“Life-changing” doesn’t even quite cut it…. Insights of a ROTH student post a trans-formative HHC experience.

Emily P. is one of our ROTH students who attended the HHC in 2016 and she wrote about her experience here with Anna and the other ROTH students who took part in the Holistic Horse Certification Course:

“It’s written in gratitude and is just a brief reflection on the two-week course and its continuing ripple effects on my life and path.”

                                                                              – – –

It’s the kind of magic you don’t realize has fallen around you until you pull out of it. When you pull out of it, your body feels strange and alone and kind of tingly because without realizing it, you had molded to a space, and all the human people, and non-human people, shared energies, excitements, dreams, and the fears that composed it.

“Life-changing” doesn’t even quite cut it. The horses and humans that I got to learn from over the past weeks held space for me to step into myself in a way I hadn’t before; they made it safe to do so. They illuminated a path that I had been too afraid, or confused, or perhaps just not ready to see clearly before now. At first, our group felt to me like a bunch of overeager, slightly clumsy dancers attempting to learn rhythm (which we were literally trying to do as this is not just a metaphor – Elaine’s specialty is getting stiff and nervous hips to loosen up). But we managed to choreograph the beginning of something – certainly not a masterpiece yet – but we felt it, those opening beats.

For me, it always comes back to connection – the thick, full, rich, recognition between two beings; the I am here, I am with you, I hear you, I love you.  It is absolute presence, and the courage to fully give yourself to someone else, even for a moment.

Emily P 2

This is what horses give me, and this is what I feel is missing from much of human society. We are terrified to recognize each other, to be present with each other, to let ourselves be seen and not shy away from who we are. Without that, things quickly become – to use one of Anna’s phrases – rather pear shaped. The general feeling I get living in the United States right now is that as a society we are tripping over ourselves trying to achieve more and be better and control everything, terrified to stop and look at ourselves in the face, terrified to be present, terrified to wait for anyone else but ourselves. We carve out and deepen a significant void in the world when we forget how to connect.

I was doing a lot of this in the month leading up to this course – a lot of over-planning my life, trying to set up five career paths in my head because the uncertainty ahead of me is so terrifying, a lot of zooming around avoiding fear and loneliness and refusing to trust the universe in the face of so much unknown.

The horses made this very clear to me as soon as I got to the horse. I was nervous the first few days, anxious to prove myself. There are a few moments and horses that stood out in particular along the way. Lola showed me how powerful I could be when I stepped out of my anxiousness and into the immediate experience of being with her. She was difficult to catch, so I had to slow my pace, wait for her to reach out to me. I remember my breath slowing down, and I remember staying with her in the round pen, in the quiet elasticity we’d developed before I’d haltered her, and forgetting about everyone watching me for the first time. Stepper was an incredibly kind teacher as well; I was viscerally moved by his triggers (flinching every time someone raised an arm to the side of him, particularly on the left) and so touched by the softness in his eyes despite the abuse he so clearly remembered.

Emily 1

Image of Emily and Stepper

On the last day, before our exams, I was walking around Zuma’s, knowing I really needed to show up – for myself, for my teachers and peers, but especially for the horses. I was listening to music in my headphones, letting out the self-doubt I’d been fighting against and replacing it with fresh air. My walk changed, and I began to laugh at myself for all the fear and self-scrutiny, because I had accessed something so much deeper, a fierce determination that will carry me through life and a gratitude for this sudden feeling of connection. My mind moved to Captain, and I was full of excitement to spend an hour with him, because I really believed again that I had something to offer, that I had love, fun, leadership and energy to share with him. And I went into his pasture full of this excitement just to be with him, to discover him, and we both showed up. And he gave me himself, he played, we heard each other, and we choreographed a space together in which I forgot about everything else.

And nothing replaces that feeling. Nothing in the world.

Horses are incredibly rhythmic beings. Their cerebellums, which control movement, are much larger than humans’, and their ability to move in harmony with the other beings around them is unparalleled. If there is one reason I have kept returning to horses over and over, it is this; whenever I feel off-kilter in my life, or out of balance with myself, horses bring me back into rhythm – literally, as I find myself moving from a more centered place, and also emotionally and spiritually. They also challenge me to adapt to the rhythms and perceptions of the other beings around me, not just my own. Perhaps this is why I have never felt anything quite as expansive as working with horses, and my desire to learn from them will never be satiated.

Thank you, Anna and Elaine, for widening my access to and understanding of the world of Equus a thousand fold.

Emily P3

 

We certainly look forward to seeing Miss Emily again on our courses as she enjoys the present moment in time and engages all the other souls around the way in which only she can, the humans and the non-humans 😉   We love you, Emily!

 

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Student Spotlight: Elaine and Clea Reach Out to Untouched Mustangs at Whisper’s Sanctuary in Arizona

Tucked into the Canelo Hills in the mountains of Southern Arizona is a place of healing for animals in need.  Whisper’s Sanctuary is a 501c3 nonprofit lifetime home for animals who are unwanted, abused, or retired from public service.  Begun in 2005, the Sanctuary is now home to over 50 animals, many of whom are long-time residents.  The Sanctuary sponsors a children’s educational program to teach about good stewardship – that animals are part of the family and not “disposable.” The Sanctuary also offers therapeutic day programs for adults and families, with the capacity for weekend workshops with guests staying at our Bed & Breakfast.  Our main fundraising venture is Sparky’s Cantina, a vegetarian, vegan and allergy-friendly food trailer that frequents special events and retails food and desserts through a local co-op market.
Whisper’s Sanctuary is the dream come true for the late Ross Romeo and his wife Toni Leo.  Toni has carried on the dream of providing a beautiful, safe place for healing for humans and animals.  Toni is the volunteer Sanctuary director and part-time animal caretaker, and also the volunteer chef for the Cantina!  She operates the B & B and also has a “day job” to keep the Sanctuary afloat.  Donations are greatly appreciated, with 100% of funds received going directly toward the cost of feed and healthcare for the animals.
Current residents include horses, donkeys, mules, goats, geese, chickens, dogs, and a barn cat.  We would love for you to visit us and experience the magic of Whisper’s Sanctuary.  We frequently need animal caretakers, too, so if you are interested in working for us please be in touch!  www.rrheartranch.com
Val’s Story of Rescue at Whisper’s Sanctuary and her Connection with ROTH’s own Certified Trainer/Instructor, Elaine Ackerly:
It was one of those moments when I asked myself  “oh goodness, what have you done this time?”
Whisper’s Sanctuary is a place of last resort for many animals out of options.  We home the leftovers, the unwanteds.  A friend was headed to South Dakota to pick up a load of mustangs from a failed sanctuary.  I was intrigued.  Over 800 needing homes.  She inquired what I wanted.  I responded, “you know me, I’ll take whomever is left.”
Valentine is a lovely, large bay mare from the White Sands, New Mexico lineage who was born at a sanctuary in South Dakota.  An orphan foal, she was bottle raised.  Currently estimated at age 6, she retains hind end lameness due to malnutrition.  Val was bound for another rescue who was unable to take her.  It was one of those moments that one wishes “no” was an option,  but it just wasn’t.
I anxiously arrived home after a long day at work.  It was hard to see in the dark, but there were only two horses in the corral, not three.  I was informed that Val wouldn’t load, and the men who tried said she was out of control.  One, a very experienced horseman, thought she might be “dangerous”.  So Val stayed at his ranch, boarded, while we figured out what we were going to do with her.  Euthanasia?  I just knew there would be no way I could handle a wild, out of control horse thought to be possibly dangerous.  What were we going to do?
A friend suggested I contact Anna Twinney.  Anna’s website resonated with me.  I watched a video on Facebook of the man boarding Val.  Although highly skilled, he is a conventional horse trainer.  He was puzzled by her behavior.  He said she didn’t know how to be a horse, and he couldn’t understand why.  He moved her about a round pen.  My heart sunk. I learned Val’s history.  I knew I needed Anna’s help.
Val needed emotional healing, not a round pen.  A mare lame on both hind legs endured a 1400 mile trip from South Dakota to Southern Arizona.  Maybe she wouldn’t load back on a trailer a day later because she was in pain. A scared orphan in a new place, no one to reassure her.  Alone, in pain, with no one who understood.
After an email exchange, Anna Twinney called me.  I was in shock.  An equestrian celebrity called me.  Anna offered to send us her DVD set about gentling wild horses.  That was so kind.  Then she offered to send an internet request to her network of students to inquire if anyone might be willing to volunteer to come to Arizona to help Val.
I communicated with Elaine Ackerly and Clea Hall. We found we had some things in common and they agreed to visit to work with Val.  I am still in awe at how these two very accomplished and busy women put their lives (and incomes) on hold to help our mustangs.  Elaine visited for eight days, Clea visited for five days.  During that time Elaine worked with Val while Clea worked with Chante and Canela (our other two SD mustangs).  Clea used energy work/healing with all three mustangs in addition to Anna’s ROTH techniques.  They taught me techniques that were very helpful and easy to understand from the perspective of someone with no horse training experience.
Within a few days of their arrival, with hours of Elaine and Clea simply being present with the mustangs, transformations started to occur.  Although I had been in Val’s corral frequently to muck and feed, this time she quietly stood with me by her side.  It was one of those moments when I believed for the first time that there was hope for Val.  You have come all this way, Val, and you are finally home.
Elaine and Clea are inspiring.  Their knowledge, kindness, and willingness to help us has been amazing.  I cannot thank them enough for all they have done for the mustangs, and myself as their caretaker.  Elaine and Clea are both truly a blessing.  Our paths have crossed for many reasons, for which I am grateful.  Thank you so much for giving us hope.
All said and done, with rave reviews from Whisper’s Sanctuary…
Hi Anna,
thank you for emailing and for your interest in the Sanctuary.  Elaine and Clea were such great horsewomen and made progress with the mustangs.  I was appreciative for them teaching me some of the basics, and I will continue to use the videos that you sent as a guide.  I have also told several others in similar situations with unhandled horses about your work to spread the word about what you do.
Thank you so much for your kindness in so many ways.  Your work is already benefitting the horses here and I can only see that growing exponentially in the future with our therapy programs too.
Toni
Below watch Elaine and Clea as they Reach Out for first touches and more with the mustangs at Whisper’s Sanctuary.

 

 

For more info on how you can learn to Reach Out to the Untouched Horse, visit us at:

http://reachouttohorses.com/training.html#gentling

The 2017 ROTH Calendar is Here!

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 The Places You Can Go with ROTH 
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Animal Communication, Energy Healing and Horses,
Costa Rica
For More information Contact: Nancy
kindredconnectionscr@gmail.com
011-506-8703-1561
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Healing Horses at the Historic Bitterroot Ranch
A Unique Reach Out to Horses® Program! Become a certified Reiki Practitioner Level I & II: 4th – 11 , Reiki Master: 3rd-11th while attending a tailor-made Reach Out to Horses® clinic.
Bitterroot Ranch, Dubois,
Wyoming
Accommodations:
Hadley Long-Fox
bitterrootranch@wyoming.com
(800) 545-0
019
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Animal Communication
Dream Retreat
White Stallion Ranch, Tucson, 
Arizona
Contact: Reach Out to Horses
info@reachouttohorses.com 
For Accommodation
Contact: Carol Moore
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January 24 & 26                                                 

Animal Communication Mentorship Program
Online or In Person
Tier One: Home Study
Tier Two: Starts January 24th
Tier Three: Starts March 18th
(Comprehensive Mentorship Program Including All Previous Webinars)
February 24-26th                                                  

Watsonville, California | Pregnant Mare Rescue
February 24th: Introduction to Animal Communication
February 25-26: Animal Communication Weekend: 
Exploring Animal Communication with Rescue Animals and Animals As Our Soulmates. 
March 18th and 19th                                           
Elizabeth, Colorado
Animal Communication Weekend – Live vs Distance Consultation
Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Massage
RMSAAM
Contact: Jenny – (303) 660-9390
information@rmsaam.com
March 18th – 23rd                                             

Elizabeth, Colorado | Reach Out Ranch
Animal Communication LIVE Mentorship Program – Week 1
March 20th – 23rd                                             
Elizabeth, Colorado | Reach Out Ranch
Four Day Animal Communication Class
April 20th                                                     

Fall City, WA
An Evening of Animal Communication
The Northwest Natural Horsemanship Center, 
Jim “Hutch” Hutchins
nwnhc@nwnhc.com
425-222-3623
nwnhc.com
June 22nd                                                        
Kalispell, Montana
An Evening of Animal Communication
For Location & Accommodations
information contact Nancy at:
nancyhorne@centurytel.net

or call (406) 756-2327
December 8th-13th                                               

Elizabeth, Colorado | Reach Out Ranch
Animal Communication Live Mentorship Program – Week 2
December 9th-12th                                              
Elizabeth, Colorado | Reach Out Ranch
4-Day Advanced Animal Communication Class
Contact: Vincent Mancarella
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April 21st – 23rd                                                
Fall City, Washington | The Northwest Natural Horsemanship Center
3-Day Intuitive Riding
SOLD OUT! Auditing Spots Available
Jim “Hutch” Hutchins
nwnhc@nwnhc.com

425-222-3623
nwnhc.com
June 17th & 18th                                                
Broomfield, Colorado | TBA
2-days of Horsemanship with Anna
Confident Horse, Confident Rider
Joan Matteo
Contact: Vincent Mancarella at
June 23rd – 25th                                                 
Kalispell, Montana
3-Day Intuitive Riding with Anna Twinney
For Location & Accommodations
information contact Nancy at:
nancyhorne@centurytel.net
or call (406) 756-2327 
June 30th – July 2nd                                             

Vermont ~ TBA
3-Day Intuitive Riding with Anna Twinney
Contact Kristen Mason for more information
reininghopeaeaat.com
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September 10th – 22nd                                         
East Haddam, Connecticut | Ray of Light Farm
ROTH 2-week Holistic Horsemanship CERTIFICATION course – Section 1
Contact: Ray of Light Farm
Email: info@rayoflightfarm.org 
or call (860) 873-1895
September 26th – October 8th                                     
Littleton, Colorado | Zuma’s Rescue Ranch
Contact: Vincent Mancarella at 
info@reachouttohorses.com
Location: Zuma’s Rescue Ranch
info@zumasrescueranch.com
(303) 346-7493
October 24th – 30th                                              
Littleton, Colorado | Zuma’s Rescue Ranch
7 Day ROTH Trainers Exams
Contact: Vincent Mancarella at
Location: Zuma’s Rescue Ranch
info@zumasrescueranch.com
(303) 346-7493
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May 22nd – 27th                                                

 Littleton, Colorado |Happy Dog Ranch
Horse Whispering 101
with ROTH Certified Instructor Elaine Ackerly
Contact: Vincent Mancarella at info@reachouttohorses.com
Location: Happy Dog Ranch
happydogranch.org 
(303) 915-8531
July 24th – 30th                                                
Littleton, Colorado |Zuma’s Rescue Ranch
Colt Starting 101
Contact: Vincent Mancarella at info@reachouttohorses.com
Location: Zuma’s Rescue Ranch
info@reachouttohorses.com
(303) 346-7493
August 5th – 11th                                               
Bend, Oregon |Warm Springs Horse Network
Foal Gentling the ROTH Way
Contact: Katie Dixon renegade.equine@gmail.com
(802) 222-1163
August 14th – 20th                                              

TBA
Reach Out to the Untouched Horse:
A week with the wild ones
August 26th – September 1st                                   
Green Valley, Arizona |Equine Voices Rescue and Sanctuary
Simple Solutions:
A week of Advanced Horsemanship with Anna Twinney
Contact: Vincent Mancarella at info@reachouttohorses.com
Location: 
Equine Voices Rescue & Sanctuary, Tucson, AZ
(520) 398-2814
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March 6th                                                       
Golden, Colorado | Jefferson Co. Fairgrounds | 7:30pm
In Partnership with Horses. 
Horses as Our Coaches, Messengers and Healers
A Presentation at the Jefferson County Horse Council
Contact: Andrea Raschke
www.jeffcohorse.com
March 9th-12th                                                 

Denver, Colorado | National Western Complex
The Rocky Mountain Horse Expo
                                             
April 8th                                                      
Glade Park, Colorado | Steadfast Steeds
Holistic Horse Day
April 15th                                                     
Broomfield, Colorado | TBD
Holistic Horse Day
Joan Matteo
Contact: Vincent Mancarella at info@reachouttohorses.com
April 28th-30th                                                 

Centennial, Colorado | Friends of Horses Rescue
3-Day ROTH Liberty Clinic Event
Contact: Vin Mancarella for course details at info@reachouttohorses.com
Location: Friends of Horses
fohrescue.com
Contact Bill Stiffler
whstiffler@msn.com
June 29th                                                     

Vermont (location TBA)
Holistic Horse Day
Contact Kristen Mason for More Information
reininghopeaeaat.com
                                                 VIEW OUR CALENDAR BY MONTH

Elaine Ackerly, at the End of One Journey and the Beginning of Another…

After 8 years of courses and classes, study and diligent practice, Elaine has become a certified ROTH Instructor.  This video is just one of her many displays of gratitude for Vin and Anna as they helped her all along the way.  Much love to you, Elaine, and SINCERE Congratulations!  Where will you go now? 😀

Why gentle the slow way? I believe before… – Eponack’s Hear the Herd

Why gentle the slow way?

I believe before answering this question I must first address the fact that the fast path does, indeed, yield results. For the whole history of our working of horses, dominating techniques have been the standard. With the flash and results people have been impressed and inspired to try to get the training down at the fastest pace possible. So, why slow things down when gentling an untouched horse, when trainers are getting jaw dropping results in 90 days at competitions across the country?

Let me answer that question with a question; what is your end goal with your Mustang, feral, or PMU? Do you want to forge a friendship or create a tool?

If you answered that you are seeking a friendship, then you need to think about how you have made new friends in the past. How did those relationships form? Did your longest standing friends begin in confusion that you pushed through with force to make them understand you are there for them? When you meet someone new do you strive to be seen as the leader or do you find common ground and show that you are a compassionate and caring person?

Let’s go back to that idea of first impressions. While approaching a new untouched horse you should first realize that you are not the first encounter your horse has had with people. Their first encounter with bipeds is usually their gathering. We are already perceived as predators, we smell, and behave as predators; we are by nature a trophy species. This is validated by the fact that the herds are chased and then put through the most traumatic experience of their lives; segregated from their families and pushed into tight spaces and transported in trailers. Something that they cannot possibly understand to be a good thing.

When you enter into the pen with an untouched horse, you are carrying the definition of what two legs already mean to them. When you first enter into their confined space you are an instant threat. It is in this moment that you have the choice to validate their knowledge or to show them that all bipeds are not created equal and that you are different from what they have already witnessed. When you chase, corner, restrain or flood, you are validating yourself as a predator. In contrast, if you slow things down and show them that you are listening to their needs for comfort and respect the time needed for them to understand, you are validating a partnership. Horses are intelligent and can come to understand what we want and who we are, but the first touch will follow them for life.

When a horse is given the chance to observe and given a voice that is heard, they will become intrigued and curious. Which will create motivation to learn and explore. We all have had lessons that we learned because we had to and lessons that we sought out because we were curious to know. Which lessons did you take to heart? Which lessons did you keep exploring on your own?

We have a choice every time we work our horses, whether it be gentling or working with a horse on transitions, we can use their language to communicate or to dominate. We can choose to use it against them or to simply communicate (which is the purpose of language). If you use force and fear one day the two of you will come across something scarier or more forceful than you, and you will find your control over them is an illusion. If you offer them support and a voice as they explore and get to know the human world, they will look to you when they are concerned.

For further information on Natural Horsemanship and Holistic approaches, please visit us at our website:  ROTH

Reach Out To Horses Trainers’ Demo Day 2011

For 15 years Anna Twinney has been developing her Reach Out to Horses methodologies. Now its time for these methods to be spread around the Globe, not just by Anna but by her first trainer graduates of the ROTH program. For the first time Anna entrusts 4 graduates to demonstrate their abilities in public at Zumas Rescue Ranch in Littleton, CO fund-raising for the horses. Witness their abilities in touching the horses & inspiring spectators. We welcome Adam Edwards, Sonke Dose, Kimberly Stornetta & Elaine Ackerly officially as part of Reach Out To Horses.