"The Clinician Magician"

Something that I so enjoy in my life is great Cowboy poetry.  It's an art form that can make us cry, laugh and bring food for thought. I recently received the gift of Harold Roy Miller writing one including him and myself relating to a clinic we shared in together. Harold made me cry and I feel so touched once again by cowboy poetry. Below the poem is a Biography about Harold and his work that he has such an evident passion and gift for.

Liz Graves


Harold Miller and his wife, Diana.

The Clinician Magician
by Harold Roy Miller

I was one of those "know-it-all horse trainer" cynics 
Who wasn't about to waste my good money on show-off clinics. 
But then the gait of my beloved Fox Trotter began to worsen 
so in desperation I attended a gaited horse exposition in person. 

Liz Graves was in town, a very well known clinician 
and I'd heard she was something of a gaited horse training magician 
So I inquired about it, then enrolled in her equine course 
and loaded up and trailered over with my blue papered horse. 

I knew my gaited riding skills left a lot to be desired 
and If I did it for a living, I would sure as heck get fired. 
But I was determined to see if my horse was worth his salt 
or if there was a chance his choppy pace could be all my fault. 

Some participants brought stallions but most had geldings or mares.
Ms. Graves first divided all the riders and horses into pairs. 
Then she had us individually ride in circles around the ring. 
I could see her watching us closely, analyzing every little thing. 

As we rode she stressed the importance of good saddle fit, 
the mechanics of seat position and using the correct bit. 
She explained why she was totally against using gimmicks and weights 
to get supposedly gaited horses to stay in their gaits. 

As I circled the arena, it didn't take too long 
until she pointed out several things that I was doing wrong. 
Then when she couldn't take any more of my lack of style, 
she asked me if I minded if she rode my horse a while. 

It was one of those poetry-in-motion type of rides. 
My horse's head was collected and he started taking longer strides. 
Liz sat straight in the saddle and put on a quite a display 
of her brilliant equitation skills that I remember to this day. 

The horse was like clay in her hands and she was like the potter. 
In fact, I barely recognized my very own Fox Trotter. 
He looked so smooth and graceful, just like he was gliding 
and I realized I had so much to learn about gaited horse riding. 

I don't like humble pie and I hate to eat crow 
but that day she showed me some things I really needed to know.
I was duly impressed and now I'm also one of those who raves

about the understanding and skill of this horse trainer, Ms. Liz Graves.


Harold Roy Miller


Harold Roy Miller has been intrigued with the cowboy way since childhood, when his dad would take the kids to the movie show in downtown Corinth, Mississippi to watch Roy Rogers and Gene Autry gallop across the silver screen.  Harold tries to capture the lighter side of horses and cowboy life in his writings.  As his daddy said, "You might as well laugh as to cry; the outcome's gonna be the same."

Born in Mississippi, raised in Arizona, Harold has worked on horse ranches and raised his own cattle.  He now lives in Stagecoach, Nevada with his wife Diana and raises gaited horses "for fun and poverty."  Harold's other life works in security at the Nevada National Guard. 

Harold's poems have been published in The Gaited Horse, Natural Horse, Trail Rider, Back Country Horsemen, Cowboy Times, Western Times, ETI , Pet Folio and Riding Magazines; Horse Valley News and HorseTales; The Missouri Fox Trotter Journal and their 2005 Celebration Calendar; and on internet websites American Western On-Line, Cowboy Poetry.com , Save Cloud Foundation, The Wyoming Companion  and The Tombstone Bard (featured Cowboy Poet of the Month April 2003).  Nominated for Western Music Association 2006 Cowboy Poet of the Year.   Wrote lyrics for two songs on "Hearts of Iron" CD, a collaboration with Lacy J Dalton to raise awareness and funds for Nevada's wild horses.  Published "Horse Daze - A Lighter Look at Horses and Cowboys."   Harold has performed his poetry in Arizona, Idaho, California, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada and Utah. 

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