269 Stagecoach Trail (physical)
P.O. Box 1882 (mailing)
Cody, Wyoming 82414
Please, check out what past and present clients have to say about us. We’re so thankful for the opportunities we’ve had to help so many with their equine partners. All testimonials are almost straight from the horse’s mouth!
If you are currently (or have in the past) utilizing any of our services and would like to submit a testimonial please email us.
My wife, Barb, and I have always broke out our own horses. A few years back we had a horse that taught me that I no longer bounce when the ground comes up to greet me, I splat. It now takes weeks or months to heal up instead of days. It was about this time we decided to take our colts to someone else to break out. We sent 2 of our young horses out to a gentleman who was recommend to us by a friend. When the colts came back home, one was cinch sore, & the other one was beat up. We were both thoroughly disgusted. At this point, Barb started looking for trainers on the internet, located in the intermountain region. After two months of searching, Barb had her list narrowed down to five trainers. She poured over their qualifications, testimonials, and facilities. After another two weeks of thoughtful deliberation, and a few discussions with me, Barb picked a trainer, Mr. Gary Cooper.
After a few comments about the movie “High Noon”, and Gary Cooper, it was now time for me to get to work. I called the training facility and left a message on their answering machine. In a few days Miss Sue, Gary’s very capable assistant, returned my inquiry. After about 15 minutes of conversation, consisting of question after question from me, I felt like I had known this person for 10 years. Miss Sue answered all my questions with an affluence and confidence that put me at ease. Now it was my turn to be put on the hot seat. Miss Sue started asking about Copper, our 3 year old filly that we wanted to put into training. For the next 20 minutes I spouted off about the little copper colored filly my wife and I were so proud of. If Sue was taking notes, I’m sure she had filled at least two spiral notebooks by now. We set up a date for Gary to evaluate Copper, and I’m sure, her 2 owners as well.
As Barb and I drove through Cody heading west to Gary’s place, my stomach started to churn. We were both anxious to get Copper’s training under way, but after our previous experience with a so called, “horse trainer,” the nerves were off the Richter scale. When we pulled onto the facility, a gentleman, with a grin as wide as the brim on his cowboy hat, came strolling towards us. He stuck out his hand and said, “Hi, I’m Gary.” My nerves started to subside as I introduced myself, then Barb. We unloaded Cooper, and the appraisal began.
We placed Copper in the round pen to stretch out and relax after a long ride. Gary asked if we would like to take a look around the place. As we walked around and talked, you got an old down home feeling. Gary was very proud and confident, as well he should be, of both his training ground and his ability to work with any horse that stepped onto the place. When the tour and discussion session ended, we headed for the round pen to see if the three year old filly we had brought to Cody, had the muster to become Gary’s newest pupil.
Gary stepped into the round pen poised to see just what made Copper tick. As Gary worked her, he would explain, what response he wanted to achieve. If Barb or I had any questions, Gary would gladly take time to reply and be sure we both understood the explanation. Watching Gary put Copper through her paces was nothing short of a thing of beauty. Nerves, what nerves. While Gary continued to move Copper around testing her intelligence, agility, and willingness to listen and pay attention, Barb looked at me with a big smile. We both knew that the months of scouring over the internet, looking for a good trainer were over. The choice we made was definitely the right one. The both us could see, Gary was not only a good horse trainer, Gary was a horseman, who loved to work with horses!!!
Given that we live 280 miles from Cody, the Wyoming winters, and our work schedules, we could not get up to check on Copper’s progress. Gary or Sue, would take time out of their busy agenda, to call us every week to give us updates on the training. Not only would they explain where she was with her schooling, they would let us know what the workout schedule for the next week was. Gary and Sue even made a video of Copper during her training session so we could see the progress she was making.
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Barb and I asked Gary to put 60 days on Copper. We also explained to Gary that Barb had been in a horse wreck 3 years ago that required 5 surgeries over a 22 month period. Since Copper was going to be Barb’s horse, we would like her to be as bullet proof as possible. When the call finally came that Copper was ready to come home, we both were very excited to head to Cody to get our girl. Upon arrival, we were greeted by Gary and Sue like we were long lost relatives that had not been heard from or seen for over 20 years. We talked about Coppers achievements, and what would be needed to keep her on the right track, as well as where she could go from here. When we brought Copper up to the indoor arena and tied her up to be saddled, Barb and I stepped back to watch Copper for a few minutes. We both were amazed at the transformation our little 3 year old had gone through, under Gary’s guiding hand. Copper was no longer a carefree, teenage colt. She was a mature filly that was ready, willing, and able to go to work. With the saddle on and the reins in Gary’s hands, they walked into the arena. Gary stepped up on Copper’s back, and the show began. As Gary put her through her paces, we could not believe what we were seeing. If I had not known better, Copper was preforming like she was a 7 or 8 year old mare that had been rode for 5 years. Gary rode her over tarps, over a simulated wooden bridge, and over poles laying on the ground. Now it was Barbs turn to take a spin on her pride and joy. With a nervous smile, Barb climbed aboard Copper and got settled in the saddle. As they walked off, Gary looked at me and said, “Barb is going to love riding that horse.” Gary was right, after a few minutes the anxious grin had turned into a great big smile. While I watched Barb ride around on her little mare, I couldn’t believe the strides Copper had made in just 60 days. After a bit, like a 7 year old kid waiting for his turn on the rollercoaster, I pried Barb out of the saddle so I could take my turn on this 3 year old chestnut mare. The only way I can describe, walking, trotting, and loping Copper is, it was AWESOME!!! The work Gary had put in on our horse in just 60 days was simply amazing.
Barbara and I will always be grateful to Gary and Sue for the care, love, & training that they did with Copper. I know my body, employer, & insurance company will forever be in Gary’s debt. We both can say it has been our privilege to meet, get to know, and become friends with Gary & Sue.
Let me sum up this testimonial for you, Gary Cooper knows horses, what makes them tick, and how to get everything they have to offer, out of them. The bottom line is Gary KNOWS HIS BUSINESS!!!
For those of you who may not know Gary Cooper, let me tell you about the man I know. When my husband and I moved to Cody in 2009, we wanted horses and Gary found 2 for us in 2010. Gave us all the extra help we needed whether then or a year later. I found myself needing to find homes for the horses in 2014. That one day I called and asked him to take them back and that same day they were with him. No hesitation whatsoever. Gary took the horses back and took care of them until he found excellent homes for them. Then he billed me for their care for the few months. He is the most moral and ethical trainer we have known. His clinics are great too.
Margaret Doane (©2014 Courtesy photo).
Reuben was just coming 5 when I bought him, and knew virtually nothing. I began working with a trainer to lay down a foundation for him, and I rode him on the trails. Reuben had begun to find ways to intimidate me, and was getting the upper hand. This culminated in him bucking me off. Although I got back on and continued to ride, my confidence was shattered. And, Reuben’s intimidating behaviors got worse because I was now afraid to discipline him. It was my great good fortune to find Gary Cooper. I attended a lot of Gary’s clinics, and also began taking private lessons. I slowly began to regain the respect I had lost with Reuben. After discussing my goals for Reuben with Gary, I decided that some concentrated training time would be the way to go. I told Gary I wanted a safe horse that was also versatile. My main goal was to be able to join the rodeo drill team. Reuben, who had not ever taken his right lead, now, takes his right lead every time. We can do pretty and collected lead departures, lope concentric circles, back up, sidepass, two track, turnaround on the hind, perform rollbacks, counter flex, stop, and do simple lead changes! I can move his body around, I can frame him up, and I learned how to deal with his tantrums which have become infrequent because he now knows it doesn’t work! Although I have ridden my entire life, I never learned true equitation. I would read articles and watch video clips but much of it was way over my head. Working with Gary has dramatically improved my horsemanship, my confidence level is strong, and my relationship with Reuben is wonderful. I am now the leader he needed, and although we have not yet ridden in an actual performance, I am successfully practicing with the rodeo drill team, and recently carried the flag for the first time! Through it all, Gary has been there to help me overcome fears, training obstacles, and boost my confidence. He has answered my multitudeof questions with patience, explaining things in a way I can grasp and execute successfully. Gary is helping to make my dreams for my horse and I come true.
Cindy Coe on Reuben (©2014 Courtesy photo).
Gary brought me and my horse Bitzolena (AQHA) together on working cowhorse. With just a few private lessons and a couple of cowhorse clinics under our belt we were 4th out of 13 in Novice Amateur Working Cowhorse at the the 2013 AQHA Region 2 Championship horse show. It was our first cowhorse class. . That 4th Place win was qualified us for all events at the 2014 AQHA Novice Championship Horse Show in Las Vegas, NV, where we finished in the Top 25 in Amateur Ranch Horse Pleasure (there was no Cowhorse Class in Vegas). Gary's patience with a horse and rider is a real asset when you are starting a new event. I highly recommend Gary for this reason.
Marilyn Wegweiser on Bitzolena (©2013 Gary Cooper Performance Horses).
"I have been riding with Gary for about four years, mostly in the Cutting discipline. When I started my horse, I was very green. I believe Gary is very passionate about his training, for the horse and rider. He is patient and caring to explain things in a manner that I can apply to my riding. We discuss my goals, making sure they are realistic and we can accomplish these goals. He has prepared me mentally for the shows and taught me to ride for the horse, which has brought success in the show pen. Gary has helped me build a willing partnership between me and my horse.I have also had horses in training with Gary. I know my horses are safe and getting the best possible care at his facility. He often calls to keep me up-to-date on the progress of my horse. Gary and his staff always make me feel welcome at his barn. I have learned so much and want to continue improving my horsemanship with Gary. We are blessed to have Gary in the valley. It has been a great ride! Thanks Gary!
- SUSIE BARRY
Susie Barry on Smarty (courtesy photo).
Susie Barry on Cody (courtesy photo).
“I recently attended a Gary Cooper Trail Clinic. There were a total of twelve riders. We started in the outdoor arena and learned to go through some obstacles. When I felt a little anxious about an obstacle, Gary did not push me. He defused my anxiety by telling me I didn't have to do it. Because I was not under pressure, I eventually was able to try the obstacle. I also felt that Gary was able to give everyone one-on-one attention. He assessed me with my horse to see where I needed to improve and how he could help me. We then went out of the ring to an area where we had to cross water. This was tough for some of the horses, but everyone eventually was able to cross. We then went on a long, beautiful trail ride up the mountain. We came across some other natural obstacles such as a stream to cross. We all did it. I had such a great time and learned how to disengage my horses hind quarters so that I was safer on my horse. I feel that safety is first and foremost on Gary's list. I would highly recommend Gary's clinic. I am looking forward to another clinic.”
- LORI T.
Doc and Lori T. (© S. Frame).
“Having attended multiple clinics led by Gary Cooper, I can say enthusiastically that Gary is THE BEST!
His knowledge with horses and his ability to teach make him unsurpassed in the Cody area.
Gary's easy style and friendly manor makes every session a fun learning experience for me and my horse.”
- SUSAN C.
Duke and Susan C. (© S. Frame).