Enjoying the Ride
Snippets from Clinic #2 at Keep Stables: Groundwork as a Way to Build a Common Language Between You and Your Horse,
April 17, 2021
What good communication should look and feel like...
Me, my mare, and the trail...
Snippets from my lecture of Clinic #1 at Keep Stables: Groundwork Begins When Your Horse Sees You,
March 20, 2021
Some side-effects of learning to listen to your horse during a group groundwork session (July 2021)...
Great and Small - Demo for Staff
This is a slideshow of the key moments of my demonstration at Great and Small (a Horse Therapy Barn in Maryland) with their horse, Bart.
The demo was to show how quickly we can make a horse feel more engaged with life, with humans, and even more "alive in his own body" if we listen, acknowledge receipt of any communication, and try to inspire curiosity and connection.
The demo was all of 20 minutes.
I was invited back to present at the Year's End Awards, where most of the volunteers would be attending. For this I prepared a "ted-talk" about connecting with horses, a hands-on demo with a new and very tense horse, and then had exercises with the volunteers to have fun with and develop feel, body awareness, and understanding of energy and intention.
Clip from my Clinic on Building Connection in Iraklion, Crete at the Riding Academy.
This was a horse, Annie, that would only offer her rump if you approached her stall. In a few minutes we not only got her interested in engaging with us, but we got her human to start paying attention to all the little communications Annie was making and to respond appropriately.
Stall Protocol...in Greek!
Taming Two Stallions!
Once I "impressed" the pros at the Riding Academy in Crete back in 2017, the next year they charged me with "fixing" the two holy terrors of the stable: Asterix (in this clip) and Tzeri (an even smaller guy). Both stallions were unable to be led and used teeth and legs to defend themselves. Asterix was almost feral--difficult to catch in his small paddock, and terrified of humans. Tzeri was more confident and a bit of a bully.
I found that all they needed was: clarity, calm leadership, something to do that actually interested them, and someone to celebrate their greatness.
To this day, these are two of my favorite transformations ever!
Phobia of Geese...No More!
I spend a month, sometimes two, every year working on horses that need troubleshooting at the Riding Academy of Crete in Iraklion.
This clip is from my session helping Olimpia with her terror of geese in 2018.
Last I heard, it hasn't been a problem since.
The Case of the Complex Mare: Kaloni
Kaloni--an enigma at first.
It took some time, but I think I cracked through her wall and got into her heart. And once she opened her heart door, every human that came after me could actually connect with her and she with them. Victory!
Before: The video is of our first encounter--watch to see why she was hard to understand; and a pic of her expression (white-eyed, stressed, wanting to be anywhere but in her skin).
In-Between: See her coming out of her shell! Now her "crazy movements" seem more like she is expressing herself rather than jumping out of her skin. She is very engaged with me, gets my jokes, and even enjoys me touching her face (she was extremely standoffish at first). What a horse! She begins to shine...
After: see the pic of her reaching out to touch me for the first time--the softness around us is palpable. And, a cute clip of her, bright-eyed and positively expectant as she hears my voice approach to come and work with her!
Miltos the Wunderhorse!
Miltos was a pushy, bitey, bullying kinda guy. When his owner asked me to play with him, little did I know he was just a big piece of sweet butter, waiting to be asked to melt.