We were so lucky to have the chance to talk to Tina Robinson of Robinson Performance Horses. She gave us some insight into how the Robinsons run their stable and care for their horses. Their attention to detail in horse care and training combined with their vast expertise and years of experience make them a real power team! We thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the Reined Cow Horse show history and events. Find out more below, and watch the videos of SJR Diamond Oak ridden by Tucker J. Robinson to learn more about this sport and stable.
Q: Can you tell us a little about Robinson Performance Horses?
Tina: Tucker was born into the Reined Cow Horse World. His dad, Teddy Robinson, is a World Champion trainer, and Tucker worked for him. I pursued an Equine Management degree from a Junior College and needed to complete an internship to finish schooling. I apprenticed with national cow horse trainers, worked as an assistant trainer and grew from there. About 5 years ago, Tucker and I married, and we started out on our own, running our own business.
Currently, we lease a farm in the San Luis Obispo, CA, but we are looking into buying our own place. At any given time, we have 20-30 horses in training. We also keep approximately 30 head of cattle in order to get our horses trained.
We do have stalls for our horses, and some horses have stalls with run outs. Mostly we do arena work. In order to get the horses ready for shows, we vary our training. Each day, after doing a little warm up, we will practice the elements for a specific event.
We have a fantastic Assistant, Shannon, who has been with us for about 5 years. Tucker and I work every day, but we do give her Sundays off.
Q: You and Tucker are both trainers. Do you each have different skill sets, or strengths, to divide up the work? Do you both ride and teach and go to shows, for example?
Tina: Yes, Tucker and I do both train, ride and compete. He is ranked in the top 20 in the NRCHA (National Reined Cow Horse Association). I compete under Open. Tucker has had a fantastic 3 year average! And I am working towards my earnings. Our daughter is about 3, so we are always busy with one thing or another.
We typically train together at home. We both start and train 2 year olds that we bring through the showing season. We teach Non Pros, we have horses in training, we compete our 3 year olds and have some for sale, and we have some 4 and 5 yr olds that we take to different Derbies.
Q: What types of competitions do you go to? What types of events do you compete in at these shows?
Tina: We compete in Reined Cow Horse shows. The history behind these shows is that you are taking the skills used by the working cow horse on a ranch, and testing those skills in competition in the arena.
These shows have 3 events: cutting, reining, and fence work. In cutting, you have 2 and 1/2 minutes to pull 3 cows from the herd. In reining, you preform a prewritten pattern and are judged on your maneuvers. But what it all comes down to is the fence work! This is what keeps our sport a little different from other western sports with only 1 event because we receive composite scores. In fence work, you show 1 cow, which you need to work on the short wall, down the long wall and also in the center. Often, you can go from winning to losing or vice versa with your score from this event.
Just an aside, but there happens to be a great documentary out there called Down the Fence, for anyone who’s interested in learning more.
This year, I will be going to the Reno Nevada Futurity in September, and Tucker will be taking the 3 year olds to the Snaffle Bit Futurity. This is our sport’s biggest show of the year. It’s like our “Super Bowl” and it’s held in Fort Worth, TX in October.
Q: What has been the top challenge in managing a barn and how has Stable Secretary made your life easier?
Tina:The biggest challenge was the amount of time it took to research files and notes, which I typically recorded on paper or on a computer and kept inside in the office. It was so inconvenient to be standing with the vet and a horse, and have to run inside to check records. Now when the vet asks, “When was this horse last shod,” I can just take out my phone, open the app, and I have this information at my finger tips.
Stable Secretary has made my life easier because everything is in one spot and on the spot. I can pull up my app on my smartphone, and answer questions immediately. I can also record information while I’m at the ring, rather than having to wait until I’m back in the office. Customers love that we can print reports of what was done last. And we love that we can set reminders for things like scheduled worming.
Q: What is one of your favorite features of Stable Secretary?
Tina: The app. I actually am the one who put the app on Tucker’s phone! This way, we can keep our records up to date, and find any necessary information while we are apart or on the road.
I love the mobile part, the fact that you can pick and choose between using the features in the program that best suit your needs, and the fact that you can customize certain features. I record all of our horse’s injections, and am able to customize the labels for the different injections the horses receive. We care for our horse’s individual needs, and this program supports the importance of that.
Q: Can you describe in one word how subscribing to Stable Secretary has eased your stable life:
Tina: Time saving
Q: Do you think equestrians are more open these days to exploring how technology will help improve the health and performance of their horse?
Tina: Absolutely. I really like being able to run a report from my Stable Secretary account of the owners and horses for our vet. My vet really appreciates that I can pass along this information in such an organized format.
I see other equestrians, stable owners, horse show managers and even Ports of Entry updating from paper to digital. Anything that helps us stay up to date and on the go is a plus!
SJR Diamond Oak ridden by Tucker J. Robinson – 2018 NRCHA Stallion Stakes (Rein Work, Open) – https://youtu.be/u1S7lnzvHNs
SJR Diamond Oak ridden by Tucker J. Robinson – 2018 NRCHA Stallion Stakes (Herd Work, Open) – https://youtu.be/KKVupLQAMlA
SJR Diamond Oak ridden by Tucker J. Robinson – 2018 NRCHA Stallion Stakes (Cow Work, Open) – https://youtu.be/K-GIS2wxRkY
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