APRIL 28, 1997

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'Horse whisperer' clinic will benefit Little Bit

horse laugh

A young rider appears to be having her own conversation with a horse at the Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center.

horse whisperer Horse whisperer Frank Bell will begin a series of clinics in Woodinville with a public demonstration of his "horse gentling" talents at the Hollywood Hill Saddle Club, Sunday, May 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bell will work with three to five horses he has never seen. Their problems and abilities will also be unknown to him.
   Bell uses demonstrations such as the one in Woodinville as a way to familiarize people with the art of horse whispering and change the minds of skeptics. The art became well-known due to the popularity of Nicholas Evans' recent novel, The Horse Whisperer. The book tells the story of Issaquah resident Buck Brannaman. Frank Bell studied with Brannaman for four years and now works with horses and owners all over the country.
   Owners often watch in amazement as horse whisperers put saddles on their once ornery, unapproachable beasts, after just a few hours work.
   Says one horse owner of Bell's work, "I watched my 'rogue' horse, who reacted to everything, trusted no one, and bucked everyone off, melt in Frank's hands. Gentle persuasion and cooperation created a quiet, confident horse."
   Says another, "My horse bucked so hard, she broke my pelvis. In a short time, Frank had my wife, a novice, riding that horse confidently."
   Although local owners and their horses will benefit from Bell's demonstration, it will also serve another purpose. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Woodinville's Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center. The center provides therapeutic horseback riding to children and adults with disabilities and has been a part of the Eastside equestrian community for 21 years.
   A donation of $20 is suggested, and complimentary food and drink will follow at Redhook Ale Brewery in Woodinville. For advance tickets, call 483-4663 or 481-6348; tickets will be also be available at the door. For information on clinics and private sessions with Frank Bell from May 5-7, leave a message at 938-6353.
   Hollywood Hill Saddle Club is located at 15205 NE 172nd St. in Woodinville. Upcoming events at the Hollywood Hill Saddle Club include Western Games with the first planned for May 25. Call 486-2607 for information. The next Horse Show at the club will be held May 10. Call 483-8872 for details.