These stories, at times are long, please scroll thru: you perhaps will locate yourself in these pages and be encouraged...Sandy Heller
Joe Noto: Long Island, New York
I guess the comment I can make is: I was “frustrated in my horse training, wanting to rise to the next level.” I enrolled in Twister’s People Training Program just for one week with intentions of returning as time will allow. This schooling program is simple, reasonable and condensed. Twister coached me, his attention to details and his straight forward approach to teaching has encouraged and prepared me to make better horses. My horsemanship skills are improved and I feel confident and prepared to meet the challenge of making better horses. I will go home and practice and appreciate Twister’s offer to continue to coach me over the phone, if I get in a jam and I look forward returning to Arizona to continue this education. Joe Back To Student Training
Mike Barker: Glendale, Arizona
My horse, Scout and my neice's horse, Blaze have all graduated from Twister's training barn. Twister and Jud trained my neice's mare last year and she's turned out to be a real fine mare. Jane continues to talk highly of you and Jud and is very grateful for your help and expertise.
I can't thank you enough for all your help and guidance with both Scout and me. Before we came to your ranch for help I used to stay up nights not able to sleep thinking to myself, "What the dickens did I get myself into buying that horse?" Scout was like dealing with a rebellious juvenile delinquent. He was untrained, ill-mannered and just plain dangerous. I remember the day he arrived at your ranch for training. After bolting out of the trailer like a nut case, Jud got him under control, took one look at him and mumbled to himself, "Oh boy, I got my hands full this time." Well thanks to you and Jud, Scout has turned out to be a real fine colt. He's disciplined, well mannered, light in the mouth and just a real joy to ride. I can't thank you enough for your training services for Scout.
As a four year old, he can still be a little mischievous at times when you're trying to catch him after he's been turned out with his buddies. Now I know what my poor mom went through when she'd try and catch me at the end of the day and make me come in and take a bath. You can almost see him thinking, "Betcha can't catch me." But again, thanks to your "people training skills", you taught me how to catch that outlaw proper. After he's avoided me for just a short while he knows it's time to stop and let me catch him. He knows it's either time for school or time to work and he does so without any reservations. Again... thanks to you.
My wife Marcia and I are looking forward to coming back soon for more of your "people training".
Mirjam Dunkel: Switzerland
In this People Training Program I learned a lot about training horses, cutting and reining. How to start a unbroken or a problem horse.
I came all the way from Switzerland to Twister and Sandy’s Ranch and planned on staying one month but I ended up staying a half a year. I was around a lot of nice people. I learned so much how to understand and to train a horse in western. I am able to train a horse now and explain at the same time why I am doing this and what will happening if I do it not this way.
If you want to learn cutting, reining or to ride in this beautiful country I think this will be the best place !!!
I know that I will come back- as soon as I can!
A one-month Twister will get you started in the right direction. However, three or four months, like I did, is definitely better. Twister gave me a good foundation in starting colts mixed with a lifetime of cowboy savvy. I didn't grow up on a ranch but now I'm punching cattle on the high plains of New Mexico. My experience at the Heller's definitely gave me a foundation for my current job and only time will tell the impact it will have on my future.
After deciding to get involved in horse training, I ran across Twisters web site and as soon as I read it I knew this is where I needed to go to get my education. I was one of those "experienced" horse people which meant I had experience in staying on my horses some of the time, and a well behaved horse was one that eventually stopped when asked after of course pulling a few muscles in my arms from cranking on the reigns, or one that would go along fine as long as I was doing what he wanted.
After the first day of my stay with Twister and Sandy Heller, I had gotten the feeling that my "experienced" self was right where I needed to be.
Twisters way with horses is amazing. To watch him work with the horses was captivating to say the least. His quiet, humble and dedicated way of training produces not only great horses with solid foundations, but he is gifted in working with people as well. Twisters years of experience and patient, kind manner make him a fantastic horseman and mentor. He not only teaches the "how to's," but explains them in a way that I could understand and allowed me to work right along side him all the while having more patients with me than I think most would.
Twister and Sandy made me feel at home instantly and after spending my first 30 days there, I found it hard to have to leave. The program itself was exactly what I needed in my education, but the friendship and genuine caring way of these folks was an unexpected blessing.
I have had the pleasure of returning to the Hellers any chance I can get to continue my education in horsemanship and can say not many days go by in between that I don't think to myself "what would Twister do?" when working with horses.
I now am not only a better horsewoman, and rider but have begun a career with horses and I have Twister and Sandy to thank for that.
I highly recommend this training program to anyone who may wish to learn a thing or two about horse handling, riding and training. Anyone would benefit from a visit to the ranch and two of the best people I am very fortunate to call my friends.
Our experience with Twister Heller's training has been nothing but positive. We have many experiences to report about Twister. A few years ago, I sent a horse to Twister. The horse was terrified to be ridden out on trail, and he was just too much for me in that respect. By the time Twister put just 60 days on him, he was a whole different guy. I could ride him out on trail without wondering just where we would end up or fearing for my safety. If it weren't for Twister, I'd have had to sell that horse. As it is, I still have and use that horse today with great success.
A few months ago, we sent a three year old to Twister. This colt is one of our prized barrel prospects. From Twister's, we took the colt to Wendy McKenzie ( Lynn McKenzie's daughter) for professional barrel training. After Wendy had ridden this colt once or twice, she called and said, " Who started this colt?! Whoever put a handle on him sure did a superb job!" The McKenzies report that the handle put on our young horse has made him nothing but easy to train to barrels.
We have also referred Twister Heller to others. I have yet to have anyone say that they weren't just completely satisfied with the way their horse came home. Recently, one of my own clients took a young horse to Twister for their daughter. This mare returned to my clients stone gentle, and ready for the little girl to ride which she does often and with great success.
WE just cannot say enough good about the training and techniques that Twister uses. He treats a horse in a kind, gentle, but firm manner. Horses come away from Twister's schooling WANTING to work. If we had sent just one horse to Twister, perhaps it could be considered luck or that the horse was "easy", but that is not the case. We have many experiences of our own and the experiences of our own clients to testify to Twister's down to earth training. We have solid horses who each speak volumes of truth about Twister Heller. Horses never lie.
If anyone would like to contact us about our experiences with the Hellers, please feel free to call or e mail.
"I spent a wonderful six weeks training alongside Twister. Having had a
purely English riding background I had a lot to learn, but Twister just has
a gift for making what he teaches so easy to understand. I felt I massively
improved my riding and completely transformed my attitude towards training
horses. Overall I have become more structured and objective in my training -
which is helping me no end now, back at home in England with my own
competition horses. I was also made to feel like one of the family and was
treated to wonderful home cooking and plenty of my own space. I loved every
minute of my time at Twister's ranch and can't wait to get back there!"
"I learned a lot from this program. It has greatly improved my riding, and helped me to continue the training on my own horses. It also gave me a better understanding of the way horses think and react in different situations. Twister can teach you how to put a good foundation on your horse, no matter what discipline you ride. I had plenty of time to practice what I had learned, plenty of horses to ride, and I learned more than I thought possible in the month I was here. If you love to ride, and want to learn about training horses, then this is the place to be. I was around lots of great people, and lots of great horses, I just wish I hadn’t have had to leave so soon."
When I retired from the Marine Corps after 22 years in 2000 I did not know what to do with my life. Horses had always interested me, cowboys had always intrigued me and I reveled in reading stories about the old west. I was a green horn when I started. What happened to me is I got used and abused by so called horse experts, was taught incorrectly how to ride, was sold a horse that nearly killed me and seriously injured me. It took a good 2 and a half years to heal up from that ordeal. Being a retired Marine and not knowing how to give up, once I was healed I went back to the horses. Again I met more less then honest horse people who again taught me things that were incorrect. One day I came to a ranch I was learning/riding at in Yuma, Arizona and there stood a 9 year old gelded red roan paint QH. I was told the mount had come from New Mexico and had been on a cattle ranch near Moriarity. I was told the horse was broke. What my eyes saw brought tears. This horse was torn to pieces. He was ripped open at the girth and his hide was hanging, the hide was worn off his back the size of two silver dollars, his chin was ripped open from too tight a curb chain and inside his mouth his tongue was torn up and so was the interior of his mouth. Above the bridge of his nose, right between his eyes, he was opened up to the skull from someone hitting him with a 2X4. I was told the horse was for sale but someone else wanted to buy him. I wasn't ready to again own my own horse but after seeing this animals condition I bought him for $2,500. I attempted to train him myself utilizing tapes I bought from a currently famous horse trainer that is on RFDTV. Needless to say I could only get so far with his training. During that time I was bucked off, stomped, smashed, flipped, thrown and bitten. It got to the point where the animal refused to work and I considered selling him as I could do nothing with him. I stressed continually on what was the best course of action to take with him. I soon realized that I would get nowhere contacting more yuppie horse people for help with him. What I needed was a cowboy to help............................................................. "A Cowboy?". What was a cowboy? Where did they live? Did they really exist in this day and age? If they did, what would they know? I can tell you friends I went on a three month search to find answers to those very questions. This is what I found! Twister Heller is the real McCoy. He is as hard as woodpecker lips! He lives on his ranch, the 5N, near Congress, Arizona. He has been a cowboy all of his life and has trained horses since he was a little tyke in a cow camp. His lovely wife Sandy and his tough as nails son help run the ranch and train the horses. They are real, they are old school and they know horses! My horse and I have become very close to the Heller's. To me they are extended family and the 5N is a second home to me. My horse and I have ridden the trails, helped gather, drive and brand cattle, have received training that is second to none! I learned to build and mend fence. I was taught proper rein control, pressure and release, how to properly ride western style, how to climb steep hills, how to lead a packing horse, how to ride through boulder fields, posting, how to use the round pen and arena correctly, how to cut, how to read a cow, how to horse shoe and on and on! The proudest day of my life was this previous spring when I went with Twister south of the ranch. We were looking for cows that had gotten out. I found them and Twister told me what to do to get them moving. We got them back to the ranch and Twister turned to me and said, "Now your a Cowboy!" That meant more to me then any of the medals I earned in the Marine Corps. Anyone that wants to really learn should go to the 5N and undergo People Training!!!!!!! Stay for at least a month and longer if at all possible, you won't be sorry. I can assure you that you will cry when you leave. Twister and his family are the most honest, god serving folks it has been my honor to ever know. I have met some of their friends, real people like Steven, a working cowboy and his lovely wife Tina and child. I met the always energy driven Debbie! I met Mr. Thompson, helped with his ranch and cattle as well. I have even met the famous and hilarious Dr. Don! I have become friends with Twister's son Jud and his wife. Not a day goes by when I don't think of them all and how they are doing. If it wasn't for Twister, his family and his friends, I probably would have thrown in the towel on my horse years ago. You want to learn? You will if you go to the 5N!!!
Disclaimer For Student & Trainers:Equine training can be a hazardous activity which may subject the participants to possible serious injury. Twister Heller, Sandy Heller and their associates will not assume any liability for your activities. Our schooling provides you with a supervised, professional approach ranging from general information to advanced information, instruction and techniques that may not be suitable for everyone. No warranty is given regarding the suitability of this information, the instructions, and techniques to you or other individuals acting on their own behalf.