Read the full story about our  presenters:

 

 

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Leslie Desmond

Leslie Desmond grew up in rural Vermont and Massachusetts in the 1950s and 60's. She learned about her first horse from a neighbor who was educated in the "old school."  Leslie trained the horses that she rode in regional jumping competitions and local gymkhana events, and then went on to coach children and new horse owners in the basics of riding and horse care.  After high school, she worked at a number show barns, racing stables and small breeding establishments on the east coast and Midwest USA. She started her first small string - 2 unridden ponies and a badly started horse - in 1965, and has been helping horses and their owners ever since. Among these were troubled horses that others had given up on -- race horses, show ponies, draft horses, jumpers and other kinds of performance and backyard pleasure horses.

 

In 1990, Desmond relocated her riding school to Novato, California, where she founded Diamond Lu Productions and released her first three-volume video series, "American Horsemanship for Young & Old".  She was inspired to produce the best-selling "how-to" horsemanship series for beginners by her most influential childhood mentor, Ivan Taylor, a retired World War I cavalry officer from Manchester, Vermont.  Ivan was in his mid-90s when she met him.  Sessions with Ivan in the early 1960s prepared Leslie to fully enjoy her work with people and horses in the decades that followed.   Ivan's gentle approach also prepared Leslie to recognize the priceless gift Bill Dorrance (1906 - 1999), the legendary horseman and rancher from Salinas, California, left for those who wanted to work with horses through feel.

 

During the last years of Dorrance's life, Bill asked Leslie to accept his guidance during a 4-year apprenticeship while she recorded his knowledge and experiences for posterity. Between 1995 and 1999 they trained horses together, put on demonstrations and held clinics around Monterey County, California, while she co-wrote the classic text, "True Horsemanship Through Feel".  In 2006, Leslie published, in the format of a 10-CD audio-book: "Horse Handling and Riding Through Feel" which is presented in 102 tracks in an easy, A – Z format.  The audio-book collection is an info-packed guide to better horsemanship through feel.  With this, she notes:  "It was my hope to ease the serious horseman's journey by creating an easy learning avenue,"  My dream is that horse enthusiasts and trainers from all disciplines will consider and take on board the finer points of feel and release as they continue down life's winding road...hopefully, in the company of a good horse."

 

Leslie now works exclusively with trainers and horse owners who want to advance their handling, riding and training skills in the classic way Bill Dorrance handled and trained his own horses for ranch work, competition and for any job there was a need for horses.

 

Each day of the event, Leslie will demonstrate with two horses the way she achieves successful, stress-free basics that lead quickly to refinement in advanced maneuvers without the use of restraint devices, force, punishment, excessive drilling or hand-fed treats to achieve understanding, submission and obedience. 

 

Desmond offers on-line coaching to those who do not have the opportunity to attend clinics, demonstrations or events where she is scheduled throughout the year.   For additional information, publications, her worldwide scheduled appearances, clinics and events, or to register for her on-line coaching, you may visit her website, feelofahorse.com.

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Nola Haubert-Keill

Nola Haubert-Keill has been awarded with several accomplishments by the United Mounted Shooters, and includes 2020 UMS National Champion Rifle, 2020 UMS Reserve National Champion Shotgun, 2018 UMS Reserve National Cowgirl, and 2017 UMS Reserve National Cowgirl.

 

Nola’s equine career spans over 30 years. She began working at a local riding stable in Illinois in her early teens where she took up riding and driving. Later, her interest in horses took her to a cattle farm in Missouri, then out to California. While in California, Nola attended Rawhide Vocational College and took classes in equine and large animal husbandry, barn management, and reining.

 

In the early 1990’s, Nola was offered a position training horses and mules in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. It was during this time that Nola met an Amish horse dentist looking for an apprentice. She spent the next eight months learning the trade. Her adventurous days not behind her yet, in early 1992, Nola spent several months in North Dakota doing horse dentistry then trailered an American Quarter Horse 4,000 miles to Alaska. She spent six months working and exploring Alaska. Finally, she flew back to Pennsylvania, met and married her husband, Rob, and opened her own tack store, The Tack Shack. She continued to train horses, give riding lessons, and perform horse dentistry.

 

In the mid–1990’s, the training and dentistry side of her business grew. She began to travel to different parts of the country doing teeth for various clients and traveled locally to train horses. Nola discovered an interest in Paso Finos. In 2004, Nola expanded her business again and began accepting horses for training at RO–NO Ranch. A covered arena was added in 2007. For the past decade, Nola has qualified and shown a number of Paso Finos at the National Championships, earning multiple National Titles.

Nola performs in demonstrations every year at the Harrisburg Horse Expo, where the Paso Fino breed is showcased to thousands of spectators.

In 2010 she and stallion Calif de Color Sin Par were selected to perform in a series of exhibitions at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky.

 

Nola is active in the Southern Wayne Trail Riders Association, the Paso Fino Horse Association, Mason–Dixon Paso Fino Horse Association, and Northeast Paso Fino Horse Association, the Cowboy Sports Association and is a director/professional of the Professional Paso Fino Trainers Association. She is a member of the Island Long Riders Mounted Shooting Association, has her own Mounted Shooting group, the RO–NO Rebels, and plans to expand the number of horses at the ranch who are trained in mounted shooting this year.

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Julie A. March

Julie A. March is a certified equine and canine sports massage therapist who uses the healing art of massage therapy to increase the health and to benefit the immune system of both horses and dogs.

 

Before starting her business, Trails & Tails Equine & Canine Sports Massage 5 years ago, Julie finished her Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology/Organizational Behavior from Albright College as an older student, and worked with autistic children within the school system. After a successful and fulfilling career in working alongside special needs children to support them in the classroom setting, Julie made a decision to change her career and follow her dream of working with both horses and dogs. After completing her certification through Equissage of Virginia, an esteemed equine and canine massage school, she ventured out and started her own business to massage as many animals as possible because of her deep belief in the power of massage and the resulting benefits to horses and dogs. To date, Julie has massaged over 450 horses.

 

Trails and Tails was recently featured in The Joy of PA, an on-line lifestyles blog which can be viewed by clicking here and explains what Julie does and how it helps her client's horses.

Julie lives at home in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, Timothy, 3 horses, 3 dogs and a16 year old cat. When not massaging horses and dogs, she enjoys horseback riding, reading, knitting, and especially playing with her 4 grandchildren.   Julie has a daughter, Lauren, who lives in Pennsylvania and a son, Tyler, who is an aspiring singer and songwriter in Nashville, Tennessee. 

 

PM Juls live via FB during the Labor Day expo to learn about getting your horse an on–site massage before events throughout the weekend:  Trails & Tails Equine & Canine Sports Massage 

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Bethany White

Bethany White is a professional clinician and judge with more than 30 years equestrian industry experience with 20 years teaching clinics and 14 years judging horses.  She has been a featured speaker and clinician at equine expos and symposiums, and attended the Western Dressage Association of America’s First Judges’ Seminar.  Bethany was an instructor/trainer at the former prestigious ASCO Farms in Chatham, NY, and following, she continued-on to manage a breeding farm and run a successful lesson program.  

 

She began riding at age 6 and grew up riding off-the-track-Thoroughbreds, but has also trained Morgans, Gypsy Cobbs, and others, in addition to competing in numerous disciplines.  Some of her favorites include hunters, dressage, combined training, and western pleasure.

Today, Bethany specializes in western dressage and developed “Equestri-Sport” which is an equitation-meets-bio-mechanics program.  She enjoys western dressage in that “lightness and harmony” are celebrated.   Bethany works with riders to develop a soft connection and communication with their horses, and lends itself to be beneficial for all disciplines.

 

​The “Equestri-Sport” program she founded focuses on common rider trouble areas and helps riders better themselves before they mount the horse.  The program stemmed from her life-long experiences and personal need recovering from a car accident when she was only 17. The accident left her unable to walk.  Physical therapy became an arduous journey, not only to walk again, but in her quest to ride again.  Following the early recovery stages to ride again, Bethany became distinctly aware of her body and noticed how her physical condition affected the horse. As a result, she came to believe a horse’s understanding of relaxed and soft movement comes through the rider’s body.  Bethany also gives much credit to her horse, “The Reverend,” for her success in being able to ride again. 

   

In 2014, Bethany faced yet another hurdle when she was diagnosed with CRPS (neuro-autoimmune disease).  When it was evident she could only tolerate riding her horse at the walk, she realized the limitations of her disability would no longer allow her to compete.  Determined to find a solution, again, she approached the Western Dressage Association of America to lobby for disabled-riders classes.  In December 2019, her efforts resulted in a noteworthy accomplishment when the WDAA made provisions to include “Exceptional Rider” tests. Bethany views this as a very big win and will keep advocating for disabled equestrians.

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Jennifer Woodruff 

Jennifer Woodruff is a career horsewoman with more than 30 years of experience as a competitor, trainer, clinician and judge. During her career she has trained and shown a great variety of breeds from Arabians, Morgans, Saddlebreds and Tennessee Walking Horses to Quarter Horses, Appaloosas and Hunters. She holds judge’s cards with 6 different national organizations (PtHA, USEF, POAC, ABRA, GVHS, and NWHA), is an approved 4–H judge in more than 10 states (Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York and the New England States) and has judged more than 500 shows ranging from 4–H and schooling hunter shows to world level competition. Jennifer holds an AAS degree in Saddlehorse Management and Production at The State University of New York at Morrisville.

 

As a youth, she participated for many years in 4–H and, as an adult, she has been an active supporter of this worthwhile youth organization at both the local and state levels. She serves on the New York 4–H Judges Committee and aides in the development of clinics to educate youth as well as the state’s 4–H judges. As a 4-H Judge, she is well known in Vermont as a repeat judge for the Vermont State 4–H Horse Show and The  Big E 4–H Championship Show. Jennifer is an internationally recognized clinician having served as a featured presenter at various expos, POA National Convention, as well as numerous clinics from day–long 4-H events to breed club hosted weekends. She is known for her “Show and Tell” style which is a judged show with personal critique over the PA system, as well as the “Ready Set Show” format, styled for beginner to intermediate level exhibitors in a variety of topics from showmanship to pattern classes such as equitation, horsemanship, ranch events, trail, western riding and over fences classes. Between judging commitments, Jennifer coaches a select group of clients in central Florida (winter) and central New York (summer) from 4–H level to AQHA Congress Finalists.

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