What Clients who have worked with Diana are saying:
(all client statements are unedited)
Meghan Parker PhD, Baird, TX
“Diana’s skill in working with horses of all training levels and temperaments is surpassed only with her desire to help all horses succeed to their fullest potential. She uses only natural horsemanship and positive reinforcement techniques. I have seen her work with many horses, most of which are from rescue, abuse, and/or neglect situations, and in a few days she has helped them start to heal, to learn to trust, and to enjoy learning as a process.”
Karen Martinez, Abilene, TX
“Diana was such a blessing to me and my rescue horse, Peggy. Peggy was picked up by Animal Control in the town where I live. She was found with 33 other horses, 2 dead, in horrible condition. They had been without food or water for some time. I have worked with horses for years, but Peggy was going to be my first rehab horse. After vet care and good diet, she quickly recovered in weight and health. However, it was her personality that suffered. I just assumed that because she was finally in a good, safe environment that she would be happy and quickly come around. Instead, she just seemed depressed. That’s when I turned to Diana for help. I knew she was an expert not only on training, but on rehabing horses. Diana taught me to think outside of the box with my horse training. I have always been taught to NEVER give treats to your horses. When I first heard that was something that Diana did, I was pretty skeptical. But after meeting with her, and listening to her explanation of how the horses had to work for the treat, I totally understood what she was teaching. And for such sensitive horses, like a lot of rescue horses, it was the perfect outlet. Peggy didn’t do well with someone making her do something. Once I learned little tricks and ideas that Diana suggested I do while riding Peggy, she really transformed. She no longer had that look of dread when I headed out to get her up and saddled. We learned to “play” together. I can now proudly say that Peggy is working as a therapeutic horse at The Legacy Complex, a therapeutic riding center in Abilene. She gives rides to kids with various disabilities. It’s the perfect ending to her story and I don’t believe it would have turned out as well had it not been for Diana and her unorthodox methods that opened up my mind. I will always remember what she taught me, and always turn to her when I need her help. She is a voice for the horses and a true blessing to the horse world!”
Bill Constantine, PA
“Diana has been a great help assisting My wife and I with training our horses. She teaches a natural way so that you and your horse bond together as a team. I highly recomomend her services.”
Brittany Roemer, Bay Area, CA
“Diana has been very helpful for my horse and I. She has given great recommendations to me about what I can do to help my horse do better on the trail and be more trusting. She is always willing to help me out when I need guidance.”
Rachel Hitt, Abilene, TX
“I recently was at the end of my rope with my rescue horse Holly. I was having problems enough to seek Diana in taking her off my hands as it appeared I was not able to get Holly to perform as I had been used to in a horse. Upon learning of my problems she talked with me for a great while regarding Holly’s behavior. She asked if I would be willing to let her take a look at Holly so she could possibly identify the problem. Diana graciously offered to come out to the boarding stables and meet Holly.
Not knowing any of Holly’s history she began to gently speak to Holly in her beautiful and relaxing voice. She also started pointing out things that she noticed in how Holly stood and carried herself. She noted Holly had a sway back and felt that perhaps could be the start. She worked with me that day on saddle seizing, and some much needed ground work.
She came back on another day and brought some of her own saddle equipment and dis some measuring. She instructed me the entire time as we went, pointing out things that I could work on. She graciously did all of this on her own time. Never did I feel uncomfortable around her. She is so full of great information. I am so thankful she was willing to work with me. Even though I did not keep Holly afterall, I still feel Diana was a big help to me for future buying of another horse.
Many thanks to Diana for her help. I have made a friend and I am sure I will be asking her advice again.”
Vicky Parker, Abilene, TX
“Reference letter in regards to the training experience with horse Cisco a nine year old mustang gelding, untrained and never ridden.
In April 2007 Cisco came into my life and the adventure began. Cisco had no training and would not let you touch him.
I tried to do research on training mustangs. I knew he would have to be trained very slowly and I liked the natural way of training. To this day, I am so sorry for everything Cisco went through when I sent him to a trainer. I really trusted this man and had told him I wanted them to take it slow and easily. If this was accomplished and they could possibly saddle him without fighting, that would be great. They decided to put him in a make-shift shoot and get a saddle on him. They did get a saddle on hm but not before he got his back legs cut up from the rope. I thought they were taking it off of him after I let, but it turns out they left it on him for days. He still has a spot on his withers and both sides from the ill fitting saddle and no blanket.
When he came back, needless to say, I had to start all over again, I had come to a point where I really didn’t know what or how to do the training by myself. I had no one helping me and sometimes it is better and safer to have someone there. People, including my family, told me he could not be trained and was dangerous. But, every time I looked into his soulful eyes, I saw a horse that was trying so hard to understand what I wanted. I needed some help to show him. I prayed that somehow I would find the right person to help me help Cisco.
My prayers were answered by a lady I found on the internet. Her name is Diana Shaffner, from Rising Sun Ranch [now Good Acres]. She has been a complete blessing for me and Cisco. She has renewed my confidence and helped Cisco gain confidence himself. It is a joy to watch and listen to her and then see Cisco’s reaction to her. He absolutely adores her, as I do. If I have any questions, I can ask her. She never judges me or makes me feel inadequate when dealing with Cisco. He has learned so much and is eager to learn more. With Diana’s help, I’m beginning to know when Cisco is getting confused or frustrated, so I just take a deep breath, a step back and try something else. We’re shooting for the fall, in which I hope to be riding him. But it won’t just be me riding a horse. It will be me riding my best friend and partner and I can hardly wait.”
Tracy Gegenheimer, Casa Grande, AZ
“Diane is a wonderful person and horsewoman. I met her in 2008 when I was looking for a forever home for my horse, Shahba. As difficult as it was to see him go, I am comforted by knowing that he is at Rising Sun Ranch. He is loved, well cared for, and gets to be near children, which is his favorite thing to do. Diane is also great on keeping me updated through the Rising Sun Ranch newsletters and website. I’m grateful to Diane and George for creating such a wonderful opportunity for Shahba and for what they’re doing for children and other animals.”
Dana McGraw, Vancouver, WA
“It is a pleasure to write about Diana! She is professional, knowledgeable and thorough about her work and sensitive to her clients’ needs and personalities. Diana is highly recommended! Dana Mcgraw”