By: Cheyney Wheelwright
Mack Weaver, of Morgan, has been named a National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Youth Coach of the Year for 2013. Weaver—who trains, shows and raises reining horses under the name Weaver Performance Horses—received an unprecedented number of votes for the award, which was announced earlier this year.
The NRHA award recognizes and honors individuals who exemplify excellence both in and out of the show ring. The youth coach award in particular focuses on those trainers who excel in coaching young, non-professional riders.
Ask any of Weaver’s many youth athletes and you will understand why he was such a favorite for this year’s pick.
Karlee Tucker has trained with Weaver for six years and was thrilled with the announcement of the coaching award.
“As a coach he has such a great perspective of both you and the horse,” she said. “He knows both of you on a personal level, and can help you to work together to solve any problems.”
What sets Weaver apart from other coaches, she said, is his attention to detail and his unwavering patience.
“He always wants the best for you, and never lets you finish the day on a negative note,” she said. “With him, it’s not about the clock. He’ll spend as much time as it takes.”
Amanda Harris, who has trained with Weaver for over five years, agrees.
“It’s not just about the horses,” she said. “He helps you to grow and develop as a person. You can have a terrible run, but he’ll point out all the positives so that you’ll have something to focus on for next time. He’s always there for you, whether you are struggling with a horse issue or just life in general.”
Weaver’s passion for horses and the sport of reining are evident to any who come into contact with him. Weaver’s young riders say this passion is contagious, and that is part of what makes him so successful as a youth coach.
Training and coaching professionally since 2009, Weaver has coached many non-professional riders on to state, national and even world titles. Most recently, he was coaching from the gate when Madison Bohman, another of his youth riders, took the non-professional, intermediate non-professional, and 14-18 youth world titles in Oklahoma City this October.
Weaver’s young riders have also brought home the AQHA Youth World Champion and APHA Youth Reserve Champion titles, as well as various futurity and youth class titles.
For Weaver, however, it’s not just about bringing home titles.
As Youth Coach of the Year, Weaver was asked to participate in A Slide to Remember, a fund-raising effort held in October for victims of the Oklahoma City bombing and the Moore City tornado. Weaver provided a horse for an Oklahoma City-area firefighter, and then was given two days to coach the pair before they competed in a reining event as a celebrity team.
Soon afterward, Weaver could be found back at the barn in Morgan, training and coaching in a profession he loves.
As a coach, seeing all the hard work pay off is the greatest reward.
“When my kids are successful in or out of the arena, I can share in that,” he said. “I see all the hard work day after day. When they win, I win.”
For Weaver, it’s all in a day’s ride.