reining horse trainer jerking on horses reining and digging spurs into its sides

Preparing to earn a million dollars in The Last Cowboy

A quick video looking at how reining horses are trained by one of the million-dollar cowboy featuring in the film ”The Last Cowboy” and “Run for a Million” competition. 

This is the event that is being promoted as the greatest exposure of reining in its history by program writer and NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee, Taylor Sheridan. The Paramount Network distributing the film of The Last Cowboy. The Run For a Million Competition held in Las Vegas.  The reining horse also appeared in the hit series Yellowstone.

Watch the video and see how the horses are trained by what is written up as one of the NRHA’s best trainers.


Craig Schmersal

In case you missed it here is a short video of his training method. Some people may have an issue with the spur gouges in that horse’s sides and marks left, but in reining its part of the training – this guy is the expert. Some may wonder about the jerking of the reins when the horse is already pinned against his chest – but that is reining training. Watch the tail – all that spurring and jerking and no wringing or clamping of the tail. Wonder how he achieved that?

Is the Paramount Network promoting cruelty to horses?? Is this like the old days of Hollywood where entertainment was more important than the journey of the horse – thinking back to the stopping and flipping of horses with the Running W – banned in the mid-1940s.

Reining horse trainer intimidating horse during stop maneuver


reining horse trainer jerking on horses reining and digging spurs into its sides


Remember to sign the petition to stop tail blocking
22 replies
  1. Roslyn Carter
    Roslyn Carter says:

    He seriously does not respect the horse – so much for all that money spent on marketing videos by NRHA about respect the horse. They are such quiet horses to put up with that amount of shit.

  2. Christine Fairmount
    Christine Fairmount says:

    Get off the horse you predator there is no need for that amount of sawing on their faces you achieve nothing other than intimidation. Shameful and disgusting to watch

  3. Nadia Nichols
    Nadia Nichols says:

    I started to watch the first episode of this show and I had to stop watching halfway through. I was disgusted by how the horses where being over bent, constantly jerked in the mouth, etc. Paramount is definitely promoting animal abuse and glamorizing a sport that has no regard or respect for the horses mental or physical wellbeing. I was not aware before how cruel reining horse trainers can be.

  4. Karen Kingston
    Karen Kingston says:

    Is that not one of the horse abusers that was busted at FEI years back for the same thing?????? They got a smack on the hand from FEI and applause from the NRHA.

  5. Ryan Browning
    Ryan Browning says:

    Welcome to Planet Hollywood – if anyone tries to defend that bit of video then they really need to check their state of mind. ABSOLUTELY FÍNG DISGUISTING

  6. Carole Mendlestone
    Carole Mendlestone says:


  7. Mary Lynn
    Mary Lynn says:

    I went to the Run for the Million yesterday and today (didn’t stay for the *Main Event*) What struck me was that the horses are jabbed every single stride with the spurs. I understand some training techniques can seem a bit harsh, but with a finished bridle horse at this level that shouldn’t be necessary in the ring, and should result in lower scores and disqualification. But hey, with the tail blocked, the horse doesn’t seem to mind at all! I only saw one episode of “The Last Cowboy” and thought too that it promoted abuse and the worse aspects of the sport.

  8. Angelo Ricci
    Angelo Ricci says:

    I watched Run for the Million and two things stand out. Firstly, they never put up any details about the horse it was all about the riders and the money they had earned. Taylor Sheridan commentry said it was the most successful thing he had done, even better than the Oscars. He strutted out in front of everyone as the big shot on top of the mountain. It is all about egos and money and the horse is mere tool to make it happen. Sorry to say but I think they have unleashed uncontrollable brutality of horses in the future.

  9. Sandra Cowling
    Sandra Cowling says:

    Well Mr Spur and Jerk above won and his best friend from EPONTV’s exposa of the other Spur and Jerk king was equal first. Just goes to prove that they are trained to win through brutality. The ego’s would never allow compassion for equines – they are just all about the money.

    • Mandy Hersley
      Mandy Hersley says:

      My god look at the tracks in that horses sides from the spurs. Where do these people come from???? Reminds me of the idiot Clinton Anderson with the head pulling and intimidation.

  10. Cassandra Ryan
    Cassandra Ryan says:

    Disappointing would be the way to describe it. No Run off to get an outright winner. Why? My eyes maybe blurry too – but that kids horse was drugged and it hit the wall post event. It could not pull off another run if it tried. Bet they cut the video of its old fella hanging out and give away very slow retraction when moving and the fact he actually fell against the wall when they started to lope off. I was watching with a vet and he was left speechless watching it. Sad that people cant see the bleeding obvious of what the people do to these horses. EGO MANIACS. Just because he patted the horse doesnt mean he did not beat the shit out of for weeks on end. People abusers always smile and act nice in public too.

    • DNae Meyer
      DNae Meyer says:

      You are watching him ride a white horse. Where is the bleeding? Exactly what is wrong with this video or training method?? Come on wannabe’s please sit on your couch and tell me how to train a horse!!

  11. Leanne Marketts
    Leanne Marketts says:

    These trainers make my skin crawl. Standing up there like the blessed then you watch how they train and learn what they do to the horses. Those trainers are numb and have no emotion – perfectly suited to Hollywood – False and Full of Shit just putting on a show that the stupid buy into. Last Cowboy – they should be sacked for even putting the word near their name. Petition Signed and Shared

  12. Jo Pederson
    Jo Pederson says:

    Thank you for putting up the video. I am sick of reading their excuses on photos of it not that bad – the video says it all. These people are predators not trainers and Hollywood should be ashamed of itself. Haven’t we moved on from cruelty yet????

  13. Jenny McLeod
    Jenny McLeod says:

    This million dollar event will attract more people to the sport but not the right kind. It will be those that want glory and don’t give a toss about the horse. They will trade them faster than the racehorses. With word of another event next year and the fever spread, I fear what the horses will be put through. At least a race horse only has to run fast or its over for them. These animals endure endless suffering looking at that training video.

  14. Georgia Richmond
    Georgia Richmond says:

    Does this horse look S&*) scared in his eye when the horrid person is patting him. The horse knows the hell you put him through every day and does not believe your ”cover up” images – Thanks RTE for helping me get the image added 🙂

    • DNae Meyer
      DNae Meyer says:

      I have worked in this industry my entire life. Of all people that could be attacked this man is the farthest from your hateful words and defamation of character. You don’t know him nor have you seen him with his horses. I’m pretty sure the money spent keeping them happy and healthy is more than you make. The mare in the picture you put up (Not a him) that’s how much you know. She won the Futurity in 2017. She is still in our barn and is spoiled rotten. What you think you see in her eye isn’t fear. It’s determination and focus. She is an athlete that loves her job! It’s also the markings on her face and her blue eye. Nice try. Next time only comment when you and everyone else on this site has the facts! You are all arm chair quarterbacks and wannabes!!

  15. Julie
    Julie says:

    You all think this is cruel??? These horses are bred to work. Teaching a horse how to bend and stay limber is extremely important whether it’s a reining event or a horse working cattle on a ranch. That is the purpose of these methods – to prevent injury. There are extremely cruel people in this world, and Craig is not one of them. These horses are extremely valuable and have better lives than some of you. Why don’t you spend your time attacking the people who are truly abusive to animals…You don’t know what you are talking about. Go stop the Mulin Dog Festival. Focus on that horrible act of cruelty. Stop blowing your mouth off and go focus on something else.


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