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Rick Gore Interview, Part I

Published: 9/25/2014
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Editor's Note: Most folks tell you only what you want to hear. Then they might try to sell you something.
Rick Gore does neither.  
Rick Gore is not soft-spoken or politically correct. He does not hesitate to call out bad form when it comes to horsemanship. In more than a decade of running Think Like A Horse, he’s acquired plenty of enemies.

But he’s got legions of fans, too. The former Air Force canine trainer and California cop has more than 38,000 followers on You Tube, a popular website, and facebook page.
He attracts viewers and readers with his no bullsh*t approach. The man has no patience for those doing bad things to horses and he’s not afraid to dress down anyone, not even Linda Parelli or the population he calls Barn Witches.

We feature Rick Gore in this multi-part interview:

NN: How is it that you’ve done so well with dogs and horses?

RG:  I’ve always been kind of an animal guy. Always had a passion for animals. When I went in military, guys would say, “Oh, dogs love you.”

Animals and me just kind of connect. I don’t know. Maybe I don’t connect with people so much. I listen to them.
I have a bachelors degree in teaching. That helped formulate or reconfirm certain things when we were training dogs, conditioning, reinforcement, stimulus-response, reward.
That’s how people AND animals learn. It just depends on what behavior you’re reinforcing or rewarding.
My degree was a bachelor of science degree. They got into psychology, understanding how the mind works.

Being a cop, you’re always dealing with human behavior, so I think it makes you a little more aware of people glances, their body movement:
  • Will they go for a gun?
  • Are they going to be cooperative?
  • Are they planning to run?

I think being a cop helps with animals as well. I understand how horses live their lives, always waiting for an attack or somebody might save their life or try to kill them.

NN: Did you study anyone? Do you tip your hat to anyone in particular?

RG:
I wouldn’t say I’ve studied anybody. What I know about Parelli is what I’ve seen and what I’ve learned by watching people trained by Parelli. I’ve watched Chris Cox, Craig Cameron…I might have read the book that Tom Dorrance book. I know about Ray Hunt.

I read about a lot of horse guys and check them out on the Internet. Xenophon was one of the early ones out there, taking care of the horses. On the battlefield, he wouldn’t let them blow the horn, stress the horses.

To me, there is really no difference between people who understand a horse. Everyone wants to make it a secret and say they coined it, but it’s basically all the same. They just use different words.
But I guess if someone hasn’t seen them all, one might sound unique and that’s who they like.

Part II: We learn about Buddy, Mr. T, and “crazy” horse people

View Reader Comments:

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9/26/2014 Julie
Looking forward to hearing more!
7/16/2015 Tx Equine
Here's the deal in a nutshell; this guy has found his market in the wannbe horse expert internet world. Facts are, he is not a professional of any ranking in any manner in the world of equine professionals. He caters to those that have no idea how much knowleged he lacks and he isn't even fooling himself. I am a lifetime professional horseman in multiple disiplines and actually do know the difference. Had he made his little videos without the condesending manner (which is just a deflection of his low self esteem) I don't think people would have given him the time of day. But as any good marketer knows, you have to get the public taling about you. So that he has. Give him that one. But an expert Horseman, no . He wouldn't make a wart on a real horsemans butt. Too many people have taken the time to earn the honor of being called a horseman and having him insinuate his way into that company is an insult that many can not let stand. Move on nothing to see here.....
8/1/2015 Culmir
Tx Equine - Sounds like Rick's straight talking or manner has offended you at some point and that's understandable. I admit that the first few times I saw some of Rick's videos I was quite put off by his manner and thought that he hated women and helmets but I also saw the real life wisdom of what he was saying based upon my own experience with my horses and you can't fake that although I've seen many "professionals" and their well produced material try to do so. No one says you have to but had you taken the time to understand the guy or what he is trying to say before commenting then you wouldn't have appeared so arrogant in your comment. His videos and website may appear unprofessional to you but don't let your prejudice negate the wealth of free information that can be gleaned there. Yeah I get that he could package that info in a more "professional" manner - maybe he could reach a wider audience and not be so misinterpreted. Why don't you use some of your horse perception on him and understand that beneath what you perceive as "condescension" is a humble guy with a passion for horses and a great sense of humour. BTW. Despite how it comes across Rick doesn't hate women or helmets but he does have a real love and passion for horses and most animals it seems. He doesn't do so well with people but he has put what he has learned out there for free to try and help the plight of the horse. If you're not interested then move on - he doesn't care.
12/2/2015 Dawn
It is obvious who is jealous and unhappy That Rick has been given attention for his approach to horses. He is a great horseman. Too bad jealousy came out here. And by some fool in TX.
1/17/2016 Anja
I can't believe how many negative comments on him and his thinking. I always watched old people and the way they treated their horses the old way (like ... beating to listen, bits, spurs, yelling, pulling on the reins...) and I always knew that CAN'T be the only way...it can't be the right way. So, I found Rick. I can say, he saved my life or actually he saved lives of many horses that I thought or I had. In the past, I was also like those old people until I found Rick. I didn't know hot to read a horse before him. I was just riding and taking care of them, that was it. period. But then EVERYTHING changed. In every situation I was looking on horses from their perpective, like they see it, not like I used to see it. And I can't even believe from where all of those negative comments are coming from. My opinion is.... if you don't understand Rick, you simply DON'T understand HORSES. Because from the way I see it... Rick is one of the best out there who is not charging for his knowledge and is happy to share his experience with us. It doesn't cost you anything, just time to understand his videos and time to actually watch them all. And if you don't understand something or don't know how to approach something you can just send him a message, I am sure he will respond, unless you are just a big dummy :) I really hope I will meet him one day, he is a legend for me and he is the first person who actually opened my eyes with horses. So I could never thank him enough. Love you Rick, Anja
8/4/2016 C L Harris
I love his videos...and I am one of those older women he talks about! I think he is just down to earth and truthful...and you know what they say about the truth.... Anyway..he is helping me learn.
12/21/2016 WPH. TX
TX EQUINE, is absolutely correct, this guy (wannabe horse trainer) is a t total JOKE. He's a wannabe who loves the attention of those who no nothing or even own horses. He wouldn't make a pimple on a cowboy, horse or performance trainers ass. I really feel sorry for this guy. He's trained what, his 3 horses? They are nothing but pasture ornaments
12/31/2016 Sandy
Poor Tx Equine sounds like Rick hit the nail on the head and it hit too close to home. BW comes to mind.
12/31/2016 Merisa
Straight talking and considering horsemanship from the horse's perspective is refreshing and exceedingly helpful. It's too bad humans are too busy with human behavior (judgment, jealousy, etc) to take advantage of what Gore has to offer. A Lot.
1/4/2017 Bonnie
8/1/2015 Culmir Well said. Your message delivery was both polite and direct. I agree with your complete opinion. I could have said the same, pretty much word for word.

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    "It is the hardest pill for all of us would-be horsemen to swallow, but it is absolutely true - if the horse is not responding properly, we are doing something wrong" - Mary Twelveponies