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Ten Days with Dave Ellis at LS Ranch

February 15, 2014

I have been able to figure out how to get away for 10 days to expand and grow my horsemanship with Dave Ellis and Jody Grimm at their ranch in California.  For anyone with kids, a business, a life at all… you can appreciate how difficult this is.  I have an amazingly supportive husband, though.  I’m so lucky and immensely grateful.

I will post as many details as I can remember from my experience so that maybe my friends and students can attain some valuable horsemanship gems, as well.  Please feel free to comment any questions you have.


Day 1 – The beginning of Ranch Versatility on Ricky

Day 2 – Learning a dry work pattern and starting with cows

Day 3 – The Ranch Versatility competition

Day 4 – Beginning as an apprentice

Day 5 – Learning the proper use of the hackamore

Day 6 – Overloaded with information

Day 7 – Letting it all soak in

Day 8 – Enjoying the ranch

Day 9 – Equitation and collection

Day 10 – The Grand Finale!


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  1. angela Bailey permalink

    Hi Tia. On day 1 you said Ricky is heavy on the fore and you added commotion in the bit to lift his head so that he would be lighter on the fore and more engaged in the rear. This sounds like a different technique to getting a horse ‘collected’ if you will, by actually raising his head and not tucking it. Am I visualizing this incorrectly? Stay safe out there.

    • Well, in a sense, you’re right. This horse carries his head so low, almost like a western pleasure posture. So the commotion I’m causing is getting his poll above the withers but not high enough to look like a nice English dressage headset. It’s helping him be lighter in the front, which does create a more naturally collected horse, though. Remind me to demonstrate for you!

  2. permalink

    where is day two???? looking forwrd to read more about the clinic, your progress and adventures.

    • Ooops! Had a late dinner at the ranch and was too tired to finish day 2 yesterday. It’s there now – feedback welcomed and appreciated!

  3. Marla permalink

    Hi Tia – I love reading about your time out there with Dave. I don’t understand everything I’m reading because I’m not a horse woman, but the fact that you’re learning and you’re happy makes me happy. Can’t wait to hear more about it when we talk next. I love you! -Marla

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