The rain was coming down in buckets as I sat down to talk to the professional rodeo cowboy turned performance horse trainer, Chad Eubank. We talked about his past accomplishments, his horse training philosophies, and his future goals.
As a former professional rodeo cowboy, Eubank made a name for himself during his successful career. As a kid, he remembers watching a local rodeo on television and deciding that riding bulls and broncs was what he wanted to do. He did it well, winning major rodeos and earning a spot on Spike TV’s Toughest Cowboy Series, where he competed successfully in all three events: bull riding, saddle bronc riding, and bareback riding.
During high school, he trained and rode Quarter Horse race horses in the area and participated in high school rodeo. Through rodeoing, he received several college scholarship offers before going first to Tarleton State University and then to Hill College. Focused on winning and competing at the highest level he set several college rodeo records that still stand today, he then turned his attention to Pro rodeo, which he successfully pursued for 13 years.
Eubank talked about getting to travel all over the US while attending rodeos and getting to see things that he would never forget, like having viewed the last herd of buffalo to remain untouched by human hands and talking (with the help of a translator) with a Crow Indian chief who spoke no English, and seeing landmarks like Custer’s Last Stand at Little Bighorn.
Eubank knew that there were no guarantees in the rodeo life and that it wouldn’t last forever, so on his friend/colleague’s advice, he started thinking about what he wanted to do “after” rodeo. As the time was getting closer for him to retire (self- proclaimed age of 30), he started doing reining and cutting clinics. Little by little, he started getting clients for horse training so it seemed the logical transition. And he loved it!
Further, he was the co-host of Horse Country USA that aired on RFDTV, was the wrangler for the remake of the Dallas television series, appeared on the 700 Club and Food Wars and was inducted into the Hill College Hall of Fame. He also has a 300+ trophy belt buckle collection from his competitions.
With the North Texas area full of horse trainers of every discipline and breed, Chad Eubank’s philosophy tends to separate him from other trainers. He says that, “It’s all about the horse.” What matters the most when he is training a horse is not just the method but his interaction with the horse, listening; paying attention to what is going on in each particular situation. There isn’t a “one size fits all” method.
He stated that, “If you train a horse like they’re going to be reiners or cutters, you’re giving them the foundation that they need to do any type of discipline.”
One topic that stood out above the rest is that Chad Eubank is an avid learner. He will tell you that he doesn’t know everything there is to know about horse training, but that he loves to learn and pursues being a performance horse trainer from this perspective. He has spent time learning from all kinds of horse trainers, it didn’t matter if they were training the ultimate cutting horse or an upper-level classical dressage horse. Learning new things and learning from everyone is the key to personal growth.
Chad’s wife Nikki is a big part of Chad Eubank Performance Horses too. Although she was working behind the scenes during this interview, you can tell that she plays a big part in the success of the business. Seeing that their barn was full and their clients stay put for a long time, says a lot in itself for Chad Eubank, the horse trainer.
“To consider myself a trainer I figured I needed to accomplish one thing. To train the horse that's not natural at everything. The ones that don’t naturally stop well for example, or may have issues for one reason or another. Whether it’s because they don’t know yet or someone else has failed them, I have needed to make the unnatural be competitive against the easily trained ones.”