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    April 14.2001 proved to be a valuable day for attendees of Liz Grave's gaited horse clinic, and I was no exception.  This wasn't the first clinic by Liz that I attended, but it was certainly the best.  Probably my increasing knowledge of gaited horses has laid a better foundation for learning new 
things at Liz's clinic, but her explanations are so easy to understand that it makes it enjoyable to work with her. And working with her is what happens. 

    Her clinics are "hands on" with the rider and horse participating on an individual basis.  I think 10 or 12 horse/rider combinations participated during the day, but all were given full and individual analysis by Liz. Horses were brought into the arena two at a time.  One horse relaxed while Liz worked with the first one and when she finished, the second horse was featured and the first entrant went to the side and watched.  After each pair of horse and riders left the ring a short break was taken while the next pair saddled up and entered.

    Each horse was analyzed for conformation, looseness, soundness, typiness, etc.... The entire audience, upcoming riders as well as, auditors could observe and ask questions of Liz at any time during the day.  The atmosphere was informal, but very fast paced and professional.

    At the end of the day my head was pounding from new knowledge and perspectives.  On our 2 hour drive home we talked constantly about what we needed to rethink and work on back home.  The best thing about Liz's approach is that she gets you thinking and looking at your horses perhaps differently than before you arrived.  You learn to see what you horse conformationally is 
able to do in terms of gait and carriage. 

Jim Walker
Liz Grave's clinic on April 14th 2001 was held in WI

    Liz use a protractor with sticky dots and tape to make lines on the attending horses so the people attending the clinic can see shoulder angles and Humerus angles. We learned how to measure the angles so we can start to develop a good eye later when looking at horses with out using these aids. Everyone just loved it. We did overstride measuring and everyone really got into that. 

    Liz also have a small dry eraser board that she drew the different backs and head set and all kind of fun stuff. It was a very up beat clinic with everyone getting involved. I found I absorb so much more this way and my brains working for days afterward. I don't think anyone went away thinking OH JUST ANOTHER CLINIC. 

    I was really pumped when I got home. I was ready to get to work with my horses!

Anonymous
This is my review of the gaited horse clinic featuring Ms.Elizabeth (Liz) Graves on April 14, 2001 at the home of Greg and Diane Parker, Sun Prairie, WI. I have attended several clinics given by Liz Graves.  As in the others, my expectations were exceeded.

    Tailoring to the needs of her audience, Liz starts with an introduction that includes discussions relating to conformation, gait, the interrelationship between the two, proper saddle fit, bitting, showmanship, etc.  She uses any visual aids (tape, protractors, string, etc.) that may help the learner to better understand the topic.  Questions from the riders and auditors are encouraged at any time.  Then, with two horse/riders in the ring, Liz works with each horse/rider individually as the rest of the group listens and learns.  Liz's knowledge of the gaited breeds is apparent as the horse/rider is started at the most basic walk and is slowly worked up to its gait that the horse is able to do comfortably based on its conformation.  As Liz is educating the rider about their horses's natural gait and teaching them to get the "feel" of the gait; she helps the rider get the most from their horse and to get both to work as a team. At the conclusion of each horse/rider combination, helpful suggestions are given to each rider for improvement or maintenance of the work done that day.

    Liz blends a very educational format with a unique and effective teaching style, honesty, and a wonderful sense of humor to bring out the best of horse and rider.

    Based upon Liz's years of experience and expertise in judging, training gaited as well as "non-gaited" horses; I highly recommend attending one of her clinics.  The learner will not be disappointed! 

Horses Participating: 12

Humans Participating: approx. 25 total

I Audited without a horse

Respectfully submitted, 
Karen J. Harbal
Diane Gueck Clinic Park Rapids MN. March 17th 2001

    It was a nice day with alot of good people and horses. The clinician was very nice, but did not seem to give much help. Horse and rider's came in one at a time and she watched them gave an idea or two and that was it about 15min's tops that was it. I would not go to another one of her clinic's. 

Horses Participating: 15
Humans Participating: 48
Sent in by member of the clinic committee.

Mary Malone
Lee Zeigler Clinic March 10 and 11 2001 Concord, GA,

    Folks from all over the South gathered in the little town of Concord, GA, just southwest of Atlanta, to attend the Lee Ziegler "Gaits without Gimmicks" clinic. Southern Regional Fox Trotter Association hosted the event at the beautiful dressage and boarding barn of Magnolia Farms. There were many fox trotters represented as well as Tennessee Walking Horses and Spotted       Saddle Horses. This was the first time Lee had come to this part of the country for a clinic and       everyone agreed that it was most helpful. 

   Lee did two one-day clinics with 15 riders and from 15-25 auditors each day. The sessions started out with a discussion of conformation and its relation to gait which was made more understandable with the use of some of the clinic horses marked with tape to make the skeletal structure more apparent. We learned what skeletal formations do to gait and why some horse are more predisposed to one gait versus another.

   Lee's talk made us see the relation between the gaits and how they relate to each other. At one end of the spectrum is the pace which is done with a very hollow back, and at the other end is a dressage type of trot done with a round back. In between the very hollow and the very round lie the intermediate gaits we wanted for the clinic horses such as rack, running walk, and fox trot. Leee's work with the horses and riders helped all identify the different gaits, and the riders began to sort out the gaits they wanted. 

   After a delicious lunch at the local cafe, clinic participants learned about bits and what effect different ones might have on their horses. Many were surprised to learn that fox trotters often  have shallow palates and frequently are not happy in a broken mouthpiece type bit or one with much of a port.  Several riders tried a different bit after this part of the clinic and were amazed at the improvement. "Less is best" certainly worked for many of these horses to help fix head tossing or gait problems. 

   Everyone went home with a much clearer understanding of what their horses were doing and what they could continue to do to improve gait and communication with their horse. Before the clinic was even over, several were asking when we could do it again!

Horses Participating: 30
Humans Participating: 60
Sent in by member of the clinic committee.

Bonnie Martin
Liz Graves Clinic, June 16, 2001, Kellogg, MN

Review of Clinic: WOW......what a great learning experience!

This was my first gaited horse clinic with Trainer Liz Graves. The reason I wanted to attend was to have my TWH gelding's gaits evaluated and find out if there was anything I could do to improve my riding skills.

I had met Liz the year before, when I had taken a horse to her place for training. At that time, I was so impressed with Liz's vast knowledge and her compassion for all animals.

The clinic was held at Cowpoke Arena, I arrived Friday afternoon and camped out in the field next to the arena.

I brought three of my walkers with me; Wizard, my trail riding horse, Star and her 4 week old stud colt Indigo.

The clinic was held on Saturday, it was a hot day. We were paired off into groups of two, our horse's confromation was checked in the morning. This was a great opportunity not only to learn the good and bad points about our own horse's conformation, but it also give all of us the chance to learn from each other's horses.

I learned that my horse Wizard has very good conformation and he was "built" to rack. Liz also informed me that I needed to take about 50 lbs of weight off Wizard. Yes, Wizard was a little too chunky. >:}

Liz explained all the body angles and thier importancec in gait. She checked shoeing and hoof angles. This part was very educational.

After lunch, we tacked up our horses. Liz checked our tack; bridles, bit fit, saddle pads and saddle fit. She explained the purpose of different bits and the importance of proper fitting saddles.

Each set of horse & rider was evaluated under saddle, she checked our riding skills, horse's gaits and gave us all pointers on what we could do to improve our seat and horses. She also took the time to tell us "what" we were doing correct.

What most impressed me about Liz is that she is a sound and natural trainer. She believes in training horses with out the use of gimmicks. 

Since I am short and ride a tall horse, I try to use a mounting block/aid as much as possible. Liz taught me a great method which not only makes it easier to mount, but also helps to perserve my horse's back. 

A Fun Show was held on Sunday. Once again, Liz took the time to explain why she placed horses and riders the way she did. This was very helpful to all riders. The show was not only educational, it was a lot of fun. 

If you ever have a chance to attend a Liz Graves clinic, DO IT~!! 

You will walk away with a ton of kwowledge.

Horses Participating: 16

Humans Participating: 20 plus
 

Raven Flores

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