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: George Morris, Peter Wylde, Michael Matz and Katie Monahan-Prudent and Kim Prince as well as Olympic Dressage bronze medalist Dottie Morkis, and World Pairs Driving Champion, Jimmy Fairclough. Ruthann has also braided for: Scott Stewart, Amanda Steege, Candice King, Georgina Blumberg, Andre Dignelli, Molly Ashe Cawley, Alison Firestone, Buddy Brown, Anne Kursinski, Leslie Burr Lenehan, Mclain Ward, etc.
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 in the ring-- handling, safety, grooming and braiding."
This combined approach -- education in horse handling, and a revolutionary new line of grooming products to repair dry skin, stop 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, grooming 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.