Your Road to the Well-Broke Horse Starts Here with Dean Briggs

  • Do you have a colt you want started right so that he will one day be a Well-Broke horse?
  • Is your horse not living up to his potential?
  • Do you have a problem you can't fix?
  • Are struggling to reach the next performance level with your horse?

You can reach Dean on his cell--406-490-3670 or on the ranch phone: 406-287-3670.  

He'd be glad to talk with you about your horse and tell you specifically what he can do to make you a better horseperson and move your horse forward on the journey to becoming Well-Broke.  Dean accepts all breeds and trains for all disciplines.  For a close look at Dean's program in action, scroll through the material below.  

Learning Cutting Horse Maneuvers

cutting clinic 12 dec-116

In our cow cutting clinic this December, we worked a lot on developing the skill of giving our horses clear signals that they can easily understand.  Give your horse one signal at time, not two or three at the same time and he will work better. For example:

Controlling a cow once separated from the herd means you need to maneuver your horse by asking him to do three things.  Stop when the cow stops, turn when the cow turns, speed up and stay parallel to the cow until it stops again.  The cue or signal sequence:

  • Starting the turn: Tip his nose in the direction you want him to go.  The rider on the left in above photo has done this.
  • Finish the turn: Follow with a leg signal to move the shoulders over.  The rider above has her positioned and ready for a leg cue to move the shoulder to complete the turn and then:
  • Stay with the cow: Ask for impulsion or speed.

It’s natural for a rider to get in a hurry and apply rein and leg pressure together.  But, don’t use your legs until you have established direction, again not the rider in picture above.  What I am talking about here is one maneuver—turn and go in the opposite direction.  But to make a smooth and fast turn you need to give three distinct signals.  This gives the horse a chance to think about just one of his body parts a time.

That’s how you get a well-broke horse.  And, the horse will appreciate your thoughtfulness.


Close Look at a Well-Broke Horse

Highlight of Customer Appreciation Day

App pics-3

As part of this year's Customer Appreciation Day, Dean gave an overview of how he develops a Well-Broke horse.  The highlight of the day was Oliva LaFontain, a Whitehall high school student, riding her mare Princess without bridle or saddle.  You see her above simulating cutting a cow with Maxine Hoagland helping out by playing the role of the cow.  Princess was trained by Dean.

Dean explained that the Well-Broke horse is one that can be ridden 90 percent with rider's legs and seat,  10% with the bridle.  The road that leads to horses like Princess starts with simply asking the green horse to follow his nose in whatever direction his riders asks.  When this becomes second nature to the horse, Dean begins adding body control of the shoulders, rib cage, and hindquarters.


Dean is planning clinics for 2016 that will put you on the road to a well-broke horse.  These clinics will be patterned after the one shown below.  His approach to developing the well-broke horse applies to all disciplines.  If you have a special interest, contact Dean or Wendy at  406-287-3670 and let them know your interest.  They will make every effort to develop a program suitable for you.  The year 2016 is closer than you might think.  Plan early.   Make sure you aren't left out.

Road to the Well-Broke Horse--3 Days Riding with Dean

Cow-Horse Clinic-1

Dean demonstrates in this photo how to position your horse so it can dominate a cow and keep it from returning to the herd.

We hear a lot of talk these days about how we need to specialize in one or two things if we want to be successful.   Many of today’s horsemen do that.  They put a lot of time and money into learning a specific discipline—dressage, cutting, sorting, roping.  And they look for horses bred to perform at a high level in their chosen event.  This pays off.  Our horses today are better and so are their riders. Regardless of your special interest, you need a well-broke horse to win.  The well-broke horse is our mission, our passion, here at Briggs Quarter Horses.  Life gets way better when you ride a well-broke horse.

It’s hard to  beat variety for making  your well-broke  horse.  Well-broke simply means your horse willingly tries to do what you ask of him. When you build that into your horse, you then can develop all his talent for your specialty.  This is  what our three-day Cow-horse/Horsemanship Clinic is all about.

The Clinic's Challenges

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Dean discusses equine dental needs.

Shawn rides course (1)

One of the jumps on obstacle course

DAY 1 -- Obstacle course work challenging the horse with water crossings, jumps, bridge, cowboy curtain, stair climb.

DAY 2 -- Classroom session learning about the importance of good dental care because every maneuver the horse makes begins in the mouth.  Introduction to mechanical flag to teach basic moves in cow work.  Tracking buffalo followed by a look at cows.

DAY 3 -- Review and questions and answers, rounding out the day with buffalo and cow work.

buffalo girl-1

Working a buffalo with some help from Dean

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Not every horse is this friendly with the flag.

Cow-Horse Clinic-4

First step: moving the cow out of the heard. Then the action starts.

2015 Cutting Horse Show at a Glance

Michelle Van Dyke of Sheridan, Mt. shown here riding Texas Brush Popper during last day of the show. She won third place money in here class.

Michelle Van Dyke of Sheridan, Mt. shown here riding Texas Brush Popper during last day of the show. She won third place money in here class.

This is the 4th year that we have held the MCHA show at the Briggs arena.  We went to a three-day event this year to give more riders a chance to participate in a class suitable to their skills.  All told we had 225 entries, with riders coming from throughout this northwest region.  We thank all who helped, all who rode.  We enjoyed having you.  Hope to see you next year.
Fresh cattle are settled for the days first set of riders

Fresh cattle are settled for the days first set of riders

Pro rider with a tough cow

Pro rider with a tough cow

Shawn Briggs riding our obstacle course.

Shawn Briggs riding our obstacle course.

Cowboy Race Course Tests Horsemanship

Our Extreme Cowboy Race Course is a good place test your horsemanship skills. If you would like to ride the course and get a feel for what it can do for your horsemanship, call: Dean 406-490-3670, Wendy 406-565-2681. Home phone is 406-287-3670. We’ll schedule a convenient time for a visit.

If you aren’t familiar with cowboy racing, it is important for you know that it is anything you want it to be. It isn’t wild and crazy as the name might indicate.

True, it can get western when the pros run the course as fast as they can, which is what Shawn Briggs is doing in the photo at left.  But that’s their choice. If your choice is a challenge that is slow and deliberate and comfortable, that’s also part of cowboy racing or just enjoying the course.  At its core, Extreme Cowboy Racing is about horsemanship. In race competitions, riders are judged first on their horsemanship. The second element of a rider’s score is speed.

You must have good horsemanship skills to go fast, and this basic ingredient of good horsemanship and polish is the main reason Dean decided to offer cowboy racing at Jefferson Valley Equine Center. It fits with his program of developing the well-broke horse that can be used for any horse activity…dressage to team roping, whatever suits your style.

Out course is suitable for every horse-person:  beginners, seniors, children, and pros.   It's just plain fun.

A Rare Find







To get the details of this wonderful horse, go to our "horses for sale" page.



What's It's Like Riding at Jefferson Valley Equine Center?

....If you haven't been to the Jefferson Valley Equine Center, you might like to know what others who have the horse gene have to say about the program Wendy and Dean Briggs have developed.

“Regardless of your riding discipline, you’ll be impressed with Jefferson Valley Equine Center. About a year ago when I bought my dressage horse I started riding regularly JVEC. I wasn't sure what to expect riding dressage in a primarily roping/cutting arena. Dean informed me he uses dressage in his training and that if riders used basic dressage, there wouldn't  be so many problem horses. I knew I had found a comfort zone.”

Gina Ossello

“One day while riding with Dean my mare kicked out when I asked for a right lead and sent me over her left shoulder. Dean pointed out my back was stiff, rigid as a board, which made it impossible to absorb the mare’s jarring movement. In a blink, Dean fixed a problem I don’t even know I had. Riding suddenly became easier and more comfortable. Pretty good feeling.”

Allan Byrd

“Our family has used the Briggs Equine Center for seven years. We have had colt starting & training; dental & chiropractic service, plus lessons. We own horses that have been bred and raised by them. They are responsible breeders, not traders. They are honest and professional in their dealings. We recommend them to anyone needing any or all of their services. “

Double Arrow Livestock –Scafani Family