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How To Think
Like A Horse
Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping Almanac
How to Think Like A Horse by Cherry Hill
Horsekeeping On A Small Acreage
Horse Health Care by Cherry Hill

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Horse Training, Horse Care, and Riding Books and Videos from Cherry Hill at

May 23, 2009

Famous Horse People

  2009 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

horse trainers


Dear Cherry,

I've read your books since I began with horses and that's, well, a long time...let's say OVER 20 years...and I have all of your DVDs too. I visit your website all the time and I've written you before - you are the first place I go to for information and help. I know there are many more people like me.

I hope you don't think I am being too personal but why don't you travel around giving clinics and have a TV program like some of the other trainers. Come to think of it, I should have said like all the other MALE trainers because I don't know of a woman celebrity trainer out you?

Thank you for everything you do,



Hi Rosie,

Wow, this will be fun to answer and could be quite long so I'll try to get right to it.

How to Think Like A Horse by Cherry HillYes, I've been in the horse training and education field for a long time. You can read more about that on my bio page but the long and short of it is that I started judging horse shows and teaching college equine courses in 1975, then wrote my first book in 1988 and have had 30 something books and DVDs since then.

I taught college and university equine courses full time for 10 years and probably experienced a little burn out from all the lectures and "labs" I had to give day in and day out. So when I started writing magazine articles and books, I had no desire to do clinics. I just wanted to stay home and enjoy my own horses here in beautiful Colorado.

After judging horse shows for about 25 years, I must admit, I just got tired of the traveling. It usually took three days to judge a one day show: one day to Horsekeeping On A Small Acreageget there (we live 2 1/2 hours drive from the airport), one day to judge, and one day to get home. And if you saw where I live, and you do see our place in most of my books (most especially in Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage, 2nd edition), you can understand why I would rather spend time at home in the Colorado foothills, with my wonderful husband Richard Klimesh and our horses and cats.

So although the education aspect of giving clinics fits me to a T, the traveling part of being a traveling clinician has ever appealed to me.

Also, (it's hard not to notice) traveling clinicians need to have sponsors, commercial companies that help pay expenses. Well, from the beginning of my career, it was important to me to be a free agent. I've never wanted to endorse any product or be tied to a particular company. I want to be an unbiased advisor.

There is a definite conflict of interest if someone would ask a horseman for advice with barn design, training equipment, feed or so on and that horseman had a contractual connection with a particular barn, tack or feed company. The trainer would feel obligated to, and often required to, answer a certain way, even if there was a better barn, blanket or supplement. In order for some clinicians to keep the sponsors that enable them to travel around the country, many of the them have become walking billboards, their clothes covered with logos. They are required to hang banners at their clinics and allow their images to appear in magazines endorsing all kinds of products.

None of this is inherently bad - it is just the way the world works today. We live in an era of superstars that started in Hollywood but now can be found everywhere from sports to politics. In your letter, you used the word "celebrity" and yes, the horse world is full of its own brand of VIPs and they range from very humble master trainers and instructors to ego-driven, money-making entertainers - and there are all types in between. It is very fortunate that there are so many very good trainers and clinicians traveling across North America year round - the opportunities to learn and get help is there. My hat is off to the good clinicians for their dedication, stamina and patience.

Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping AlmanacI'm just a horsewoman who enjoys sharing through my books and DVDs what I've learned over the years. Because I continue learning, about horse behavior, training, facilities and horsekeeping, I always have something in the works. I'd really rather not be called a horse whisperer or horse expert or horse authority or the best this or that. Sometimes I have to allow my publisher to say certain things in association with the release of my books that I would never say about myself. I'd like to be thought of as an educator and advisor. My reward is helping horses and their people through my books, DVDs and this website.

One final topic that you brought up kind of as an aside - about all the clinicians being males. Well Richard and I just had a conversation this morning over breakfast about that very thing. It seems that, indeed, the vast majority of the traveling clinicians ARE male and the vast majority of clinic attendees are female. There might be a story there but we'll save that for another day. But I did want to call your attention to one very excellent female clinician that I know of whose work is very honest and practical and helpful. That is Julie Goodnight. I've watched her programs on RFD-TV and am impressed with her ability to help horses and people. She is a classic style trainer/instructor and what's more, she rides both English and Western.

Thanks for your question. I'm glad you have found my books helpful - I'm working on two more right now that will be out in early 2010.

    Ask Cherry Hill

      2009 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

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