Tag Archives: Atriz de Itajoana

Training – Words for Success

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and lightning bug.” Mark Twain

Adrienne and Gralha
Adrienne and Gralha

Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt were master horse trainers and communicators. They advocated to “set the horse up for success”, “to let the horse learn it” and “to feel and listen to the horse.” We have found our own master trainer here in Arizona in Ned Leigh of Ned Leigh, Equine Focus. It is with Ned that I learned how important the words we use are in the setting up of this kind of environment.

All of Ned’s work comes with the horse in mind. Knowing that there many be many answers the horse will choose during training. The try is important. The repetition and clarity of the request is what will cause over time for the horse to choose the RIGHT answer, the one you intended. From the horse’s point of view, all the responses are valid. Ned’s words to the trainers are always horse-focused. And what a difference it makes – in your head and in the horse’s head!


Here are 5 examples of the words that help create the mind-set for success.

1. “Help your horse”
What a difference in mindset! This is almost revolutionary – 180 degrees from “you have to win”,  “correct your horse”, “make him obey”.  If your horse is a partner, a member of the family, you’ll want to help him succeed, not get frustrated because he isn’t getting it as fast as you want.

2. “Your horse is confused”
Related to number 1 above, but what a great way to think of it. Instead of “You (the trainer) are doing it wrong”, again the focus is on the horse. Now you need to learn how to make your request easier or clearer to him. There must be 10 ways to request a backup. Maybe more. Anyone will do as long as both you and your horse understand what is being requested.

3. “Wait. Give the horse a chance to make the decision.”
Let your horse try. Let your horse discover the right answer through the process of elimination. Just keep asking in a consistent and clear manner and reward the right answer.  No need to escalate or rush. Take a deep breath and instead, watch him think. You might learn something about how your horse learns.

4. “Watch for the muscle movement to release.”
Timing is everything in the reward for doing the right thing. The earlier the release, the softer the horse. When you ask the horse to move, before the horse actually moves its feet, the muscles respond. If we build our release, the reward on the muscle movement, you are rewarding the correct thought and that speeds up the horse’s understanding.

5. “Use the backup command to establish your boundary”
The horse is a gregarious and social animal. That’s what we want too, someone to love and spend time with. However, establishing a boundary establishes your relationship with the horse with you as the leader.  It is the responsibility of the person to control their horse’s approach to the boundary and if they cross into it without permission, it is the person’s fault.  The horse should not be punished for the person’s failure to control the boundary.

The backup.  Ned, Carmen and Koyote
The backup. Ned, Carmen and Koyote

Often Ned’s teaching is broken down into at least 3 steps. This gives the horse a clear, repeatable pattern.   And it helps the trainer become clearer in his/her request and less hurried.  The horse is “set up for success”.   It will learn the request, the sequence and the right response.

The horse can choose to respond (and that’s the desired response) on the first step. This teaching makes for a soft, willing partner.  Isn’t that what we all want?

This is training from the horse’s point of view. This is training for UNDERSTANDING.

Any training with the mindset of MAKING your horse do something is totally NOT what I want for my horses.

If you are using words that don’t describe your thoughts and actions from the horse’s point of view, see if you can change them. See if that makes a difference in yourself and your horse. I’d love to hear back from you.

The partnership.  Bossa Nova de Miami and Lynn.
The partnership. Bossa Nova de Miami and Lynn.

All the photos below in the gallery from the clinics are Mangalarga Marchadors from Summerwind during a Ned Leigh Clinics.   All happy horses and happy people!   Photo credit to Lynn Kelley, Leticia Ribeiro and Laura Patterson Rosa.  Click on any of the gallery photos to make it larger or read the captions!

For more information on Ned Leigh Equine Focus or Summerwind Marchadors:  Ned Leigh Equine Focus Website  or Summerwind Marchadors Website


All the photos are Mangalarga Marchadors from Summerwind during a Ned Leigh Clinics.  Photo credit to Lynn Kelley, Leticia Ribeiro and Laura Patterson Rosa. For more information on Ned Leigh Equine Focus or Summerwind Marchadors:

Ned Leigh Equine Focus Website

Summerwind Marchadors Website


“Contrary to popular belief, horses do not get bored with basic work. If the rider (trainer) request exact responses, paying close attention to detail and quality, neither the horse nor rider will have time to get bored, rather a true sense of accomplishment will be gained.” Erik F. Herbermann.

March photos

Atriz and Brisa Return

Congratulations to Bill and Carmen Leatherwood with their latest purchase of 2 wonderful and sweet Marchador horses for themselves and to share with their entire family.

We purchased these 2 mares in Brazil over 10 years ago and recently re-purchased them as they approached their golden years.   However, their stay with us will only be a few months now, until their family picks them up in June to take them to their new Colorado home.

db.brisa.john.out brisa8.10

Brisa Libertas
Brisa Libertas

Brisa Libertas, imported by Summerwind in 2004 is a smaller but solid as a rock, bay roan mare, now 20 years of age.

Brisa is the daughter of ELITE Brazilian stallion Dominio da Joatinga and mother of our Summerwind Marchadors Koyote Libertas, Brasilia do Summerwind and Isabelle do Great Lakes.

Brisa’s breeder in Brazil is now breeding and winning at the national level under a new farm name, Capim Fino (fine grass).

Atriz de Itajoana was also imported the same year.   Atriz had 2 foals while in Michigan: Agustos do Great Lakes (x Caboclo da Piedade) and Samuel do Great Lakes (x Oxum do Vale da Prata).  Both are now geldings and remain in Michigan.

Atriz is the daughter of ELITE Brazilian Icaro de Itajoana.  She was born in 2000 and imported as a three year old from Fazenda Santarem.

atriz2 atriz.jumping



October Photos

Click on the photo to see full-size, then hit the back button to return to the photo album.

New Marchador Mares — Flying Oaks and SW

Rick Schatz, MM breeder and owner of Flying Oaks Ranch, and SW Future Foal are working together to acquire four mares from Great Lakes Marchadors, MI.    With the death of their Marchador stallion, Jay and Susan Bryan have decided to stop breeding and have offered us their mares.   Summerwind Marchadors first imported two of these mares from Brazil in 2005 before they were sold to Michigan.

We are excited and happy to be adding new mares to our breeding program.   Two of the mares will be offered for sale, we hope to new Marchador breeders to continue their bloodlines as well as enjoy the ride!  However, if not sold, all the mares will eventually be housed in Oklahoma at Flying Oaks Ranch to live the good life on Rick’s lush pastures.    Ator Fazenda Zouga is a good match for the mares, but Flying Oaks and SW also will be breeding the mares with imported Brazilian semen to produce embryos.

If you are interested in an SW Future Foal, we would transport the mare and keep the mare and foal with us until weaning time at no additional cost to you.

More news coming soon!

Let me introduce you to the mares!  We are so honored to have them.  Thank you Jay, Susan and Rick for helping this to come about.

Brisa Libertas – Koyote Libertas dam.  Brasilia do Summerwind dam.  Isabelle do Great Lakes dam.  Need I say more?   A beautiful mare, smaller at 14.2H, but with a marching gait as regular as a metronome.   She is older, so we are hoping to be able to produce some embryos from her, and offer her a forever home for the rest of her days.  Imported.  ABCCMM registered



Atriz de Itajoana – A smaller mare at 14.2H but also powerfully built with a beautiful face (Abaiba).   Atriz has had 2 foals here in the U.S. and we look forward to having her contribute more to the Marchador bloodlines here in the U.S.   Sweet temperament and a great pick if looking for a foal for the whole family to enjoy.  ABCCMM Registered




Amethyst do Summerwind – imported in-utero.  The only daughter of a renowned Brazilian stallion named Irapuru de Joatinga.   So, we are super excited to continue his genes.   Amethyst will be offered for sale to a forever home.   Priced to sell to a breeder, but if you are interested in her as a riding horse, we will sell her retaining  breeding rights to produce some embryos or foals from her.   ABCCMM registered



Isabelle do Great Lakes – Brisa Libertas x Oxum do Vale da Prata.  With his early death, Oxum left only 2 breeding offspring in the US.  He had a great gait and even better temperament.   Isabelle will be started under saddle starting November 1 and ready to go in February 2014.   You can buy her now for less and take over the training.   Priced to sell to a breeder, but if you are interested in her as a riding horse, we will sell her retaining breeding rights to produce some embryos or foals from her.  ABCCMM eligible.