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Dances With Horses Newsletters

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Dances With Horses Inc.
Newsletter

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SUMMERTIME

Hello Horse Enthusiasts:

 I’ve just returned to my home in eastern Idaho, literally as the last drifts of winter snow melt away. For so many of us, reintroducing ourselves to our horses and bringing them back into work is the obvious task at hand. But the approach to accomplishing this sometimes isn’t so obvious and there can be many pitfalls on that journey.

So many of us simply want to get our horses prepared for fun weekend rides throughout the summer and fall. And of course there is a big contingent that wants to compete during the prime riding months.

A student of the horse, preparing horses for those first rides and subsequent rides is my specialty. Many horses and especially younger horses require thoughtful preparation. That is precisely what my 7 Step Safety System is all about as detailed in my landmark DVD, Discover the Horse You Never Knew. This step by step set of logical exercises leads right into the saddle. And if the horse is uptight, nervous, unhappy, or in pain, we address these issues NOW, before riding.

Our Horses Attempt to Communicate with us all the Time 

They’re giving us, in their language and as best they can, a clear signal about what is on their minds. We must listen quite attentively so we can understand that the avoidance of the bit might mean sharp points on their teeth. A horse that tries to nip when being saddled or cinched  is quite likely anticipating saddle or back pain. A really hyper horse might be getting too much hot feed or not enough room to be a horse, to run and play. Horses are complicated creatures and it almost seems the more we know about them, the less we know.  

I’ve just completed a series of seven clinics, four in Australia and three in the USA. We had wonderful changes and successes in both horses and riders at every single clinic. But the percentage of unhappy horses was astounding. So many crying out for help, begging us to pay attention to their needs. The sore backs due to poor pads and ill-fitting saddles. The horses with dangerously sharp teeth telling us in their language to not force a bit into their mouths or they might just rear over backwards because of the excruciating pain. It is difficult to even talk about this, but I feel obligated to alert every single horse owner to listen and have empathy for the animals we so love.

The Good News 

We are truly living in the Golden Age of the Horse because we now have access to highly effective and protective products, if we choose to listen and care for our horses. The revolution in horsemanship is sweeping the globe as trainers worldwide embrace the Natural Horsemanship Movement. Healers offering many different modalities are making good livings helping horses while teaching and enlightening others. Equine dentistry is improving as I write. 

  • Buy the finest pad that offers real protection- we recommend and carry Supracor products

  • Educate yourself about dentistry.  Learn to check your horse's teeth and choose your vet of equine dentist who works on your horses teeth as carefully as you choose your own dentist.

  • Does your saddle fit correctly or is it pinching the horse’s withers? Is the saddle placed too far forward preventing the movement of the shoulder?

  • Horses in the wild walk 15-20 miles per day, mostly grazing with their heads down. Is your horse cooped up in a small stall, turned out a few hours only – all of which may lead to very unhappy horses with vices such as cribbing or weaving. Horses should be able to graze on something, even simple grass hay at a minimum.

  • Feeding horses is complicated and feed companies and stores want to sell products without really understanding your specific needs. Again educate yourself about nutrition. Your horses should have free choice salt and minerals. Blocks aren’t really as effective or digestible as loose salt and minerals.

  • Does your farrier offer a barefoot trim? Not all horses require shoes and that very shoeing may very well be detrimental to your horses’ longevity and overall health. There isn’t a single case of laminitis in wild horses.

  • The horse has 5 hearts. One in each foot that acts as a pump. If the frog isn’t in contact with the ground, the pump isn’t working as it should.

  • Are you fit enough to ride your horse competently? We owe it to our horses to maintain a reasonable level of fitness. A fit rider is much easier on the horse. When in doubt, find a way to reduce weight on the horse’s back. This might mean losing a few pounds or moving to a lighter saddle. There are fabulous synthetic saddles on the market. We carry Synergist saddles.

  • Be kind. Just think about what our horses tolerate from us. Loading into a noisy trailer and taken to an unfamiliar setting away from their families. Then asked to happily carry us whenever and wherever we choose.  Have empathy! 

Our Team and Philosophy 

I’ve made it my personal goal to assemble a team of knowledgeable instructors worldwide to help you and your cherished horses succeed in every aspect. We have equine massage therapists, breeding and foaling experts, mustang specialists, children’s instructors, seasoned competitors, and saddle fitters onboard, just to name a few of our varied talents. More importantly, we are expanding globally at a very measured pace as we bring only the finest of knowledgeable horsemen and women into our ranks.

SPRING, SUMMER, & FALL INTENSIVE CLINICS


Our spring intensive at White Stallion Ranch just outside Tucson,  was a great success with two eager returnees- Nathan Brattan and Flora Arbaugh coming for a full week refresher. We had a wonderful gang that week. Onto Virginia which seems to be emerging as a stronghold for my program as Diana Graves in Catlett hosted another successful clinic in challenging weather conditions yet again. I have this amazing ability to bring spring rains to my clinics. But Diana’s indoor saved the day one more time. With help from Diana and Chas Frame, driving down from New Jersey this clinic was another great success and a truly wonderful weekend of learning and adult camaraderie. Bob and Linda Claymier were a great help- Bob with the horses and Linda with the books. Then our motley crew descended upon their Desert Rose Arabian Farm for evening entertainment and lodging. Camp Claymier is quickly becoming a yearly spring event that I really look forward to.  For those of you who are computer literate, we posted some selected highlights from this clinic on “YouTube”.   Frank Bell/Catlett Va. should call up the clips on the first page for those interested.

Michaela Yowaiski’s smile shined brightly as she received our first official Youth Representative Award at the end of the clinic. At thirteen years of age, Michaela’s skills and horse wisdom are truly exemplary for riders of all ages. With youth as our future, Michaela is the embodiment of The Movement. She will soon be competing in Ireland for which we wish her much success.  Her contact information will be posted on my website and it is hoped that other young people will follow her example in becoming members of our team.  May she continue to pursue her dreams.

Beverly Peffer organized a fun weekend clinic outside Scranton. Of note, Cynthia Corrona brought her wonderful mare from Connecticut. I’d heard in- depth stories about River from the Arizona clinic several weeks earlier and she lived up to those tales! Linda Haley kept us laughing the entire weekend and should consider show biz with such talent!

7-DAY INTENSIVE- TUCSON, ARIZONA  NOVEMBER 16-23 2008

The 7-Day we conducted at White Stallion Ranch last spring was such a success that we’ve scheduled a follow-up in November. This is a full week of intense learning and recreation at one of the oldest dude ranches in the country. Many of the old westerns were filmed at this location. With 120 horses, everyone has ample opportunity to hone their skills. There is absolutely no substitute for handling a variety of horses during that week. It is hands-on with horses in the mornings and lecture and demonstrations in the afternoons. The topics we cover are almost too numerous to list including- dentistry, saddle fitting, nutrition, natural trim, trailer loading, mustang gentling, pain issues, spooky horses, horse/rider confidence issues, etc.  These week-long clinics fill up very quickly, so if you’d like to attend, reserve your space ASAP! 

SUMMER/FALL WINDRIDER RANCH, IDAHO 

On a very limited basis I work with clients at my ranch in Idaho near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I travel internationally as well, helping horsemen and women. Contact us if interested in either of these options- frankbell@horsewhisperer.com  or 800-871-7635.  Many of my accredited instructors offer similar services and you are encouraged to contact them as well.

 

BELIEVE IN YOUR HORSE SO YOUR HORSE CAN BELIEVE IN YOU                                  - RAY HUNT

CONTROL GIVES YOU THE CONFIDENCE TO COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY. AND THAT IS WHEN QUALITY HORSEMANSHIP BEGINS TO EMERGE .. . . HENCE FRANK BELL’S 3-C’S


Horses prefer and respect a strong confident leader who makes intelligent decisions. Following a good leader takes the pressure off the horse and helps them relax and enjoy the interaction. But, without control of the horse we cannot be confident and therefore not communicate effectively. The horse will lead if we don’t. And one party is always training and leading. The moment we take control and become the respected leader, then confidence blossoms and quality communication begins. From that foundation good horsemanship emerges. Then the possibilities are endless.

With my system, control is achieved by implementing the one rein stop, both on the ground and in the saddle. Control is also achieved by snaking the lead rope to back the horse out of our space. Both of these exercises put the handler in control as a clearly recognized leader emerges.

Far too often I see a horse that is crying out for leadership, boundaries. But the handler doesn’t exude the confidence required to be taken seriously. You must be serious to be taken seriously.

Our program begins with bonding, giving to the animal. Then we ask for something back in the form of pressure and release, take and give, which is the second step in the program. Once the horse begins yielding to our requests, in any form, well then we have taken control. Now our confidence can skyrocket and we can begin to really communicate, because the horse is listening to our direction.

 Take some time to really ponder what I’ve just explored. Without control we cannot begin to reach our potential with the horse. This understanding may very well open some big doors for you just as it has for me.

THE MAGIC OF THE MOUTH= MENTAL DIGESTION

Discover the Horse You Never Knew


Time after time I talk about a relaxed, soft mouth. The importance of this sign of cooperation and relaxation cannot be overestimated. There are so many instances when a horse is locked up, has stopped learning, and might appear to be downright stubborn. Simply slipping a finger straight into the corner and feathering the tongue immediately breaks that tightness and the head generally drops and the horse works the mouth with gusto. Give it a few moments to soak in. Don’t interrupt the horse until he’s finished working that mouth, because he’s chewing on it mentally. I use this technique to cement in the positive and break loose the stubborn. Magic! 

And don’t forget the back end either, because a horse with a clamped tail is also sending a message of unease.

 

FIX HIM UP AND LET HIM FIND IT         -  RAY HUNT

Discover the Horse You Never Knew

I am queried time after time for the name of my DVD that highlights my 7 Step Safety System. The title is “Discover the Horse You Never Knew” and it is a remarkably accurate description of this renowned work. Time after time viewers apply the simple exercises and are rewarded with dramatically more compliant, happy, willing horses. Most importantly, I’ve simplified the principals of natural horsemanship with this work and the entire collection as well.

This DVD is a valuable asset to every single horse person’s library.

New Book - The Horses Who Touched My Heart

I’ve written a number of articles about the exceptional horses and circumstances that surrounded their lives and recovery. We’re in the final edit stages of creating a book of these heart-warming stories. Watch my site for the release of this newest work.

 

Gift Certificates

We are now offering gift certificates in any amount. This is a great chance to help your favorite horse person achieve their goals. They have the flexibility to choose the product that most fits their needs.

Video of Month Club

For those just becoming familiar with my Gentle Solutions approach to communicating with these wonderful creatures, our Video of the Month Club is a sensible option. With 12 works and a book, you’ll receive a new work every month to absorb before the next one arrives. This is a fabulous way to learn the life-long journey called Horsemanship.

Video of the Month Link

 

Bob Claymier’s “Complete Guide to Horse Breeding, Foaling and Foal Training”.  

This 3 DVD set contains over four hours of information that the first time or inexperienced horse breeder will find essential before embarking on such an effort. Bob’s main purpose for the project was to add to the body of knowledge on the subject as it may be the most comprehensive set of information available from a layman’s viewpoint.  The secondary goal was to help owners be more responsible breeders because we often see mares that should not reproduce being bred to stallions that should have already been gelded.  Horses are too precious of an animal to produce one that may be unwanted or unloved. If you are considering breeding your mare, now is the time of year to have her thoroughly examined by your veterinarian to ensure she has no reproductive issues.  You will also have time to adjust her body condition either up or down before the spring breeding season.  You should also be evaluating various stallions and signing applicable contracts.  These are just a few of the topics covered in this highly acclaimed and informative package.  Bob’s DVD can be purchased through his website – www.desert-rose-arabians.com plus I am also offering it on my own website where it can be found under “Horse Training Packages”.

Forco Nutritional Supplement

I’ve had fits keeping weight on Lakota Breeze, my 23 yr. Anglo/Arab. In May I began using Forco Nutritional in earnest, adding a couple scoops a day to Lakota’s feed. He was recently praised by a knowledgeable vet as in almost perfect condition!

Forco enhances the bio flora in the horse’s digestive system, thereby making better use of the food. Stool size is reduced dramatically, indicating more efficient digestion. The site for more information on this cutting-edge product is:

Forco Nutritional Supplement

Telephone/Email Consulting

Most of our accredited instructors have alternative horse-related talents.

We list each instructor’s additional talents with a link to their own explanation of this skill. From there you may email or call them or if geography is on your side, make a physical appointment. These instructors have spent years acquiring these specific skills so will likely need to be remunerated for their time helping you through your issues. Our goal is to share our knowledge at every level so horses and humans may reach their true potential.

BE AS GENTLE AS POSSIBLE AND AS FIRM AS NECESSARY                                     - TOM DORRANCE

 

RAY HUNT AND SALLY SWIFT

We’ve lost two more icons in the horse world in the last few months in addition to my friend John Sharp who passed away in mid February. John pioneered using a bamboo pole to gentle wild horses many decades ago. I produced a great DVD with John on this subject and captured a rare interview as he shared his journey that began in his teens as he rode a freight train to Oregon from Oklahoma. John’s Pole Gentling method is easily the most humane and expedient approach to helping these wild creatures learn to cope with and understand humans. While John hadn’t actively trained horses for some time, his wisdom and legacy continue to spread throughout the globe.

I had the great fortune of taking in one of Ray’s final clinics last summer in Driggs, Idaho. I very deliberately engaged him to talk about his first meeting with Tom Dorrance and just how Tom helped settle Ray’s troubled horse Hondo. Tom laid the horse down and changed Hondo’s,  Ray’s, and countless other lives’ forever as Ray took the Dorrances’ evolved approach to horsemanship to the world. Ray deserves so much credit from every single person on this enlightened path.  In the late 90’s I had the great fortune of doing a benefit demonstration for Sally Swift’s following and related horse rescue association in southern Vermont. What a wonderful soul who touched and helped so many horses and riders all over the globe. Both Ray and Sally join John Sharp passing on legacies that will continue in perpetuity.

 
ACCREDITATION

 

As interest in natural horsemanship explodes worldwide, more and more horsemen are gravitating toward our program. Time and again the simplicity and predictable results of our 7 Steps prevails. While there are numerous programs to choose from, no one has made it more understandable. Those that master our program are suddenly empowered. They quickly become confidently assertive and strong leaders, which is exactly what their horses are craving.

ACCREDITATION PROGRAM
 

We are pleased to announce the addition of our newest Accredited Instructor, Diana Graves of Moonraker Stable in Catlett, VA. Diana has been a professional equestrian for decades and studied the system for several years with numerous horses and students. She has hosted my clinics at her wonderful facility four years in a row with great success and will be a great addition to our VA team.

 Congratulations to both Diana and Michaela as the newest additions to our growing team who are out there making a difference.

With dozens of trainers spanning the globe on the road to accreditation, our ranks are expanding. Our goal is to have 7-Step Safety Instructors in barns and stables worldwide. We invite you to explore this option. This is not complicated nor does it take years of tests, levels, and huge funds to master. We instill assertiveness in our instructors. They teach our proven logical set of exercises so that horses and riders can travel in confidence, instead of fear. This is about having a simple plan before riding that dramatically heightens horse/rider safety in the saddle. This is about turning safety into an artful dance called “Ballet in the Saddle” as the duo performs this graceful maneuver that uses the horse’s energy constructively while promoting again . . . safety.

Achieving accreditation status is a whole lot more than mastering the system. I think of it as a pie divided into thirds.

  • The first third is all about perfecting our 7 Step Safety System and being able to teach it to others. When you teach something, you’ve learned it twice.
  • The second part of the equation is a general knowledge of horses, tack, nutrition and the almost endless details we all need to keep learning as horsemanship evolves. Competent riding is part of this section as well. You must ride reasonably well to be taken seriously.
  • The third part is portraying a high level of professionalism. This all goes a long way in the credibility category.

We are presently designing a franchise program that will include a week at White Stallion Ranch as trainers perfect our safety system with endless horses. Once accredited, the trainer will have our support and format to conduct clinics and market our product line to their own following.

Accreditation Certification Link:

 

 

DANCES WITH HORSES CHARITABLE FUND

Every week I receive requests for donations from horse rescue programs, trail improvement, and handicapped riding. We simply cannot help every one of these fine organizations, so have decided to create our own charitable fund. This will allow us to survey the requests and help the organizations that are really making a difference.

We invite your tax deductible donations as well as your requests for help. The organization must be a registered 501c-3 entity with a clear vision and strong management.

Thanks to all those kind souls who have helped our cause throughout the past year.

Please visit our charitable link at:

Charitable Donations

 

CONFIDENCE IS KNOWING YOU ARE PREPARED                                         - RAY HUNT

Thanks to all those kind souls who have helped our cause throughout the past year.

 

THOUGHT WITH PURPOSE GIVES THE HORSE DIRECTION-

 

OBSERVE, REMEMBER, AND COMPARE
                                                                  -  RAY HUNT

 

Remember - Your success is our success

All the best from the whole gang at Dances With Horses. Safe Riding.

Frank Bell & Dances With Horses

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Summer 2009

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Upcoming Events

Horse and rider private training at Windrider Ranch

Ashton, Idaho


Frank Bell's complete 2009 schedule

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“Empower yourself . . .  Empower your horse with Frank Bell's 7 Step Safety System”

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