RAINMAKERS GENERAL LEE
Color/Sex: Palomino Gelding
Date foaled: May 19, 2008, in Dear Park, WA
Boarded at KEC since June 1, 2017
Owner: Diana M. Nisbet
Occupation: Territory Manager for Syngenta
responsible for the Ornamental business in California.
Our featured horse this month is a yankee doodle dandy, and flashy as fireworks! This copper Casanova is a head-turning standout in any crowd, and he and owner, Diana, have been wonderful additions to the KEC family.
Diana’s love for farming and ranching led to an ideal career as a licensed Pest Control Advisor since 1975. Her current field of expertise is the production of commercial ornamental flowers, bulbs, and trees throughout the West. She is a fourth generation California farmer and has represented agriculture throughout the USA. It has been her honor and privilege to have been interviewed by and delivered speeches for audiences as large as 1200, testifying on behalf of agriculture and the USFS, as well as numerous television shows. Diana is passionate about agriculture, our heritage, and providing the most abundant and nutritious food supply in the world.
Her love for horses truly was inherited; her entire family has a multi-generational history with horses. Her grandfather put her on a horse when she was 2 years old, and the rest, as they say, is history. In his day, her grandfather was known for the fine horses that he rode and used in the farming operation. Diana’s love for all things horse grew through 4-H and years of competition. Her first horse was an American Saddlebred, and she has had the privilege of having many outstanding equine partners throughout her riding career.
As anyone who loves and works with horses knows, the journey can be hazardous. The joy and sense of accomplishment is often punctuated with adversity, and Diana’s story is no different. A few years prior to getting Trigger, she was transitioning from showing Working Hunters competitively to seeking a pleasure horse. While “test-driving” a horse, Diana was launched 15’ in the air, ending up with both wrists shattered along with her confidence
It took about a year to physically heal and Diana resumed her search for another horse, when she found a nice quarter horse named Mo. Someone suggested to Diana that she participate in a Buck Brannaman clinic to help with the residual fear she was harboring from her accident, so off she went to Red Bluff to ride in her first clinic with this famous horseman. Right out of the box, Mo was quite a handful. Buck suggested that his helper work with Mo, and thus began her journey with Horsemanship and this wonderful community of like-minded people. Her quest was to learn how to give the horse the “good deal”, as Buck calls it, and learn as a human how to support and partner with your horse. Diana and Mo worked very hard that year, and enjoyed a reunion with Buck in Red Bluff the following year.
Two weeks after Buck’s Red Bluff clinic, Diana and Mo were all set to ride with Buck again in Reno, NV. Tragically, during a turnout the night before they were to leave, Mo hit his head and had to be put down. Once again, Diana had to steel herself up and continue her journey. She went to the clinic without Mo, where Buck wisely reminded her that she now had this wonderful community of horsemen and women to help her. And they did.
Diana looked all over the West for a new mount. The search took her through Montana, Idaho, South Dakota, Oregon, Washington and California. It was an unforgettable journey where Diana was grateful for the daily help of Dana Gilman, Tina Cornish and many others as she sought just the right equine partner. Eventually, that search led to Trigger, and Diana knew instantly that she had finally found "The One."
Trigger is a special one indeed, and he came into Diana’s life at the perfect time. She found him in Nicasio, CA, under the tutelage of Shamrock Gregory. He had been foaled in Washington and made his way to this wonderful family in the Bay Area. He was young, and Shamrock took him to as many quality Horsemanship events she could find. As a result, Trigger has experience in Cowboy Dressage, Cow Working Clinics, Mountain Trail, pleasure riding and has even been used in real estate ads.
Diana and Trigger continue to ride with Buck Brannaman, seeking to learn the Vaquero style of horsemanship fostered originally by Ray Hunt and Tom and Bill Dorrance from the early years. Though Buck remains Diana’s most admired trainer, her riding has also been influenced by George Morris, Gabe Belluomini, and Foxfield, among others, including KEC’s own Samantha Hollinger.
“My daily rock of support continues to be Samantha Hollinger for my Trigger and me. I couldn’t do all I do without her! My dream is to be able to make Trigger into a bridle horse and be an asset when gathering, doctoring and just enjoying the landscape of a cattle operation.”
Diana and Trigger can be found working in one of KECs arenas most any day Diana is not traveling for her job. Many boarders and visitors to KEC are inspired by Diana's courage and dedication to overcoming obstacles, and honing their skills in pursuit of closer partnership. We can't wait to see what's next for this pair....