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Jack Brainard-- who is he? Or: Foundation stock (people) for Western Dressage?

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  • Jack Brainard-- who is he? Or: Foundation stock (people) for Western Dressage?

    It seems to me that Western Dressage and Cowboy Dressage have "pedigrees" of trainers who started it. Or the builders are creating "origin myths" to justify the True-Classical-Ur-Great Horsemanship-ness of their hybrid discipline.

    So give me your impression of the pedigree or "who's who" in the story you know about who is behind Cowboy Dressage or Western Dressage. You can go in the "modern Vaquero" direction too, if you know that.

    Jack Brainard.

    I heard his name a while back in CA, I think associated with Eitan Beth-Halachmy who is the guy who gave birth to Cowboy Dressage.

    Now Brainard is engaged to do some clinics up here in the PWN. Should I go watch?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat

  • #2
    I attended clinics under him, more geared towards "getting a handle" on a horse WAYYY back in the '70s. We didn't know much then! He was an excellent Clinician, helpful in details with OUR individual animals, getting our bodies in correct position to do what the exercise called for. I really liked him as a teacher.
    Then I ran into him as a Judge a couple times, thought he did a good job and did pretty well under him. Not sure he remembered me though we talked after the show was done.

    He was among the first trainers who were able to "fine tune" horses, for reliable performances in Reining, gave a lot of credit to Monte Foreman as a teacher for learning from. Jack also gave the FIRST talk I ever heard on how bits work, leverage factors, design of cheek hanging in the mouth affecting head carriage, metals they were made of. FASCINATING then, all new to us so we had lots to think on.

    He wrote one of the Western Horseman books on training, and WH has an article on their site about him right now.


    I haven't done a clinic with him in years, not doing much Western stuff these days. I do read his articles when they appear in WH, always learn something.


    • #3
      I like Jack Brainard. I have all his books, and they're ones I read over and over again and learn something new each time. Jack was bringing dressage principles to western before it was cool.

      I am as baffled by his association with Eitan as I was when Walter Zettl hooked up with the Parellis.


      • #4
        Jack Brainard was one of the guys that helped get the NRHA off the ground. He's THE guy for lead changes and putting a great handle on horses. I guess he's more known to the trainers, kind of a trainers' trainer. He's pretty up there in years, and has spent his life learning. His book "If I Were To Train a Horse" has some pretty good stuff in it. He is the Real Deal, just hasn't been as self promoted as a lot of other trainers.


        • #5
          I know Jack well and hosted him 2 x's a year for many years
          here in CO. He is a first rate western trainer and a brilliant man. Check out his website. He saw a video of EBH and loved it, contacted EBH and partnered up. They as a team wound up starting the Western Dressage association. They have since split from it. I wound up going the classical route but I'd recommend Jack to anyone that is a die hard western rider wanting to advance their horsemanship. He is the BEST sweetest person, great teacher. I can't wait for his new book '' A Horseman Remembers the First 90 Years. I visited him a couple of months ago, at 93 he is still going strong and riding. Do go see him while you still can.