Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

April 26, 2010

The Gordon-area's horse whisperer

Craig Cameron's approach to horse training has earned him international acclaim

Betty Allison

GORDON — Horse people are always fascinated with methods of training horses, like “horse whispers.”

I have had occasion to watch a trainer enter a small circular pen and approach a wild (aged) horse and, in a matter of a few hours, have the horse saddled and ridden! That approach is so different from the way it “used to be” done: earring one down and putting a cowboy on his back, followed by much bucking and cheering from the other cowboys. If one was able to stay “aboard,” the horse was ridden until it was somewhat subdued.

This newer approach is much easier on the horse and rider.

One such trainer, Craig Cameron, from Bluff Dale, recently won the 2010 World Champion Colt Starting Competition, which was held in Murfreesboro, Tenn. This culminated in the “Road to the Horse” Competition.  A remuda of 10 horses is placed in an arena and the top three competitors in the U.S. have to pick a colt which they will “train” in a total of three hours over a two day period! The trainer will then have the colt saddled and ridden through a difficult course. (These are 3 year olds, which have never had any handling!) This event is rather new as a competition.

This is Craig’s third year to enter and, as the saying goes, “third time’s the charm” – at least it was for Craig.

When Craig is not going to competitions such as this, he is holding clinics all over the U.S. and Canada. He holds four-day clinics at the ranch throughout the year. These are dubbed “CCU” – Craig Cameron University. This is where people can learn about horses, horsemanship, self confidence, responsibility and lessons that will carry over into every aspect of their lives. They cover everything from beginning to winning.

Craig was raised in the Giddings area. After rodeoing and deciding that it was time to share his methods of horsemanship with others, he started looking for a ranch that would be suitable for clinics. He and Dalene, his wife (who was in to cutting horses when she ventured from Arizona to Texas), looked all over the country.  They wanted a place with rolling hills and valley and trees. They found what they were looking for near Bluff Dale and dubbed their place Double Horn Ranch.

It is evident when you see their “layout” that everything was planned to a “T.” There are six unique log cabins for guests, barns and pens for the horses and arenas. Dalene has a western store, featuring Craig Cameron Collections. They ship out orders which have been placed over the Internet. I am sure that the good meals they provide are much appreciated after all-day working sessions.

Some of the meals occur in a covered barbecue area. A deck overlooks an arena down below in a small valley. One can sit there and watch events occurring in the arena.

During the last 23 years Craig has perfected his approach to horsemanship. He has created a program that builds confidence and trust between man and horse. Rather than fighting the animal, he offers patience and understanding that leaves the horse wanting to do what is asked of him.

Eliminating rough handling of horses has earned him a well-deserved international following. Craig can be seen over RFD-TV. He also created the Extreme Cowboy Race. This and other interesting material can be found at www.craigcameron.com. Be sure and read the testimonials. Craig has indeed developed a unique method of working with horses.