Miller-Ranch has been created to specialize in the breeding and training of Missouri Fox Trotters. The overall training goals of The Ranch are to achieve calm, easygoing, courageous, enduring, sure-footed trail and cross-country riding horses, as well to prepare Missouri Fox Trotter show horses.
The horses are trained to move safely in multiple environments from wilderness areas to urban ranch riding. Miller-Ranch offers a thorough proven-training program with fully recorded progress steps. A video is also included.
At Miller-Ranch all horses receive comprehensive and versatile training. A rigid methodical program was developed by Miller-Ranch based on the understanding of the natural disposition of each horse. Training begins with a young horse’s “First Step” and progresses through ground training followed by demanding training for all types of rugged terrain, under saddle and also as a pack horse. The Fox Trotter gaits are perfected and special gait training is provided to those horses entering shows and competitions.
Miller-Ranch produces a video of each horse that has completed a full training program. This video is posted with each horse shown on the Miller-Ranch website.
If you are interested in seeing a young horse taking its “First Step” see the following video and enjoy! Note: the horse in this video is a wild mustang, a breed that has a reputation for being un-trainable. This training in the video took approximately three hours.
Miller-Ranch has the most modern/technical Round Pen in the Southwest of the USA. The Round Pen was specially designed by Röwer & Rüb in Germany and features a unique computer-controlled training system, that has become an essential part of the First Step and, following gait training.
Young horses are trained in this Round Pen and receive their basic training. Correct forward, backward and lateral movements are securely anchored after this initial training period. Adult horses receive their fitness training daily in the Round Pen by a running training session between 45 and 90 minutes, in the Flat Foot Walk, Foxtrot and Canter. They cover approximately up to 160 miles per month.
When a Missouri Fox Trotter shows distinct potential in model, performance or versatility in competitions, Miller-Ranch will activate a special-emphasis training program realizing that this particular Fox Trotter has the necessary attributes to become a winner in the breed.
The Missouri Fox Trotters are trained with a 7-day trail ride which requires stamina, sure-footedness, endurance and strong nerves – The Arizona terrain is the show-ring and the challenging terrain covers the demands of every extreme trail. While trail riding the horses learn to behave comfortably and relaxed with the group. They are ridden in various positions within the group i.e. front, in the middle and at the back of the line. Horses are trained to stop when a group passes in full gallop and also must leave the group when a rider requests this action.
During training the Missouri Fox Trotter must learn how to handle weight on their backs while keeping distance from obstacles, including other horses while staying sure footed on various terrain and water where they must stay calm. Regardless of which specialty area the Missouri Fox Trotter moves into, trail riding, urban riding, performing in shows and competitions or driving, each horse is also trained as a pack horse in The Miller-Ranch Training Program.
Upon request, The Miller-Ranch will train a Missouri Fox Trotter to acquire a special cow-sense to work with cows. Skill and perseverance is required for the horse to work well with cows. Fox Trotters are agile and seem to enjoy this activity.
Show Training requires a special program for the most talented Missouri Fox Trotters. Potential show horses will display extraordinary conformation, natural gaits with smooth long strides, as well as rhythm and charisma.
Driving in front of a cart is fun for the well-trained Missouri Fox Trotter. Driving improves muscular strength and condition, and optimizes their gait stability, calmness and condition. Fox Trotters seem to thoroughly enjoy what they are accomplishing.
Natural herd behavior and natural needs of the horse are based upon their desire to socialize and be together. Horses love to work together, work with you and do things for you. When the bond or connection between horse and rider is strong, a horse will do his/her best to understand you during training sessions, even when training becomes difficult. All horse training leads to a better relationship between horse and rider, and while working together they become reliant on one another. Safety is another fact in making sure a horse understands what it is required to do.
Without training, a horse may simply react to any distraction he may come across at any time, and in some cases may react in panic-mode that could result in an accident. Miller-Ranch has displayed the benefits of implementing their well-planned and proven training programs that they apply to all of their Missouri Fox Trotter Horses. Once a horse has fundamental basic training it can more easily move on to more advanced or specialized training.
Lothar Rowe owner of The Miller-Ranch decided to try his “First Step” training program on a group of wild mustangs to see how they would react to instruction. As you will see on the video the mustangs reacted well and appeared to be enjoying their tasks, at the same time they learned to follow some basic fundamental steps of horse training.