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Diane Sullivan Horse Training
Teaching people to teach their horses.

   I became a John Lyons Certified Trainer in November of 1998. Although I had owned horses for seven years and ridden them throughout my childhood, I never had any formal training or lessons. It was my adoption of a rescue mare that prompted me to seek a more formal education in working with horses. This mare had been raised in a herd in the wild and had never been handled by people. A month after I adopted her she gave birth to a filly. So now I had two horses to train and very little idea as to how to go about it. I began reading all I could about training and getting a horse under saddle. I took her to a professional trainer who helped me get her under saddle. Then began the long and sometimes stressful task of 'putting on the miles'. It was then that I seriously began to research the training of a horse. I began renting videos. Although there were a number of good approaches to getting the job done, I found that the John Lyons philosophy appealed the most to me. I liked his Number I Rule: "You don't get hurt." I also liked his Number 2 Rule: "Your horse doesn't get hurt." And so, I read more and watched more of what he had to say. I rode my mare for the next five years trying to utilize John Lyons methods. I could always tell when I had grasped the concept correctly because I could accomplish my goal without confusion or a fight!

   Then one day I read about a John Lyons Trainer Certification program being offered in Parachute, CO. I applied and was accepted. Then began the arduous task of preparing my family and self for an extended absence from home. It was then that I began to realize the scope of my undertaking. I had to have 2 horses for the program, but I couldn't take mine since we would encounter sub-zero temperatures on the Alcan both going to and returning from Colorado. I managed to borrow two horses from Idaho for the duration of the program. Another obstacle I encountered was the 6 to 8 weeks in between each 3-week training session in Parachute. We were supposed to take our horses and go home to perfect our new skills. Since I couldn't take my horses and go home between sessions, I lived the life of a gypsy for 8 months, hauling my two borrowed horses wherever I went.

   The work was hard and oftentimes frustrating as my thirteen classmates and I struggled to learn new techniques and concepts and teach them to our horses. And so rewarding whenever something clicked. I can honestly say I have never worked so hard in my life. I can also honestly say that never have I had such a sense of achievement and fulfillment. I knew I would be taking home to Alaska tools and skills which I could pass on to others which would enable them to work as partners with their horses and ride safer than ever before.

I have been working ever since to promote my business and the John Lyons methods of teaching. My emphasis is on teaching people to teach their horses. I hold riding clinics regularly throughout the summer as well as giving private lessons. I like to work with children and hope to help 4-H groups as well as any other groups with horse interests. If you'd like to find out more about what I do, please feel free to
contact me.

Contact: Diane Sullivan
PO BOX 670272
Chugiak, Alaska 99567
Phone: 907-688-2250
Website: None

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