Buddy Uldrikson: On the Edge of Uncommon Horsemanship

Having had the experience of riding and working with Ray Hunt and the Inner Circle for the last 31 years and helping people like Buck Brannaman from 16 years of age (in 1978), and many other young people who had a strong desire to take their horsemanship to a higher level. Although I do not even yet consider myself to be a horseman, I think I know one when I see one!

Buddy Uldrikson: Himself!

Buddy Uldrikson represents a person who has almost unnatural skills: athletic abilities,intellect, desire,dedication, devotion, extreme sensibilities, intelligence, empathy, sensitivity, focus and really works from the inside of the horse, out. Buddy is highly disciplined personally in all of the above areas. He incorporates discipline without punishment with both horses and students! He is also thoughtful, using respect to each horse and human he comes in contact with or works with. He has a very commanding presence - not a demanding presence - and builds confidence in horses and people.

Early History

Buddy began starting colts at age 15 and after a bumpy start, obtained a Ray Hunt colt starting tape and immediately worked hard at applying the new approach to colts and troubled horses. He also spent the nex seven years working for large Colorado ranches on the spring and fall works. He applied himself intensely and absorbed and learned from everyone who would help him. He also learned a lot from some experienced cowboys that really were not getting along very well with their horses. He knew there had to be a better way and worked hard developing a better approach to each and every horse.

Ray Hunt, Tom Dorrance, Bill Dorrance, Buck Brannaman, Bryan Nuebert really inspired him. Other clinicians also had a favorable impact on him, but he relied on the Inner Circle for his real direction in life, and still does. Buddy didn't just take cowboy jobs! There were times he ran mustangs out of the roughest mountains of the west and even contracted to bring wild cattle out as well.

Facing life-threatening conditions many times, he kept himself and his horses safe.

Roping wild cattle and tying them to a tree and later yoking them together and coming out of the mountains - this, my friends is not for the faint of heart, body or soul! His horsemanship and roping skills that go far beyond the arenas of this world are quite incredible, and I think I know something about that subject. He has competed in ropings and won quite handily, starting with Little Britches, Open Rodeo and USTRC as well.

During these years of education and experiences, he like many of us, saw many performance horses who wound up with fried minds, broken spirits and worse!

Buddy believes that barrel horses don't have to operate "out of control" and can learn to run with a sense of desire and enthusiasm; team roping horses don't have to work off fear and pressure; reining horses don't have to mentally or physically break down under pressure - nor does any horse in any discipline! Every horse deserves a chance for success with quality horsemanship, the foundation of the Inner Circle!


Horsemanship Is Lifemanship!

During the last many years Buddy has started many colts for the K4 Ranch of Prescott, AZ, the Grantham Ranch in Congress, Arizona, and many other ranches. These colts were not back yard pets and quite a few were of advanced age, running like real horses, in real ranch conditions. Many would be classified as Broncs! He has carried many to advanced levels of horsemanship as well and developed many performance prospects who ride out with a "sparkle in their eye", happy to go to work and can't wait to work.

During a Ray Hunt Clinic three years ago he rode six different horses in the horsemanship class and again this year in Wickenburg, Arizona. Not everyone is allowed this honor, and an honor it is for Ray to allow somebody to do that! The horses were a mix of green or troubled horses created by others, to more advanced, that my friends speaks loudly of his talents and his dedication of his life to the horse and the Inner Circle!

Buck Brannaman says "life and horsemanship; it's all the same to me!" Buddy takes and gives incredible dedication, devotion and personal commitment to each and every horse every moment of every day! To Buddy, Horsemanship is Lifemanship, as well!

Buddy with Colts, Troubled Horses & All Others

From the first moments of greeting the horse, troubled or otherwise, he starts developing confidence between himself and the horse and lets confidence build in the horse. He assists and supports the horse through trouble spots. Presentation of a request to a horse for a simple move is incredible.  He truly operates with feel and consideration and the horse gives the consideration back, he lets the horse sort it out, regardless of time!

Buddy works very hard to build a bond of mutual trust. He supports the horse through trouble and trouble starts to disappear with increasing levels of trust with respect, meaning and understanding. This happens quickly because of his quality presentation of the request.

His sincere feel reaches to the inner horse and the horse returns the same. His confidence in himself along with true sincerity is quickly felt by the horse. He really lets the horse think his way through, each and every request for a hoof or feet to move. Truly fixes it up and lets the horse find it with feel and lets the horse find it with feel, timing and balance. The horse returns the request with feel as well. What would one expect, when it is done right! In Tom's later years he met once more with Ray Hunt and asked:"Ray, it's the feet isn't it? Ray said "yes Tom, it's the feet!" Of course we all know that moving the feet starts from the inner horse with FEEL, TIMING & BALANCE!


Buddy Uldrikson: Teaching the Owner/rider

When Buddy works with students it is not a one size fits all approach. There is no set routine that everyone must follow. He first looks for the problems from within the horse and identifies a plan to approach the problems and also the good qualities where the horse is OK. Then he works with the student and has to analyze the factors that are preventing the owner/rider from communicating with the horse. Then a plan is formed to work with each horse and student.

Often he starts by showing the problems that exist and how they developed and why the horse is troubled. Then he shows how the owner/rider has been overlooking the real] causes and develops an understanding with the student on how they are going to approach the solution. He takes a lot of time helping each student to really understand what the plan is going to be. Often, he will, at first, show the student several options that are available. The rest of the session or sessions they work on these solutions.

During this process he uses a discipline that does not incorporate criticism. The student really has to think and through well thought out questioning and reasoning, he gets the student to truly understand the problems and the solutions.

There can be multiple students and horses each working on different programs. His support for both is really intense, very sincere and very fitting to the horse. Results build rather quickly with his teaching. He always breaks it down to the little pieces so the student can learn and understand more quickly and in a relaxed manner. Buddy works very hard on the student to develop more feel and understand how to present a request to the horse, fix it up and let the horse find it. Buddy teaches how to let the right result happen, not how to make it happen, but they have to think!

Over the years I have seen many clinicians and horsemen and women teaching students and many do a great job because they really are in it for the horse. Buddy, in my mind is one of the best teachers I have ever observed. His patience and true concern for the horse and student is unlimited and very specific to each horse and student. He furnishes a very comfortable learning program and obtains real understanding from the student and horse.

The student learns how to ride with accuracy on an imagined 'perfect circle' or perfect line, not to be picky, but rather to be particular and operate with a discipline without punishment.


Buddy: The Performance Horse

Buddy has helped many roping horses, barrel racing horse and horses from other disciplines how to operate without fear and pressure minimizing their performances. He focuses on how to let the horse learn without fear and pressure and lets the horse learn by being accurate on every move.

Later, speed develops on its own as the horse is eager to perform and the horse's enthusiasm builds a dependable outcome to higher and higher degrees. There is no such thing as good on Wednesday and bad on Friday! The horse never peaks and falls back, he gets better with each and every ride and more dependable because the horse understands his job and can't wait to do it. All without fear and pressure, that is the right kind of horsemanship in my book!

Buddy Uldrikson: The Man

Buddy brings out the inner qualities of horses and students and adheres to the principles, from the Inner Circle, for developing his inner skills, personal qualities and integrity with humility. He is constantly working on himself developing newer and better ways to communicate with horses and people. Buddy is very thankful to the Inner Circle and is sworn to support the quality, integrity and discipline without punishment and has made a lifelong commitment to the Inner Circle of Quality Horsemanship!

In Wickenburg, AZ, Buddy Uldrikson has developed a great reputation from the largest ranches, many rodeo and horse owners of many disciplines, over the last several years. His word is like a gold promise and could never be broken and that my friends, is his reputation!

At 67 years of age and looking back over the last 31 years, I am very grateful that there are the makings of some great horsemen and women, works in progress, developed from the Inner Circle so that the legend can continue for generations to come. I am truly grateful that one horse caused three great men to forge a friendship for life, that has changed many, many other lives, horses and humans for the better. Any day that I can work, ride, discuss principles of horsemanship with Buddy Uldrikson is an incredible day and will never be forgotten and I am very grateful for him sharing his life and time with me.

Feel the horse, feel the ride, feel the journey my friends.Thanks Buddy!