Happy Spring Everyone,
Although I must admit it feels more like winter than spring here on the west coast. Last week, when I went to feed the horses, I walked out into a winter wonderland. The daffodils, now blanketed in white, really should have checked with the horses before blazing their golden blooms, for the horses still wear much of their winter coats.
I know that in some places they revere the ground hog who informs us when to expect spring. I find that the shedding brush tells me just as much, and right now it’s saying… “Keep your mittens handy.”
Messages from the Herd…
Walking With Horses
Have you ever noticed that people can be gaited, just like horses? I first began to make this connection while facilitating round pen sessions. I’ve seen a variety of gaits here, in human and in horse, and I acknowledge I have a few of my own.
For myself, my gait seems to be situation specific. My carriage and how I move with the horses reflects what I bring with me when I walk through the gate of the round pen or paddock. To be more precise, how I move with the horses is a direct reflection of how I’m moving in relationship with myself AND… how the horses move in relation to me is also a reflection, and sometimes a magnification, of my own kinship … with me.
We all have our unique way of walking in the world and walking with horses seems to empower our stride, no matter our gait. Just like our horse partners, humans model a variety of steps. From tentative to tremendous, graceful to silly (Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks would be proud), the Chiron’s Way herd have accompanied and encouraged each person they’ve “worked” with to find their own unique rhythm. This particular partnership then returns people to the world, having befriended power and in turn, having found it within themselves.
Within our wonderful herd of 3 there exists three very different gaits. Cricket is our little quarter horse who has CHUBBY in her lineage – say no more… BUT, in fact, she loves to perform airs above the ground. I think she’s practicing for a trip to Vienna. She also does an impressive Arab impersonation, usually when the deer pass by the paddock. Her tail goes straight up and she floats across the field, blowing and snorting like the Black Stallion. At such times, her face even looks dish like. Who knew there was a Lippizaner x Arab in her cutting horse body.
Chiron, the young prince, is still growing at 16’2″ and as such, is still learning where his body begins and ends. The basketball player in me appreciates his hang time – something passed down from his Friesian father. Air Chiron does like to perform for passers by, showing off his lofty trot for the dressage trainer down the hill and his “try and ride this” bucking bronco impersonation for the guys in the cowboy hats.
And then there’s Grace, Queen of the Gait. Being a Tennessee Walking horse, her gaitedness comes naturally but there is something deeper than genetics in Grace’s smooth power. Riding, in fact just being with her, is like being carried by an ocean swell. There is a giving over and a trust required to ride such a wave, and in the letting go, we come into a strength of self and connection, that brings alive the best of who we are.
In Chiron’s Way news, our 2008 Facilitator Training Program in Equine Guided Development, is set to begin at the end of June. This program is ideal for anyone working in education, counselling, wellness or leadership as well as those seeking to empower their own perspectives through heartful practices with horses.
In a world that is looking beyond the status quo for personal and professional development, horses are leading the way. When you commit to working with Sandra and her equine team, you will learn about the vast potential of partnering with horses, how such work is accessible to a wide range of markets and how to define your unique contribution as you create your niche therein. Space is limited to six participants so please register early.
For those of you who love to combine horse time with the arts, check out The Art of Equus Series beginning this July with a drum making workshop entitled Creative Union: Hoof, Heart and Drum. Other workshops in the series will include DaVinci’s Horses, The Medicine Horse and A Dance With Equus. Click on each workshop title to learn more.
And finally, The Sacred Ride in June, filled right after the winter newsletter. As we are still getting requests we will offer another ride in the fall pending enough committed interest. There is room for 6 riders and we have 4 names on the waiting list to date. Please contact us right away if you’d like your name added and if we reach 6, we’ll contact you to set dates.
In closing, thank you so much for all of your encouragement and support. I love hearing from you so if you have any questions or suggestions, please call or write.
Wishing you all a warm and sunny spring, and hoping you all have a chance
to Walk With Horses…
Closing Ceremony at the Sacred Ride
Words of Wisdom
“I want to be with that horse because she smiles when she looks at me.”
6 year old boy at a Horsin’ Around workshop
The Book Barn
One With The Herd by Liz Mitten-Ryan. When I was at a horse expo over a year ago, a gentleman in the booth across from me approached me with a big smile. He asked how I worked with horses and after a little discussion he returned with a manuscript entitled One With the Herd. He told me it belonged to his friend Liz and he felt I was meant to “take care of it” for the weekend. Well he was right and I gobbled up as much as I could before the close of the expo.
A year later, I was visiting a friend in Vernon and during dinner, one of the guests began to tell me about her friend Liz and the book she had written. Of course I had to smile and tell her the manuscript story. When I retuned home I immediately bought 2 copies, sending one to my friend Connie, whose book I know I will be telling you about in a future letter, and keeping one for myself.
The finished product is lovely. Beyond the beauty of her stories are her works of art, touching photographs and poignant messages from her herd. For those of you who wrap yourselves in all things equine, this book needs to be added to your collection.
I’d also like to mention Riding Into Your Mythic Life by Particia Broersma. Jean Houston’s foreward describes it well in terms of honouring mythologizing rather than pathologizing within the ancient partnership of human and horse. Patricia also offers some wonderful activities from her camps and clinics for those of you who work in the field of equine guided development. Thank you Patricia.
Chiron’s Way Gift Certificates
Great Gift for Mother’s Day!
If the mothers, daughters, sisters and women in your life love horses, perhaps they’d enjoy a nurturing private session with the Chiron’s Way herd or wish to attend a workshop like She Walks With Horses later this year. Email for details.