Tag Archives: trick riding

Start ’em Young! Tad Griffith’s trick ridin’ kids!


I am showing this video today because I want you all to feel inspired…

This is a video of three tiny, trick riding kids.  They are 11, 8 and 6 respectively.  (You need to watch it!)

Once you watch this video, I can hear what you will probably be saying to yourselves…

“Those kids are too young to know fear.”  And,  “those kids have been around horses all their lives.”  Or, “they’re just kids and they have free time to work at it every day.”    Well, I hear you…  However, I do know that they do know fear, everyone does.  I also know that they have been around  horses all their lives but that doesn’t make them automatically great riders.  And, yes, they do make time to do this after going to school, doing homework, school activities and all the ranch chores.  So, basically, they are just like you and me.  The great part is that they have someone telling them to “Get out there and practice!” which I so wish I had around here.  I wish I had someone kicking my sorry hiney away from the computer and out with my horses for an hour of practice every day.  Imagine how good I’d be at whatever it was I ended up doing with them…  Anyway, all that practice made them very good riders and now they love, love, love it!

Who is the person helping these kids practice and teaching them the safe and proper way to do this?   The legendary Tad Griffith, trick and stunt rider/trainer.


I have featured Tad before in his Roman Riding video and also his Training video — where he is training himself, not training the audience.  (I was there while he was rehearsing at home so I videoed it.)


Anyway, today I’m showing you the video of his three kids from their very first performance, ever, at the FIESTA OF THE SPANISH HORSE this year.  (They also have a family friend showing with them.) You should watch closely to see how Tad’s sons emulate their Dad’s performance moves.  But, you should also look closely to watch these earnest little horses!  They just kill me!  Especially the youngest son’s horse… he is just awesome in his ponyness!  What a little devil!  He does his job but towards the end, this little stinker ducks under the ropes to cut the corner… and that stoic 6 year old boy just rides through it.  No worries!

But, I also want you to look at suitability to rider.  These three individual ponies are perfect for these three individual kids.  I betcha the littlest boy wants the biggest horse but he doesn’t get the biggest horse.  He gets the horse that fits him.  Too cute!

So Readers, watch this and remember when you didn’t stop yourself from doing adventurous stuff…   Remember what it was like to get so wrapped up in some activity that you wanted to do it all the time.  For me, it was memorizing soundtracks from movies.  For my brother, it was slot cars.  What was it for you?  Well, whatever your passion, remember how you gave yourself permission to totally engross yourself in it.

Then go out and squeeze a horse and dream about what you could do together if you practice, practice, practice.   It might put that big ‘ol school kid grin back on your face!

Click on the image to watch these incredible stunt rider kids!

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Tad Griffith Trick Riding Exhibition! We always watch the riders, but I want you to watch the horses…

Well, as promised, here is the actual event that Tad and Tanya were practicing for in last week’s post about them.  So, you saw them rehearsing (and if you didn’t, here is that link) and now it is the big day!  Things didn’t go exactly as planned… This Fiesta arena is a bit smaller than Tad’s and this show is Tanya’s first…  You go, girl!

Anyway, I know you will want to watch this video to see them do their amazing tricks.  I certainly did.  But, after viewing it a few times, I turned my attention onto the horses.  Wow.  It was really something when you thought about what the horses did!  First of all, no one is steering.  These boys did what they knew they were supposed to do regardless if there was someone at the helm.  Now, we all know what horses can do if you drop the rein…  But not with these two.  Atta boys just kept on keeping on with what they knew they needed to do.  They never mosey to the center ring to eat flowers.  They don’t stop and rear at flashbulbs.  They don’t break into a trot or an uneven run, they don’t fuss, they don’t talk back, they don’t cut the circle… they just do their job with their ears up.  Wow.

Take a gander at Tanya’s horse.  First, she shimmies up on his neck, grabs a handful of poll mane and then steers him with it.  Hey, its all good…  She stands on his back and then, she hangs off the side of the saddle, moving around,  as he gallops around the arena...  Yeah, my horse would do that, too.  Not.  We riders often blame ourselves for leaning left and right (which we do) and say that we are hard on our horses for leaning one way (which we are).  So, imagine having a whole body over to one side!  Does the horse flinch?  No.  Does he stumble?  Nope again.  He just compensates and keeps going like he should.  Oh, and by the way, this horse got his belly slapped a few times by her hand and he didn’t even twitch an ear.  Never let them see you sweat.  This boy acted like it was just another day at the office.

And Tad’s horse!  OMG.  He just does his thing.  The boy has his head smacked a few times and his necked roughed up… does he do anything but his job?  No.  He just keeps an even gallop at all times.  So remarkable!  He didn’t change one bit from home to the show.  Don’t we all wish we could say that?  ;)

Oh, and I have to comment, check out how the horses watch each other.  Every time one stops and the other goes, the one standing watches with complete attention.  It would be so much fun to be able to read the thought bubbles from those horses…  (Roany)”Oooh, Tango, ouch, that musta hurt when she stuck her toe in your eyeball” … (Tango) “Nawww, I’m used to it… but did you see that kid throw a cup at me?  I almost jumped three feet!  Stoopid photographer popped a flash right in my eye!” (Roany) “You sure looked good out there, is your hip still bothering you?  Didn’t look like it, you looked like a colt out there” (Tango) “Awww, thanks, just doing my job…”  Or, something like that.

Anyway, please watch the Before and After videos (Tad at home and Tad at the show) and Enjoy!  If you have time, watch them again with the horses in mind.  They are very cute and such good boys!

Here is the You Tube version of Tad’s trickriding at the Fiesta of the Spanish Horse.

Here is the You Tube link of the previous video where Tad is rehearsing for this at home.

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!