Although he looked like the "cowboy next door", Tom's been profiled in 
People magazine and has been called the "patron saint of horses" by the New York Times.  Horse owners from around the world have looked to Tom for his kinder, gentler, much-proven technique of training horses.  

Tom has been referred to as the 'horse's lawyer".  He gives the horse credit for his knowledge of a horse's feelings and problems.  

He says, "What I know about the horse, I learned from the horse."


Tom in his 80's on a 3-year-old filly with dog Flipper.

Born in 1910, he grew up in the northeast corner of Oregon, fifty miles from the nearest town. For over fifty years, farming and ranch work filled his life: “I never did consider myself a horse trainer and I still don’t. I just grew up with cattle and horses. I spent a lot of time alone with them and when I was alone, that was when I learned a lot of things. If I made a mistake, there wasn’t somebody to clean up after me. It was important that I get the job done.”

This maxim is the same that has spilled over into Toms’ work with other people. On the surface it would appear that he has no interest in promoting his views or ideas to future generations of horse people. However, I believe that is too simplistic a view. We are such a goal-oriented society that it is sometimes hard to see the wood for the trees. When Tom says:” I’m just living.If anybody gets any good out of it, that’s great. I don’t want to force it on others. I don’t work with a horse that way and I don’t work with people that way.” This quote alone speaks volumes about the manner in which Tom Dorrance approaches life.   (excerpt from A Tribute to Tom Dorrance by John Saint Ryan)  

Tom and Billy Van Norman.  Tom was helping Billy with getting in time with the horses feet!  Notice the horses feet are in 'time'.  (photo courtesy of Allan Cameron)


Willing Communication between horse and human
The thing you are trying to help the horse do is to use his own mind.  You are trying to present something and then let him figure out how to get there. - TD

Loading a young mare that had a loading problem.  Tom was able to send this mare in the trailer with the rope over her back from about 40 feet away.  - MD

First published in 1987, Tom Dorrance's book, True Unity, has become a classic to be read again and again.  True Unity introduces you to the idea of approaching the horse with a feeling of acceptance for the whole horse, which is how Tom sees and feels the horse. 

"What I know about the horse," says Tom, "I learned from the horse."  Reading True Unity is like a visit with Tom, you come away thinking on ways to improve your relationship with the horse.

Each stamp autographed copy of the book True Unity comes with a small booklet called "The Collection", which is a group of Tom's favorite poems an sayings.  Among these are: 


"The Master"
"The Man in the Glass"
"Down Memory's Lane with You"
"Slicker Break a Bronco"
  and several more!





 An abridgement of True Unity by Tom Dorrance
read by john saint ryan


1)     getting it together
2)     feel the whole horse
3)     responsive and right on
4)     approach and unity
5)     emphasizing some vital concepts

disc two

6)     learning to do less to get more (Part 1)
7)     learning to do less to get more (part 2)
8)     poem:  "the Master"

You're invited to Join Facebook page: Tom Dorrance Books and DVDs

The This book is a collection of essays and stories, which not only reflect the admiration and respect for Tom Dorrance, but also give clues and direction to the many people who really want to develop their horsemanship skills.

You will find knowledgeable horse people from many disciplines and a wide variety of experience sharing their ‘aha’ moments. Talking about how, despite many a struggle, with Toms’ guidance and with their own practice and determination, they could make incredible breakthroughs in understanding and communication with the horse.

Tom was very protective of his work, his way with horses. This was not from a selfish point of view. He wanted a person to get it right. He didn’t want the horse to suffer because of any misunderstanding and so he tried to help anyone he could and he would encourage you to observe and compare. If you were prepared to work at things he was always there for you.

We want to extend our gratitude to all the contributors to this book. This has been a labor of love and a personal dream for us to collate all these stories and anecdotes that go to show the real Tom Dorrance, More than a Horseman.

We truly believe that the contents of this book will help a person not only with their horses but also with their life.

- Margaret Dorrance and John Saint Ryan