Overholt Covers Training Techniques and Tools

Overholt is far from just a jockey. The Michigan cowgirl has trained her own horses for years and spends her days on the backs of young horses. Below, she covers her training ideals and some of her favorite tools.

Natalie and Casey at the IBRA Ultimate Challenge in Cloverdale, Ind., where she won the 1D out of 500+ horses.

Do you train your own horses?
I usually train my own horses. I have had some that were already trained or started on barrels. But now I do the majority of the training myself.

What philosophies do you stick to when training young horse?
Horses have different personalities, characteristics, abilities and athletic styles. Because this stuff varies from horse to horse, each horses learns at a different pace and needs individualized attention. What I do and how I train a horse depends on the individual horse. I try to do what will work best for that particular horse. The more natural something is to a horse the easier it will be for the horse to learn and do.

How far will you push a young horse?

Depends on the individual horse and what they can handle.

What sort of horse body style do you prefer?
I like smaller built horses because I am more comfortable on them. However I have had some big horses and know of other big horses that do a great job barrel racing.

Any bloodlines you think are better than others?
Jet of Honor and Sun Frost breeding is probably my favorite.

At what age do you expect one of your prospects to be ready to hit the rodeo trail?
That all depends on how early the horse was started.

Any favorite techniques when putting a young horse on the barrels?
Start out slow and give them plenty of room coming into barrel to prevent them trying to slice it or cut into close as they get older.

What is your favorite training tool?

What is your favorite bit for a young horse?


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