Paul Dietz: Success in Testimony
Written by Paula Paglia. Edited by Melissa Leary.
There is a lot to say about Paul Dietz, horse trainer, natural horseman, and horse psychologist. Many horsemen today claim to have all the answers, some with quick-fixes and some with droll methodology. But we at Dynamite Dressage have seen Paul Dietz in action, working on young and old dressage horses of many breeds and skill levels. From the four-year-old with only a few months of training to the Grand Prix schoolmaster, Paul gives horses the confidence to make "the right choices" versus react out of fear or distrust. He teaches lightness and forward thinking coupled with contact and control. He has taken horses that have kicked, bucked, bolted, reared, spooked, refused to load or be clipped, and possessed various other behavioral problems and overcome them in only a few sessions.
Oftentimes horses are purchased by amateurs and juniors who simply don't understand how a horse's unique mind works. Paul educates both horse and rider and teaches his methods in a very quiet and unthreatening manner. The owners leave the experience with a new enlightened view of training and working with horses, and gain a new, stronger bond with their equine partner through continual involvement and learning.
The horses benefit from the lines of communication that have been opened by consistent, clear, and gentle training, and increase their performance significantly with the newfound trust and confidence in the rider.
Two testimonies come to mind to exemplify the effectiveness of Paul's work. One of our quite talented Warmbloods had an unfortunate phobia of loading a trailer. All the force in the world could not persuade him to place a foot inside. We asked Paul to work with him, and within twenty minutes of the session, he had achieved success I had not thought possible. Paul stood next to the horse and pointed to the back of the trailer. The usually defiant gelding approached the trailer and gingerly stepped in!
The second testimony is one we voice to friends and clients with pride. We call it "The Jasmine Story..."
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The Jasmine Story: Paul Dietz
Submitted with permission of the author, Melissa Leary.
It was three years ago that I purchased my fancy little Swedish Warmblood. Jasmine was a fiery four-year-old that first captured my attention with her stunning athleticism and made-for-Grand-Prix pedigree. It wasn't long before she captured my heart, and that was enough for me to bring her home.
Jasmine came to Dynamite Dressage for full dressage training and soon developed quite a unique reputation. Rather than using her powerful movement and keen intellect for the greater good of the horse/rider combination, she was appropriately dubbed a "runaway." And that was precisely what she was; she didn't seem to want to go anywhere specific - not towards or away from home, not back to her stall for dinner - just simply away - and from whoever was on her back at the time! What was I to do? Here I had a mare with full potential for dressage - but one who defied all attempts at controlled, harmonious, and supple movement!
The solution came to me wearing chaps and a cowboy hat, in the form of horse trainer Paul Dietz. Paul outfitted Jasmine with a western saddle and bridle, leaving me bewildered and wondering whether my pretty warmblood had canter pirouettes in her future - or cows! But despite my original skepticism, I spent a year watching Paul transform my horse. Though the picture was unusual, Jasmine was put through daily training that incorporated many dressage movements: leg-yield, turn on the haunches, pirouettes. I witnessed her very first piaffe and passage steps, where Jasmine was rewarded versus punished for her spirit that took this elegant form. I accompanied Paul to her competitive debut, finally adorned in black and white in classical dress (but boy did the cowboy hat turn heads!). And as Jasmine's training progressed, I saw the wild look in her eye begin to soften, her intelligent defiance evolve to cooperation, and in that year I began to understand the true nature of dressage.
Dressage is so commonly stereotyped as the classical performance of movements and tricks, a discipline characterized by imported warmbloods, expensive training, and snooty riders. But the reality of the matter is that dressage is precisely what it means: the word originates from the French language, meaning "training." Dressage is the training of the horse - the athletic development of the horse both mentally and physically, that brings out the natural talent, beauty, and grace of the animal. Dressage movements are not "tricks," but specialized gymnastic exercises that develop the horse's physical strength and ability to display its maximum range of motion unhindered. And what Paul has done for Jasmine is not simply "western," "gentling" or "natural horsemanship." Paul teaches training. His dressage approaches the horse in a manner that satisfies the mental prerequisites for a performance horse: confidence, trusting submission, a strong work ethic, sensitivity, and clear communication between horse and rider. It doesn't matter what discipline you ride, what breed of horse you own, or what kind of saddle you're in - training is training! We all want the same result in the end: a happy, willing, and obedient horse that is a joy to ride and a pleasure to behold. Dressage accomplishes this end, and Paul Dietz trains it.
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"...So what did I come away with after the clinic with Paul Dietz? Paul is an exceptional teacher. He never seems to tire of his mission to make things better for the horse and his rider. He spends an unusual amount of individual time with each rider. He honestly asks riders how he can better help them. I also learned probably some of the most important lessons in life. It's the presentation that matters, work with what you have-where you ARE---not with what you wish you had, listen to your horse, have patience, reward the slightest try and to REALLY FEEL for my horse.
Thank you Paul. Thank you Spirit"
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"... I am always in search of talented trainer/clinicians that offer me excellent instruction and I want to share with you my enthusiasm about the clinician I am riding with now. His name is Paul Dietz.
Some friends and I attended the Tom Dorrance Benefit in Fort Worth, Texas, a couple of years ago in which most of the best clinicians in the country were invited to ride as clinic participants. Ray Hunt was the host and presented the clinics. We were spectators. We spotted several riders that were outstanding, even though unknown to us. Their horses were extremely responsive and Paul Dietz was one that stood out. His riding was precise, subtle and his cues invisible... ... his horse relaxed and responsive, all the traits we all desire in our own riding, I am sure. Anyway, we introduced ourselves to Paul and invited him to present clinics in Chicago where I was riding at that time. He accepted our invitation. His teaching was articulate, his manner gentle but convincing and his knowledge overwhelming. It was "the little things" that he taught us that meant so much to our horses. I had a particularly challenging mount during those clinics and Paul was able to help me keep my horse out of trouble before he got into it and helped us to succeed more than any other clinician had before. He understood my horses' needs and troubles so clearly and was able to teach me, effectively, how to help him that I became a believer in Paul. He certainly changed our partnership forever. He is a humble individual and being a better teacher is always his goal. In getting to know Paul I understand that he struggled to be a good horseman, not having the "natural" gift that some others have. And after, among other things, spending four years working with Buck Brannaman and having to work hard to figure out, mentally, how to ride he is able to explain the subtleties extremely well. His perceptions are deep and his methods refined. "
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The Inner Circle of Quality Horsemanship (Excerpts)
By Mike Thomas, With BJ Thomas
"Quality horsemanship as demonstrated through the quintessential horseman is a beautifu1 thing to behold and approaches spiritualism when the horse and horseman become one. A true horseman can address all horses, all breeds, all disciplines, all uses that a horse might be asked to do.
There is an "Inner Circle of Quality Horsemanship" that meets the standards previously set forth. Ray Hunt, Tom Dorrance, Bill Dorrance, Fred Dorrance, and previous generations of Dorrances and several generations of "True Horsemen" before them have occupied the absolute center of this circle....
Paul Dietz: A Humble Horseman
Humility can be an incredible asset in dealing with horses and people. Paul is a product of the "Inner Circle" and with each horse and student, brings respect to the value that the Circle stands for.
Paul has studied for many years on how to bring a "New Dimension" to horses and students. He has dedicated his life to this objective. He will always continue to ride and learn from the Inner Circle and others that have the same high personal regard for the values and quality horsemanship that the "Inner Circle" represents.
Paul truly believes that quality horsemanship is equal to quality lifemanship. He is a man who believes strongly that if one can carry the principles of quality from the horseback to family, students, associates, that his or her life's journey can be a wonderful experience.
He believes that life is journey and can only be enjoyed if one insists on personal integrity, honesty, dedication, and perseverance for the horse, the family, the community and HIMSELF! This philosophy that is the core of the "Inner Circle" comes from deep in his mind, soul, body, and spirit.
Paul uses all of the preceding when working with every horse, at home, workshops, private lessons, and larger clinics in helping every student and horse to find a better way. He spends 8 hours preparing for a 1 hour of presentation to the lesson at hand. When he addresses a lesson, class, workshop, demonstration, or clinic, he studies each horse and each student in depth. He then prepares a plan for each horse, owner and rider. Then he implements with group, private, and personal sessions that very much in depth.
If you are looking for PIZZAZ, fancy ad, Mr. Excitement, awards, bells and whistles -- GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!!
If you are looking for help, a Paul Dietz experience will leave you with a truly tailored program for you and your horse. Thus exposing you to those in the "Inner Circle of Quality Horsemanship."
A Paul Dietz experience can open you eyes, mind, body, and soul. A Paul Dietz experience can really get you and your horse ready for an enjoyable journey in life..."
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Paul Dietz can be contacted at (602) 680-7176 or (602) 332-5038.
Enjoy the journey,
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