ridden by Susy Hutchinson I believe.
                That was/is called a "war bridle", no headstall, just a mouthpiece and reins, I think whatever the mouthpiece was (not sure of this) it was the equivalent of a rope in the mouth. I will never forget this and forever have this image in my mind when I hear his name, and I am from the East Coast.
                "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Calamber View Post
                  That was/is called a "war bridle", no headstall, just a mouthpiece and reins, I think whatever the mouthpiece was (not sure of this) it was the equivalent of a rope in the mouth. I will never forget this and forever have this image in my mind when I hear his name, and I am from the East Coast.
                  I understood that being called an indian bridle.
                  A war bridle is a kind of halter you make with a lariat.
                  It is stiff and can be very harsh on a horse, as some use it to retrain a horse that acts up, it has much bite to it.
                  JW was a great horseman,trainer and instructor.
                  You have to know the times he lived in, to understand where those trainers came from, to really know him.
                  He made good horses and horsemen.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    An east coaster here who heard Jimmy Williams name attached to most west coast riders who made the news. Western or english it didn't matter, they learned from him.

                    I got the impression that he was the comsumate horseman and intuitive teacher.

                    I thought Larry Mahan's Equestrian Nation featured Jimmy Williams in an episode, but unable to confirm at this time.

                    Agree more should know of his impact on the horse world.
                    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                    Courtesy my cousin Tim

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I never met Jimmy firsthand, but knew of him from many magazine articles and books.

                      Jimmy was a classical all-around trainer. In the early years (have only read about these and read a few show result articles), trainers would go to the open shows with every class under the sun, and enter something in darn near every class. I know Jimmy did reining as well as the jumper division, and suspect he probably had a lot of diverse entries.

                      I think he might have been the one who won an open jumper class and demonstrated piaffe when he picked up the blue ribbon. I heard about this from a dressage professional who thought it was a bit of a gaffe on the trainer's part. "They didn't come to see that horse do piaffe, they came to see him jump."

                      There was at least one horse that was successful in both the reining and jumper divisions, and we're talking real success at the A show level, not dinky local shows. It would be unthinkable today to take your winning open jumper and rein him, with big slides and fast spins...but when Jimmy and the others did it, you had an jumper that could turn tight in the jump-offs and make yourself some money.

                      I haven't found my articles that I saved regarding Jimmy, but here's some links to good ones, using the search terms "jimmy williams" horse trainer California.

                      http://articles.latimes.com/1986-07-...jimmy-williams

                      http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...1482/index.htm

                      http://www.threedaysthreewaysblog.co...t-of-eventers/

                      http://www.bridleandbit.com/artman/p...le_32123.shtml

                      You'll note that he trained Albarado, "The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit."

                      http://americashorsedaily.com/henny-penny-peake/
                      "I couldn't fix your brakes, so I made your horn louder."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        He was one of those trainers-of-trainers and had a profound influence on pretty much anyone who rode jumpers at any time on the west coast through the 1990s. Anne Kursinski was also one of his students.

                        He synergized western techniques of lightness and quick spins into the jumper division in a way that was incredibly useful.

                        I have the mental concept of a grand-trainer... I'm not sure if anyone else ever thinks of it this way, but IME most trainers come with a training pedigree from the people who taught them. So I can ride with someone and think, "Oh, that's a bit of Hilda" and "Oh, that's a bit of Jimmy." I'm not sure it's as obvious on the east coast as it is on the west coast, because maybe we had fewer great trainers-of-trainers here. For example, there was a period where I was riding with one Hilda Gurney student for dressage and a different Hilda student for eventing/jumping and it was like hand-in-glove. They both had extended and developed past what she taught in different directions, but you could feel the same core.
                        If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Jimmy was the consumate horseman and showman. I've seen him sitting at the in-gate on a stock horse, arms folded, and his mare just jumping from side to side - you couldn't even see his cues.

                          For a while, at the beginning of every show season he'd come with something new. One year all of his horses would be led out of their stalls and roll a big ball up and down the barn aisle with their noses. Another year would be the year of some bit-or-other that he had devised. As a teen, I always waited to see what he'd do next.

                          And he was generous. Although I was showing for another person, I was pretty much left to my own devices. I was 16 or 17, showing the open hunters, and was thirsty for knowledge. I used to go sit in the stands when Jimmy was schooling and watch. He would see me sitting there and would come over and explain what he was doing and why. I though that was very kind of him.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Does anyone remember the wall of bits?? A solid wall of, I'm guessing, custom made bits he thought up?? I wish I could find the video. Thinking there were several as too much info for one vid, he broke it up into palatable chunks??
                            GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well, son of a gun, I found it...

                              http://www.pegasustv.com/archives/player_0008.html

                              http://www.pegasustv.com/archives/player_0009.html

                              A little Binging going on, here 'tis.
                              GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My friend and her sister trained with Jimmy for several years in the Pasadena area.

                                I watched one of their lessons one time when I was visiting, and he had taken away their stirrups AND their reins. I was in awe.
                                I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  By no means underrated, he's a legend. I remember a speech he gave at a hall of fame dinner when I was a kid, and he had the place almost literally rolling on the ground laughing. I'll never forget it.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I always thought the best JImmy WIlliams story I knew was after he'd made a transition from primarily western to hunters and jumpers. Some one mocked him re schooling hunters while wearing a cowboy hat. So he made a bet with that person, a QH breeder. He would purchase a horse from the breeder, and within a year would win a championship with it in reining/hackmore, or the like.
                                    Then the breeder would have to buy it back for double the price. He did exactly that. I believe the horse was a paloomino named Bras D'Or.

                                    I have a couple of June Fallaw photos of Jimmy, one in an Open Jumpers class on Mad Moment, wearing (today we would shudder in dismay!) a porkpie hat, and another on the gorgeous hunter, East Point, jumping a wall, lovely tight knees, rubber snaffle, NO "de rigeur" martingale as just about every hunter today wears.... (because he didn't use one of the horse didn't need it!)

                                    OT: Was delighted to see that Jersey Boy, winner of the Hunter Derby Finals goes w/o a martingale!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by fooler View Post
                                      I thought Larry Mahan's Equestrian Nation featured Jimmy Williams in an episode, but unable to confirm at this time.
                                      RFD TV showed part 1 tonight and will have part 2 next week.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Thanks for refreshing this old thread Mac. I loved the old stories. And great old horsemen should never be forgotten!

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