Thursday, December 31, 2009


The 5 Horses We Meet In Life

1. The Intro Horse
We each came into horses in our own way, but it was always with a horse leading us. This might have been a friend's first pony, or perhaps it was a draft horse on a farm you once visited It might have been a real-life meeting, or an imaginary one.

2. The Experimental Horse
Once you had crossed the line between "Darn, they're big!" and "Wow! Can I try that?" you found yourself face-to-face with the horse that would suffer through your early attempts at figuring out the whole horse experience … wherever this horse came from, he probably didn't benefit from the encounter as much as you did…

3. The Connected Horse
The first horses we meet don't really connect with us, nor do we with them. Those are experiences in survival and tests of endurance. The Connected Horse is the first horse you truly bond with. This is the horse that sounds a chord that lives so deep in you that you might never have heard it otherwise…

4. The Challenger
Into each horse person's life, a little challenge must fall. You'll have read that one final training book, bought yourself a clicker and heading rope, and there you'll stand, arms crossed, assessing the situation as if you actually knew what the situation was. It might be difficult to believe, as you are flying down the aisle way on the losing end of a braided cotton line, but you actually need this horse in your life…

5. Your Deepest Heart
There will come a time when you will look at yourself with a cold, appraising eye, and you'll have to be honest about your continued ability to deal with The Challenger and other difficult horses. At that point, you'll seek out the horse that will be your soul mate forever… You'll have bought him the most comfortable, best fitting equipment… Maybe you'll still go to shows and ride – brilliantly or barely – in the Alzheimer's class. Maybe you'll just stay home. Whatever you do, one day you'll realize that after all the money you spent on animal communicators and trainers, you only had to stop and listen and you would have clearly heard your horse's thoughts and desires…

Happy New Year to one and all. I love you all, Sherry L. Ackerman

Sunday, December 20, 2009

More videos from Cowboy Dressage

Are you a fan of Eitan and Cowboy Dressage? If you haven't seen all their posted video clips, copy and paste the following link into your browser:

Monday, December 7, 2009


Merry Christmas
from our house to yours !

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Poetry In Motion-Biomechanics DVD

You can order a copy of the new dvd POETRY IN MOTION, a teaching dvd about footfall sequences and biomechanics. Contact Eitan thru

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I Hung Up My Bridle Today--poetry corner

I Hung up my Bridle Today
by Kris Garrett

Yesterday, for the first time, I was too tired to ride
Yesterday, for the first time, I was afraid I would be hurt if I was thrown
Yesterday, for the first time, I heard someone say my barn was too shabby
Yesterday, for the first time, I let someone tell me I was too pudgy to ride
Yesterday, for the first time, I realized I was old
Yesterday, for the first time, I had to face that I could no longer keep up
Yesterday, for the first time, I had to let go of my dreams
Yesterday, for the first time, I felt my heart break
Yesterday, for the first time, I turned my back on my friend
Yesterday, for the first time, I knew I was done

Today, for the last time, I felt warm, braided leather in my hands.
Today, for the last time, I ran my stirrups up so they wouldn't bang my mare's sides
Today, for the last time, I released the buckles on the girth and watched my girl sigh
Today, for the last time, I slowly dropped the bit so it wouldn't hit her teeth
Today, for the last time, I gave my mare a cookie to thank her for the ride
Today, for the last time, I buried my head in her soft, warm neck
Today, for the last time, I inhaled the sun and the dust in her long winter coat
Today, for the last time, I closed the gate and trudged to the muddy porch
Today, for the last time, I tracked hay and horse hair into my house
Today, for the last time, I pulled off my boots and felt the sting of warm blood returning to my cold toes

Today, for the first time, I cried after my ride
Today, for the first time, I felt my hands shake as I set the saddle on its rack
Today, for the first time, I hugged my young trainer a final goodbye
Today, for the first time, I waited for the new owner's trailer to arrive
Today, for the first time, I set my boots in a box to go to the Goodwill
Today, for the first time, I sighed at the wear on my riding gloves
Today, for the first time, I had no hay in my hair
Today, for the first time, I did not hear nickering when I opened my back door
Today, for the first time, I felt worse leaving the barn that I did when I entered
Today, for the first time, I had no one to check on before going to bed

Tomorrow, for the first time, I won't have to buy hay
Tomorrow, for the first time, I can stay in bed longer
Tomorrow, for the first time, I won't see the poop pile grow
Tomorrow, for the first time, I won't be able to fly on four legs
Tomorrow, for the first time, I will be sorry I listened
Tomorrow, for the first time, I will regret letting her go
Tomorrow, for the first time, I will be angry at God
Tomorrow, for the first time, I will be angry at myself
Tomorrow, for the first time, I will cry the day away
Tomorrow, for the first time, I will be glad to die

Day after tomorrow, for the first time, I will awaken in tears
Day after tomorrow, for the first time, I will know I was wrong
Day after tomorrow, for the first time, I will defy all the judgement
Day after tomorrow, for the first time, I will ignore my old bones
Day after tomorrow, for the first time, I will return the buyer's check
Day after tomorrow, for the first time, I will bring my friend home
Day after tomorrow, for the first time, I will take my boots out of the box
Day after tomorrow, for the first time, I will be reborn

For the rest of my life, I will have a horse in my yard
For the rest of my life, I will ignore the cruel judging
For the rest of my life, I will watch the poop pile grow
For the rest of my life, I will have hay in my hair
For the rest of my life, I will track mud in my house
For the rest of my life, I will bury my face in her soft neck
For the rest of my life, I will let my soul fly
For the rest of my life, I will never be alone

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Morgan horses: Dancing with Cows

Eitan Beth-Halachmy riding Holiday Compadre in Wyoming.

Visit: and

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Simple Truth of Life...

Click your way through this slide show of life philosophy! Have a happy day, enjoying your hot chocolate.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Morgan Horse

(Click on the flag icon at the right to see as full screen.)

Shery Jesperson has outdone herself with this beautiful tribute to the Morgan horse. Many friends sent her photos to go along with her own collection. My contribution is the very last one. (Thanks also to G. Hoyt for his photo, used in this presentation also.) Enjoy!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Riding--Technique or Art?

What makes riding so interesting and addictive is that it is a lot of things. It is a craft. It is an art. It is a sport. It is also a science. In some ways it is simply applied physics. It has parallels with the practice of medicine. It is a healing art in the sense of physical therapy. It is applied psychology. It also has an intuitive, psychic side that must not be underestimated. It has things in common with yoga, pilates, dance, and music. These different aspects draw different types of people, and in order to go to the top and fulfill one's potential, the rider has to try and become as competent as possible in all these areas. Nobody can possibly master them all, which is why especially the truly great riders always emphasize that it takes more than one lifetime to master dressage.

Focusing on one aspect to the exclusion of the others lets the rider fall short of his or her potential. Somebody who sees riding exclusively as a sport and wants nothing to do with the other aspects will always remain on the surface. Somebody who sees it only as an art and does not take the technical, craftsmanship side or the athletic side seriously, will be held back by these shortcomings. Someone who gets too wrapped up in the physics and technique and never develops feel and intuition, will not get very far, either, etc.

The best riders I have met all combined a fairly high competence level in most of these areas. They were all fit and athletic, highly intuitive, with an excellent understanding of psychology, biomechanics and conformation, and they had spent their entire lifetime practicing the craftsmanship side until it had become second nature, so that they were able to transcend technique and leave the text book path behind when necessary in order to find a practical solution to a problem through the application of intuition and artistic creativity.

Thomas Ritter

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Reata Rose Ranch blog

Good morning from the blustery windswept plains of Nebraska's Sandhill country. A dustiing of snow on Saturday reminded us that summer is history and soon the ground will be frozen. (sigh)

Sherry Jesperson with mare Dolly at right:

There's a new blog you just might want to view! Shery Jesperson's photography and YouTube videos have graced my blog. She's from Wyoming's ranch country and renders her beloved land through digital film and crafted words. Mary Jane's Farm ( ) has recently added her to their stable of writers.

Log onto: for a visual treat!
Until later...


Monday, September 14, 2009

Trail Riding

If you love trail riding, check out this site:
Plenty of good info' about Colorado trails, trail riding rules especially during hunting season, photos, and more.

They even have a video from an episode of Survivor Man of when he went into the Colorado Rockie for a 5 day pack horse trip.

Happy Riding,

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Drought of the spirit
delight, laughter, joy withered
dormant until spring

Jock's withers shudder
beneath my hands on the reins
gentle horse grazing.
Thank you to Sandra Williams for sharing her original poetry. She's a member of WritersParkyahoogroup, an educational internet group for writers. Written Sept. 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Riding the Range or 8 Second Techno-rides

Back at the beginning of my blogging I posted photos from a California horse trainer friend who was adventuring a horseback, trailing cattle on a cattle drive. There are more photos and stories in the offering, waiting for me to share with you her "doings". In the meantime, she has a great webpage to share. If you feel handicapped by the demands of tech' duties, she might be just the ticket. Check out this link:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

MARES, The Heart & Soul

MARES, The Heart & Soul
Photos by one of my favorite equine photographers---Wyoming's own Shery Jesperson.

Becoming A Wiser Horseman

I loved this article! There are so many truths here, and if we take them to heart, we'll be better horseman, better humans. Please link to:

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The View From Another Saddle

Enjoy this photo display from one of Wyoming's wonderful photographers--Shery Jesperson.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Another Clinician I Recommend

I wanted to let you know about a wonderful clinician who might be in your area this summer. This man blends many concepts from Parelli, Desmond, Hunt, and has a wonderful feel with a horse. You can view some video clips on his website. This notice is from their yahoogroup.

Brent Graef started his summer clinic circuit a couple weeks ago and already has helped people and horses through difficulties with bucking, bolting, kicking, trailer loading, water crossing, catching, standing to be saddled/mounted, pushy horses, scared horses, and everywhere from very green colts, to high level show horses.The people he's worked with ranged from first time horse owners, to professional show people, to other horsemanship teachers, to full-time working ranch cowboys. For Brent, it's just another day at the office:-)Here's the rest of Brent's 2009 clinic schedule. Some changes have been made since earlier this year. Go to for more details and sign up info.
North Carolina June 16-17Maryland June 19-21Pensylvania June 22-24Ohio June 26-28Ohio July 3-6Michigan July 10-12Wisconsin July 17-19Iowa July 24-26Michigan Aug 14-16Texas Sept 13-18 (6 day class!)California Sept 25-27Rhode Island Oct 2-4Texas Oct 16-18California Oct 23-25Florida Nov 6-8California Nov 20-22
Be sure to sign up TODAY!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Upcoming JP Giacomini Clinic Schedules

Please join us for a Memorable Clniic with Classical Riding Master J.P. Giacomini:

1. April 23-25 in Grass Valley, CA
2. April 26-29 in Carmel Valley, CA
3. May 2-3,
(4 + 5 for Private Lessons) in Lakeview Terrace, CA

If you want to improve your riding and your horse's performance plus enhance the relationship bond with your horse - then these clinics are for YOU!

Riders of all levels are welcome, as are horses of all abilities and breeds. These clinics will also greatly benefit non-dressage riders and horses;

Western riders are welcome, too!

These clinics will focus on a classical approach to solving problems and advancing the horse and rider.

JP is a Successful, former Olympic Coach for Dressage and Eventing to riders from 5 different countries; He is also noted for his ability to teach Piaffe and Passage and for finding long-lasting solutions to previously unsolved problems.

Learn more about J.P. and access his BLOG at:

Auditors are VERY welcome!

To get more information on the

1. April 23-25 Grass Valley Clinic CONTACT: Jane Sommers 530-268-9004 EMAIL:

2. April 26-29 Carmel Valley Clinic CONTACT: Jessica Kent 831-659-6054 EMAIL:

3. May 2,3 (4+5) Lakeview Terrace Clinic CONTACT: Lisa Everett 805-630-6795FOR INFORMATION ON OTHER UPCOMING CLINICS CALL OR EMAIL: 859-236-1530 You and your horse will be glad you came!! That's what everybody says!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Young Girl's Poem

My Silent Teacher
Lowers her head when I put on the bridle,
She is always going the extra mile.
Telling me what to do without speaking a word,
We unite like part of the herd.
No matter what my instructor thinks of my ride,
She always is holding her head down low filled with pride.
Grooming her coat until it glistens and it shines,
Taking care of her until she dies.
She never gets mad at me no matter the error,
Never over reacting to my fears and my terror.
My silent teacher shows me marvelous things,
Giving me gifts only magic could bring.
My little warrior never taking a break,
Teaching me to ride better as long as it takes!

S. Nelson (c) 2009
Shared with permission from author

Fool Proof That French Braid, the Iberian Horse Way

Jenni has a great tip on making a fool proof, long wearing French Braid for your dressage horse. It doesn't come undone or look frayed. Be sure to access her photo link.


My trick to a non-bunching tight running braid (besides practice) is
braiding upside down (adding from the underside instead of the top
side). Basically, in a normal braid you cross over the outside hairs
on top, in a french or running braid you add hairs each time, in a
mane running braid you often only add them from the top side. In an
"upside down" braid, the outside "strands" are crossed over underneath
instead of over the top. I think this gives the braid a tidier
appearance. Maybe I can sucker Ben into a quickie youtube video next
time I braid someone

DONT show sheen or condition the mane prior to braiding for show, you
want it clean and combed but slightly tacky, products like "quick
braid" work well for occasional show use

example of a braid where hairs were added from the underside

that picture was taken after the braid had been in all day, this was
his second class in the afternoon and he had been loose in his stall
between classes, it was bunching a little, re-braiding before each
class will give the nicest appearance, but this type of braid, done
right along the crest should stay in well.

Good luck, will let you know if I ever get a video up.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Horse Training Blogs & Sites

Are you looking for some great training blogs?


Check out Dr. Thomas Ritter's Artistic Dressage Blog at: Dr. Ritter has some great articles and photos, willingly answering questions by readers.

JP Giacomini's---another master horseman graciously lent to us by France, runs an informative blog at:

Lightness and Horsemanship Through Feel:

If you haven't visited Leslie Desmond's site recently, avail yourself of the many good articles and links on her site
Leslie worked with Bill Dorrance to put into print his philosophies of unity with the horse through proper handling. title: Ture Horsemanship Through Feel.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Biomechanics Video from Eitan

Cowboy Dressage
with Eitan Beth-Halachmy
"Poetry in Motion
Understanding the Horse From the Inside Out"

There are videos and then there are videos and I have seen hundreds of them, but none like this one. If you would like to ride a better horse, here is the place to start. Step by step with the best horseman I know. It's the best investment in the horse industry. You can't show me a video comparable.".... Jack Brainard "

Eitan has produced and narrated a new video that is a work of art, but, more important, a work of tremendous value to any rider. Beautifully illustrated with videography and animation, this video will help any serious rider, regardless of whether they are expert or relatively novice, to understand how they can get the most out of their mount".... Robert M Miller DVM

DVD Video $45.00
Plus Shipping & Handling

Run Time 40 minutes
Order thru:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Riding Lesson with JP Giacomini--Use of Legs, Roundness

45 minute lesson with JP Giacomini in its entirety.

Use of legs, creating roundness.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

Traditional Horsemanship Association & Competition

(Click on the play button at lower left side of video screen)

Here is a short little video we finished that explains what this competition is about. As we 'speak', there is a clinic going on this weekend in California (and several private clinics next week), where people are learning all about this fun and exciting new way of competing - that your horse will love too! What's different about it, is that it's actually FAIR TO ALL BREEDS...what a concept, eh?
It will embrace vaquero, western, etc. Check out the video clip below if it isn't showing on the blog.

The above preview---pre-competition clinic, then watch excerpts of the very first TM Manege, TM Versatilty, and TM Combined Trial Competition. Now being revived, this footage is from that first event in Portugal in 1996...Clinics being held all over the USA to learn this competition. Email for more info:

Take care, JP & Shelley Giacomini __._,_.___

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 Schedule

_www.TheWowFactorRadio.com_ ( Jerry Diaz: Dancing Horses January 21-28Charro de Corazon: Charro (pronounced Cha 'ro) is a skilledMexican horseman whose origins date back to the 17th century. Thecharro, who developed customs, dress, music and equestrian skillslater borrowed by the American cowboy, dress in traditional costumeand are skilled in horsemanship, bull riding, horse and steerroping and trick roping. Charro Gerardo 'Jerry' Diaz is a fourthgeneration charro, continuing the traditions that originated withhis great grandfather over 150 years ago. Jerry is recognizedaround the world for his expertise in horsemanship and dedicationto the Charro traditions. He is a director and lifetime member ofthe National Western Stock Show which features his productions, TheMexican Rodeo Extravaganza and the Evening of Dancing Horses. In2004 Jerry Diaz was inducted to the Texas Trail of Fame. Join usfor a fascinating insight into the heart and life of this amazingequestrian. _www.CharroJerryDiaz.com_ ( See Jerry and Staci Diaz perform at The Evening of Dancing Horses,January 21 & 22, The National Western Stock Show, Denver, Colorado!_www.NationalWestern.com_ ( HORSECAPADES Sunday, January 25, 3:00 PM Westernaires Arena,JeffCo, Colorado _www.HORSECAPADES.com_ (

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Light Hands Horsemanship Clinic to Air on RFD-TV

I wanted to let all of you know that the four horsemen, Dr. Robert Miller, Jon Ensign, Eitan Beth-Halachmy and Lester Buckley, of Light Hands Horsemanship will be on Rick Lamb's The Horse Show on RFD-TV on the dates January 20th and 25th, and again April 21st and 26th.

It is called "Profiles in Lightness." You can go on the RFD-TV website and see the scheduled times there. Tell your friends and tune in! ( looks like Rick Lamb's THE HORSE SHOW is on Tues. 1:00 pm eastern and Sun 8:00 am eastern, if I read that right.

The 2009 clinic is coming up end of May:
It is a great experience.

For those on the group, we showed a video of Eitan riding ( at the 2007 Christmas party.

To read an article on last year's clinic and view the videos, scroll to the right hand column, click on 2008, and click on July.

Video taken by pyrgografix
April 21, 2008