The Learning Process

Futurity season is well underway. I took my first set of 3-year-olds to Denver, where I showed them at the Rocky Mountain Reining Horse Association (RMRHA) Summer Slide. We had a great show, placing second and third in the finals.

My third horse had an unfortunate costly penalty in the first go when he broke gait in the slow down. This is all part of the learning process for me as a rider. Most of the time when showing you lose a horseโ€™s attention to some degree, and sometimes those horses do the opposite and really stay hooked. I have to learn along with them how they are going to react and how much cue I need to give when showing them.

I am in Tulsa, Oklahoma, now with another group, and then I head to Las Vegas next week with another set. My goal is to show them all two times before the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity. This gives me the opportunity to season them at their pace. My ultimate goal is always to peak them at the NRHA Futurity, where the payout is the best.

After Vegas, I head to the All American Quarter Horse Congress, then straight home to our new show โ€“ the Best Of The West in Scottsdale, Arizona. Then I will possibly go on to the Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

After hauling my 3-year-olds around so much, we will all enjoy a few weeks at home before heading to Oklahoma City in November. This time of year is tedious but also exciting; it is fun for me to see how the horses handle all of this. Most of the time they do not disappoint me.

About Craig

Reining horse professional Craig Schmersal is the third-leading rider of all time, with earnings of more than $3.6 million. Over the last decade, Craig has won almost all of the major reining events, often taking all three of his entries into the finals.