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Because of Horses

Feb 23, 2018

Today’s guest on the Because of Horses podcast is iconic western horseman and trainer, Al Dunning. Since 1970, Al has owned and operated the Almosta Ranch, a Quarter Horse training facility, in Scottsdale, Arizona. He’s received countless honors, including the American Quarter Horse Association’s Professional Horseman of the Year and the National Cutting Horse Association’s Trainer of the Year. He has also served on the United States Equestrian Team’s Formation Committee to make reining an Olympic sport.


With over 45 World and Reserve World titles, Al Dunning and his students have seen great success in AQHA, NCHA, NRCHA, and NRHA events. His love of teaching has taken him all over the world — conducting clinics and sharing his training techniques and philosophies on horsemanship. Al has written multiple articles and books, and created several well-received educational videos on training horses. In addition, Al has developed an online lesson and mentoring program, Team AD, as well as AD Tack — an online store for tack and training equipment.


Al is as generous with his expertise and insight into Reining, Cutting, and Cow Horse competition as he is with his perspective on living a good life, putting in an honest day’s work, and teaching the next generation. Join Elise this episode to hear Al’s advice to those looking to become a better horse rider or trainer, his stories on his legendary horse, Expensive Hobby, his lessons and insight into western disciplines, and his life philosophy on always putting his family and faith first.


Topics of Discussion:

[2:00] Al Dunning: prioritizing family and faith first.

[2:58] Moving from Chicago to Arizona: the beginning of horses entering Al’s life.

[5:52] Al’s family and why they share a passion for horses.

[11:35] Al explains reining, cutting, and working cow horse.

[16:00] Cutting: an impressive, exciting, beautiful discipline.

[18:05] Which of Al’s horses have been able to crossover into multiple disciplines and what it takes for a horse to be trained in all three (reining, cutting, and working cow horse) disciplines.

[21:12] Al’s special, Hall of Famer horse, Expensive Hobby.

[22:37] Responding to listener feedback!

[24:30] Al’s advice to people who want to be a horse rider or trainer.

[32:10] Al’s mentors: who they were and why he looked up to them.

[35:28] Al’s philosophies on horsemanship, his training approach, and the importance he upholds on life skills.

[38:54] How receptive is the modern rider to Al’s traditional riding approach?

[41:38] Al’s approach to training: the five basics.

[45:00] About Al’s businesses: AD Tack, Better Horses Network, and Team AD.

[48:31] What’s to come in Because of Horses!

[49:26] What hasn’t Al tried?

[50:33] What Al would like his legacy to be.

[52:33] Al’s advice to those trying to pursue their dreams.

[58:05] Where to follow Al online.


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Discover More About this Week’s Guest — Al Dunning

Websites and Businesses:, AD Tack, and Team AD.

Social Media Pages: Facebook and Instagram.


Al’s Amazon Book Page

Radio Network: Better Horses Network and Al’s Show: Al Dunning’s ADTV.


Mentioned in this Episode:

Almosta Ranch





Jim Paul

John Hoyt

Don Dodge

AD Tack

Team AD

Better Horses Network


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