Horses can't talk, but they are finally being heard, thanks
to a celebrated approach to top turnout and better horsemanship
offered by professional braider for the world's champion riders
and drivers, Ruthann Smith, founder of Lucky Braids.
Her mission is to give horses better lives by giving
the people who handle them better information. To truly look
and perform like winner a horse has to feel like one from
the inside out.
Speaking to standing-room-only crowds at major trade shows
and featured nationally on CBS television and National Public
Radio, Ruthann's message is about more than skillfully tying
knots into horses' necks. She is helping thousands of horse
owners of all ages understand the relationship between top
turnout and a great performance.
"Top riders know that I get their horses' heads set to
focus and do their jobs: win." Her clients include Olympic
and World Champion show jumping riders Michael Matz, Katie Monahan-Prudent
and George Morris, Olympic Dressage bronze medalist, Dottie Morkis,
and World Pairs Driving Champion, Jimmy Fairclough.
Atop her braider's ladder she became acutely aware that the care and training practices that are standard in top show barns was not being passed on to the average horse owner. Plus, the detrimental effects of the ingredients typically being used in turnout products appalled her as she regularly witnessed horses' comfort and health sacrificed for barely skin-deep good looks.
"It's not only about looking good, but getting a horse
to feel confident and comfortable; making its heart big so
it wants to do its job well. I'm not demonstrating tricks
of the trade. I'm offering the proven practices. Everything
on the ground is the foundation for what happens on course
-- handling, safety, grooming and braiding."
This combined approach -- education in horse handling, and
a revolutionary new line of grooming products to soothe and
nourish hair and skin, reduce rubbing, and revive brittle
hair-- are helping horses live better in their own skin. Like
the proverb that a trip of 1,000 miles begins with a single
step, braiding is the first step on the return to sound horse
management. Ruthann is showing both the way back to traditional
horse husbandry and to the future with state-of-the-art solutions.
Braiding Was Just The Start
Chronicle of the Horse
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loving memory of Tigre,
an institution on the East Coast 'A' Circut
for 6 years, undefeated Canine Puissance
high jumper 1996 -1999, and all-
around Swell Guy.
James Leslie Parker