Dearest horse lover,
Over the past thirteen years I’ve worked with thousands of women and their horses.
And many times, their horse was challenging them in a way that was preventing them from moving forward as they desire, into the show ring, onto the trail or even into a sense of connection and relationship.
Their horses are tense, imbalanced, resistant, uncomfortable, disconnected and stressed, and their person feels powerless to help them. Both rider and horse are left feeling frustrated, confused and even resentful, and we are often left wondering if it’s all really worth the struggle, the time, the energy and the money.
I’ve been in this place, brought to tears by the struggle with my horse and not knowing how to move forward, employing my out-dated horsemanship tools with no success, jumping from trainer to trainer and creating progressively more resistance and unhappiness in my horse.
Yes, realizing that this dream you had been working towards for years is not exactly the relaxing, joyous ride you imagined can be a hard pill to swallow.
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 harmonious, one that feels like a dance. My mare Diva and I were in conflict far more than I would like to admit at the beginning of our relationship, with tiny fleeting glimpses of relaxation and harmony, and you know what? I spent a great deal of time questioning myself, my methods and what I was doing there in the first place. And then, with a lot of heart-centred work, learning and humility, we found our groove and remain besties in and out of the saddle to this day.
The great news is, that just like Diva and I, there is hope and lots of it. We live at an amazing time, a time where the tools, strategies and skills you need to create the kind of horse-human partnership you dream of are in existence and just waiting to be learned.
My aim in the Apprenticeship is to distill the past thirteen years of my first hand learning and growth (and of course, my countless mistakes) from working with my own horse and helping my clients and infuse it into eight transformative months.
I’m delighted you’re here, curious about the potential of your relationship with horses. November 15th, 2016 marks the completion of the very first Whole Horse Apprenticeship. It was a bit of an experiment, and I am happy to share that it was a great success! This past eight months have been some of the most transformational of my life and I was joined on the ride by six horse lovers from all over the world and their horses.
My plan is for this 8-month journey to be a yearly event, hence, you arriving here now to find out more and decide if you and your horse (and if you don’t have one of your own, that’s awesome too), want to join us starting March of 2017…
Many of you may have already worked with me, or I’ve worked with your horse, or you’ve read my stuff or you know me from somewhere. That’s awesome.
If you don’t know me from a hole in the wall, you will soon realize that I’m a little, well, unorthodox. I’m rather goofy, a little/a lot woo-woo, I love depth and I like swearing a lot.
But more than anything, I love horses and the exploration of the connection between horses and their people. And over the last thirteen 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 (and men) cultivate the kind of stunning connection with their horses that they have been dreaming of.
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.
Do you ever find yourself wondering…
- if your horse is as healthy and vital as they could be?
- if you are doing everything you can to prevent lameness, colic, and other metabolic disorders?
- if your saddle is fitting, hooves are balanced and your horse is comfortable and pain-free?
- if you are as balanced, centred and strong as possible in the saddle both physically and emotionally?
- if your horse sees you as a confident and trustworthy leader?
- if your horse is happy in their current environment and with their current work?
- how you and your horse can feel more safe, comfortable and relaxed under saddle?
- how you’re going to deal with your horse’s inevitable final transition?
- why your horse is in your life and what they might have to teach you?
- why you are being challenged by your horse and how to move through it?
- what the more “spiritual” nature of your relationship is, and how to find out?
If you answered yes to a good number of the questions above, it would seem you’re in the right place!
I’d love to invite you to join me for the Whole Horse 8-month apprenticeship, an incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in an exploration of all of the aspects of the horse-human relationship with a small group of dedicated horse women just like you.
How does it work?
We’ll spend four 3-day in-person retreats together here with the herd at Firefly Farm in the Cowichan Valley (plus a bonus 2-day intensive with me giving you the tools to more gracefully navigate the inevitable final transition of your animals) – this is a chance to deep dive into a fascinating, holistic and collaboration-rich curriculum that will powerfully strengthen you as a partner, friend, healer and leader for your horse.
A large part of the course content will be fully accessible online: 4 online courses from myself and other guest experts, 12 pre-recorded webinars with expert instructors, 4 live webinars with special guests, 4 webinars with yours truly at the start of each of the four modules, unlimited email access to me for questions and support, weekly emails with information and inspiration, 2 1-on-1 Skype Energy Work Sessions for you and your horse and much more.
This immersion is designed so that horse women (and men) can join us from around the world: an opportunity to feel more centred, more peaceful and more alive both in and out of the saddle, than ever before.
The Firefly Farm Retreats
- March 24-26th: Discovering the Physical
- June 9-11th: Exploring the Energetic.
- August 18-20th: Unpacking the Emotional.
- October 13-15th: Unlocking the Spiritual
So, let me cut to the chase. In eight months of working together I have three goals for you.
Goal #1: a healthy, content horse who is happy in their environment, in their job, and in their connection to you, and is open to expressing their needs through healthy and clear communication.
Goal #2: a relaxed, effective rider (that would be you!) who has the tools, presence, awareness and understanding to work effectively with whatever comes up in the moment, from a slight physical issue to a behavioural challenge to an emergency situation.
Goal #3: a communication-rich, loving relationship. One in which both your horse and you feel able to express, to grow and to open up into your incredible potential in the saddle, on the ground and in the world.
From start to finish, this eight-month immersion takes you through a powerful journey to achieve these goals and many more. Because we’ll be expanding what you believed to be possible and letting the horses do the teaching, all while discovering and growing your own gifts, strength, confidence and innate value.
This apprenticeship is a great fit for you if…
- your relationship with your horse(s) is one of the most important in your life.
- you are fascinated by this partnership. It’s a source of deep joy and fulfillment and sometimes, frustration, grief, and confusion.
- you are on a seemingly constant search for understanding about why you are drawn to horses in the first place and why you found yourself in relationship with a particular one. You’re constantly wondering about how to be a better and more helpful horse person.
- You get the concept of heart horse and medicine horse and are excited to learn more.
- you would love to experience a more relaxed and connected relationship with your horse
- you aspire to feel more like a centaur – centred and deeply connected to your horse.
- you are drawn to all things spiritual and connecting, you love exploring your woo-woo side!
I’ve called this 8-month experience the Whole Horse Apprenticeship for a few very important reasons.
After twelve fascinating years with my mare Diva, I have realized that there are several, often overlooked, components of the horse-human relationship that are essential to its success.
The first component is our understanding of relationships as a whole.
When we initially arrive at the front door of our obsession with horses, we really have no clue what we’re in for, as is the case with all of our relationships. There is an expectation of perfection often, thankfully paired with a deep love and longing that we don’t really understand, but, that keeps us engaged long after our dream of having the perfect horse has fallen away.
Very often in relationship, we long to be completed, for something or someone to make up for our perceived failings. In such a relationship, disappointment is unavoidable and resentment is guaranteed – we are always keeping score. Wholeness is the experience in relationship where both parties come to the relationship knowing themselves – there is nothing to complete. This is our aim with our time together – to move yourself, your horse and your relationship with each other towards this experience of wholeness and interdependence, rather than co-dependence.
What does this look like on the practical level?
A healthy, content horse, a relaxed, effective rider, a communication-rich, loving relationship. More connection than you can even imagine in this moment.
The second component, is the understanding that everything is connected, and the exploration of how.
We begin to understand how everything works together as a whole and how it can work even better. Throughout our time together we’ll be addressing the inter-connection between…
- the many aspects of the extensive structural system (bones, muscles, fascia and more) and how to work effectively with these components to promote circulation, range of movement and comfort.
- the unique and connected internal systems that determine the well-being of our horses and ourselves and how to easily discover and correct imbalances and maintain harmony.
- the cycles of the elements and the meridians, and how they relate to each other, the physical system and to overall well-being.
- the chakra systems of the body and the areas that the harmony of each individual chakra affects, including endocrine glands, emotional well-being, depth of connection and energy levels.
- your horse and you, and the many undiscovered and awe-inspiring levels of this relationship.
And the final component of wholeness is support and collaboration – and in this immersion you will have it in spades. Including more than 20 of my mentors, colleagues and friends as expert instructors helping to make this experience one of a kind…
Twenty More Reasons to take part…
I am bringing together more than seventeen of my mentors, esteemed colleagues and dear friends to share their understanding and wisdom.
They’ll be sharing both live at the retreats and online via both pre-recorded and live webinar about equine health and well-being, rider awareness, fitness and balance, hoof balance, saddle fit, body work techniques, aromatherapy, vibrational remedies 5 element theory, conscious horsemanship, Emotional Freedom Technique, animal communication, meditation, chakras, heart connection, grief work, spirit animals and much more. These amazing teachers will be joining us during the in-person retreats and on pre-recorded/live webinars throughout our 8 months togethers (all will be available via replay). I will be releasing much more about each of them and what they will be sharing as we come closer to our time together.
It’ll look a little like this…
- 12 pre-recorded webinars (60min) with Guest Experts from around the world made available to you throughout the modules. Watch the sample webinar with Lily Fawn above to get an idea of the format!
- 4 live webinars (60min) with Guest Experts (one per module) – with Animal Translator Laura Bird, Straightness Expert Lucie Klassen and two to be determined.
- 4 live webinars (45min) with Alexa (introducing and mapping out each module)
- 2-3 Guest Expert Workshops at each WHA retreat with Herbalist Lily Fawn, Biomechanics and Western Equitation Specialist Trish Hyatt, Liberty and Straightness Specialist Heather Nelson, Equine Therapist Breanne Ellison, Stefanie Travers, Riding Instructor Lesley Young, Life Coach Cheryl Hughes and more.
- 2 Guest Expert Online Courses (and two of my own!) from Bradley Morris and Christy Greenwood
Pre-recorded Webinars with:
- Janelle Lukan of Natural Balance Equine Therapy teaching on aromatherapy
- Shelley Poovey of Body Attune Wellness teaching on heart connection
- Catherine Albertson of Through Their Eyes teaching animal communication
- Heather Nelson of Liberty Horse Training teaching on straightness and work at liberty
- Sara Fancy of Silver Horse Retreat
- Sabina Pettitt of Pacific Essences teaching about vibrational remedies and the five-element theory
- Celeste Morris of CelesteMorris.com teaching on grief
- Sandra Wallin of Chiron’s Way Equine Guided Development
- Diana Lynn Beatty of DianaLynnMediumship teaching on connecting to our animals
- Lily Fawn
- Laura Bird
- Heather Nelson
Webinar with Lily Fawn
Here’s a recap of what’s included in the Whole Horse Apprenticeship…
- Four 3-day in-person retreats with amazing guest experts, Alexa and the herd at Firefly Farm in the Cowichan Valley (value $3000)
- A bonus 2-day intensive with me giving you the tools to more gracefully navigate the inevitable final transition of your animals (value $400)
- A Hoof care and Horsemanship intensive with Stefanie Travers (value $250)
- 4 online courses from myself and other guest experts (one for each module) (value $450)
- 12 pre-recorded webinars with expert instructors (priceless!)
- 4 live webinars with special guests (one each module)
- 4 webinars with yours truly at the start of each of the four modules
- unlimited email access to me for questions and support
- weekly emails with information and inspiration
- two 1-on-1 Skype Energy Work Sessions for you and your horse and much more (value $220)
- A full program manual (value $75)
- A beautiful Way of the Horse journal (value $30)
- and much more!
Does this feel like a fit for you?
If it does, I’d love you (and your horse) to join me starting March 15, 2017. The short application form will give me a little more information about you, your relationship with horses, and your motivation for being a part of the Whole Horse apprenticeship. It will also allow you to check off one of four payment options (or other) – it is my goal to make being a part of this immersion as accessible as possible. Once your application is complete, we’ll connect and get you fully registered and started on the journey.
A few other essential things…
- While I am bringing together the many pieces of our eight months together, I am also mapping out a Holistic Equine Therapy Certification Program for 2018, with a focus on holistic, integrative and lasting rehabilitation for horses. The Whole Horse Apprenticeship is the pre-requisite for this powerful and unique certification program.
- As a bonus during our time together, you will have the opportunity to partake in several additional and related workshops in the Cowichan Valley with esteemed colleagues for a reduced Apprenticeship (you’re a VIP!) rate.
- My intention is to make this course as accessible as possible – meaning I am open to creative payment options and strategies. Just ask and we’ll figure it out! A creative payment strategy was exactly how I managed to pay my way through Equine Therapy School and I want to pass that kindness forward.
- There are just 8 spaces available for the Apprenticeship – I like to keep the group small so that everyone gets their needs met and we have lots of time for questions, queries and wonderful tangents. Once these spaces are spoken for, I will open up a limited number of seats for the online-only version of the Apprenticeship.
- If you sign up and then it realize, this is not right for me, I offer a full refund up until 4 weeks before we begin (Feb 15th, 2017). After that, I can refund everything but $200 (because I’ve spent that on your manual and materials). Sound good?
- If you are going to come, I want you to be pumped about it and have the clarity you need to make your decision – hence the application and a conversation and lots of time to think on it. I want a group of passionate horse lovers who are ready to dive deep, support each other and build connections that go beyond what we ever thought possible.
Yes, this is our second year together! Which means a few things…
- The in-person group will be small and intimate. Eight max. If this fills, I will be offering an online-only version of the course.
- There will be a lot of one-on-one time with Alexa including unlimited phone and email access (or if you live close-by you can come by for tea) for questions.
- You will be a guinea pig, meaning you get to chart the course for many years to come, offer feedback and generally be a pioneer on the cutting edge. Yes, there will be hiccups here and there, but we’ll work them out together. But, since we’re in our second year, many of the wrinkles are ironed out and I know now that this course rocks!
- The investment will probably never be this low again.
- I’ve stuffed a ridiculous amount into this. I have a habit of this. Someday I will probably heal the over-compensator/giver in me and trim it way down. But for now, it is stuffed full of so much goodness it’s hard to even tell you about it all. I’ve put even more in than the first year…even though I tried not to.
- I love magic. And magic will happen in our 8 months together. If you’re not really into magical times and cool and out-there stuff happening with horses, this experience is probably not for you. It’s gonna get woo-woo!
Do I need a horse to participate?
No, happily you don’t. Any one who loves horses and wants to build their connection with them can participate, whether you’re just starting down the path or you’re a seasoned expert. Everyone will learn and grow and there will be lots of horses, including my mare Diva, for you to try out your new skills with. We will be bringing in participants horses for the retreats as well (so if you have a horse you want to try things out on, you will be able to do that as well). All in all, lots of hands-on horse time!
Does this lead to anything else?
Yes, actually. I am in the midst of creating an 8-month certification program to begin in March 2018 with the help of One Spirit’s Laura Bird. Pretty exciting stuff! At this point I am calling it a Holistic Equine Rehabilitation Specialist Certification, but that could very well change between here and there. It will be focused on integrative and wholeness-focused rehabilitation and re-balancing for horses and horse-human partnerships with a strong focus on energy medicine. This 8-month Apprenticeship will be a pre-requisite to enter the certification program.
When do I pay by and what about refunds?
Great question. In order to run this program viably I need at least 3 people registered and committed with deposits paid by Feb 1, 2016. We can work out the remainder of the payments (if you’re paying in payments) from there. When it comes to refunds, here’s how it works. If, for some reason, you need to back out between Feb 15th our March 15th start date, you will receive all but $200 of your payment back including deposit (I do this because I will have printed manuals and purchased e-courses at this point). Before Feb 15th you’ll receive a full refund. Once the course begins on March 15th, you’re in it to win it (barring unforseen circumstances). Cool?