Horse Personalities Inc.


last updated: April 23, 2011

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Meet Dessa

Author Dessa & Horse

Raised on a farm in northern Manitoba, Dessa was drawn to horses at a very early age. Her family didn’t have riding horses but she found them on neighboring farms and would befriend them over the fence.

She moved to Saskatchewan as a young adult in hopes of working with horses and found herself galloping race horses. From there, she plotted to get to Alberta where it was rumored there were lots and lots of horses.

In Alberta, she developed her skills working with and riding horses in a variety of sports starting with rodeo. She moved over to the English world and 3-day eventing. Meanwhile, she managed horse barns and began to teach riding.

She really hasn’t looked back always eager to learn new things and to apply them in her many interactions with people and horses. Her insights and her insatiable curiosity filter through to her teaching.

As owner and operator of Liberty Stables located west of Millarville in Southern Alberta, Dessa is now incorporating her horse personality knowledge into her riding and teaching. As she says, “it’s all about the relationship! Listening to horses and applying tools according to the horse’s personality can really help people become all round riders and their horses all round horses.”

In her own words, Dessa talks about her love of horses and her journey…

The horse and I have always been intertwined. My earliest horse memory (when I was three or four) is sitting on a workhorse, straddling his wide back and holding onto the hames while my dad drove the team to the field. I would spend hours brushing them in the barn. The flame that was the passion was ignited.

I moved west going wherever horses drew me. Racehorses, rodeo, trail riding, cross-country eventing, English or western - each new sport was exciting. Soon I would be beckoned to a new one - optimistic that this new sport would challenge me as well as honor the horse. I was looking for the horse to be respected more - loved more - understood more.

I took care of horses and managed barns, but the quest continued. Gradually I started teaching. I wanted children and later, adults, to understand horses, not for what they could do for them, but what they needed to do for the horse. I believe that how you ride (equitation) is so important to help the horse balance and feel comfortable.

Many of my young students wanted to compete in the Show Ring. This path has taught me much. Keeping the show world in perspective - so that the horse and the relationship are more important than the ribbons - is a real challenge. The gift it’s given me is helping people learn to ride from their soul and not from their ego.

After 35 or more years in the horse industry, I am so excited to have written my book, Is Your Horse a Rock Star? Understanding Your Horse’s Personality, and to be doing workshops where we don’t just train, we explore the true meaning of the relationship while learning to have fun with horses, always aware of how they are feeling, what they are thinking and even why particular horses are in our lives.

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