Today’s kids: anti-psychotics, medicating behaviour and social issues

Brain-information--300x225I was just having this conversation online, and decided it was a good topic to address in an actual Post.  I was responding to a book, that looks at how our society and doctors and schools are using heavy drugs, like anti-psychotics on our CHILDREN!

This bothered me on SO MANY levels! Why is our system continually throwing quick BAD solutions at complex problems? Continue reading

Holistic Equitation, Bits and Partnerships

100_3858I just had an interesting conversation with a potential client, who asked if I had a problem with her using a bitless bridle and tree-less saddle.  I am fine with both of these things.  I think that the people who are using them, are genuinely interested and actively engaged in understanding the horses needs and sensitivities. And that, ultimately, is the underlying foundation for creating a good partnership between horse and rider.

 I am fine with a bitless bridle and saddle etc– I believe in a pretty holistic approach, and believe that in the wrong hands, any bit-bridle etc can be painful or harsh, and in the right hand, good hands– the most severe bit offers little to no discomfort;)

Ultimately, I think it is about building a relationship with the horse, and understanding concepts, so that aids are aids.. not the sole method for creating an outcome:) Continue reading

OTTB: Riding, life and growth in 14 weeks on a horse


This is the time of year when the Spring season of horse racing kicks into gear- and everyone becomes interested in this years crop of horses. No one wonders about last years crop of horses.. the failed horses.. and the horses that run hard, every week to earn their oats, for 4-6 years.  These creatures, do not generally live a glamourous life. Until recently, many of them ended their noble existence in the less than glamourous slaughter-house.


More recently, people are beginning to take responsibility for the after-care of the horses, whose hard work we feast upon, as a sport.  Occasionally, news comes in about some OTTB’s post-racing success as a competition horse.  I have had almost exclusively OTTBs in my small barn in my 30something years of riding. My first horse was an OTTB, and I have been in love with them ever since.  There is a noble wise and ancient soul behind the depths of those deep black eyes.  When treated well, and understood– simply put.. there-is-no-better-horse.


I use my horses as lesson horses.. and I think one students final reflection piece for the semester illustrates far better than anything I could say- about the range and depth theses horses possess. Continue reading

Riding and releasing fear at the cellular level



jade and bailey

I’ve worked with a handful of riders who had deep fear-issues, some of whom had many years of riding and horse-ownership.  What needs to be understood, and addressed, is the way the body stores fear-memory at the cellular level. Yoga, breathwork, grounding and relaxation techniques need to be incorporated- otherwise the trainer and the horse will always be working  “upstream”..against that existing current of fear-memory.

another big aspect of addressing the “overcoming fear”…is the absolute release of expectation and outcomes.  Again, at the cellular level, it is re-training the energy-body.  On the first level,  it is essential to create safe-space.  Even if it is sitting on the horse at the Mounting block and never taking one step. Continue reading

Remembering War, but Learning Peace, Acceptance and Identity through Animals


100_3376I just read a post- what is the one thing, moment.. that you will never forget. Do you remember any life-altering points you can look back to, either momentous, or maybe seemingly tiny ( at the time)? I probably have a few, but the one that came to mind is the time when I was about 17, in boarding-school/camp. I always wanted to work with horses, loved horses, related better to horses and animals than I ever had to people. It was my niche, where I felt understood, accepted and belonging. But I struggled with my parents refusal to support who I was, and what i wanted to do with my life. My then mentor and hero,  Ehren, whispered words that would change my life, or at least if not change it… changed my perspective. She said, with compassion and not any sense of goading: You don’t need your parent’s permission to do what you want with your life.” That was a novel, and freeing, concept. Continue reading