My parents swear that my first word was “horse”. I don’t know if that is true or not, but I do know that the first time I saw a horse I felt an overwhelming mixture of feelings that I can only describe as falling in love.
I have been riding a long, long time and have done just about every discipline. Staring with gaming, then western pleasure, trail, then cutting horses, then reining horses, then hunter jumpers and finally dressage. I had many teachers, but the most impactful and best teachers were my horses. I wasn’t always a good student. I started out with an approach that was centered around the thought that horse must do what I ask and NOW. What a dummy! It took many years, making a lot of mistakes and introspection to come to the place I am now. I learned to listen to my horses and became committed to finding a way for my horses to be happy in their work and for me to enjoy it with them.
I am humbled before the tolerance, forgiveness and intelligence of horses. My life would be nothing without them. I am happy to say that I have found an approach to my training that is kind, respectful, and yet clear about areas of no negotiation….(biting, bucking, kicking, etc…). What is most different is that if there are undesirable behaviors, the first question I ask, is WHY is the horse behaving that way. I take my time, I move forward with training as the horse and I reach understanding. Whoa and behold, I have happy horses doing difficult work and I am enjoying every minute of my riding.
I came up with the idea of Noble Heart Equine when I had to put down my wonderful mare Elegancia. She was one of a kind and put up with a lot from me. I still apologize for my lack of understanding and patience to this day. Losing her from my life made me ask some tough questions of myself. I decided I didn’t want to stop riding but that I would dedicate myself to bringing horses together with the right partner. Match riders that want a relationship with their horse, to the right partner. This is how I met Marianne Socorro, she bought Corazon de la Noche from me. Karri Russell, (my other friend engaged in this endeavor), I have known since she was 6 years old. She is my next door neighbor and a horse freak just like me. Now at 24 she has developed into a fine rider.
So, if you are looking for an Iberian horse that is talented, intelligent and kind, think about us. The three ladies that are doing this out of love of the horse.
Diana Grace O’Diear
Native Venezuelan girl, raised in a dairy farm, she was the only one of her siblings to have that special place in her heart for horses. Since Marianne Socorro was a little girl the only thing that she was crazy about was going to the farm and getting to ride horses. She first rode ranch horses and then Colombian Paso Fino’s. Although she never had horsemanship lessons, Marianne had a natural talent with horses.
While living in Venezuela, she got to participate in parades call “Cabalgatas” or horse parades. In her country riding horses was mainly for men and there were not many girls participating. Aside from being a horse lover, Marianne is also a law school graduate and a successful business woman.
Marianne moved to the United States 22 years ago and she saw her dream of horses starting to vanish. After many years she decided to pursue her passion again, and do what really makes her happy. Horses! They had been part of her heart all of her life, and she says “The part of me that was free”. And so her new journey begins. She is excited to find her love, find her passion, and find her true self.
Karri Russell had her start in the world of horses at age nine. She has ridden in a variety of disciplines over the years and has always held a passion for the sport of Dressage. She considers herself a “forever student”, always eager to learn more. The philosophy she lives by is, “The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know”.
Aside from riding horses, Karri also studied equine massage therapy at Langley Equine Studies located in Soap Lake, Washington. She later became a Nationally Certified therapist through the National Board of Certification for Animal Acupressure & Massage (NBCAAM). Karri is fueled by her passion for horses and it is what gives her the desire to become a better horse woman and rider.
If she’s not in riding boots, you can bet she has her hiking boots on! In her free time Karri enjoys hiking and mountaineering.