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Tom Dorrance

This February I have the great honor to travel to Texas and participate in the Tom Dorrance Benefit, hosted by Ray & Carolyn Hunt.  I can’t express my excitement in just being invited, let alone the privilege of paying homage to this legendary horseman.  

Most of you are acquainted with my horsemanship journey, and what lead me to pursue this passion as my life’s work.  As I reflect back upon particularly the last 15 years, I am drawn to the influence Tom Dorrance has had on that journey, even though I have only met the man once.  His influence has come to me primarily through others who have study with Mr. Dorrance, and long ago discovered his gift of understanding horses, and his willingness to share that insight with humans.

 Firmly etched in my memory is the first time I saw Ray Hunt.  It was at a clinic in John Day, Oregon.  Susan and I had been encouraged to attend by Mike & Sandy Moore.  I had been around and on horses my entire life, but for the first time that spring day I saw a true horseman!  Mr. Hunt’s ability to effortlessly communicate with his horse, and the horse’s happy response took me back to childhood memories of bareback riding and playing all sorts of games with my ‘ol gelding named Token.  He was always ready to be with me, and participate in the play.  

Later, I was introduced to several other Master Horseman, such as Pat Parelli, and Dennis Reis.  The common thread was an understanding of the horse, and the ability to feel of the horse in not only mental, or emotional, or physical terms, but most importantly to connect spiritually with the two animals…human & horse.  I think this last aspect is the component offered to all of us so gratefully by Tom Dorrance.

I’d like to add a final note of gratitude to those of you who so gratefully helped financially in making it possible for me to attend the Tom Dorrance Benefit:  Bonny & Mark Melby, Dr. Pat & Joan Trindle, Susie Wilson, and Della Steele.  My appreciation is beyond words.  Thank You!  Of course nothing would come to fruition without the constant help and support of Susan Triplett.  Someone has to stay home and feed the horses!  Many thanks to Susan as well.

Finally…Susan and I have come into the 21st Century, and have begun filling in the pages of our own website. We will have information regarding our horsemanship principles, course outlines, the newsletters, course descriptions, & horse-handling equipment such as Thomas Angle saddles & JS Halter Company mecates, halters, & leads.  Occasionally there may even be information on horses for sale, such as the bay filly and gray gelding 3-year olds that are currently available.  It will be fun and hopefully a great way for us to communicate easier with all of you.  Check the work-in-progress out at:

Going Forward... Disengagement Holidays 2001 Tom Dorrance Lessons for 2000 Sideways Self-Carriage NWHS 101


T&T Horsemanship
15477 Sky Ranch Lane 
Haines, Oregon 97833
(541) 856-3356

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