Sunday, January 31, 2010

Here is a fun Artistic Saddle Dave Made with Coy fish
carved on it for Gypsy Vanner
Bo Bo and partner Mark Knie

Thursday, January 28, 2010

We do apologize for the current problems with our web site .
The situation is out of our control even with efforts to get it back to being updated regularly and errors corrected.
We are currently working to have this situation rectified and hope to have this done next week.
Please for those working scheduling dates and availability with us for clinics,training, internships etc., please e-mail me directly at and I will provide any and all information requested.
As to all those that have e-mailed over the loss of Lee Ziegler's web site last year. Her parents and my self have spoken on how this may be rectified but have no answers to that as of yet. Dave and I have both been researching and making calls as to what can be done to bring it back. It's just out of our hands right now and are very sad about the loss of a part of her legacy to all of us and a resource too so much valuable information. I will write more about this on the anniversary of her passing in March, but we have not given up as of yet.
Thank you so much for your patience.
Liz Graves

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This is the first in the series, Horses with out Holes .

Thanks again Dave for putting it all together, he loves computers and I just tolerate them.

Maybe if they had a mane and tail I might get more out of them.

Liz Graves

copyright 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Above is a video Dave took of 2 young Bachelor Pryor Mountain Mustangs in 2007.

The Grullo roan is "Flint" who is now a band stallion this year and one my favorite horses in this herd .

There are some teachings going on where it is stated that horses do not bend in the rib cage. I hope in posting this footage that it puts to rest this myth stated by those that have spent no time truly observing or know to feel horses in riding. They have not taken anytime to actually study fully anatomy, locomotion and Bio-mechanics of horses.

As the old saying goes" Any one can hang out a shingle and call them selves a professional" and they do and a lot theses days, does not mean the knowledge and/or experience is in place.

Anyone that has ever even spent quality time on the back of a horse or done really productive ground work with a horse surely knows and understands the importance that rib cage flexibility plays in much of the movement any horse makes in utilizing the use of it's body. It's part of knowing the" feel" one needs and feeling what the rib cage is doing, is going to help one know how to guide and not interfere with the rib cage so the horses legs can follow through as they should in desired executions in performance.

I also ask that in watching this footage watch the legs and how the bend in the rib cage is important and comes into play when the horses moves a hind leg under it's self, which many of your have been taught to focus on but also one must also focus on the opposite leg must step away first before the leg to step under can be achieved.Then look to how the fore legs have to function with each other also.

I direct folks in analysis to watch:

1.The full body as a whole to start, then in re watching break the body down into sections.

2. rib cage

3. Hind quarters

4. Forequarters

5. Head and neck

Analyze each and how they have to relate to work together and then step back and watch it again as you did the first time and:

6. Watch the whole horse again

Please don't be one of those that walks around with the "eyes wide shut" as the saying goes but do more than believe just what is said and learn to see it for yourself, in turn the biggest benefit to this is actually a learning process and understanding the horse more to get the most possible we can in asking it to perform.

Ignorance is a choice, don't let it be yours, enjoy the adventure and the joy to fully understand how a horses body works and yours also .One of those great keys that brings it all together to the best it can be.

Liz Graves

copyright 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Photo By David Genadek
Copyright 2008
Pads and Girths
Nip the Grip!
Elizabeth Graves© 2010

Every year in my work with folks and their horses I run into people that have had the very bad experience of being thrown from their horses due to gripping pads and girths.
Not all horses will react in such a volatile manner, it’s amazing just how stoic these horses can be, but that damage and/or discomfort can certainly still be present.
Since I’m such a research nut I did my homework on this and in conferring with a number of Veterinarians on just what is happening here is that the Fascia, that membrane the attaches the skin to the muscle gets torn away.
Detaching the skin in turn makes it even more movable beyond the limits of what the Fascia attachments limits would normally allow. Not only is this painful and certainly can interfere with any horse’s performance due to this discomfort .The healing time for the Fascia to re attach without riding the horse it can take 1-3 months for healing and reattachment to occur, with riding it won’t.

So why are they so popular? The most popular reason is obviously to reduce or eliminate slippage or movement of saddles. A little slide in pads and girths without being slippery is desirable so this grabbing of the skin does not happen.
It’s just a quick fix to other problems, kind of like the myth’ can’t control your horse, get a bigger bit”. What should be done is to evaluate what the reason for slippage and movement of the saddle is in the first place.

List of Reasons;
1.Saddle not fitting
2. Construction of saddle rigging incorrect
3.Improper placement of saddle
4.Improperly strapping on of saddle
5.Poor equitation practices
6.Rider mounting improperly in dragging themselves on to the horse instead of using proper impulsion of one’s body or a mounting block.
It’s very easy to be confused and miss led in the world of marketing and often it’s what the uneducated consumer demands, so of course money and profits are going to motivate a manufacturer and retailer to step up and provide what is asked for.
As always I hope what’s good for the horse is more important than what you need for one’s self without thought of the ramifications that could come from incomplete thought process of the actions and results of what we desire.

Other factors to consider in pads and girths:
Both should perform with breath ability, keeping the body of the horse as cool as possible and wick away sweat. Many girths and pads are made of petroleum products today having a rubbery texture which in turn cannot perform any of these desired factors.
Some horses can show sensitivity also to these products that cant not function as a good pad and girth should, galling, and heat bumps can be evident.
My personal experience with none of the undesired side effects and accomplishing comfort to the horse is natural fiber products.
When a horse is in discomfort or pain one cannot expect a horse to perform at peek. We know that distractions such as lack of comfort from itching, burning, over sweating, and pain distract the mind from being on the task asked from the handler/rider. It’s not uncommon just as in signs of a poor fitting saddle or bad experience with riding for a horse to give the physical/emotional signals of resistance.

Take some time, watch how products perform with folks already using a product on their horses, at reasonable expected amounts of time, before purchase. Think through what draw backs , positive performance, and reasonable effects a product can have on a horse. Finally make the decision for the horse first, really just common sense.

I don’t always listen to a lot of people without seeing evidence of performance myself. I commonly see those that have committed to product for so many human related reasons other than true performance, be it peer pressure, marketing beliefs, having vested interest in the product such as sales and simply wanting to maintain human friendships. Just because a large number of the population uses something does not make it a good performer. Good example, most people pay their taxes but it does not mean that money paid in is performing well.