2011 was the fifth year for Light Hands Horsemanship and again it proved to be unlike any other event. As predicted, Light Hands Horsemanship (LHH) 2011 sold out. Attendees came from 14 states and 10 countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Uruguay, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Scotland, Sweden and Norway.For 2012 the number of openings for attendees will grow slightly but don’t expect LHH to ever become a large event. LHH proves that an event doesn’t have to be big to be good. In fact it is the goal of LHH to stay small and keep this a very personal, up close event and allow easy access to all the presenters. Presenters this year included Eitan Beth-Halachmy, Richard Winters, Jon Ensign, Lester Buckley, Jack Brainard, Dr. Robert Miller and Rick Lamb. All presenters focus on a light handed approach to horsemanship but each has their particular perspective to offer. Those in attendance receive the best education in Light Hands Horsemanship available. Each of these presenters are dedicated, sincere, funny and most importantly they are excellent teachers. They joke with each other, with attendees, share camaraderie and just really have a good time.This year’s event celebrated the Californian Vaquero. Sheila Varian and Ernie Morris – two people that illustrate the style and philosophy so well – presented this year. Sheila, owner of Varian Arabians, was influenced by Tom Dorrance in the 60’s and his “soft approach” to training and interacting with horses. Ernie Morris is an artist that works to maintain the California Vaquero history and tradition. Ernie has celebrated the California Vaquero in tack, paintings, sculpture and as an author. Both Sheila and Ernie added a true Vaquero feel to LHH this year.Light Hands Horsemanship 2012 will be held May 31 through June 3rd. Eitan, Richard, Jon, Lester, Jack, Dr. Miller, Rick and Sheila will be presenting in 2012. They will be joined by Leslie Desmond, co-author of the famous Bill Dorrance book, “Horsemanship Through Feel”, many other books and DVDs, trainer of trainers and educator for the “finer points of feel and release.”Keep a close watch at lighthandshorsemanship.com and spalding-labs.com for registration information for next year’s event. Light Hands Horsemanship can be described and explained but this is an event that truly needs to be experienced.Spalding Labs continues to sponsor Light Hands Horsemanship. Tom Spalding supported the event when it was just an idea brewing and has continued to support it for the last five years and will do so again in 2012. It takes many dedicated, hard working people to produce an event of this caliber and Spalding Labs is certainly one of the many that makes Light Hands Horsemanship possible each year.
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