Jet McCoy – Horsemanship Trainer – (580) 235-2220
McCoy works on relationship between horse and its owner
TUPELO, Okla. – The ranch of Jet McCoy’s childhood isn’t far removed from where he is today.
Only a few miles of pastureland and modern conveniences are all that separate the 29-year-old from the home he shares with his wife and daughter to the home in which he grew up. That’s where he mounted his first horse, most likely before he could ever walk.
Over his lifetime, he’s ridden countless horses, from the colts to the established to the buckers stock contractors save for the short go-rounds. By genetics alone, Jet McCoy was born to be a horseman. But his love for horses has carried him from McCoy Ranches to rodeos all across this land to backyard arenas, where he shows gifts that only God and years horseback could provide.
“What I teach is equine communication,” said McCoy, one of five children born to Denny and Janet McCoy and raised in the brush and pastures of southeastern Oklahoma. “It’s about building a relationship with your horse. Every horse will remind you of someone you know.
“Once you realize that every horse has a different personality, a different attitude, a different disposition and a different background, you can move forward. Pinpoint those things and approach that horse with that in mind, and it makes your training and your communication easier.”
Many horse owners, though, don’t recognize what it takes to get the best out of their mounts, which is the genius behind McCoy’s methods. Having grown up riding hundreds of horses, he learned at an early age that it took something different with each animal. The ranch way of life also taught him how to best read the livestock, gathering an understanding of each animal’s personalities and mannerisms.
In fact, McCoy has carried his teachings to the arena classrooms, so to speak, including a clinic the final weekend of June near his hometown. With the help of Mercedes Boots, which provided incentives for participants, McCoy put nine owners and their horses through the paces.
“It went really well,” he said. “Everybody there was pleased and was ready for more, so we went ahead and scheduled another. Everyone seemed to be hanging around asking questions. They were hungry for more, which is exciting to me.”
It is exciting to a lot of people who have heard about the education McCoy provides.
“Jet’s philosophy on horsemanship is a benefit to any level rider,” said Odie Heck of Ada, Okla., one of the June students. “From the experienced to the first-time novice, his ideas break things down to simple repetition that will be a benefit to anyone’s riding style.”
That’s exactly what McCoy was hoping his students would get at the conclusion of the class.
“The thing about having a clinic like this is we can evaluate each person’s horse and that horse’s specific needs, then help that person with that horse,” McCoy said. “That’s one of the things that makes all this work. This isn’t a catch-all kind of horsemanship. It’s more along the lines of being specific.
“We don’t talk to our friends the same way we talk to strangers, and we don’t talk to strangers the same way we talk to our boss.”
Therein lies the sweetness of the program. It’s not just about horses, McCoy said; the people who have signed up must be willing to adjust themselves as well as work with the animals. As a child, he saw very distinctive personalities among his siblings. On the rodeo trail, every day revealed something new, whether it was a bucking animal or friends behind the chutes.
“Cord and I share the same blood, the same genetics, but we have distinctive personalities,” Jet McCoy said of his baby brother, popular bull rider Cord McCoy, who has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals rodeo and the Professional Bull Riders World Finals. “But when we were growing up riding roughstock, Dad would tell Cord completely different things than he would tell me. The things he would tell Cord were things that would help him perform better, and it was the same for me, but in a different way.”
The basics were the same; the method in which it was conveyed just happened to work best for each cowboy – both Jet and Cord McCoy own multiple world championships in the International Professional Rodeo Association.
“The techniques may be the same thing, but we have to communicate things in a way that’s specific to that horse,” Jet McCoy said. “That’s one of the things that makes horsemanship so difficult.
“Because of those personality differences, we just have to adjust and adapt to each horse. It depends on what they need at that moment. Horses learn, horses grow, horses mature just like people, so when we start a new horse, the training method that we use is not going to be the same way we approach that horse when he’s 7. We have to make those adjustments as he grows.”
McCoy provides the tools for the horsemen and horsewomen who want to just work better with their horses.
“It’s really a one-horse-one-person-at-a-time type of training,” McCoy said. “It’s that way whether we’re in a clinic or a private lesson. Those are really helpful, because we can do it on a one-on-one basis, where we can evaluate that horse and that person, then proceed accordingly. We also offer group rates and work with them either at our house or at that person’s facility.”
McCoy is also tinkering with the idea of splitting the lessons into multiple levels – for beginners, intermediates and advanced.
“We also do a colt-starting clinic, helping people learn a colt’s attitude and disposition,” McCoy said. “We help you read a horse, but it’s really not any different than evaluating a person’s disposition.”
So why does McCoy do this?
“I just want to help people enjoy their time with their horses as much as possible,” he said. “I have probably learned more about myself from my horses than from anywhere else in my life. Horses really bring out my character.“Horses have enriched my life, and that’s what I want to share with other people. I want people to know they can get along with their horse if they have the right tools and the right knowledge.”