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Confidantes and Confidence: Horses and Girls

There is a precious moment that exists when a girl feels a horse with her, really with her, with that horse’s magnificent trust and curiosity flooding her body. It may last a few seconds or it may last a whole morning practicing together, but it is the magic of that connection that nurtures not only … Continue reading

Pallet Palace

Fate would have it that, while I was living in Italy this year, the horses decided to dismantle the t-posts and hotwire round pen I had constructed in their field. It did cross my mind that this demonstration was a kind of political statement, coming from them. It wasn’t too difficult a feat since I never … Continue reading

Embodying YES and NO, a Practice to Start Young

It is my belief that basic horsemanship skills are inextricably linked to taking responsibility for what we do and how we show up in every moment with every horse. Basic “humanship” depends on that same self-awareness and self-responsibility. Learning to successfully communicate with a horse translates into the experiential learning of life skills. Social skills, … Continue reading

Sylvia Update: No Coincidences

Nearly one year ago, our little mare, Sylvia, survived a severe colic episode, stunning us with her determination and strong spirit. The care and support of colleagues and clients present at Montebelli for one of the Coming Back to Center workshops played a significant role in helping her bear the extreme intestinal pain and to not … Continue reading

A Horse for the Soul

You bite, you kick, you lay your ears back and roll your eyes in a way that I could only dream of doing in order to brandish profound disdain. Some might say you never learned manners. I say you know how to express yourself. It is my duty to learn how to communicate with you, … Continue reading

Sylvia: Strength and Vulnerability

Sylvia lay in the dirt in the grips of agonizing pain, her swollen sides heaving with each breath, slowly giving up on her fight to live. An eight-year-old thoroughbred mare, and a former racehorse, she was retired to live and work in the horse experience program at Montebelli. This particular afternoon, just two hours before … Continue reading

More Than the Mind

It was late afternoon, the sun cast a deep yellow film across the dry hillside. Something compelled me to go check on the horses. I spotted Lottie, the small pinto mare, and right away saw something was wrong. As I approached her, I grew increasingly alarmed, as I noticed large lumps covering her entire body. … Continue reading