March 9, 2012
Get the full story on this all-around hand with a passion for Quarter Horses.
Stan Immenschuh knew his own mind, but his favorite thing was working on the minds of horses.
“The thing that I got the most kick out of, and gave me the most satisfaction, was working with the cutting horses,” he says. “You get them broke and everything, and when you first start working them on cattle and they first start watching, putting their ears on them and making the moves, that’s more fun than anything, more than showing or anything else.”
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Stan has a number of stories of working cattle a-horseback.
“Jimmy Williams was a real good friend of mine,” he says. “I learned a lot from him. Jimmy was a great horse show guy. He had a stable in San Diego County and was training cutting horses. . . . Jimmy and I used to trade out: He’d come out and work cattle on the ranch I was on, the Ivanhoe Ranch in El Cajon, and I’d haul down to his stable.
“He taught me most of the stuff that I learned back then – how to use the war bridle and a bunch of different things. And just being around him, I picked up all kinds of little things, like you’ve got to give a horse time. I was real lucky to get hooked up with Jimmy, because he eventually ended up with hunters and jumpers in at a riding stable in Pasadena, but he couldn’t keep cattle there. He had some good horses and he sent them down to me to work cows on.
“Some of his owners were big in Hollywood, like Larry Lansburgh, the guy that made movies – I broke a Driftwood filly for him, and I rode some other horses for him and other people who were Jimmy’s customers. In those days, a bunch of Hollywood people had horses.
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“One of the horses that Larry Lansburgh owned and Jimmy sent to me was going to be used in a movie that they made about a cow horse that became a jumping horse, ‘The Horse With The Flying Tail’ (Disney, 1960),” Stan recalls. “Larry Lansburgh owned the horse and Jimmy trained him in a crash course in jumping.
“Larry was interested in cow horses, too, so he sent him down to me to work cattle on. The horse was a double in the movie. They didn’t really want me to make a cutting horse, but just wanted me to get him to where he would work a cow. I was just getting him started working cows a little bit. I had an arena with a hogwire fence with a couple of rails of old boards, one old board on top and one in the middle.
“I was going across the arena on the horse, and something clicked in that horse’s mind when he got to that fence – that he’d better jump it – and he went up, went right down and smashed everything down, hung me over the post like a wet rag. He wasn’t hurt but I was, broke some ribs and got banged up pretty good.”