Anna in the news… The Horse’s Hoof October Issue 2018!

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Handling Common Herd Dynamics

No matter age, color, breed, size, sex and appearance, place a herd of horses together and you will witness the dynamics unfold before your eyes.   Within moments horses become extremely “vocal” discovering their ranking, displayed clearly by who moves who’s feet.  From subtleties such as a glance, ear motion or energy shift, through to bold moves that include a charge, bite, kick and squeal!

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Horses can be born into leadership positions, groomed by their parents over time to become all they can be, displaying a passive form of leadership, while others fight their way to the top, bringing forth a dominant style of leadership.

One misconception is that alpha mares rule through dominance, and yet all too often they lead by a strong example of simply “being”, observing all and only acting when need be.  It’s the second in command, known as the dominant mare, who ensures much of the discipline is enforced and displays her emotions freely.

Within every herd there are very specific roles to secure a safe and harmonious environment, coupled with individual personalities and life’s imprint, herds bring forth colorful observations.

Remove unrealistic expectations and realize that our human behavior is equally reflected in our horses.  As we find loners and socialites, we find them in the horse world too. Those seeking adventure balance those seeking a simple life and there are natural born leaders together with followers.

Imagine a classroom of juveniles ruling themselves, or adolescents without parental guidance…where would this lead?   The very same place it would take the foals who find themselves orphaned and the yearlings unsupervised frolicking freely; often in a misguided place causing future behavioral challenges or social ineptitude.   Elders carry wisdom for those venturing into uncharted territory.

While we see wild horses gather cordially during daily water hole rituals, put isolated un-socialized stallions together, and you may find yourself faced with extreme violence and potential loss of life.  These are the extreme horse handling situations experienced over the years.

It would be remiss of us not to consider our horses’ environment, as space is a distinctive concern.  Behavior is often accentuated in small enclosures and of utmost importance for health and wellbeing.  Movement is a must.  And while horses are natural-born grazers, the presence of food influences all horse behavior.  Fighting often occurs when there is a lack – remove the lack and a more harmonious feel ensues.  Means is a strong motivator and where space is absent, slow-feeders take precedence.

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Another behavior consideration is the direct reflection of good or poor training techniques:

*          Inappropriate foal over-handling             =   crowding & unsuitable behavior/habits

*          Lack of socializing                                               =   social ineptness

*          Lack of knowledge and lack of boundaries    =  special boundaries and aggressive tendencies

*          Incorrect hand-feeding                                    =   crowding, mugging and biting

*          Stall-bound                                                        =   pent-up energy, vices/habits, physical issues, lack of socializing & often dangerous behavior

*          Stressful environment                                    =   vices/habits/emotional, mental and physical issues

*          Fear-based training                                         =   displacement/depression and aggressive tendencies

If you and your horses are happy and healthy, make no change.  However, if you feel concerned and your horses have incurred physical injuries, it’s time to make change and review your horse-keeping.  Take time to review your habits and patterns to find an all-around better solution.

IF Your Horse(s)

  • Has been moved recently…try accommodating for this time of transition and be the support he needs during this adjustment period.
  • Is not accepted in the herd…evaluate his personality, role, past and current mental, emotional and physical health…try building him up (through physical & complimentary therapies and nutritional support)
  • Are not worriers or performance horses and keep you to a schedule by kicking stall doors or containers…try simply changing the feeding times.
  • Are crowding the gate…try training them to take a step back and create the safe entrance space or organize feeders from the outside of the paddocks for your own safety.
  • Has a sudden behavior change…try exploring all recent changes to determine the cause and have him checked physically.
  • Does not want to be caught…try to discover the true cause of this behavior be it pain related, ill-fitting tack, your relationship, his activities/discipline, simply a lack of motivation and energy or his strong desire to be with his family herd.
  • Is classed as herd bound…try building a stronger partnership together through a trust-based connection while discovering his motivation.

 

A happy horse = happy human = happy trails

Make this year’s recipe all and more you had hoped for.

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About the author: Anna Twinney is a Natural Horsemanship Trainer, certified animal communicator and Reiki Master. She is unique in her field, as she solely works in the horses’ own language.  Anna became the only person ever to be entrusted with the title of Head Instructor at the Monty Roberts International Learning Center in
California. Exploring the “language of Equus” in its rawest form, Anna gentled mustangs in CA for 2 years before becoming the founder of the Reach Out to Horses® program. Her expertise is sought worldwide as she conducts classes and clinics to educate people & horses on gentle communication techniques while showing them how to have a true trust-based relationship. Anna has been featured on TV nationally & internationally and writes for equine magazines. She is not only one of the world’s leading teachers, but her interest in the “Language of Equus” has led her to focus increasingly on the power of animal communication to strengthen and deepen our relationships with all species. For more information visit: http://www.reachouttohorses.com.

We would like to thank Yvonne Welz, Editor of The Horse’s Hoof, for all she does on behalf of the horses and their people.  Truly an advocate of what is Natural and Holistic, Yvonne and her publication are a beacon to innumerable horse people who are looking for a better way!  Yvonne, we salute you!

 

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Atlantis is adopted, but not home just yet!

 

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Each year I travel to the U.S. to continue my studies in Holistic Horsemanship with Reach Out to Horses. This month I completed the ‘Foal Gentling’ course in Sherwood, Oregon at Wild Horse Mountain Ranch. The 10 tribal foals we were partnered with had been separated from their moms and orphaned; they are only 4 months old. Luckily they were rescued by the Warm Springs Horse Network and given a second chance, PTL!

I was paired with the littlest baby of the group, a sensitive boy who showed us very quickly how big his heart is and how brave he is. By day 3, I realized that I wasn’t over there just to learn about foals and the language of the horse but to meet a soul mate and help him live the life he envisions for himself. With the guidance of my mentors and a mind-blowing offer from an awesome lady, it became possible for me to adopt the little boy I worked with, Atlantis.

The awesome lady, Melody (who took on 3 other foals as well!!!), will be taking Atlantis and his friends home to live with her. This means driving them from Oregon to the East Coast i.e. across the whole of America. This will cost at least $500 per foal, not to mention their vet bills for health certificates to cross State lines. Once Atlantis has healed and grown a bit more, he will get to decide if he wants to come live with us in England (yes, he has a choice;)).

Kindly,

Romy K.

Nichole Brings Home Two Babies of Her Own After a Heartbreak and Loss

I signed up for the ROTH Foal Gentling Course after unexpectedly losing my beloved Clydesdale, Aramis. I had hoped to honor his memory and find a little bit of peace and healing. I certainly didn’t expect to feel an immediate bond with one of the foals! That first morning when I stood at the gate, watching the foals, the little liver chestnut picked up his head and stared right at me. I felt an instant connection, the same I had felt with Aramis. Then Anna chose him as my foal, the one with whom I would work for the week. I couldn’t believe it. By the second day of working with Quincy, I knew he was meant for me. I truly believe that Aramis guided me to the training so that Quincy and I could find each other. Aramis knew Quincy needed me and I needed him. The choice to bring home the Cremello girl, Ilse, happened gradually. I was so impressed with her gentle, steady nature and her intelligence. After listening to Anna’s stories of horses that didn’t have the right companionship growing up and how it affected them, I knew Quincy needed a friend. I felt Ilse would be a wonderful choice because her steady, quiet confidence would help Quincy find his. They make a wonderful pair. Ilse doesn’t push Quincy around and already Quincy looks to her when something makes him nervous. I feel so blessed to have connected with these two gentle souls and I look forward to many years of love, partnership, and companionship with them.

Quincy was the youngest of the 10 foals that participated in the ROTH gentling class. He is a beautiful liver chestnut with a white star and two white hind feet. He is curious and alert. He likes to watch what everyone is doing around him and is very playful. He will try to play with anything new you bring into his pen. He doesn’t spook easily but does lack confidence sometimes. His “sister” is helping with that.

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Ilse is a beautiful Cremello with light blue eyes. She is built like a little tank and has the most amazing mohawk. She is calm, steady, confident, and intelligent. She learns incredibly fast and seems unflappable. She is patient with Quincy and his antics. She is very mature for her age.

 

For all the videos of the Foals Course and more, go to our You Tube Channel and Discover why ROTH stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to gentle, compassionate, horsemanship: Go to the Reach Out to Horses You Tube Channel

In Gratitude, Students Share…

Students who attended Anna’s recent events at 13 Hands Rescue and Half Halt Farms reached out to share their joy and gratitude with Anna for all she does for the horses and their people….

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“We could not absorb Anna’s gifts of knowledge, wisdom, and inspiration fast enough! We are full of hope, dreams, and renewal after our weekend.  I wish everyone could experience Anna! She has so much to offer. Our 2 day clinic will help our volunteers help our horses in so many ways.  Thank you, Anna.”

~Marylou T.

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“Extremely powerful and paradigm-shifting experience. Anna has a unique gift and helps you tap into yours. I am a professor and taught the best class of my career the week following our clinic with Anna. I was connected in a way I never have been before. Everything clicked. Thank you, Anna.”

~Glenn A.

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“I just want to say how much we have all been changed by your magnificent Anna.  She is awesome, amazing, knowledgeable, supportive, honest, gracious… I could go on but think you get it. Every attendee feels the same way.”

~Jacki Z.

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“The two -day exploration of collaborative horsemanship clinic with Anna Twinney was one of the best experiences of my life thus far. The clinic has left me with many wonderful memories that I will cherish for many years to come. Anna was amazing to watch as she worked with our rescue horses. She is a true horse whisperer. I was in awe of her knowledge, confidence, positive energy, compassion, and spirituality. I learned so many wonderful things and now look at these beautiful rescues somewhat differently than before, because I can somewhat understand their language now. I am truly humbled and incredibly grateful to have been a part of such a magical weekend. It is my hope that Anna will return next summer for another soul-filling, beautiful, and amazing horsemanship clinic.”

~Mary Ellen B.

“Thank you all for connecting after the event. It was a fabulous experience sharing our vulnerabilities, energy and love for the horses.

I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to have met you all and to be able to learn from Anna.

Until we all meet again, many blessings, peace, joy and continuous great health.

And to Anna,

Thank you for all you do to teach mindful partnership with horses. I was able to audit one day at Half Halt but I have hopes to make the next clinic in NY with my horse, Destiny. It would be amazing to share this with her. Thanks again!”

~Angela R.

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“Dear Friends,

I hope you don’t mind me calling you that.  Not too long ago, for most of us, we were strangers on a group email with names we may not have recognized.  Thanks to Anna, we have come together. Our lives forever changed.  Memories created, raw emotions exposed, storied told, fears uncovered, sharing a forever and unexplained bond with each other and these beautiful and majestic creatures that we love so much.

Anna, thank you for your compassion, honesty, and adaptability to every single horse and handler.  You have a brilliant gift.  Your wisdom and guidance will never be forgotten.

Laura, you planned this event seamlessly.  Every detail was well-thought-out and communicated beautifully!  You are greatly appreciated.

In the words of one of my favorite country artists, “I’ll see you when I see you, and I hope it’s one day soon….”

All my love to all and much-continued success on this amazing journey!”

~ Nancy R.

 

 

“Dearest Anna,

I personally wanted to walk away this past weekend with “tools” to help me build both my and my horse’s confidence. What I got back so much more. Anna, your incredible insight and knowledge helped us all understand that we need to earn the trust of our horses. You offered each of us a bridge to connect with our horses’ hearts! I can’t thank you enough. Words just don’t convey the depth of our gratitude.

Looking forward to when our paths cross again.”

~ Carolyn C.

ADORABLE

 

We would like to thank all participants for joining us and the many horses for sharing their language with all of those curious and passionate enough to listen.  To our master teachers, we are grateful!

Do you want to know more about Intuitive Horsemanship?  The new book from ROTH has arrived, Escaping Tradition, The Next Generation of Horsemanship.  Attend our FREE Webinar to meet some of the authors whose stories are included and register to WIN your FREE copy!

Sign me up and Enter me to WIN!

 

 

The Original Reiki Healing for Horses

There is no place I would rather be than in the corral among the horses and healing energy. It is a place surrounded by mountains, nestled in the heart of the wild west, where horses receive healing and, in turn, heal human hearts. It is an energy so subtle it ignites the flame within, with an art that has worldwide recognition and acceptance. If you have felt the pull of destiny, now is the time to embrace your calling as the lightworker you were born be.

 

Take me to the Information on this year’s Reiki Courses

The Journey of a Lifetime: Part 2!

Episode 26: Anna Twinney with Reach Out To Horses, Part 2

May 22, 2018

Welcome Back to Anna Twinney for part 2! Anna gives us a little window into what she is doing now and why her work is right for anyone who is ready to be open to learning more about themselves and how they interact with the world. Find Anna at www.reachouttohorses.com. We loved spending time with her and we know you will too.

 

Click above or here to be taken to Part 2 of the Podcast!

Teaching your Horse to Tie

Horsemanship Network

Read through Anna’s latest article shared on the Horsemanship Network!

Being tied doesn’t come naturally to horses, but it’s an essential skill for them to learn.

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There are many situations in which it’s important for your horse to tie well. It could be for the vet or farrier, at a show or event, or perhaps while you are grooming and tacking up. While it may seem simple enough, your horse may have quite a different perspective.

As prey animals, horses have a strong inborn desire to flee in the face of perceived danger. When a horse is tied, he can’t respond in this way. For the uninitiated or fearful horse, this can set off alarm bells and send him into a state of frantic panic, particularly if there is no breaking point or release in sight.

It is also important to recognize that horses are innately “into pressure” beings and – by their very nature – they lean into the point of pressure. This leads a horse to lean into you when you press on his flank, rump or other part of his body; or to raise his head high when asked to follow the feel of the lead rope.

Without any support, or formal trust-based training, it is unlikely a horse will automatically take to being tied. While some horses may learn fairly easily to accept being tied, others may have had experiences where they’ve broken their halters, hitching posts or worse, and have subsequently developed a phobia to tying. The good news is that no matter what his age, any horse can be taught what is expected of him if you use a kind and patient manner.

Set your horse up for success

There are number of things you can teach and practice with your horse to help prepare him for being able to tie well. By taking the time to do this work and approaching the task in an open, empathetic and supportive manner, you can create powerful and lasting results while avoiding mistakes or gaps in training that will require fixing later.

Pressure and release

One key to training your horse to tie well is teaching him to yield to pressure in situations that are stress-free, before introducing him to stressful scenarios. The first rule is to never attempt to tie without first exploring your horse’s knowledge of pressure and release.

  • Neck stretches and yields following the feel of the line
  • Light touch head drops
  • Forward and back rocking horse steps
  • Altering gait and speed while leading

As the exercises build on one another, make sure to create times for your horse to feel somewhat restricted while being given a chance to find a way out using collaborative communication.</p

Desensitization exercises

Once your horse fully understands how to get himself out of trouble by coming forward towards the pressure, it is time to introduce him to some surprises. It’s easy to teach him to tie when everything is calm, but you would be remiss if you didn’t prepare him for the unexpected, and provide him with appropriate coping skills for those stressful or startling moments.

  • Desensitize to scary objects and items
  • Desensitize to startling and unusual sounds
  • Graduate to an in-hand obstacle course of higher learning

Building confidence

Another key to successfully training your horse to tie is to address the emotional and mental factors that create a “non-tying horse” to begin with. Training is essential to building the horse’s confidence in both himself and you, and will allow you to create a trust-based partnership.

This can be done over time as your horse learns to come into himself more, leave the herd behind, explore and venture off campus, and experience a multitude of environments and situations. Once he has a good foundation of confidence, you can gradually introduce him to new locations and scenarios, and increase the stimuli that will trigger fears, such as a fear of isolation. Soon, fear will be replaced with the understanding that he is safe, even when you are asking him to be restricted or isolated for a time.

Training your horse to tie

The simplest way to begin is to loop the line over a hitching post to create some resistance, and hold it in your hand while grooming! This way, the horse does not hit a rigid line and panic, which could put both of you at risk for bodily harm. Instead, your horse will be able to feel the give while at the same time making a pleasant association with tying through mindful grooming.

This same looping method applies while teaching the horse to tie at a trailer, wash rack or other location, keeping in mind the necessity for excellent footing and surrounding safety. Naturally, the horse finds himself in a pressure/release situation and you may decide to include food as a reward to enhance the situation while expediting the lesson.

You may also want to introduce the quick release knot, popular around the world. It gives a similar sense of resistance but still gives you a chance to release the horse should he panic.

Some equestrians swear by the tradition of tying to a piece of string or bailing twine on a tie-ring to ensure breakaway. Although some believe that horses can learn their own strength by snapping these strings, and that you should never allow them to break away, I have seen it save lives. While this tradition remains prevalent, its popularity is being overridden by the blocker tie ring, which provides soft resistance and safe tying without using knots.

If all else fails and your horse is truly phobic, you may decide to ground-tie him by simply teaching him to stand still when the attached lead rope is placed on the ground close by. It’s a pretty easy “trick” to start with and moves effortlessly into all you do when you ask your horse to stand!

Work with, not against, your horse

From decades of experience worldwide, I have witnessed many approaches and seen some horrendous tying styles, ranging from snubbing posts through solitary standing stalls. Although it is customary for trainers to state that their methods work, these harmful and sometimes even cruel training styles simply aren’t necessary, and reflect a fear-based, dominance style of training.

Remember that teaching your horse to tie goes beyond simply seeking a place for him to stand and wait — it is an introduction to the concepts of patience, respect, focus and a time to process.

The bottom line is to recognize that tying is not something that comes “naturally” to a horse. Choosing a style of training that supports and works with your horse’s mind, and encourages trust, not dominance, will help him find success with being tied, and will create fewer issues down the road.