Skip to content

Trainer Salute: Ronnie Tabor



Ronnie Tabor – Shelbyville, Tennessee

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TRAINING HORSES PROFESSIONALLY?
36 Years

TELL US SOME FAMILY HISTORY OF RAISING AND SHOWING WALKING HORSES.
My grandpa traded horses for a living. My dad showed speed and timed events. My uncle Tim training racking horses professional in the 70s. My uncle Larry owned and trained rackers pretty much since the racking breed started. I showed my first racking padded horse in 1977 when I was 12. I also did speed events and trained barrel racers and pole bending horses. I showed my first walking horse, Montego Bay, in 1955. I started showing padded performances horses in 1982.

OF ALL THE HORSES YOU HAVE TRAINED, OPEN AND AMATEUR, DO YOU HAVE A HORSE YOU FEEL MADE YOU INTO THE TRAINER YOU ARE TODAY? WHAT HORSE WAS THAT AND WHY DO FEEL THAT WAY?
Push My Score. He had a lot of quirks I had to figure out. He was the 2002 Park Pleasure Reserve World Grand Champion.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG ASPIRING TRAINERS?
Work the horses that are put in training with you. Do your best and always be honest with the owner. People will appreciate your efforts.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN THE PERFECT YEARLING?
The perfect yearling...one that I don’t have to show, lol. Attitude, they can be nervous yet they need to be willing to try and work with you. They have to have presence and an intelligent eye.

HOW ARE YOU MANAGING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK? IS YOUR BARN ON LOCKDOWN? ARE YOU STILL HOLDING YOUR REGULAR CLIENT APPOINTMENTS? HOW HAS THIS AFFECTED YOUR TRAINING?
I’ve gone along with my normal routine as much as possible. I’m also a farrier so I have to travel. I’m as cautious as possible. I try to stay six feet away from all people anyway! Lol

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE PAST WORLD GRAND CHAMPION AND WHY?
The Pusher CG. He just had everything a good’un should have and he could pass those traits on too.

IF THERE WAS ONE AREA OF THE INDUSTRY YOU COULD CHANGE OR RAMP UP, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I think we do too much to try and please people that will have no other interest in our breed other than the propaganda. We need to continue doing what’s best for our horse and for our breed, not necessarily just the general public.

IF YOU WERE NOT AT THE BARN OR A HORSE SHOW, WHAT WOULD WE FIND YOU DOING IN YOUR FREE TIME?
Probably sleeping, lol

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TV SHOWS, MOVIES OR NETFLIX FEATURES HAVE YOU BEEN BINGE WATCHING DURING THE PANDEMIC?
The Ranch and I’ve been forced against my will to watch Grey’s Anatomy.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER THUS FAR?
In racking it was with Ebony Threat Express. We were undefeated in 1993 in Men's Open Amateur. With walking horses it was 2002 when we took four horses to the Celebration that I worked part time at night. We won one world championship in the Amateur Two-Year-Old Park Pleasure and three reserve world championships. We sold all four horses, and sold them all during the Celebration.

WHAT WORDS OF WISDOM CAN YOU GIVE TO THE HORSE INDUSTRY ON THE PANDEMIC?
Hang in there! It’s going to get better!

More Stories