I find joy in working with horses and riders that are struggling to get any where and feel happy when things start to click.
With many years of experience I have learned to recognize when a horse is reluctant and unhappy and when a rider is frustrated. Sometimes it takes starting from the ground up. Sometimes you or your horse have to jump back two grades in school and go back to some fundamentals and basics to correct bad habits or bad attitudes that have formed.
Groundwork, lunge line work, both English and Western style of lessons I train to both horse individually or horse and rider. No matter the discipline I believe Dressage principles can fall into play. I focus on Dressage principles that go back to the Russian Calvary School where James Fillis taught in the late 1800’s. In his preface to Breaking and Riding (1890), Fillis states his fundamental principle thus:
“it is necessary for a horse to be correctly balanced and light in forward movements and propulsion, in order that the rider may obtain the most powerful effects with the least exertion”
I learned to implement these strategies from a very young age. The late Carol Fraser was one of my first instructors I was with for many years. When I turned 19 and graduated high school she asked me to take care of the original All Trails Equestrian Center that she started in the 1950’s I believe. Since it was bought out years ago and no longer exists, I named my facility in her honor. I was the last person to take a lesson from her in 1994 when she retired completely from horses to go play her new love of golf.
My first form of transportation was a horse. My grandpa, Clayton Orr, who owned Orr’s Truck Salvage, started Watergate Arabians in Shepherd for my grandma. My sister and I would spend our summers at the breeding farm. We rode Grandpa’s hunting horses. Grandma bred her fancy show horses. I finally come of age to start showing. It was mostly in 4-H, open shows and the Arabian shows. We were in many, many class divisions and I now have many, many ribbons and trophies I have no idea what to do with.
I had three horses, a conversion van and a horse trailer in high school. I think that helped keep me out of trouble.
In the mid 90’s I worked for a few years at Cottonwood Ranch in Silesia with my husband at the time, working with some truly amazing and beautiful horses. The owners sent me to take lessons at Roy Yates Horse Reining school. Here is where I learned to implement Dressage principles into Western Riding or into any style of riding from the most wonderful instructors. I learned more from him and his assistant Jen Hibpshman in one month than I learned my entire previous life. Jen now has her own facility in Fruita, Colorado. Roy wanted me to stay down in Grand Junction and be an apprentice. I should have.
Roy told me… “You got married, now don’t go have kids. First thing that will go is the truck and horse trailer, then your horses, then your tack and pretty soon you’ll be out of it for a long time.” I kept one horse and I still have him 20 years later. He was right about some of it, but I am thankful I have my beautiful children.
Now I have opportunity to get back into horse training and riding lessons again after a few years of being off. I kept up on riding and training, but not showing. Now with All Trails, and all the support I receive especially from a couple of great friends, my daughters and my mom and thanks to my dad, Dale Deines I can move forward and advance my dream of boarding horses, riding and my love for animals and serving the people that own these majestic creatures.
I am seeking my next demo horse. Bobo is getting old. He still puts up with the kids because he trusts me and I trust him. This I believe is most important and ought not be broken.