May 24, 2014
I chose Dino’s Institute as a form of continuing education. I considered myself to be an effective sports massage and rehab therapist with many happy clients. I will be forever grateful for the education that I received from Dino. He is a great teacher who provides an intense opportunity for practicing his methods on many horses and supervises the experience without missing anything. He continually demonstrates his techniques and encourages or corrects students’ efforts in a positive way. But most importantly, he opens the door–provides the keys–to transform good work into super-effective work…..to make changes in horses that you never could have imagined.
For example, I have been working on a 30 year-old Thoroughbred-cross for 2 years, and he has loved my work. Yesterday, using my new techniques I was able to help him walk straight and stand square. I was able to balance his pelvis–something the chiropractor could not achieve. I was able to help him hold his back a couple of inches higher than he had since I had known him. I did all this with the horse loose in his stall, without a halter, and with the owner in the stall with me. I thought the owner (a grown man of about 60 years old) was going to cry at one point. He kept exclaiming, “Would you look at that”! The owner was anxious to learn how to help continue this process and I was only too happy to teach him a few techniques that would reinforce what was started. THANK YOU, DINO.
Noni VanSon, The Right Touch
May 18, 2014
The level 1 class was packed full of valuable information and learning experiences. Dino’s method of hands on learning and gaining practical experience instead of spending time sitting in a classroom really enabled us to learn at an accelerated pace.
The first day was a bit overwhelming, but Dino assured us everything would make sense and we would be competent at the assessment and techniques by the end of the week long class. While I had my doubts that day, things fell into place very quickly. On the second day, we were making noticeable changes in horse’s posture, comfort, and performance. By the end of the third day, I was starting to feel competent. I encourage those who attend the class to learn the pre-requisite information well, as you will “hit the ground running” from the very beginning of the class.
Being able to work on many different horses enabled us to learn from the variety of issues that presented themselves both in the horse’s posture and weaknesses as well as in their temperaments and being aware of the feedback the horses gave us.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the class and the beautiful town of Norco, it wasn’t long before I was excited to return home to work on my own horses and start my new business as an equine bodyworker.
Lori Schmidt, NJ
May 10, 2014
I started Equine Alternatives in 1998 as a need to give back to the silent suffering horses. In the last 5 years I have been phasing out of my body working and started referring out that part of my practice. I have been evolving to more of a wellness advisor or an Animal Holistic Life Coach. The reason why I would be called on the scene would be that my clients were at a dead end and frustrated with their animals. I was advising that people needed to have body work done on their horses. More often than not the owner’s/ trainer’s reply was, ” I just did” and then on top of that was we just injected this or that. Some of these animals showed little to no improvement. Feeling responsible as a horse ambassador I would ” touch up” with some minor moves here and there calling it Reflex Response Therapy, Equine DNFT ( Directional Non Force Technique) and Nerve Path Align and Essential Oil Therapy. It was driving me crazy to witness my horse owners who were willing to spend whatever on their horses to keep them happy and healthy, not get the result and the answers that they deserved. Where was the passion for the horses’ well being??? Equine therapy has turned into a cash cow and making the holistic industry look like a scam. Watching Dino work on my horse Chance, my faith was renewed and my passion rekindled. This was it. This made sense to me and the horses love him. No stocks, no twitches, no sedation, no cranky horses, no BS and even no halter- your horse will tell you what is right and what is not and the results speak for themselves. Regardless of all the reasons for me to quit doing body work, my age, strength, and the veterinarian industry trying to crack down on the equine therapeutic industry, I knew I had to take this class to educate myself and set the record straight. There is a better way. I am now excited to be apart of this Equine body working concept based on martial arts flow and balance. This class is a must for any serious horse owner, therapist, trainer, farrier, dentist or vet. Bottom line– this will rock your world.
Poppy Phillips Mehlhaff – All Creatures Alternatives
March 30, 2012
I wanted to thank you, and give you a follow up on the horses you saw at Oak Ridge Farm in Escondido last Friday.
Sure- the grey gelding from Russia – is transformed. His back is released, and he is not stocking up on ANY leg. ANY. His back is so visibly different, I just am stunned, pleased and so incredibly grateful that you were able to come help him!
Belle- my fractious young mare- has morphed into an old soul. Her eye is soft, she is so happy in her body and so COMPLETELY different under saddle. I do believe she may have been born with whatever her impediment was – as we discussed, I have had her since she was 6 months old and she arrived from Holland with a “club” foot. I have been her only rider, and the tension on the right I initially attributed to being green, then to being big, and then to being a problem. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for restoring the “happy place” in this mare!
Freya, the big jumper, we moved the shoes to the front on her back toes, and she is MUCH happier in her balance.
Bougi, the straight forward little one, has not leaned into her right shoulder – a constant state of being for her – since you worked on her.
Thank you again. You are welcome to use any of this as testimonial. I have spent my life with horses, and I have never spent a more worthwhile day – not to mention for one horse, 2 hours- to transform a body, a being and literally a life for a horse back to comfort and who that horse CAN be – as you might say, to who that horse is, you just allowed it.
I look forward to working with you in the future!
Sarah Martin – Blanca, CO
December 10, 2011
Just when you think there is no more to learn – POW – enter Dino. As a barefoot trimmer I thought my tools and the proper application of them were all that I needed to help horses with the many hoof problems that plague them and for the most part that has been the case. Yet there is a handful that I just can’t seem to completely return to normal. I kept asking myself what am I missing? I knew the importance of proper dental work and the role it played in helping to balance the horse from Spencer Laflure. He also spoke very highly of Dino and his work (that was about 12 years ago), I just never connected the dots. Then I met Jim Prybylski a graduate of Spencer’s school (Advanced Whole Horse Dentistry) and he began to talk about Dino. I took his advice and setup a private session with Dino (I guess I was ready).
WOW is the best word to describe meeting Dino. He introduced me to the missing piece to my puzzle, not with opinions but facts. The positive changes to the horses posture and therefore its balance can be seen in one good session. Dino does not perform magic but it is magical to see the transformation in the horses he works on. Because of Dino I now look at the whole horse and the body problems that the horse has, and it is now easy to see (which I had never seen before) and what their effects are in contributing to not only their hoof problems but behavioral problems as well. Now with the help of the horse owner we can resolve these body issues and help to restore the horse back into the natural athlete nature intended them to be. I can’t say enough about Dino and his work.
Anthony Madaia, Barefoot Equine Podiatrist
April 30, 2011
I can’t thank Dino enough for all he helped my horse and all his help to teach me to help my 9 yr old T.B. to feel better. I have owned Marcus for 9 weeks now. We met Dino on our seventh week together. Every time I would want to ride, I would have to lunge first so Marcus would relax and get his bucks out. After his visit with Dino all that has changed. After seeing Dino communicate with Marcus, I was just in awe, there’s no words to describe how I felt after leaving that clinic. I really didn’t know Marcus and after being taught how to stretch him, seeing the results of a much calmer and how much more comfortable he goes, is just remarkable. Lots more time stretching and NO more lunging for Marcus. Can’t wait for you to come back in September.
Lainey Geniti-Reynolds – Florida, NY
January 7, 2010
Dino, your clinic was fabulous! MJ and I have been consistently stretching our horses three to four times a week after our workouts. We have noticed a tremendous difference in their balance, stride and flexability. Willas and Toby also seem to enjoy the stretching – especially the carrot stretches! We are looking forward to the next clinic.
Karen Bates and MJ Hawes, Willas and Toby
February 25, 2009
I first met Dino at Indio Horse Show probably over 10 to 15 years ago. Dino being a large man with great presences, he wasn’t hard to miss. I think the first horse he worked on was my home-grown gelding “Jazz”. I was so excited to see him to stretch-out Jazz and move his joints with gentleness. Dino’s demeanor around the horse got the Jazz to give even more. Jazz that year was Champion in two divisions and I believe Dino had a big part in this accomplishment. I remember telling everyone about this GREAT guy Dino and how fabulous he was with the horses.
Dino is truly in tuned with the horses. He takes his time and becomes their friend. When he works on a horse for the first time, the horse is a little tentative at first but by the end of the session I have seen the horse pull on his shirt asking him not to leave. It is just amazing to watch Dino talk to the horse as friend, and how the horse is willing to allow Dino to do things that no other person would be able to do.
Many times I have put more emphasis on Dino’s assessment of my horse more than the vet’s assessment. It isn’t that I don’t think the vet has the right diagnosis, but sometimes the vets don’t look at the whole horse.
Awhile back, I had a horse named Buster. He was a big Irish Warm-blood Jumper that was a bit lethargic. Dino was going to work on him, as well as, Rod and Maggie who are the acupuncturist. They asked me if there was anything that concerned me about the horse, and I said he was too slow. The team of Rod & Maggie & Dino agreed they could work on that, and boy did they. The next day Buster could have jumped a Grand Prix. I never felt Buster jump so high with such exuberance. He was like a new horse. It was a lot fun riding him at that show. I also own a horse named Arcady, an older horse who just decided that he wasn’t jumping anymore. My trainer was baffled by it, the vets couldn’t find a reason, and then Dino explained to me that he was really body sore everywhere. I gave him 6 months off with light work and body work from Dino and now Arcady is Champion at most shows. Dino also helped me with my mare, Raska. Dino was the first person to be worried about her loose stifles. He encouraged me to look into a procedure to tighten them up. I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Tim Eastman to perform the surgery. Dino came to watch the surgery all on his own accord. I felt so at ease knowing that he was there.
Dino is man totally invested with our animals. He has his heart and soul in making our animals healthier and happier. I can’t thank him enough for what all he has done for all my horses in the past and all he will do for my horses in the future.
Dino, I love you and DON’T YOU EVER QUIT!
It’s not every day that you come across a truly amazing person with hero status, the brawn of a Greek statue and brains ticking on a level mirroring Einstein’s. I say Einstein because he was innovative and saw what was hidden and complex to so many, as mere common sense.
I along with so many other people have been blessed to call Dino my friend and mentor. We share a commonality, the love of horses. A passion that has helped countless horses across the country, a passion that has inspired and educated so many to want to do the same and be the same. An unconditional passion that has yet to be dented by any who call themselves experts in the field. Dino is the expert in his field both in the stalls with these perfect animals and in the books. He is a marshal artist, transcending defensive techniques into healing miracles.
Dino has a horse’s heart and soul. He is honest, brave, strong, intelligent and incredibly sensitive. He is confident with no need for too many words. His work is in the moment, the motion, and a feel that many are too impatient to attain. He is on the side of a horse that most people who have owned one hundred are too blind to see and too deaf to hear what he sees and hears. He delivers them friendship and a small moment in their lives the freedom and dignity to be their majestic selves as he sees them. His honesty and innovative techniques speak for themselves in the horses work. Dino always says, “When you give them their tools back, they will use them”.
His passion and compassion for these animals is not something he takes lightly, he never sways to one’s opinion no matter who they are when he sees what is right by the horse.
I have seen Dino relieve and fix horses before my eyes, I am sure I am not the first or last person to say this. He is a healer and advocate for these animals and even the humans he has touched, God Bless him.
Thank you Dino for including me on your journey on behalf of the horses. Thank you for your even giving and unconditional friendship you have always shared. Thank you for opening the door of opportunity to me to share in the innovation of your craft of the horse. You have given me a gift that will always keep giving.