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Richard Winters Horsemanship

Learn With Richard Winters

Horseman and clinician Richard Winters has been helping people through training, clinics, horse expos, horse training DVD’s, videos, books and more for over thirty years. Winters masterful communication skills shine with his expertise as a performance horse trainer with a natural horsemanship touch. From reined cow horses to jumping and dressage, his horsemanship is universal. He has earned many accomplishments such as 2005 World Championship in the National Reined Cow Horse Association, 2009 Road to the Horse Colt Starting Championship and would be the first to say that he is someone a lot like you, simply a little boy who grew up loving horses! To learn more about Richard Winters, visit his website

In the video Series Tactics For Transformation, Richard Winters takes you on a journey from the ground up. To view this entire video series tune and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Richard Winters will start with the basics of saddling, bridling and then progress to saddle exercises for teaching your horse to side pass, teaching a leg yield, improving a stop & much more!

Also check out the behind the scenes Q&A session with Richard Winters, here!

Richard Winters

Tactics for Transformation Episodes

In the video Series Tactics For Transformation, Richard Winters takes you on a journey from the ground up. To view this entire video series tune to our YouTube channel. Richard Winters will start with the basics of saddling, bridling up and then progress to saddle exercises for teaching your horse to side pass, teaching a leg yield, improving a stop & much more!


In horsemanship it’s the little things that make a big difference. Watch as professional horseman Richard Winters explains some great tips for the saddling process. This step by step procedure will have you successfully saddled in no time at all! From ensuring proper fit and placement of your Weaver Leather saddle pad, to tips on swinging up those saddles with ease, you will learn how to outfit your horse with maximum comfort and be aware of attention to details that will help you get ready for a positive ride.


Need help getting your horse to accept the bridle? Don’t know what components should make up your bridle or how to make proper adjustments? Don’t worry! Professional horseman and clinician and our very own endorsee, Richard Winters, gives some great insight and instruction for properly preparing you & your horse how to bridle up efficiently & smoothly to make it a positive experience. Watch and create your own checklist to make sure you are correctly placing your hands, adjustments, the bridle/bit and body for a safe & successful experience.


Join us today on a journey with Weaver Leather endorsee, Richard Winters, to learn more about the concept of “leg yields” or teaching your horse to move off of your leg with a step and release process. Richard explains & shows in depth this vital concept as a beginning fundamental of riding in order to safely ride down the trail or advance on to more maneuvers.


From reined cow horses to jumping and dressage, horseman & clinician Richard Winters is very universal. Growing up as a little boy who simply LOVED horses he is now helping riders all over the world advancing in their horsemanship. In a previous video lesson of our Tactics for Transformation series we learned how to teach a leg yield. Now, let’s build upon that by learning to ride with straightness.


In this training tip discover what the difference is between a “saddle horse” and a “pack horse”. While your pack horse carries a balanced load down the trail that shifts you must learn how to use your body to be balanced, in time, moving and even use verbal cues to offer clear communication with your saddle horse. Join Richard Winters Horsemanship on this ride to work on improving your stop and backing up with these techniques and see just how quickly your horse will learn to feel these changes!


Body control in your horses is everything! From going down the trail, opening a gate, going over a jump, crossing a creek, gathering cattle or arena maneuvers you must be in time with your horse. Join Richard Winters Horsemanship in this series of Tactics for Transformation as he teaches fundamental exercises such as the “train track circle “, steps to counter bending and more to practice moving any part of your horse at any time.


Do you know what lead you are on when cantering/loping your horse? Left or Right? Watch Weaver Leather endorsee Richard Winters demonstrate and see if you can pick out the lead! Once you can distinguish watching a horse from the ground, next you must take it to the saddle! Easier said than done, right? Join Richard in this episode of Tactics for Transformation, as he helps explain properly training your eyes and body to set up and cue your horse for the correct lead.


Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you just can’t get your horse to lunge? Do you feel as if you might be in danger or you signals are getting mixed up? Join industry expert Richard Winters as he teaches how DIRECTION and DRIVE are two important factors in setting yourself and horse up in a successful position to lunge.


Are you interested in improving performance, athleticism, refinement, collection from your horse? Join this episode of Tactics for Transformation with Weaver Leather endorsee Richard Winters to learn the beginning stages of vertical flexion to carry on to a more advanced horse. As Richard would state “the teaching moment is not when you pull on the horse, but when you release.”


In this episode of Tactics for Transformation with Weaver Leather endorsee Richard Winters Horsemanship you will discover another piece of the puzzle to the importance of building on body control. Remember, body control is not the main thing in horsemanship, it is everything! Discover exercises such as the “hula hoop circle” to develop control of the hindquarters with more “straightness” and less elementary pulling the head around to disengage.


Have you been working on gaining body control within your horse? Are you seeking ways to help take your horse to that next level of suppleness to work a cow or head to the show arena? Join Professional Horseman, Richard Winters, in this episode of Tactics for Transformation brought to you by Weaver Leather to learn the counter-arch and same direction arch backwards circles that can drive you to that next step. As Richard would say, it’s not all going to happen overnight, be patient, stay positive and work towards your goals.


Join Weaver Leather Professional Horseman, Richard Winters as he teaches how to keep your horses honest and correct in better preparing yourself and them for good performance. Take his journey in cantering circles, center stopping and leg yielding to discover an exercise great for lead departures and proper carriage. Stay tuned for more great episodes of Tactics for Transformation.


As you are riding and training your horses, you spend a tremendous amount of time teaching them to relax and slow down. And that’s important, but if you are interested in higher levels of horsemanship where speed is involved, you have to have a systematic way of introducing speed into your workouts. Join Richard Winters as he demonstrates how to pick up speed from a nice, quiet lope.


Using a fun “follow the leader” exercise, Richard Winters shows viewers how to engage a young horse in tracking a cow. Watch his technique as he introduces his 2-year-old filly to a cow for the first time. The goal? Get the horse engaged in the activity and build confidence.


You’ve introduced your horse to a cow and created some interest. What’s the next step? Watch Richard Winters begin to position his horse to control and move parallel to the cow. Remember, always warm up first.


What does a cow horse trainer or cutter mean when they talk about “draw”? It’s the idea of the horse coming back to the rider instead of reaching out toward the cow. Instill muscle memory at an early stage so that when your horse goes to make turns in front of a cow, their first instinct is to come back to you. Watch expert horseman Richard Winters teach his horse how to back up and load up her hind end as she makes turns.


Used in reined cow horse and vaquero traditions to develop horses, the hackamore bridle still has a place in modern horsemanship. Watch this video from Richard Winters Horsemanship to learn more about the parts of a hackamore bridle — hanger, mecate and bosal — and how to use a hackamore on a horse.


Is your horse in a hurry? Richard Winters demonstrates how to get a fast horse to slow down using one rein control. Once mastered, a one rein technique will improve your horse’s handleability and encourage them to relax while you’re riding.


Is your horse dropping his shoulder left and right when trying to lope or trot circles? In this video, Richard Winters demonstrates several exercises you can use to teach your horse how to trot or lope more balanced circles.


Do you use spurs? Are you using your spurs effectively? In this video, Richard Winters explains how to use spurs to communicate with a horse. Learn how to apply pressure using your spurs and how to move different parts of your horse’s body using various spur positions. Remember, only use spurs if you can ride with an independent seat.


If you want to get more specific in your maneuvers, you must get more specific in your cues. Watch this video to learn how to use spur and body positions to let your horse know how you’d like him to move. Remember, spurs aren’t designed to speed up your horse; they’re designed to enhance communication.


The two-rein style of training is an effective way to prepare a horse for a bridle. The mare in this video has been ridden with a hackamore for the past two years and is ready to begin the two-rein phase. Watch how Richard Winters utilizes a bridle with romal reins in addition to the hackamore to introduce this new phase to his horse.


Richard uses the two-rein style of training as a way to transition his horse from a hackamore to a bridle, and this process takes, on average, one year. For the first few months of two-rein training, you’ll use 90% hackamore and 10% bridle to get your horse used to the feeling of bridle rein, bit and curb strap without much pressure being applied. As time goes on, you’ll slowly increase the use of the bridle and decrease the use of the hackamore. By the end of a year, your horse will feel pretty confident in the bridle and you can stop using the hackamore.


Whether you’d like to teach your horse to neck rein or teach them better vertical flexion, there may come a time when you’d like to transition from a snaffle bit to a leverage bit. In this video, Richard Winters explains how a transition bit works and demonstrates how to properly equip a horse with a transition bit.


Richard Winters builds on the training he and his horse have completed in a snaffle bit and introduces a transition bit. Watch this video for handling tips to use at this critical time in a horse’s training. It’s important to be gentle and take it slow to get your horse acclimated to the new sensations of a leverage bit.


Richard Winters provides exercises to help your horses learn to leave right from the walk into a desired lead and help prepare them for changing leads and flying lead changes. This video truly demonstrates how to shape a horse up to get them to pick up their correct lead, getting good shoulder control and getting the horse bent and arched in the direction you want to go.


Are you the leader that your horse needs you to be? In this video, Richard Winters uses a 2-year-old filly to demonstrate the importance of being the leader of your horse. Discover how, by controlling the direction your horse moves and rewarding the try, you can make both yourself and your horse more brave and in turn make your rides safer by building a trusting relationship with your horse.


Richard Winters discusses the differences in rider mindset between riding in an arena and riding outside. Even though you may not be on arena terrain or a confined area, it is okay to work your horse and actually has many benefits including practicing good horsemanship outside of the arena, familiarizing your horse to maneuvering in different terrain, and teaching your horse to handle their emotions in a new environment.

EPISODE 29 – Working the Gate with Your Horse

Are you ready for a new challenge with your horse? Weaver Leather endorsee Richard Winters uses a green horse to explain how to train a horse to be comfortable allowing you to open and close gates while mounted. It is important to make sure your horse does not learn to anticipate or feel anxious when moving gates, so be sure you have extra time set aside when beginning to work with your horse on this maneuver.

EPISODE 30 – Hands-Free Backup on Your Horse

Teach your horse to back up without relying on a cue from the reins with these tips from Richard Winters. By introducing the leg cue for a backup, you will increase the impulsion and effort that a horse puts into their backup. This is a great tool for every day riding, but comes in especially handy when working cattle on a horse.

EPISODE 31 – Proper Neck Reining

Are you trying to figure out how to transition your horse from a direct rein to neck reining? Watch as professional horseman Richard Winters demonstrates how to properly teach a horse to neck rein, preventing the horse from tipping their nose in the opposite direction from their travel. By combining several different methods over the length of a training period, you can teach a horse to move away from the rein instead of following their instincts, and achieve your goal of neck reining.

EPISODE 32 – The “Elevator” Lifter Bit

Watch as professional horseman Richard Winters demonstrates the purpose and use of an elevator bit, which has equal pressure distribution on both the purchase and shank sides of the cheek piece. Weaver Leather’s Lifter Bit is a very mild elevator bit that allows you to get a fresh new feel in your horse’s mouth if they are resistant to other bits. Using this bit properly allows you to lift your horse’s front end and shoulders and get them into a better posture with a more athletic frame.

EPISODE 33 – Advanced Turnarounds on Your Horse

Richard Winters discusses expectations for your horse during advanced turnarounds, or spins, that you would see used in reining classes. Your horse needs to take responsibility to remain moving and in position even when not being cued until you ask them to do something different. This helps keeps your horse responsive to your cues and allows you to be more reserved when asking your horse to do something. Don't be afraid to correct them if they get rushed or move away from the spin - the key is to use your aids to correct them and then release the pressure again quickly once they are back to the correct maneuver.

EPISODE 34 – Four Part Harmony: Part 1- Head and Neck

In part 1 of this advancing horsemanship four part harmony series, professional horse trainer Richard Winters discusses the need for softness and responsiveness in the bridle when riding your horse. By asking for vertical flexion with impulsion, you will achieve collection with your horse. You will need to work with your horse often to prevent them from becoming "dull," or forgetting what you have taught them. By having control over the different areas of your horse's body, you will be prepared for higher levels of performance with your horse.

EPISODE 35 – Four Part Harmony: Part 2 - Shoulders

Richard Winters discusses exercises you can use when riding your horse to work on gaining control of their shoulders. It is important to cue your horse's shoulder movement by turning your toe outwards and placing your heel, or spur, next to the front cinch. By executing a "train track circle" to wrap your horse around your inside leg and then also practicing counter bending to move the shoulders without the head and neck engaged in the same direction, you will find that you can maintain better control of your horse's shoulders.

Richard Winters' Favorite Gear

Do you want to ride and train like a pro? Shop Richard Winters' favorite gear below!

Shop Richard Winter's Favorite Tack Collection, Western Edge
Shop Richard Winter's Favorite Prodigy Boots
Shop Richard Winter's Favorite Synergy® Saddle Pad
Shop Richard Winter's Favorite Silvertip Halter