Christopher Smith & Rooster
I went to one of the six day clinics that Dennis and Deborah Reis are putting on this year. My initial goal was to get prepared for the upcoming trail riding/ horse camping season. That week was an amazing experience! Dennis and Deborah opened their home and hospitality and provided first rate food and comfortable sleeping. My relationship and confidence with my horse really improved. Now my goal is to commit to bettering my horsemanship. I am looking forward to completing the rest of Dennis’ program this summer. To borrow from Dennis, I realize now I need to prepare my position for my transition into more senior riding. As for horse camping? Rooster and I just got back from three days at the Back Country weekend in Henry Coe Park. We had a great time together and what a difference! We were a team!
Thanks Dennis and Deborah!
Chris and Rooster
Marla Zayed & Trixie
Thank you so much for your great 6-day clinic last month. My horse and I got so much out of it.
I really like the way the days were structured: waking up to the quiet vistas of your spectacular vineyard ranch and having a healthy breakfast waiting downstairs; making the short drive over to your Penngrove property (where my horse was comfortably stabled) and starting group lessons by 9am; having a healthy lunch provided; followed up by individual lessons with Dennis in the afternoon. I especially enjoyed the nights when complimentary yoga classes were held in the main house with Eleanor. She is a gem! The nights when dinners were provided were especially enjoyable, as the food was unbelievable fresh and delicious! After dinner, it was great to walk the trails and see swans relaxing in their floating nests just a few feet away!
The group lessons were a good way for my horse and I to work on socialization (herd dynamics) and synchronization (drill team) skills. The day a herd of cows was brought in to the arena was my cow pony’s favorite day! Not only do I appreciate how Dennis can hone in and articulate what I needed most to work on and specifically how to accomplish it, but, like a cheerleader, he has a way of communicating and inspiring you to do believe you can do it.
After I got home, I noticed a positive difference in my relationship with my horse and I am looking forward to returning for another 6-day clinic soon.
I am a member of the mounted patrol unit at Henry Coe State Park (88,000 acres). Last weekend, I volunteered for our yearly backcountry weekend and my horse was able to confidently lead trail rides and perform patrols throughout some of the far reaches of the park. I know attending Dennis’s clinic made her a more confident and willing partner. Thank you again for the unforgettable experience!
Patsy Duncan & Pearl
“I have ridden all of my life. My family had a 9,800 acre ranch in the Texas Panhandle. Although I went to school and lived in town, I would spend weekends, holidays and summers on the family cattle ranch where we played constantly on horseback. I followed the foreman around the ranch doing cattle work. At age seven I was helping him doctor the cattle and flanking the calves at brandings. We had round ups where we shipped and moved cattle from pasture to pasture”
My name is Patsy Duncan
The things I learned were from cowboys . Some were good horsemen. I was 12 years old when I broke my first colt. His name was Smokey. A grulla, half shetland/half Quarter Horse. I had Smokey till he was 37 years old. I broke other horses from the age of 16 until I was in my twenties.
In high school, I went with a boy who later became my first husband. His father raised Quarter Horses. I thought I was in heaven. I could ride after school any of his horses I wanted. I rode the stallions and colts and mares. I “play- dayed” a little running barrels and poles. These horses were a step up from our old ranch horses. They were mostly Leo bred and really good all around old timey Quarter Horses. They were cowy and fun to ride with good dispositions. We later had race horses and bred stallions. I helped him in his Vet practice and still rode a lot. We lived away from the ranch for 4 years and I missed it terribly.
Around 1987 I moved to the Ranch, with my second husband, to run Duncan Ranch. I have had some wonderful horses. I had one mare, Dog, I rode for 20 something years. She taught me what little I know about cutting. We bred horses and had a son of Dash for Cash who we bred to granddaughters of Doc O Lena. They made great ranch horses. Somewhere in the late 1900’s I fell off a gelding I had raised and lost my confidence. I ended up just riding, Dog, the one mare I trusted allot. I think this was my mistake, just riding one horse for about 20 years.
I did it all really………
I have calved out heifers, pulled calves, doctored cows, fenced, ridden with some great cowboys and neighbored with some big ranches. I never really learned to rope much but I can pen just about anything I want!
My eye opening came when I went to Road to the Horse and saw the horse techniques that would totally change how I wanted to ride. Then I started to watch RFDTV and Dennis and I loved how he accomplished what he did.
I first went to Dennis Reis horsemanship in November 2011. My friend Gail said she was going and I decided I needed to try this. I had seen Dennis on RFDTV for a long time and I like how subtle his movements were and how much he used energy to move the horse. Even 4 years later things come back to me and I am still working on the techniques.
In the summer of 2013 I went back to Reis Ranch with my two grandchildren. I will never forget how wonderful Dennis was with those two kids. He roped with them every night. It was a great month!
I have always said Dennis reads people as well as he does horses.
As I look back I realize how green my mare was when I went in 2011. She had been ridden 60 days at Lamar College and then another 30 days with a good horseman. But learning all that Dennis taught us molded her into a good, dispositioned ,sweet mare who I continue to ride this day. I have used Dennis’s ground work and round pen work on my colts with very good results. I continue to work on my mare on all 4 levels. My goal is to ride better with more knowledge.
I now have some nice mares who have been ridden, but not in an advanced manner and were taught some bad habits. One I sent to a trainer to tune up and he almost completely ruined her trying to stop her bucking. He actually made things much worse using a flank rope and causing her to have huge edema under her belly. The other mare was so out of balance, not collected at all and both mares were extremely worried all the time. I had been looking for someone to ride them with Dennis’s techniques. …..And then Dennis started this Signature Horse program and I jumped at the chance to save these mares.
This is a fabulous program where Dennis rides your horse for a year and you can go out and get lessons from Dennis himself. Dennis is extremely good at working with you in the area you need personally. I could not be happier with both my mares progress and how much time Dennis has spent with them to overcome their problems. I recently went out for a week and got some much needed instruction. This is a terrific program and very well worth every penny.
“Believe In Miracles “
Karen Paetz Sitting Crow, PhD
My mother’s and grandmother’s family and my Native American heritage has been deeply rooted in the horse culture for generations. However, our family ranch located along the Missouri River in the Dakotas was flooded in 1954 as a result of the Garrison Diversion Project. So therefore, our ranching way of life was interrupted, however, the memories of our ranch lifestyle lives on in our hearts and souls.
My name is Karen Paetz Sitting Crow, PhD and I am happy to be once again reconnected with the horse culture as a student at the Reis Ranch with Dennis and Deborah Reis and their L.O.V.E. Signature Horse Program. Being part of this program and spending time with my horse, Dennis & Deborah, other students and their horses is an awe inspiring experience. Their horsemanship training is a stellar program which reaches beyond working with and learning about horses. As a student in this program, I have been able to connect with my personal, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Although my interest and love for horse has been life-long, I didn’t have the opportunity to own and ride horses until later in life and in my senior years. So therefore, at the age of 57, I was able to purchase my own horse and begin to ride. The learning curve continues on………however, a couple years ago I had a riding accident with what I call my “go-to” horse. As an older person who started riding late in life, I thought my days riding a horse were over. The accident had totally destroyed my confidence in my ability to ride nor did I think I would ever ride again. I became depressed and eventually physically out of shape. However, that all changed when my husband and I discovered Dennis and Deborah Reis and their Signature Horse Program. We contacted Dennis and Deborah told them about my accident with my horse and eventually signed up with their program. Since I arrived at the Reis Ranch I am becoming physically fit, increasing my energy and back riding my horse again. I especially appreciate that safety is paramount with Dennis and Deborah. The emphasis on safety for the horse and the rider is a key component of the program.
Dennis and Deborah have designed the program to what I refer to as a holistic approach to horsemanship. The level of horsemanship knowledge they share is phenomenal and their personal interest in their students is an additional benefit of the program. Plus, meeting other riders and their horses offers another level of learning as you watch Dennis work their horses. Although, I have learned much in the few short weeks that I have been here, there remains much more to learn about caring and riding my horse. I am totally immersed in the program, the work and dedication it requires to become a horsewoman. It truly is a life changing experience and one a person can enjoy!