"These are certainly trying times. As we emerge cautiously from a Pandemic, there is more uncertainty as Ukraine literally fights for its life. I suggest to you that animals truly are more than our companions, they can be a very vital source of peace for humans. I can't think of a better way to put this across, than to quote from - Kinship With All Life, by J. Allen Boone. Some of you may know how I came upon this book. It was quite amazing. I was in a very crammed, musty smelling bookstore in Hawaii in 2012. I needed a book to shade my eyes while I sat on the beach, or something to settle my mind to relaxing. I wasn't finding much of interest when a book fell from an upper shelf, 3 rows up, certainly out of my reach. Kinship With All Life fell into my hands. It set me on a magical track of learning how intuitive animals really are and how important they are in our lives. It was written in 1954, but it could have been written today, as you will soon see.
"As we live through these kaleidoscopic days when confusion, distrust, conflict and misery are so common everywhere, it is revealing to note that more and more people are finding reassurance and peace of mind in companionship beyond the boundaries of humanity. They are making friends not only with such conventional favorites as dogs, horses, cats and birds, but with wild animals, snakes and insects.
Men and women everywhere are being made acutely aware of the fact that something essential to life and well-being is flickering very low in the human species and threatening to go out entirely. This "something" has to do with such values as love...unselfishness...integrity...sincerity...loyalty to one's best...honesty...enthusiasm...humility...goodness...happiness...fun. Practically every animal still has these assets in abundance and is eager to share them, given opportunity and encouragement.
In this connection it is interesting to recall that people of certain ancient times appear to have been great virtuosos in the art of living , particularly skilled in the delicate science of being in right relations with everything, including animals. These people recognized the inseparable unity of Creator and creation. They were able to blend themselves wit the universal Presence, Power and Purpose that is forever moving back of all things, in all things, and through all things. Life to these ancients was an all-inclusive kinship in which nothing was meaningless, nothing unimportant, and from which nothing could be excluded. They refused to make any separating barriers between mineral and vegetable, between vegetable and man, or between man and the great Primal Cause which animates and governs all things. Every living thing was seen as a partner in a universal enterprise. Each had an individual contribution to make to the general good which it, and it alone, could supply. Everything lived for everything else, at all times and under all circumstances.
Those were days when "the whole earth was of one language and speech...and all was one grand concord." Humans, animals, snakes, birds, insects-all shared a common language. By means of this language all were able to express their thoughts and feelings freely on matters of mutual interest. Evidently this was so simple and natural a part of everyday living as not to need explaining any more than breathing. However one may regard this ancient relationship phenomena, there is evidence that at one time on earth every living thing was able to be in rational correspondence with everything else. Humans and animals moved in full accord not only with one another but with the cosmic Plan as well.
Can we "modern humans" recapture this seemingly lost universal language? Can we by means of it learn to move in genuine good fellowship not only with members of our own species but with other creatures? I believe that we can."
And so do I. Sixty-eight years later, I think there is still hope that we can live in peace with one another, and with all the animals of earth. Let them teach us how. I hope you consider letting this book fall into your hands, it may also bring you a step or two closer to peace through animals.
When I started to learn about visualization, I knew it held yet another key in my quest of finding peaceful horsemanship. It was back in the 90's when Liz Graves, a gaited horse trainer, clinican and judge came to my Seasons Ranch to give a clinic. I never thought that you could imagine a thing and it would happen. We used to call that wishful thinking. Liz had us using thought focused riding to get where we want to go. It worked. Was it magic? If it was, I wanted to learn how to bring that into my entire life. I began to read books by Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer and the like. I started to believe in magic.
I knew that if you put your mind to doing something, it took a lot of hope, though, hard work and some good luck. But was something else at work? It seems the universe was conspiring with you to succeed.
It is said that everything your heart truly wants must come to you. Imagine. Every moment is a moment of creation and the world is truly our oyster. We don't need to crudely pry it open, it can open for us with the right mind set.
I learned the technique of visualizion is projecting your thoughts, using your imagination to create that which you desire. Apparently we use it all day long. So, it's simply a matter of creating a mental picture, or the feeling of something. This certainly sounded like a force I wanted to harness.
Interestingly, you don't have to believe in metaphysical or spiritual ideals. Although you would be best served to keep an open mind and heart about these concepts. What you do need is a desire to expand your knowledge and experience, in whatever you want to achieve.
So it seems visualizion IS magic of the true meaning of the word. Aligning yourself with a belief in the wonders of the universe, and having a spirit that drives you to explore life's possibilities can create every day miracles. They await in the scope of your pheriferal vision.
How does it work? The simple answer is energetic forces are at work every second in our universe. We are pure energy. We interact with energy forces all the time. Thoughts and feelings have magnetic energy. One energy law is that energy of similar quality and vibration attract each other. Imagine a heat seeking missile, but with a symbiotic purpose. That force has kept pulling me into that quantum field of discovery.
It brought me to the Trust Technique, where we learn how to use that energy field of thought and feelings to open pathways of communication to connect with our animals. We can then project a feeling of peace, safety, trust and confidence. I think the animals have long been waiting for us to "come to our senses".
If you combine that free flow of communication with projected thought, or visualization, anything is possible. Instead of trying to "make" our horses do our bidding, we become equally sentient partners. The thought becomes the ask, the conversation has two parties, equally imagining a good outcome of the adventure you are wanting to share with your horse. Just imagine that!
If you and your horse (or any animal) need to open the communication lines, and project better outcomes, well, it's all out there in the quantum field waiting for you.
You are invited to come explore these concepts in my Trust and Freedom Horsemanship lessons and clinics. I have a spring online clinic from April to June where you discover your ability to connect on a feeling and thought level, then put that into a dynamic field of purpose in full cooperation and enjoyment. Private lessons and live clinics are coming up this summer as well. I look forward to taking you beyond your imaginings, into peaceful horsemanship.
Email for more information.
what is a soul horse?
A soul horse is the one horse (or more in a lifetime) that truly connects to your heart and mind. You might say it is an extension of you. You are lucky to have one show up. It might be the one that comes your way by unusual circumstances or a planned meeting. Maybe you just "came across them" in a pasture with no intention of adding a new horse to your herd. Maybe there is something else going on besides chance or luck that you two have intertwined your lives. Maybe they were meant to be with you. But why? It could it be there is a draw, an emotional or spiritual link. You were meant to meet, no matter under what circumstances. Your being, your essence, your spirit, has drawn them to you, you to them. You may have experienced similar situations in your lives. You may be drawn to fill a need in each other. It doesn't really matter. Here they are and they understand you, you understand them.
Have you had a horse where your heart and mind intertwine? Where you can literally read each others thoughts constantly? Where no matter what joys, trials or adventures you share, there is alway that sense of deep connection.
If you have had such a horse, it's a true blessing. They make your heart sing. Your closeness is akin to your best friend or loving partner. Yes, you can still have disagreements, just as in human relationships. Miscommunications at times, stubborness on either part, and different ideas. Yet, you come back together in love, respect and blissful joy.
I have been lucky to have one soul horse in my life. Don't get me wrong, I love ALL the horses that have been in my life. Still, there was something special in that black and white spotted, Tennessee Walking Horse weanling we named Spirit. I knew from the start. We were destined to meet. On our journey he taught me so much more than I ever taught him. He taught me more patience, more bravery, more compassion. I taught him people were ok, he could always express his feelings, and that I was perfectly fine with him directing me with his wisdom and keeping me safe. There was no smarter, playful, interesting, charming, regal, loving, kind and trust worthy equine I had known before or since. We were a match set.
Our path together went down many trails. He was an incredible trail horse and lesson horse for our years together. Sixteen beautiful years we had. He passed in 2013. I will miss him forever, like a life partner, a best friend. Our love is eternal.
I would love to hear stories of your soul horse(s). Please email them to me and I will gladly post in upcoming newsletters or blogs. These heart and soul horses are rare, if you haven't met one yet, I hope you will. You will know that pull of your heartstrings that will be ever connected.
He moved slowly, eyes fleatingly moving back and forth. Taking it all in. It was too different, too strange. So many new obstacles, noises and the wind carried smells he didn't understand. She was with him, just her, no one else. Where is my herd? Who's in charge? The wide eyes and rooted stance relayed a tension that permiated his entire body. This wasn't home.
I got a call from a client who adopted 2 horses this fall. They left their horse family and acres and acres of pasture to arrive at a small farm hours away. The horses had trouble adjusting. They didn't have their "support team". It was confusing and stressful. Great care was being given to them, but they were missing a feeling of safety and support of their family.There was no sence of peace, no comfort, no order. They needed help.
I could see the two horses as I drove up the winding driveway. They stood tucked into a corner of the pasture that faced the neighbours property. The neighbour with horses. They looked quite relaxed, taking comfort in the sight of the equines over the fence.
As the owner and I walked out to the pasture, the mare, a freindly gal, walked up to greet us. She liked people company, especially this lady, who she had met at her original home. They took to each other like long lost friends. When she met the mare, it was obvious she was accustomed to being in control in their group. The gelding honored her elevated position. Once he moved and were reduced to a herd of two, that all started to change.
Then a series of events that led to discomfort in their pasture, changed that dynamic. The gelding became very nervous, and he started to "rule the roost" and at times was aggressive with the mare. This, and the owner's worries about the two horses elevated anxiety , created an air of tension for both horses and the owner.
I was there to observe the situation and to see if I could bring peace to them with my Trust Technique knowledge.
The horses settled in a sheltered area and I began to relax, be still and get present with them. The mare easily slid into that peaceful atmosphere and relaxed.
The gelding moved his feet restlessly for a couple of moments. Then he too began to feel the lowering of thinking levels around him, and he began started to relax. I regarded him as his head dropped in little increments, releasing tension in his neck and head. His eyes drooped, he felt the sleepiness oozing into him, yet he struggled to stay awake...aware...alert, until he could not resist. He dozed. Body and mind at rest finally.
While I was regarding him, in between moments of being present, I felt a strong impression of his thoughts and feelings. His trauma of the move and an unnerving event in the pasture of a deer ripping through the fence has put him in "survival mode". In that state of mind, he knew he had to assert himself. So he took control of the herd. He had to, in his mind it was a matter of life or death. He didn't have a dam or sire to give him comfort and direct him to safety. It was up to him. I felt that message penetrate directly into my heart and soul. I knew he didn't want to be bossy, and assertive, it was exhausting and stressful. I could see by the way he soaked up the peace that he had not been able to rest completely for a long time. Now, with a confident leader in his presense nearby, he could. My calmness and getting present with him gave him the trust and confidence. He was able to hand over his leadership position temporarily and find some peace. Oh, how he needed that.
I showed the owner how to connect on that level, and with my coaching she was soon successful in helping him relax as well. She shared with me that as a beginner with horses she worried a lot about their care and welfare. She felt she wasn't always emotionally able to comfort and bring assurance to them. She was struggling with her own state of anxiety.
I explained the horses alway knew how she felt. They could feel her shift in feelings as she became more concerned and less confident. That flipped a switch in the gelding. He knew he needed to count on himself, and became a bit dominant with her. It was his way of directing her as well and stating his claim to the herd leadership role.
As we watched them relax, the owner was quite surprised to see how the gelding could slip into peacefulness so quickly in my presense. She had never witnessed him in that state of complete relaxation. I could see it helped her to know he was capable of releasing that tension. I assured her, that with practice, over time, they would both be on their way to a cooperative, peaceful relationship.
Interesting, isn't it? How our emotions are transmitted by our feelings to our animals. How they look to us for comfort and companionship in a way that allows them to feel safe, and be balanced in their heart and mind. The Trust Technique, sharing of peacefulness, empathy and compassion is a powerful tool to bring about a state of calmness, trust and cooperation.
It's very easy to judge an animal's behaviors as "bad" simply because we are confused as to why they act out or react the way they do. Most of the time, no...pretty much all of the time, unwanted behaviors are caused by fear. The gelding was in fear of being hurt or dying, just as our instincts of survival kick in to survive in very stressful situations. We need to bring balance and peace back into our loves. Animals want to leave peacefull as well. Horses have been hanging around with us for thousands of years. They empathize with us, we have struggled as well throughout history to survive. They know we can be good company. We can be there for each other.
So here we go...my book. I have just finished my first chapter, here is a look at it.
My whole life I have been raised by horses...emotionally and spiritually. They have given me confidence. You might say they gave me my first pair of wings.
I hope RAISED BY HORSES will lift you to new heights as well. I am writing to entertain and enlighten. To share knowledge and stories, to maybe give you wings as well. I hope to finish this book this winter and have it published in paperback in spring. I'll keep you posted and would love your feedback as first readers. Author - Barb Vince
Raised By Horses
How to grow a horse woman
They say that a journey takes a thousand steps, starting with your first step. My creating this book is the first step of sharing in writing my lifelong love of horses. I was raised with horses. I was given my first pony when I was 6 years old. His name was Buck. He was a rascal that lived up to his name. He taught me how to fall off carefully at every gait.
Then along came Champ, a tall thoroughbred, a retired racehorse. A gentle soul that gave me several years of trail riding adventures, most of them on my own. We would pick a direction and head out. One of our favorite spots was the Red River Floodway, which was under construction at the time. It was a great place to stretch out and enjoy gallops along the dikes. What fun! Another was a winding, forested trail along the Red River that was between our home and the Floodway. I would often have notebook and pencil along and stop to sit on a fallen log and write poetry while my gelding grazed. Once I decided to let him go home alone so I could just walk back on my own. You can imagine the bit of a stir that created when he arrived home without me!
Yes, I was raised with horses, but more importantly, I was raised BY horses. They were often my mentors and my best friends.
I was the last-born child in a family with 12 children on a small farm south of Winnipeg. Our parents ran a market gardening business. It was a busy household with lots of love, laughter, work, and noise. Being the youngest had its advantages and disadvantages of course. I was low on the totem pole of family position, which meant I was often ignored, or teased by the older ones. My older sisters played a part in my raising as well, while my parents worked in the gardens, or at our vegetable stands in Winnipeg. Being the last one to show up in the family held its rewards. As I grew up and the older ones moved out of the house, it left me finally in a position of importance. I was the last child they had at home, and really had their attention.
That extra attention was necessary, as by age 10 as I had begun a series of operations to correct my deformed left leg that was affected by polio when I was a toddler. The Shriner’s Hospital was my home for several months every year until I was 16 years old. My wonderful parents would visit me every day possible at the hospital. It was quite a change for a young girl. My deformity meant I had a very pronounced limp growing up as my left leg lagged in growth. Shriners was an OK place to be if you had to be in a hospital. There were activities and entertainment, and a lame version of school that was easy to take, especially laying down on a stretcher at times as they wheeled you into the classroom. I missed a lot of school. I spent weeks without being able to go outside. My time at home with my horses and in nature became even more precious.
A horse is a great confidant. A pasture is a world away from your worries, fears, and disappointments. I would spend hours hanging out with them, reading, writing, just enjoying being with them. They were my magic, my solace, my joy. They lifted my mood, listened to me, never judging. Taking me for who I was, simply their friend. I wasn’t a cripple to them, as I was in so many eyes of my peers and strangers.
In school I was never going to make the sports teams. Kids called me gimp, cripple.
That hurt. It was certainly my mother who was my backbone and inspiration. Her favorite saying was, “There is no such thing as can’t!” She taught all of us to strive to succeed in anything we did. If we fell off a horse, we got back on. If we failed grades in school, we tried harder. There was nothing she could not find a way to fix in our lives.
She fixed me with determination, hope and a belief in myself. Then she taught me how to ride. She raised me to love horses, like she did. We always had horses at our farm. Work horses, driving ponies and saddle horses.
At 6 years old, Buck gave me my first pair of wings. On a horse I was just like any other person. No limp or disabilities. I could jump, run fast, turn on a dime and climb hills easily. In my mind, there was nothing I couldn’t do on or with a horse. They became my mentors, friends, and in some sense my saviors.
As happens to many horse loving children, I grew up, move away from home, and no longer had time for my horse. I got married, had 2 children and life kept me busy for a few years. I would still longingly look at horses I passed by in the country on drives. I really missed them. At 35 I decided I had to have a horse again. Cherokee, a small appaloosa came into my life. I think he was a distant relative of Buck. He also knew how to bring me closer to the ground unexpectedly. He made me laugh a lot though. I took riding lessons for the first time in my life from an instructor and sent my pony to a trainer for refinement. Well, more to decrease his bucking and increase his tolerance of me sitting on him. We had several years of fun and adventure.
I boarded him at a large equestrian facility a few miles from home. It was filled with mostly thoroughbreds, and nary a western saddle in sight. In fact, I was the only rider with one. Here we go…an oddball again. Well, firmly feeling confidence and trusting my pony now, we did miles of trail riding and even a fox hunt once. That was hilarious. Imagine, a little 13 hand pony, and his rider on a western saddle leading the pack of riders, many of which never rode outside of an arena. Cherokee could run like the wind and breezed past the Master leading the group. A faux pas on my part, I quickly learned. Well, we managed to stay behind a head or two for the rest of the hunt. No fox was seen, nor hunted, it was simply an exercise of galloping madly through fields, following the hunt dogs, who were trained to follow a faux scent of a fox. I recall yelling “tally ho” a lot.
I soon decided I needed some country property of our own to keep horses. In 1994, my hunt led me to an 80-acre piece of land tucked deeply into the forest next to Sprucewoods Park. Over the years, my husband George and I developed this picturesque landscape into a guest ranch and equine training facility. My herd grew. I soon owned and raised some Tennessee Walking Horses and Missouri Foxtrotters.
You might say this is when my journey into the hearts and minds of horses truly began. I was on a mission to learn as much as possible about these amazing creatures. As I learned, I discovered I had a strong passion for not only educating myself, and teaching horses, but also their humans. I was discovering the incredible possibilities the relationship with horses could hol. I spent the next 27 years fulfilling my dreams with horses. That quest is indeed never ending.
This may be where the story truly begins. This may be where you pull out your pen or highlighter and start making notes or marking up my book. This may be the beginning of your journey. One where you too will be raised by horses.
TRUST WITH ANIMALS NEWSLETTER
FEBRUARY 3rd, 2021
There are 3 things that I find especially important now in my everyday life. They are being peaceful, patient, and persistent. Waking up each morning with these three "P's" hovering in my awareness, brings a sense of calmness, acceptance, and determination into my existence.
First I meditate, next I plan my day, then I set out with my intention to make the day productive, purposeful, and enjoyable. Most days I meet my expectations.
Some days I do not, and that is OK too. We are not machines or robots, we function in a complicated mind, with a body that sometimes cannot keep up with our intentions. So, I smile to myself and let that go.
It's the same intention I carry with me when I go to work with animals using the Trust Technique. In fact, I learned the 3 "P's" from their program. Now, as a Trust Technique Practitioner, it has become sort of a mantra for me.
Learning to get peaceful with your animal, being patient through that learning process, and being persistent in your practice of mindfulness with them, produces an elevation into a much deeper relationship. It’s about letting go of the busy-ness in your life and letting in the peace. Ultimately, it’s about building trust and confidence in both you and your animal. Then you can imagine shared goals and fun.
In my work with animals and their people I have witnessed so many shifts of consciousness, so many problems being solved. Peaceful solutions develop without domination or assertiveness coming into the picture. We truly can connect in spirit and energy with animals. Be still and they will show you how.
Christine and Solo have opened this avenue of new awareness and conversation between each other. Here is her story of the evolution that took place and continues since I introduced her to the Trust Technique back in October 2020.
Solo came to me in the summer of 2020, from a local rescue. They had done a lot with him and drastically improved his life and relationship with people in the time they'd had him, and he was ready to go to the right home, but he was still distrustful of people.
Something about him told me that I should take him home--maybe it was the look in his eyes that I understood all too well, the desire for peace. But I am probably just projecting, lol. Regardless, I am a sucker for the ones that need a little extra love. So together we embarked on this journey.
These last few months I have been taking things from scratch with him. Step 1 was getting the halter OFF, which was a feat in and of itself. My goal was and is to always take things one step at a time, never forcing him beyond what he was comfortable with, so things have taken time, but we have had all the time in the world.
Since having learned how to get present using the Trust Technique with Barb Vince, I've been building trust with him through patience and persistence in 5-10 minutes sessions most days. We have progressed from him trusting me, to petting his nose. Now he will stand completely calm, loose in the pasture, and allow me to halter him.
This has been a new journey for me, and I am learning from him all the time and continually reminding myself to meet him in reality: being present, honest, and aware. This isn't always easy, but as I've learned, so has Solo. First step, trust. The next? Time will tell. Christine Steendam
Wondering where Trust Technique might take you on your journey with your animal?
Join us on a FREE Presentation on the Trust Technique on ZOOM
February 12th & 26th Fridays 7:00 PM cst
March 12th & 26th Fridays 1:00 PM cst
Or book a Private Consultations for you and your animal by ZOOM. Either way or both ways, it will bring a new peace into your relationship...for both of you.
Contact me for more information, to reserve Presentation spot, or book a Consultation.
Until next time, may the horse be with you...peacefully.
Trust Technique Practitioner
Presenter and Consultant
Imagine…having a deeper relationship with any animal.
The Trust Technique can help all sentient beings with this gently,
profound non-dominant approach. The result is a new dimension
of trust and confidence between animals and humans.
~ Experience a quantum shift in shared feelings, trust, and confidence.
~ Overcome problems in a kind, considerate way, which saves time.
~ Develop inspired levels of cooperation making training/ learning a delight!
Is this the missing “peace” you are look for in your relationship with your animal?
Evolve with the discovery of this non-dominant way to connect with any animal.
You will come to hold your animal in higher regard, and remove areas
of high thinking, stress, and anxiety for you both. Solve your animal’s
behavior problems and create a more pleasant, joyful coexistence.
I offer FREE 1-hour Trust Technique Presentations for groups
of animal owners or caregivers. The method works with wild or
domestic animals. Many animal care organizations can benefit
such as - animal rescues, zoos, shelters, sanctuaries, and
wildlife protection facilities. Also, veterinarians, animal therapists,
breeders, dog obedience students, horse, or dog agility clubs,
sport or leisure riding associations or clubs.
Private 1-hour consultation sessions can be purchased to explore
and develop this deep connection between you and your animal.
This is a great opportunity to learn one-on-one in the method with your animal.
The Trust Technique truly offers the missing “peace” in our relationships with animals.
Presentations and Consultations are available via a video link or LIVE.
In-person presentations and consultations are being booked for Spring - Fall, 2022.
Barb Vince is a graduate and alumnae of the Trust Technique,
based out of the UK. She holds a Practitioner’s license to offer her services
anywhere in the world. She is one of the two certified Practitioners located in Canada.
Barb has 30 years of experience as an equine trainer and teacher,
specializing in animal communication, bitless riding, liberty training,
horse agility and barefoot hoofcare.
Learn more about the Trust Technique:
Contact Barb to book a Presentation or Private Consultation with your animal.
Phone 204-841-3991, St. Malo, Manitoba, Canada
EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org, WEBSITE www.trustandfreedom.com
They say...the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Well, today I again found that sometimes a way to picking up a male horse's hoof..can be through his sheath.
There is a horse I am helping using the Trust Technique that has a BIG problem with picking up his right hind foot for cleaning or trimming. He had a bad experience with a trimmer in his past, and possibly at that time had some soreness in that back foot. The new hoof trimmer - Coreen Bradley of Giroux, MB, has tried with patience and persistance to get that back foot trimmed. With a little "relaxing med" she was able to get him it done, but with still great difficulty. Horses, like elephants, don't forget much, but they can forgive with building trust with peaceful, patient and kind ways.
So I have been working on just touching, rubbing and asking nothing more than a shift of weight from that foot to the other back foot for a few sessions. Today, as per usual in my work in the Trust Technique with animals, I got present and shared peaceful feelings with him. Then I rubbed his back leg, massaged his belly...then proceeded to see how he felt about having his sheath touched gently. He was relaxed, didn't mind, and I did a bit of clean up job there. While working in that area, he lifted that back hind leg as a response of pleasure and wanting me to continue my efforts. I reached down and gently held that back foot and massaged his belly and inside upper theigh. He was enjoying that so much that I don't think he even realized I was holding his foot. I was able to pick up his foot while massaging him a couple more times and left it at that.
I remember when washing my mare's udder area or scratching her there, and my geldings sheath areas that often they would lift the back leg on the side was working on. They usually LOVE that once they trust you, as it bring comfort to an area they cannot reach to sooth or scratch themselves. I would sometimes grab the leg, bring it forward some and then offer them to bring their head around and get a treat. It always helped associate back leg lifting with something yummy and positive. It's a good way to teach a horse to stretch that back leg forward to put on a trimming stand. So I will continue to work with this horse in peace & patience, picking up that leg when he offers it. The belly and sheath area massage will continue to be something of value I am offering in return for a leg up...with the trimming.
After all, we all cooperate better when there is something in it for us...weather a pat on the back, a paycheck, or kind words and praise. Why would it be any different with any animal?
When we offer something in exchange for getting something...we strike a deal, a mutual agreement that will pay off in building relationship and trust and confidence...in both us and the animal.
Anyone looking for a patient, professional barefoot trimmer, and one who is a stickler for providing a balanced hoof...well Coreen sure does some mighty fancy footwork and is still taking on new clients. She is also a student of mine in the Trust Technique, along with her daughter Phoebe. She has added that element of mindfulness and regard for the horses she works with. Contact her to book trimmings through Facebook or email: email@example.com or call 204-894-0588. Her website is : equinesynergy.ca
Oh...and remember... the way to a horse's cooperation can inspire you to get creative and reach out of your comfort zone and into theirs at times:)
The beginning of mindfulness is the realization that you are not "the thinker."
The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated.
You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought,
that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence.
You also realize that all the things that truly matter
- beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace - arise from beyond the mind.
You begin to awaken.
Introducing: Inigio Montoya
A very dignified name for a smart, sweet pony.
He resides with and presides over a herd of
equines – horses, mini horses and donkeys.
It's his job...according to him, and he is very proud of it!
He holds court in a pasture at Hooves N’ Hounds Stables in St. Malo, Manitoba. My mare Zoie is one of his subjects. Inigio presented his dominant side as Zoie was being transitioned into HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS's pasture. Indy 500, I nicknamed him, because the little guy can run like a racing Maserati! When Zoie was moved into Indy’s domain, the little red Royal Highness chased her around and away from HIS subjects for a couple days. Zoie had more exercise in those 2 days, then she likely has had all year, seriously!
At first, I saw him as a bully, the leader without a heart. I questioned why his fellow horse mates would be so loyal to him. Leadership by dominance is controlling and can lead to danger and trauma for the pursued and the pursuer. I thought...this is a horse that needs some help being more peaceful. I asked Jessi, stable owner, if I would be allowed to help Inigio feel less threatened or antagonistic. She was pleased I asked and agreed. Jessi stated that Indy was quite sweet in nature, being a favorite pet of her children.
Hoof N’ Hounds, which Jessi co-manages and owns is an animal rescue and boarding stable. Indy was awaiting sale at a local auction yard. He was the last horse in the lot. Passed over due to his feet being in terrible condition and obvious lameness. Jessi approached him in the pen. He was calm and friendly, despite his pain. His level of tolerance of pain must have been unusually high. Still, imagine the anxiety he must have felt and all the other equines assembled. More often than not, “kill buyer” purchase most of these rejected horses, then they would be loaded into trailers bound for distant slaughter houses. The reasons these equines were destined to this fate most often are simply being old, or lame or the owner could no longer afford their care and feeding. Many are often just misunderstood and not in the hands of people who care enough or are capable of good horse management. Many may have tried selling them privately and failed due to the horses’ perceived behavior problems. Others just want to be rid of them, put some cash in their pocket and hope the animal gets a new home. For those with chronic, unmanageable illnesses, a better kindness is a vet with a needle to put them to sleep instead of a trip to the auction yard.
Many times these horses are foundered, suffering from chronic laminitis. Their person perhaps lacked in money, knowledge or time to try to help their horse. As a barefoot hoof care practitioner and clinician, I have seen dozens of these cases presented during my clinics. There is hope for these equines. With nutritional & diet changes, natural horse care and trimming, I know that a good percentage of these "cast away" horses could live a much longer and pain free life. Indy was lucky that day...and just don't get me started about lucky horseshoes...the metal abomination nailed into their hoof walls, into the interior soft tissue of the hoof capsule. Theonly lucky horses are those that never had to wear shoes.
Indy kept catching my eye in the pasture as time went by. He was seeming aloof and untrusting, staying out of the throng of horses I greeted in HIS pasture upon my visits. I could see he had times of lameness. I also could tell that was being managed and monitored well. He was one of the fortunate fellows and dames that populated HIS pasture, and the adjacent one which housed another small, close knit herd.
Indy's herd numbered just under a dozen and I could see Zoie was accepted whole heartedly after a few days of oppression by His Royalness. She thinks herself of some royal blood as well, coming from a long line of Missouri Foxtrotting horses out of Missouri, formerly from deliberate crossings of Arab, Thoroughbred and Canadian and Morgan horse stock to name a few. She is part of the "gaited” community of other amblers, pacers, and foxtrotting stock including Tennessee Walking Horses and Standardbreds. So, she shook off his offense to her, and repositioned her head upward in a royal manner and carried on.
Recently... I have been spending time being present, meditating and visiting with this herd, whilst sitting in my chair. My Bumblebee red and black Royal red plastic lawn chair… ahem, among Indy's herd. I had come to have a reputation among the herd to occasionally have a horse cookie to offer. I gained a lot of friends quickly...but not Indy. Oh, he would eventually come for a cookie, snatch it out of my mittened hand, then bustled himself away, his imagined royal robes flowing out behind him in a most pretentious manner as he fled. Slowly over a couple of weeks span in January, he could see I had no agenda, with my mind quietly studying, sending love and peace to him and his majesty’s loyal subjects.
Then at last...a few days ago, dear Indy deemed it important to check me out at a closer range. There sat I, upon my patio chair throne. Just he and I, eye to eye, heart to heart, feelings and thoughts intermingling. He muzzled and nuzzled and revelled in my scratches, which became a mutual grooming session of peacemaking. I would become present, send love and peace to Indy and in return he started to openly share his thoughts and feelings.
The peaceful state induced by being present in a meditative state with a horse and relaying your thoughts of peacefulness, trust and love has a very powerful and positive effect on animals. They start to relax, sometimes to the point of laying down. They will often need to release the stress they have held inside, much like humans, that they carry in their day to day existence, or from their past.
Somehow in space, time or no time, we connected, he felt safe to show me his thoughts. He would look intently at me, get dreamy sleepy, then his eyes searched mine. Was it safe to trust? To share his thoughts and feelings? Yes, came the answer from him, as he swivelled his head around, gesturing to me with his muzzle pointed. He was watching Zoie and a couple of other members of his herd in a separate corral to his right. He would swing his head back to me and I understood clearly that it was his job to continually check on everyone. I recognized his thought and he then switched directions to stare far to his left at the remainder of his herd gathered around a hay bale. This group too was a part of his overseeing obligation. In fact, he conveyed his feelings proudly and a bit anxiously stating that everything which moved or didn't move within his domain was ever under his watchful eye.
He is truly a protective, conscientious monarch. What an important job and position he has! Clearly, being a herd leader is hard work, with little pay and little time off! He barely mentioned his feet, saying they are a lot better now and makes his work easier. I mentally bowed to him and gave him his due. I have begun to understand how brave and honest this pony is. Newcomers beware, whether you are fox, hound or fellow, Indy has his eye on you! I can't wait for further insights he might express as our relationship continues.
Me, I am just the listener, and I hold a space of peace and trust where the animal can relax and freely communicate. Thanks Indy. It's been an honour to be allowed to glimpse into your heart and soul.
Want to meet your real horse? I suggest you stand or sit near them, get very still and listen. In this exercise of peaceful presence, after you release your agenda, calm your busy mind, you may have opened a doorway to your real horse and their story.
Thanks to The Trust Technique, where I have already learned much about their peaceful gateway into the inner mind of an animal. I look forward to continuing my journey with Trust Technique. Beginning in March, I I began my 1 year long intensive online study and practicum, in order to obtain my Level 3 Diploma in the Trust Technique. Upon graduation, I will be certified as a Trust Technique Consultant and Presenter. I would then offer one-on-one consultations between a person and their animal (equine or domestic animal) as well as give demonstrations, and presentations to the public.
Visit www.trust-technique.com to learn more about a kinder, more peaceful way to deepen your relationship and solve any behavior issues they may be presenting to you. There is more to their story to learn and a more peaceful way to co-exist. You both deserve this peace.
Freedom Horsemanship, St. Malo, Manitoba, Canada
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Knowing your Equine
I thought I knew a lot about horses after almost three decades of studying with well known natural trainers in Canada, USA and the UK, and teaching horsemanship, horse agility and natural hoofcare...I had but scratched the surface. Underneath the skin and bone, there lies a heart and soul of a horse that can be reached only from our heart and soul.
So started my journey a few years back to find the link to that heart and soul. My journey led me to Carolyn Resnick, a California based world class teacher in HORSE. Her method brought me closer to these magnificent animals and within fingertip reach to their true essence. This was a wonderful part of my education. Meeting this dynamic, kind and intuitive woman was to me like meeting Ghandi, or Mother Teresa.
I studied with her and her trained instructors over 3 years. Now I was getting close.
My next step of evolution came from James French, a UK teacher of animal behavior via his THE TRUST TECHNIQUE. I began studying his online Video course in 2017. I was knocked out of my shoes by what he taught. Imagine...a real encounter with the moment to moment thinking and feelings from the horse, or pet, that without lifting a finger towards them, connects to the marrow of their being. WOW! I became a stronger believer in true intuitive communication, which is based on mindfulness with the horse, very non invasive, just being with them in a peaceful state of mind and exchanging thoughts and feelings.
His was not a training program so much as a "connection" program that worked with any animal imaginable...from lions and tigers and bears..to our furry pets. I am sure it would work on an ant!
I have found that these insights have worked wonderfully in creating an even deeper relationship with my own animals. I strongly suggest you check out his on-line mini course to learn about this amazing program. www.trust-technique.com. As he says, "Trust is everything"!
My next journey with Trust Method begins in March, 2020, which will take me through and intensive program to become certified, and gradute as a Trust Technique Consultant. It will be an intense year of study of the
I welcome your comments, questions and hope to see you in 2020. I will be teaching out of Hooves and Hound Stables in St. Malo in the form of private or group lessons on being. I am available to teach workshops as well in other locations in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Freedom Horsemanship offers a blending of feelings, thoughts and love between equine and human.
Happy horsing around
Barb has over 30 years of experience in teaching people with horses. Now, she brings you to a new level of understanding of your animals, through meditation, intuitive training and employing a deeper sense of empathy with your animals.