NickerViews is a series of interviews with horse folks in the Cayuse Communications family. These interviews consist of 14 set questions. Our next interviewee is West Taylor. Taylor was a popular arena presenter at the 2018 Best Horse Practices Summit. A Utah resident, he runs Wild West Mustang Ranch and presents regularly on Science Based Horsemanship. He works with veterans, and other groups to connect optimally with wild horses.
1. Tell us about yourself and your life with horses.
Years ago I had my own business in the telecommunications field. I lost everything in 2009 and decided I wanted a new career, so I adopted two wild mustangs and the rest is history! I now work and train full time with mustangs and people.
2. Do you like group rides or riding solo? Why?
I do lots of both. I enjoy solo rides for the quite time with just me and a mustang in nature.
It is very rewarding to do group rides with clients and friends to see the improvement in both the horses and the riders.
3. What do you recall has your finest horsemanship moment?
I taught horse to “pick up the rider” from a mounting block. The rider was in her late 60’s and could no longer get on her horse. So she felt like she could no longer go on trail rides without having a mounting block. I taught her horse to pick her up on a rock, mounting block, fence or a log or even from the side of her horse trailer. She cried as she stood on the mounting block and “called” her horse to pick her up.
4. What’s your worst horsemanship moment?
Getting over pressured by a horse situation and releasing my tension on my sweet wife
5. What frustrates you most in the horse world?
Improper understanding of how the horse can and cannot think.
6. What inspires you most in the horse world?
That horses have not turned on us humans for improper handling and teaching methods.
7. Tell us about your favorite hat/helmet when riding? Why?
Traditional cowboy hat all the way! It blocks the sun all day, shields me from rain, snow and wind.
8. What kind of saddle to you prefer to ride in? Please describe.
Fallis Balanced Ride saddles! Designed in the 1950’s by Monty Foreman.
9. What’s in your saddle bag?
Protein bars, coffee thermos, old pair of gloves.
10. What’s your favorite ingredient as trail food?
Trail mix…the M&M’s!!
11. What’s ingredient will wreck an otherwise delicious trail mix?
Have not found it yet!
12. Where would you like to be (in the horse world/with your horses and horsemanship) in 5 years?
Teaching “Science Based Horsemanship” around the world! Having a huge online video library teaching “Science Based Horsemanship”.
13. What’s something on your bucket list?
Ride my Mustangs coast to coast across America.
14. What’s the most recent thing you’ve learned (related to horse work).
The more I ask myself “does this horse feel mentally safe” during my training sessions causes me to slow down even more!!