He’s Got The Magic Hands
By Cara o’Neill
The sounds coming from the stall are soft and coaxing; movements are muffled. Suddenly one can hear what is clearly the long release of a horse’s breath; it is followed by a firm but friendly man’s voice complimenting…encouraging.
Of course anyone passing by must stop and look in, only to see a massive man on his knees with what appears to be a horse wrapped around his body!! After some gentle nuzzles in exchange for a few congratulatory pats…the man stands his full 6’6” height and levels a delightful smile in your direction. Indeed you have just observed the magic of Dino Fretterd.
While a fixture at many of the top shows on the west coast, Dino actually splits his time between horse shows and private barns. He has a passion for teaching clinics where he is eager to show people how they can do simple exercises with their horses themselves to maintain equine balance, suppleness and posture. This approach to passing on information is derived from all the goals of Dino’s work.
He believes understanding how to help the horses can resolve so many problems that are commonly blamed on conformation as well as other issues and he believes his approach can make amazing inroads in just one of his sessions. In then teaching owners how to maintain some of the progress, he is able to help them achieve additional comfort and balance with their horses.
A native of Yonkers NY, Dino made his way west when he was awarded a football scholarship to UOP in Stockton. A knee injury brought his football career to an end. It was not until he had surgery on his knee was the severity of his injury realized, and Dino set upon his path of healing and understanding the process. Working from 1980 to 1986 on people, Dino, with a life long love of horses, in 1986 he made the change to a business of working on horses. He has never looked back and fondly remembers Pebble Beach being the first horseshow he ever worked at with Lucy Stewart being one of the very first people he worked for. From there he has just kept getting busier as word of his work spread.
Frequently spending 8 full hours a day in the stalls with our beloved horses, Dino is always willing to discuss the details of his sessions and offer insights that people rarely are really in a position to gain. He approaches each horse every single time with tremendous enthusiasm and energy and a gentle sincerity. Although it’s obviously beneficial for owners to attempt follow up to maintain their horses themselves, Dino’s physical abilities are very uncommon as he puts his size and strength to work helping the horses stretch and do his various bodywork methods in a gentle way that his superior physique allows.
As a little boy Dino’s mother always told friends and family that if they wanted to get Dino a present just get him anything that included a horse. As Dino says now, there is simply nothing he would rather be doing with his life.
There are many horses that would happily second that statement, there is simply nothing that they would rather have than Dino utilizing his life’s passion doing his bodywork in their stalls after a long show day.