News from the round pen…

Hello Friends,

It seems we’ve about seen the last of warm weather up here in the North country… The green is about gone and the horses are shedding. Yet another year has come and gone. This year has been marked with some ups and downs but over all we’ve had it pretty good! Our work with Inner City Slickers this summer has been most rewarding and we are looking forward to getting an event or two going here in Wisconsin next year. I want to thank all the folks that have sponsored our clinics this summer and all the folks that have allowed me to help them and their horses. Thanks goes out to all the folks that have read my books or watched the DVDs and the short vids Vickie and I have put together on You Tube. I hope you enjoyed them and hopefully learned a bit from them too!

Every once in a while someone takes the time to write to me and let me know that the work I’m doing is appreciated and helpful and it sure is good to know that there are still folks out there that do take the time to say a good word or write a review to let you know how your doing and help us improve as well. Here is a letter I received from a very nice lady that I thought you would like to read. I’m always open and appreciative of the reviews (good or bad) that I get back on FB or read on amazon about my DVDs, books, training, and what not and I take every one as a learning experience that I can use to make things better in the future! So please take the time to write those reviews! We like to hear what you have to say. Have a great fall my friends and we’ll see at the winter quarters real soon!

Here is the letter:
Hi Smokey,
(Late last winter I purchased a copy of  ‘Whisper This’ when I was starting to shop for the mare I purchased in the late spring. In my mind there is a ton of solid info in there regarding staying on track with what is most important to consider when taking on a horse. Most especially for beginners who need the most help, lets just say it like it is, getting ahold of a horse that is not too much for you is a huge deal. So that is a book I would absolutely recommend to anyone, hands down.)

If I can offer something here; the best way to get feedback is definitely to ask for it. Beyond that there is a certain percentage of stuff we do or say that we aren’t going to know how it will settle or who it will serve (then and there). I was talking to an older foster daughter of ours’ once, I was in a tight spot and trying to figure out if I was at all effective on something that I was doing. I asked her ‘did I ever say anything’ to her that was of use 🙂 She said ‘yes, when I was incarcerated you told me to make profitable use of my time.’ (She has since gone on to be a young woman we are very proud of.) It makes me laugh to have her tell me that because it sure doesn’t sound brilliant by any stretch. But what she shared was she took the content of that idea to heart. She chewed on it and at that time it made sense and it became the point she steered for. I share this with you because the clips you post are valuable. What you and Vicky are doing by filming and posting is no small deal. I am an example; there is a massive amount that I don’t know about having a good seat… that is what I am steering for. Your clips start before that, which has to do with the business of creating a rapport w/ my mare & really important to me. So I watch and look for LOTS of stuff; I am watching how you time, how you respond to all the different reactions and issues you anticipate coming up. I am listening for the plan you are laying out in proceeding forward… how you are developing/useing cues all the way around. I look for what is going on in the saddle and trying to watch the horse at the same time. There is just a huge amount of info to be gotten from watching and rewatching how someone is working. I am one of those fools who does that 🙂 The more I watch the more subtle stuff I pick up. So while I am not starting this gal by any means I am either reacquainting myself and/or learning additional ways of conducting business that I need to move forward and have a solid beginning with her.
With me, I won’t sell horses, show them or likely ever be the student my poor instructor can point to with pride 🙂  as having brought along, probably just the opposite. I am just one of those people that won’t likely distinguish themselves at all thru horses, so it wouldn’t be too obvious how important they have been for me. I had a start with horses in my life… after a wreck I walked away. For a couple of decades I didn’t acknowledge what affect that had on me. After another big life event I decided to get back into horses… now I feel like I am just heading home (that is how my horses/education are for me.) So yeah… if what you are doing is helping people get home (beyond starting colts) … I would offer you are using your time pretty dang well. I, for one, have significant gratitude for that help.
Thank you Smokey and Vicky 🙂

Dawn B.

About Smokie

Smokie Brannaman grew up on a 5000-acre horse and cattle ranch in Southwestern Montana. Working with horses, cattle and rodeoing as a professional trick roper was his way of life as a youngster. Upon graduating from high school, Smokie chose to serve his country in the United State Coast Guard. Although his military duties did not always allow much time to spend with his horses, he never the less, rode and trained horses of his own and others throughout his military career. Smokie retired in 2000 from the Coast Guard and worked as a Corporate Operations Manager for a security company. But he soon realized that his true enjoyment came from being around horses, training, riding and helping others with their horses. After working for 2 years as a stable manager for a large boarding stable, Smokie hired on at Ots Sunrise Farm to work with the young horses halter breaking, ground work and starting horses under saddle to progress to more advanced training. Smokie started his own business, Horseman’s Services Limited, llc in 2006 and now works full time as an educator of the horse and rider. Smokie utilizes the training methods of his brother Buck Brannaman, Jeff Griffith, and others, as well as his own techniques learned during a lifetime of working with horses. Smokie is a published author of two books about horses and their riders, Whisper This… Not to your horse, to yourself, and his newest book Equiknowlogy 101… and numerous horse training DVDs. Smokie lives in Greenleaf Wisconsin with his sweetie Vickie, and has three grown children, Kat, Travis and Jason. He raises and trains registered quarter horses of his own, which he uses as, Cavalry horses for his hobby, Civil War reenacting, and performing in Wild West Shows throughout the Midwest.
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