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Icelandic Horse Connection

An Invitation to A Discussion
Group for the Audio Book by Leslie Desmond: Horse Handling and Riding Through Feel

Link to this page!
Leslie Desmond, co-author with Bill Dorrance, of the book True Horsemanship Through Feel, has recently released a 10 CD Audio Book, entitled Horse Handling and Riding Through Feel. It is available through her website http://www.lesliedesmond.com.

Since 1999, we have had a discussion group based on the book True Horsemanship Through Feel. The same group will now include discussion about the audio book.

We invite you to join us.

Here is a message from Leslie:

Starting August 1st, this discussion group (BillsBook) is expanding a little bit beyond the scope of True Horsemanship Through Feel -- the book generally and fondly referred to by horse lovers as "Bill's Book". From now on, our discussions may include any or all of the topics included in the recently released 10-CD audio book, Horse Handling and Riding Through Feel by Leslie Desmond. Leslie co-authored True Horsemanship Through Feel with Bill Dorrance (1995-1999), and then self-published it for him under the Diamond Lu Productions imprint just a few weeks before his passing, at age 93.

Our discussion will be lead by Jeanne Lucas of Grand Haven, Michigan. Thanks, Jeanne, for stepping forward to help keep our focus on track.

For your convenience, as well as the time-honored convention of cataloguing large amounts of information in a readily accessible manner, the audio book is set up alphabetically, from A-Z --(and not a letter missing!) Aside from the fact that there is much, much more that could have been mentioned in these CDs, we still have 100 tracks to listen to, think about, test out, and discuss. This will take some time . But until we get into this project a little further, we cannot know how much time.

Please bear in mind that in the course of these audio book discussions, we will still (of course we will, and we always will) continue to discuss the possible answers for any questions or comments brought in for discussion that pertain to the relevant portions of True Horsemanship Through Feel.

After all, without Bill Dorrance and the treasures that his book contains, there probably wouldn't be a lot to discuss nowadays either on or offline about horsemanship through feel anyway . . . one wouldn't suppose so. It should not be too difficult to keep that spark going now, though. On behalf everyone who has set out to improve their horsemanship skills and to expand their knowledge about working with horses though feel, a *huge* thank you to Bill Dorrance is in order.

Yes, Bill, thank you very much again for your generous gift of time and knowledge; and thank you, also, for sharing with us your obvious faith that the human beings whose hearts and souls are as hopelessly and inextricably entwined with horses as yours was . . . can learn, as you learned, how to apply feel in ways that have real and lasting meaning for horses. I believe that most of us are "trying our hardest to do our very best" to improve, and to pass what we learn on to others.

For those of you who have not heard this story, it is a good time to tell you about the packing job that 16 of us did between June 2-6, 1999. (You can view photos of this hectic event online at: click here

The address labels were on, the book signing was done, and we had nearly completed all the packing, labeling and stamping for 1,750 pre-publication orders when the phone rang. (Now is a good time to click that link -- just above -- and see exactly what was taking place when Leslie picked up the phone.)

Ring---ring...

LD: Hello!

BD: Hello, yeah, Dorrance here. How are you all getting along up there ... I believe it's Novato you're in now, is that right?

LD: Well, we're still at it Bill, there is a lot to do here now, and we've just about got most of the books packed into envelopes, they ready to close up and send. A truckload has already been taken to the post office earlier today, and by noon tomorrow we should be all through with the initial shipments!

BD: OK, that is good. Well, I was just thinking maybe had ought to write just a little more on our book, yeah, that's it . . . if a fella thought there was still time for it.

LD: Said nothing.

LD: Said nothing again.

BD: . . . Hello?

LD: Hi Bill. I'm just thinking about this . . . that's all . . .

BD: Oh yeah, OK then, well, yeah, that's right, there was just that little piece of it in there that didn't make it into our book yet is all, and I was thinking . . .

LD: Bill, I'm sorry to cut in here, but the book is already here, back from the printer, back from China, and we are shipping it out this weekend.

BD: I know but where there's that part in there that we didn't get into our book, I was just thinking how it could be pretty important for the horse, that we get that in there.

LD: What did we forget, Bill? We can't unpublish this book but we can re-publish it -- we can certainly re-publish it with your additions in there...would that be all right?

BD: Well, I'd rather we got it in this time. yeah, that's right. If we can. Yeah.

LD: Stunned. Speechless.

LD: Said nothing.

then, finally . . . .

LD. Bill, what is it that we need to put in our book? Is this important enough for us to open these packages that are still here?

BD: Yeah, I think so. It can really help a horse alright, if a fella had this to think about sometime.

LD: Then, are you thinking that should I write something down to add to the book before it leaves Novato in the morning?

BD: Yeah, that's right.

LD: You mean add something on a piece of paper inside the book cover, just stick it in there . . .just like that?

BD: I think so, yeah, that's it.

LD: Have you got the wording of what you want to say all ready to go? You have it ready now? Or is this something I need to come down to the ranch and visit with you about?

BD: No, I've got it alright. What a fella needs to be aware of is that horsemanship through feel is handed down from one friend to another. It isn't for sale, no, it isn't for sale. And I'd rather think that a fella, before he gets too far along on the training end of things where horses are concerned, should know about this on the start.

Well . . . some of you who got the early hardbacks, the First Edition (printed in China, marked 1998-1999) and Second Edition (printed in Canada, November, 1999) might see that 3" x 8 1/2 inch piece of paper that Bill wanted us to stick in there at the last minute for you. About 5,000 of those little strips of paper were "signed" with his rubber stamped signature and xeroxed at the copy place that day.

That little vignette from the years that I worked alongside Bill is not relayed in the audio book, but in a few places I did include a tracks that give a listener the full flavor and feel of it. In some important ways those were the best years . . . so far, anyway. I sincerely hope that I've been able to bring the message he had for us across in the right way, in the way he would have wanted me to. If I didn't, the responsibility lies entirely on my shoulders. If I did, I will never know. But any way, and either way, in the years that have passed since he coached me a few times a week, I have done my utmost to continue working on the things he showed me how to do, and to ride in the ways he asked me to ride.

In Horse Handling and Riding Through Feel, the audio book, I hope you will find many interesting things to think about and try. And, hopefully, when this happens, it will cause you to expand your horsemanship journey to include the horse's point of view in most cases, and to develop your own repertoire of experiments and approaches -- thoughtfully applied through feel, of course. The variations on this, and the potential benefits of it are far reaching, and too numerous to calculate.

Leslie Desmond

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Comments on the CD Audio Book, Horse Handling and Riding Through Feel

Many of us are listening to Leslie's CD's, and getting more insights into just what feel and timing are all about. I highly recommend them. I never thought I would enjoy CD's on horsemanship so much. I realize now that there is a kind of feel and timing in the way a person talks, and that the feel and timing we apply to horsemanship is reflected in, and a reflection of, how we move through life. It's been a great path for me to explore so far, and I haven't even made it to the first bend. Handy that it just happens to be going right in the direction I have wanted to go all along, and extra handy that Bill and Leslie and others are sharing what they have seen and experienced up ahead of me.

Janie

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An introduction and comment.

For those of you don't know me my name is Jeanne Lucas. I live in Michigan with my family and three horses.

Seven years ago I was introduced to natural ways via the Parelli Program.

I have since been encouraged to take responsibility for my own education and glean all I can from all available sources. The series of photos on page 148 in True Horsemanship Through Feel caused me to make the following notes on the page:

This is HUGE! "The slightest try" "The release"

It is in that moment that I discovered the delicious and beautiful truth of finding that calm place within before requesting anything of my horse, and realizing he had a calm place, too.

When I heard of Leslie's Audio Book (thank you Sally!) I ordered it immediately. Although beautiful in design and presentation this is far more than coffee table fare. This is alone time, pondering each topic with the deepest scrutiny and learning to apply it when right for the horse. It spells out the little and the big, A through Z. I have listened to the entire series of 10 cd's and 100 tracks 3 times now and many tracks countless times again.

I am really looking forward to digging into this project of Leslie's with my heart wide open.

Jeanne

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I found the book THTF after much seeking.I call it the Bible. I began wishing to spend time learning from Leslie. Soon after I found myself an auditor at a Leslie clinic in Scotland, this about 6 years ago. It was a notable and powerful experience that has contributed to good changes in my life plus the lives of my horses. I subsequently became a lurker on this list benefiting from the discussions.

I have been aware that I am hungry to improve and define the intricacies of my horsemanship skills, confidence and abilities more than I seem to be able to do entirely on my own. My heart and inner senses know much of it, I am sure of that, otherwise I wouldn't have achieved as much as I have. However, old inconfidence issues with riding, post illness, being overweight, therefore relatively unfit for the job, the thought of riding in traffic, all built up to hamper me. I've been focusing on these issues over the last 12 months implementing every opportunity I can to help myself go beyond my limitations.

Then what do you know? Leslies Audio Book came to my attention.

WoW! She did it again with impeccable timimg!!

Leslie came galloping out of the wilderness on her steed of meticulous provision of knowledge, experience, detail, wisdom, clarity, compassion and integrity. I felt my hair stand on end as I listened to the first clip. By the time I had heard the 3rd clip, if my hair had been long still, I would never have made it out the doorway!

Another major shift in my life began that day.

I have since listened to Leslie's Audio Book at every opportunity and will be over and over again. Day by day my awareness is increasing and I am practicing more specific horsemanship exercises and skills with greater clarity, understanding, sensitivity and peaceful contemplation and needless to say joy.

I would be surprised if anyone could ever exhaust extolling the value of this wonderful life's work. It has an infinite quality.

The best way I can express it is to say that Leslie's Audio Book is a timeless work. It is available to the learning and inspirations of people new to horses as well as those progressing along the trail of greater know-how. It offers new meaning, growth and appreciation with each listen. That is a rare quality of any book.

Great wishes

Sally

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I'm delighted that we're going to be discussing the audiobook. I think this will be my best training tool by far...I learn more by listening than by reading.

I've listened to A - Z one time through and I'm looking forward to starting all over. One comment I have that has nothing to do with training or horses...I'm really impressed with the production quality of the CD's. From the packaging, to the sound effects, to the photography...what a wonderful and valuable package!

Here's a trick: Get a "pillow speaker" and listen as you go to sleep. You never know what might sink in while you're asleep!

Paula

_______________________________

Many of us are listening to Leslie's CD's, and getting more insights into just what feel and timing are all about. I highly recommend them. I never thought I would enjoy CD's on horsemanship so much. I realize now that there is a kind of feel and timing in the way a person talks, and that the feel and timing we apply to horsemanship is reflected in, and a reflection of, how we move through life. It's been a great path for me to explore so far, and I haven't even made it to the first bend. Handy that it just happens to be going right in the direction I have wanted to go all along, and extra handy that Bill and Leslie and others are sharing what they have seen and experienced up ahead of me.

Janie _______________________________



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