Judging opened his eyes to something he hadn't really noticed before. "I found that each year when I went back somewhere to judge many of the beginners from the years before were not there. I started to think about why and didn't like the answers I was getting, for example: 'It was to expensive,' 'I can't compete against people who can pay the best trainers, and buy the best horses,' and 'my horse isn't good enough for the new level I have to show at and I can't afford a new horse.'" When he talked to people who were successful in the sport about the problem, they shrugged. "It's an expensive game," they said. "Not everyone can afford it."
Rod started thinking about a way to solve that problem, and came up with the idea of a Performance Horse Development program. The program would focus on the process of training that leads to a competitive Reining horse, but would award the process along the way. As a standard, he defined what it means for a horse to be really "broke." A "broke" horse, by PHD definition, will "wait for its rider's cue, then willingly accept and follow that cue." Simple, no?