Get-it-done Horsemanship: Effective or abusive?

Get-it-done Horsemanship: Effective or abusive?

I remember the moment as clear as day. It is that powerful a memory in a brain that doesn’t hold onto many (I always say my brain does regular clear outs of information it deems unimportant).

I’m fourteen or fifteen and I’m riding a lesson horse in a ring. We’re jumping, or we’re trying to. It’s not going well. My instructor is screaming at me. Screaming. My horse is, looking back in reflection (hindsight is indeed 20/20), terrified. He has refused a jump, more than likely because he’s scared of it. My instructor is screaming this at me over and over. “Get it done!” and “Don’t let him get away with it.” Eventually, with much kicking and whipping, he carried his terrified self and mine over the jump. Our heart rates were both racing. We were both scared, bordering on traumatized. Both in a place where we are unable to think or be effective in any way.

My horse has chakras? And how to balance these key energy centres that you just found out about….

My horse has chakras? And how to balance these key energy centres that you just found out about….

To be sure, energy is a big part of my life. Everyday I work with it with horses and other animals as a part of my job.

But the truth is that energy is a big part of everyone’s life, whether you work consciously with it or not. Energy makes up everything that is us, or our horses, or the food that we all eat. In fact it is the very essence of each cell of every animate object and each particle of every inanimate object. Energy flows and moves in different frequencies and makes up our blood, bones, muscles and organs. It is the composer who miraculously creates harmony in our thousands of bodily processes. The fact that to the majority, this energy is intangible, does not mean that it doesn’t exist. We can feel it if we stand in the middle of a crowded city, or if we stand at the edge of a peaceful forest. Most importantly, we can feel it with our horses.

A Candid Guide to Emotional Equilibrium for Highly Sensitive People and the ones that love them

A Candid Guide to Emotional Equilibrium for Highly Sensitive People and the ones that love them

Years ago, when my mom attempted to give me the book The Highly Sensitive Person, I distinctly remember the feeling. I felt insulted, slighted and not in the least bit grateful. “I am not highly sensitive!” I declared with fervour and perhaps, although I seem to have repressed this particular memory, a small temper tantrum. This type of passion, I now realize, is generally only reserved for things that really sting because we know in our heart of hearts that they are true. Which was precisely the case in this situation. At the time I viewed being highly sensitive as something to be avoided at all costs. It was like admitting I was weak, emotionally immature, out of control even. And after spending a good chunk of my existence as a tomboy, over-achiever, control freak, goodie two shoes and not necessarily in that order, that pill seemed nearly impossible to swallow. It took me years after this passion-charged moment to understand/admit that this quality embraced is actually my superpower, amplifying my intuition, enhancing my ability to communicate non-verbally with animals, powering up my empathy and allowing me to walk into a room and read an entire crowd merely through feel.

10 awesome reasons to learn Animal Communication (and they’re not what you think!)

10 awesome reasons to learn Animal Communication (and they’re not what you think!)

So, first, let’s take all of this down to it’s foundation. What is this animal communication thing so many people are talking about? Does it work? And how is it helpful? Here to help me explain and to share her top ten awesome reasons to learn animal communication is my dear friend and animal communicator extraordinaire Laura Bird.

Thanks Alexa. People are animals too! Before we got all caught up in our superiority and technology we too had to listen to the Earth, Animals and natural cycles to survive. This natural instinct or intuition is the place where animal communication happens and it’s a part of our brain that most of us don’t exercise in our busy modern lives so it atrophies. It can however be re-awakened and strengthened again and most people have the distinct feeling of remembering how to listen rather than learning.

The Whole Horse Apprenticeship

The Whole Horse Apprenticeship

Over the last twelve years as an Equine Sport Therapist, I’ve spent the better part of my time diving into what makes the best horse-human relationships tick and how to help horse women everywhere cultivate this kind of stunning connection with their horses. A connection based on trust, communication and relaxation, where the horses are balanced, healthy, willing and full of life, and the rider is intuitive, trusting and having an awesome time.

You might get glimpses of this garden of Eden in equine form, but does it stay? Can you maintain it?

Speaking from personal experience, there are countless factors involved in creating a horse-human partnership that is beautifully harmonious, a dance. My mare Diva and I fought for a good long while at the beginning of our relationship, with tiny glimpses of relaxation and harmony, and you know what? A lot of the time it sucked – I spent a whole lot of time questioning myself, my methods and what I was doing there in the first place. And then, with a whole lot of work and learning, we found our groove and remain besties in and out of the saddle to this day.

Heading down under… A candid look at life, death, and a trip into the unknown

Heading down under… A candid look at life, death, and a trip into the unknown

In a little less than a month, I board the ridiculously long flight to the big down under. Today, I bought one of those airplane pillows and a very grown up but still cool carry on bag and thought, holy crap this is trip is real. It’s really happening. And by it I mean this: My first time in New Zealand and Australia (a dream come true!), the southern hemisphere launch of my first just-me book, a straight up guide to navigating your pet’s final transition, a first for a brand new 2-day offering – Death Sucks – an essential workshop for animal lovers to cultivate the skills to move through this inevitable transition with their animals as gracefully as humanly possible, a first for a master class with One Spirit’s Laura Bird for animal professionals and practitioners to support those who midwife this powerful and challenging transition.