Champion trainer Hendricks showcased on next episode of ‘The Ride’
Dell Hendricks is the premier reining horse trainer in the world, and there’s a good reason for it.
In his established career, Hendricks has earned more than $1.4 million in the National Reining Horse Association winnings. In addition, he raises, trains and shows a number of the top horses in the business.
The key components as to why he’s considered the best will be on display for all to see during the Aug. 26 episode of “The Ride with Cord McCoy,” which airs at 1 and 11 p.m. Mondays on RFD-TV.
“A lot of people call it horse whispering, but the training focuses on teaching the horse to read your cues,” McCoy said. “In a sense, if I push this little button, I want you to that. If I want a horse to do something, then all I have to do is push that button. I don’t think the people give the horses enough credit on how smart they are. I could make the horse do so much with just a little cue.”
McCoy has learned a few of those things over the last few years. He and Hendricks met in 2008 during the Reining Horse Sports Foundation’s 4R Performance Horses Celebrity Slide and were teamed as part of a benefit for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oklahoma. They were teamed with Starbucks Sidekick, a champion reining horse, and Luke Good, a child receiving the Make-A-Wish benefits.
“Me meeting Dell Hendricks was pretty special,” McCoy said. “It seemed like all four of us made a bond in the one day we were together.”
That bond continues today, and fans will get to see it in the half-hour show.
“I’ve been all over the world teaching people about reining and showing horses,” Hendricks said on the show. “When I had the opportunity to help Luke and make his wish come true, it was a great opportunity. When you got in the mix, it was a fun opportunity.”
It marked the first time McCoy stepped onto a reining horse. That day also set the wheels in motion for McCoy’s brother, Jet, who traveled the world with Cord in two seasons of the reality-television show, “The Amazing Race.” Jet McCoy met Hendricks at the benefit and has since gone into the business; he owns Wranglin in Chex, a half-brother to Sidekick that has become one of the top 20 reining money-earners this year.
“That makes Jet one of the top 20 reining horse owners in the world,” Cord McCoy said, noting that Hendricks shows Wranglin in Chex for his brother. “It’s made a full turn, and it started with a little wish.”
During the show, Hendricks takes viewers on a little ride around his Hendricks Reining complex in north Texas.
“It was an interesting combination for me getting paired up with you,” Hendricks told Cord McCoy. “It was a great thing for me because I’ve made a lot of friends. Luke has come to the ranch a couple of times and got to get on horses here at the ranch.”
He also explained just why he loves working with reining horses.
“When you get on them, they actually feel a lot different than people think they do,” he said. “It’s almost like stepping into a Ferrari and driving down the road as fast as you can and turning corners, because they handle so much better than a lot of horses. For me, personally, it’s the most challenging thing I’ve ever done on a horse.”
It’s a challenge that’s befitting of talented horsemen.
“A lot of people on the ranch have the misconception that show horses are just show horses and ranch horses are just ranch horses,” Jet McCoy said on the show. “Once I got a little better introduced to it and started realizing the things these reining horses are doing, (I though) if I could get my ranch horses doing a little, tiny part of that, it would make way better horses.
“When Cord got the opportunity to be in the Celebrity Slide, I got to meet Dell. About two weeks later, I took him up on the offer and got to come down and ride some nice horses.”
The key is in the work done at Hendricks Reining.
“Top athletes only get to be top athletes because of the work they put in on the practice field,” Cord McCoy said. “Horses are the same way. They get prepared the same way even for practice. Dell Hendricks makes his living on what he can train these horses to do and how much he can win in performance. The care of these animals is as tip-top as you can make this. It’s pretty neat to hang out on his place.”
The episode shows Hendricks and the McCoys in the practice arena, with the trainer teaching the principals that have made him so successful.
“There are seven different components to a reining run,” Jet McCoy said. “All of those seven components … I use them every day when I’m working on the ranch or if I’m riding a roping horse.”