A Woman Learning the Art of Relational Horsemanship at Sixty
About this blog....
For women in particular, there is something magical about our relationship with horses. I've loved horses since I can remember, but only now, at sixty, am I learning to work with them.
I admire the methods of the natural horsemanship trainers like Bill and Tom Dorrance, Monty Roberts, Linda and Pat Parelli, Clinton Anderson, Dennis Reis, and Scott Jaycox. They have shown many of us a way to work safely, effectively, and compassionately with our horses.
Without a doubt, the major influence in my own work is Linda Kohanov's groundbreaking exploration of the relationship between humans and horses. From this perspective, horse and human are equal partners in a journey of transformation. Her book The Tao of Equus resonates with my own experiences with these amazing animals.
What I am working towards is what's called relational horsemanship. The focus of everything I do with the horses is aimed at developing confidence, trust, and willing cooperation on both sides.
In this blog, I share my stories and explore the transformative power of the horse.
You can read about the cast of characters, and about photo credits, here.
I am a depth psychologist specializing in dreamwork and equine-guided personal growth. Through private sessions and group workshops, I coach people through the sometimes difficult process of psychological development.
I have a PhD in Botany from the University of Oklahoma, and a PhD in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute.
I've been having trouble persuading Galahad to lift his feet for me so that I can clean his hooves. I've tried all the "proven" ways to do it, and most of the time, he just ignores me. Today I asked Jack, one of the men who takes care of the horses, for help. He came into the stall, cozied up to Galahad, leaned into the horse's left shoulder, and pressed his fetlock joint. Up came the foot. Magic, I swear. The left rear followed, with Jack's left hand sliding in and around Galahad's pastern. Up came that foot, too. Hmmm.... Right rear, then right front, all without incident. Made me feel kinda silly.
But once I thought about it, I wonder if, because of my crummy technique, Galahad just wasn't sure what I wanted him to do. I tried it again, mimicking Jack's technique as best I could, and lo and behold: up came the feet, one after the other. It felt really good.