As the mare accepted the rope around her flanks, he added a loop that hit her in the back of her hind legs, again letting her vent her frustration until she accepted she couldn't get rid of it.
Once she was calmly trotting no matter what kind of activitiy he generated with the rope, Kuhn moved on to saddling the mare and working her through walk to trot to lope with the saddle in place,.
"I always say that if you wonder how a horse thinks, then put them on a halter rope and push them into a lope," he said, "As they gain speed, their mental attitude shows up. If they are going to buck you off, that's when they do it."
Kuhn'a untrained mare didn't care much for the saddle. In fact, she wanted it gone. But she protested less and less.
"It really helps getting her comfortable with the lariat first," Kuhn said. "Once she figures out that you are in charge of that and it doesn't hurt her, then you have started to build the trust that will ultimately enable you to sit in the saddle and ride her."
Kuhn gave her time to get used to the saddle before adding a bit – a move that the mare didn't care for. She continued an effort to spit out the offending metal for the remainder of the session. But the effort was limited to mouth movement. She did not throw her head or rear back.
Before attempting the ride, Kuhn mounted from each side, sat in the saddle and then dismounted. On the third mount, he remained in place, finally gently urging the mare to move forward at a walk, then a trot and finally a lope.
By the end of the session, ranchers in the audience were murmuring amazement at how quickly the session had gone from mare determined not to be ridden to horse showing calm, if not exactly enthusiastic, acceptance of a rider.
During the 3i Show, Kuhn presented three clinics daily, dealing with fundamentals of groundwork, fundamentals of riding, building control, problem solving, trail riding and refinement exercises.