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NFR heeler Dean Tuftin is pulling back the curtain on his training program at DT Horses in Scottsdale, Arizona, taking Roping.com members through his start-to-finish system of making top-tier rope horses. Get an insider’s look at the program that produced the first-ever Riata Buckle Futurity Open Champion DT Hickorys Mistycat, AQHA/PRCA Heel Horses of the Year Rey Shines On Top and DT Sugar Chex Whiz and more
Even when heading, instilling circles is important. Dean Tuftin explains how following the dummy in a circle when heading reinforces a horse's left lead and keep them left at a good width from a steer.
At DT Horses, ground zero for heel horses revolves around circle drills. Dean Tuftin explains how and why he uses circle drills on the dummy and live cattle to train young horses and help them gain confidence.
Curvature in a heel horse can help make them easier to catch on. Dean Tuftin explains how a little bit of curve in horses in the turn makes them softer and allows a rider to move a horse's ribcages and hips over better.
It might seem simple, but focusing on circles when warming up on the dummy teaches a horse to go to work without anxiety. Dean Tuftin explains how the circle drill keeps a horse soft instead of bracing.
To introduce young horses to live cattle, DT Horses trail them around behind a lead steer in a circle. This is a great opportunity to introduce young horses to starting out of the box, too. Dean Tuftin explains how this is a nice warm-up before a roping session.
When a horse doesn't read your seat, you can feel it. It makes a heeler feel like their horse isn't rating and that they're going to have to pull more. Dean Tuftin explains how to get a horse to read your seat and why it's important.
Fresh muleys are good for young horses because they keep moving forward. Dean Tuftin explains how they help train young, green horses to not worry about a hit in front of them because of the constant forward motion.
Keeping horses soft throughout the entire training process is important. In this video, Dean Tuftin explains why this is and how they begin the process when horses are in their 2-year-old year getting them broke and laterally and vertically soft.