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Synopsis: At age 9, Leslie offered supervised rides on her old racehorse for 25 cents. “I learned a few things from a neighbor who taught ‘old way’”, she said. “A year later, Ivan Taylor from the Vermont Cavalry in WW1 showed me how to prepare a horse to get along with people.”
She expanded her services to re-start horses for public use in 1965. “Most of them liked carrying a rider, but a special one bucked me off daily. That’s when I knew I ought to improve fast, or else.”
Her love of horses inspired her to read books about them, and through an exchange of letters with several authors she advanced in the basics of their care and training. After that came university, followed by a 20-year journalism career, and two riding schools in Massachusetts (1984) and California (1990).
Leslie’s success as a colt-starting coach for children in Northern California soon lead her to a new mentor. Bill Dorrance, a rancher from Salinas, California, offered her an apprenticeship while she co-authored “True Horsemanship Through Feel”.
Since Bill Dorrance’s passing in 1999, Leslie shares his Feel & Release approach to horse training with her private clients in 34 states and 16 foreign countries. The Legacy of Bill Dorrance was featured in Europe at Equitana, The Mane Event, and many venues across America, including the Equine Affair.


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