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'When You Have Knowledge, You Have Confidence'

Florida Equestrian Celebration's speakers and clinicians, including Ross and Dawn Falisi, to promote knowledge as a key to success with horses. Their goal is to address issues that will help you better understand your horses, resulting in more effective training sessions.

By Shaneen Kohler

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Oct. 12, 2006) — "When you have knowledge, you have confidence. When you have confidence, you are not limited. That is your key to success with horses," said Ross and Dawn Falisi, who have trademarked the Subtle Horsemanship™ method and will be sharing years of experiences during their demonstrations at the Florida Equestrian Celebration in Jacksonville, Nov. 17-19.

In its third year, this event is known as a hands-on, awe-inspiring and educational celebration, thanks to the creative minds of its organizers, Gordon and Tina Calhoun at Calhoun Event Planning. And, bringing back the Falisis is a prime example of why this event is bigger and better every year.

"They were two of our star clinicians last year at the celebration," explained Tina, who spends as much time on the spectators' side as the management side in order to ensure the Celebration's options reflect the spectators' preferences. This research even contributed to some of the events that make the Celebration unlike any other expo: Dinner in the Dirt™, Ride a Paso and the all-new bull riding blowout and show jumping grand prix. "We asked folks what they wanted in this year's Celebration. They said equine experts, exciting competition, thrilling entertainment and shopping," said Gordon. "So that is what we are offering!"

Tangible Meets Subtle

How Sensible!

The Falisis not only have a "tremendous amount of knowledge and a lot to offer," according to Tina, their theories are based on the tangible.

"We base our theories on the anatomy of the horse, physiology, kinesiology and the biomechanics of both horse and rider. When you know about those things, it simplifies your training and riding theories," said Dawn, who will be explaining this in more detail at the Celebration.

According to Ross, "Our entire system is based on theory. When you understand theory, your technique is only as limited as your imagination." This permits you to "cure the disease rather than put a Band-aid on the symptoms."

Tina has seen proof of the Falisis' successful training methods. One of her colts had some behavioral problems and she turned to the Falisis. "That colt could have been dangerous if not started properly," said Tina.

According to the Falisis, the colt was bred to win, but had no release for his energy. "We took his unwanted behavior and channeled it into wanted behavior…He has a lot of potential that has now been channeled."

The problems that are hardest to fix are the ones that deal with the handler more than the horse. "The human being is hardest to fix," said Ross. "The longer people have been around horses, the harder it is to get them to break a bad habit." Two of the worst offenses: They don't realize every encounter with a horse is a training session and there is a lack of a discipline plan for their horses, said Ross. "Sometimes I see them discipline their spouse more than they discipline their horse."

Ross and Dawn will be addressing these issues, and more, during their appearances at the Florida Equestrian Celebration.

Taking Down 'Old Barriers'

Ross and Dawn Falisi, with children, Rocky, 3, and Reena, 4, decided to move their New York operation to a 30-acre farm in Williston, which is in northwest Marion County, last year. "There are very few places where you can go see reiners in the morning, a dressage show in the afternoon, in addition to a jumping show and team roping event, all in one day. That is what the Marion County area is all about. It is unbelievable."

Dawn said that because the area is such a melting pot for equestrians, "the old barriers" between the disciplines aren't apparent. "You have the dressage people learning from the reiners and vice versa…There are numerous people here wanting to learn more and more." Plus, it is the only place you can walk into a Chinese restaurant and see a posting for a $300,000 horse for sale, she said with a laugh, or see people in spurs at the grocery store.

One of the reasons they decided to be part of the Florida Equestrian Celebration was to contribute to the education of the area's horse owners and enthusiasts. They are also looking forward to furthering their education, as well. "You can never stop learning. Once you think you know it all, you need to pack it in," said Dawn. "The people (the Calhouns) brought in are as good as anyone in the world. Anybody in the horse industry who misses the Florida Equestrian Celebration is really missing out. It is a one of a kind event."

Fast Facts

Event: Florida Equestrian Celebration

Location: Jacksonville (Fla.) Equestrian Center

Date: Nov. 17-19

Featuring: Ross & Dawn Falisi, Hal Coates, KC LaPierre, Matt Gable, Tommie Turvey, Richard Shrake, Jane Savoie, Don West, Craig Cameron, Karen Hayes, Texas Thunder, Ryan Gingerich, Debi Metcalfe, Phil Rogers, and more!

Web site: http://www.floridaequestrian.com

Tickets: http://www.ticketmaster.com


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