I can’t say that I remember signing up for Anna’s newsletters… but I was receiving them. I remember opening one and feeling like the timing was perfect. The content spoke to me and offered something I could participate in from home, a webinar series on Holistic Horsemanship. This felt serendipitous, having recently become more involved with horses again. My mom and I loved the webinars, but I soon realized that I wanted and needed more in person — hands on experience with these methodologies. So, I went to Colorado to take the 2.5-day intro clinic and I loved it.
I grew up riding horses back east. My grandmother enrolled me in riding lessons every summer as a young girl. Gymkana, jumping, vaulting, trail rides and more. I loved the horses and my teacher.
Upon graduating from college with a BA in Documentary Studies and Photography, I moved to upstate New York and cared for my grandmother for 7 years. After she passed, I moved back to Placitas, New Mexico. There I was immersed in and introduced to a whole new world of wild horses. They were literally in my back yard. I photographed the mustangs, also known here as “wild” or “free-roaming” horses, every time our paths crossed. It felt powerful and special to connect with them as my dog and I enjoyed our walks on the BLM land behind my home. I learned more about the bizarre and intense issues spawned by these community horses.
Two mares were hit and killed in the Placitas village after seeking water during an intense drought, and this prompted me to become involved. I began documenting the wild ones as well as the horses that had recently been rounded up. No longer “free-roaming,” they were transitioning to a life of domestication — confined, engaging in day-to-day interaction with humans, getting microchipped by the livestock board, trailered, moved, vetted, etc. I used all of my tools to support their transition, particularly an energy healing modality called Crystalline Consciousness Technique™.
The grey stallion that was rounded up with his remaining mares was the first to get gelded. He was still very wild, not touched or haltered. The approach was to squeeze him in a secure area to heavily sedate him — enough to have him gelded, vaccinated, and his hoofs trimmed. Long story short, he was given too many drugs and had a hard time recovering from the sedation. Everything went wrong, and in the end he had to be shot. This was quite a traumatizing experience, and very heartbreaking. It impacted me hugely, and I vowed that I would do everything in my power to prevent something like that from happening again. It was clear to me that the mustangs would have to be handled, haltered, and gentled to some extent prior to getting gelded in order to ensure that the procedure be safe, with minimal trauma and not life threatening.
Anna and ROTH were exactly what I needed. The Universe lined it all up. I have embraced the ROTH program and the education, experience and support its offered me as I learn and grow in my journey adopting, raising, and gentling Placitas Mustangs.
Anna likes to say I did her course backwards. I started with the Untouched Horse Clinic before the Foundation Course because that was my primary focus. I’m grateful that I did, but I also realized that I was lacking skills and training that the foundation course covered. I attended the 3-day Liberty clinic which blew my mind as it introduced me to a whole new world with horses. I continued with ROTH, taking the Foundation courses (1 and 3) and graduating in Fall, 2015.
I was granted the opportunity to take the Untouched Horse clinic one more time after doing part of the foundation and filling in the holes in my training. I enrolled in the Foal Gentling Clinic, and against my better judgement adopted my allocated foal because all the signs I received indicated that it was meant to be. I completed the Colt Starting Clinic, rumored to be the hardest. Indeed, it surprised me with a few firsts. I was kicked on day 1, and by the end of the week rode my first “baby”, a horse named Hopi. I then signed the contract and committed to the trainer’s program. Last month, I completed the NEW Simple Solutions Clinic and it exceeded my expectations. I loved everything about it. As I write this I am working on compiling my 20 case studies, done over the past few years, to submit for the Trainers Exams next month at Zumas Rescue Ranch in Colorado. My highlight is starting my own mustang Friendly, now five years old, under saddle with my ROTH sister Liv from Denmark for our Colt Start case study. What an exciting and fulfilling experience for us all! Friendly was also my first horse gelded (when he was 2) after the passing of the grey stallion. I was nervous, so I took my time and made sure he was haltered and ready and that I had a vet team I could trust.
My mom and I now have two dozen mustangs (after all the babies were born). They are our world, and have been for the past 3 years. We have received funding assistance from Animal Protection New Mexico, and have gelded three of our colts thus far — all free from complications.
Studying with ROTH has empowered me on many levels. Understanding the psychology and nature of the horse, and using it to support them in a trust-based partnership resonates with me on a core level. I trust that I was ready and that the perfect teacher, Anna, was placed in my path to help me and the horses I was adopting and raising. The timing was perfect to support a journey I never would have predicted. I believe completing the trainer’s exams will be a jump start for creating my own business as I move forward using all of my tools — holistic horsemanship, energy healing, essential oils and a deep desire to make a difference in the lives of humans and horses!
Watch Anna as she touches the wild, Mongolian Horse for the first time and then builds a foundation for the work in following videos.
Please visit our website at Reach Out to Horses for more information on Anna as she travels the world to better the lives of horses and their two-legged companions everywhere.
Anna Twinney spends a lot of time on airplanes. Internationally known as a horse whisperer, animal communicator and energy healer, she’s booked solid up to 18 months in advance.
Earlier in 2016 an invitation came from the Chinese branch of the American Quarter Horse Association for Anna to please come to Beijing and Mongolia. They wanted her to share her knowledge and wisdom, and despite her very busy schedule, she did the nearly impossible … she made time. As well traveled as Anna is, China was a brand new experience.
“It’s truly a country of contrast,” Anna explained. She traveled from the metropolis of Beijing, with its economic success and high energy, to areas in the Mongolian countryside where indoor plumbing was an absolute luxury.
Often, in promotions for clinics, the question “Language Barrier?” is asked in regards to people understanding their horses. Though Anna was outfitted with excellent translators, difficulties in understanding remained. “It was a bit like being a horse, I imagine,” Anna explained. “I had to pay extremely close attention to body language, to facial expressions and interpret the intentions and ideas of the course attendees.”
“Though, like always, I spent a lot of time showing students about connection and communication, these students were very interested in problem solving. They really absorbed the information but were in great need of help when things weren’t going smoothly,” Anna said.
She worked with the students to help them understand that connection is the first pathway to problem solving and it’s achieved easily with the right mindset and skills. She introduced the Chinese students to those new skills and knowledge to help to overcome their obstacles.
Attendees at the Beijing event were some of the most prominent horse owners in the country and Anna’s course was hosted at one of the first modern equestrian facilities to be built in the city. The event broke attendance records and attracted scores of television and newspaper reporters.
“They asked powerful questions,” Anna said.
Anna explained the Chinese were extremely hospitable and she was humbled and in awe of the lengths they went to to ensure her comfort. She was partnered with a concierge who was on hand with everything from cold water during her lectures and demonstrations to an impromptu leg massage when she suddenly developed a terrible cramp.
She was treated to a trail ride in the beautiful Mongolian countryside. It was going rather quickly at first. Unbeknownst, Anna was riding with a national Chinese endurance team! She describes her few several minutes of the views as “blurry” due to the speed of the ride. Mercifully, her hosts slowed down so Anna could enjoy the sights and absorb the fact that we was actually, on a trail ride … in Mongolia! Even world traveling, internationally known experts sometimes find themselves surprised at where life has taken them.
One topic that particularly interested the people in the Mongolian crowd was the difference between the ROTH methodology and their traditional style of “horse breaking” (i.e. taking hold of their ears, turning their necks and manhandling them to incorporate their language). The entire village, vet, farrier and endurance team came to watch the training.
“They were astounded to see me approach a horse in moments that took them 2 hours to touch, and another wild horse who came around to appreciating and enjoying the lesson,” Anna said, “He accepted a halter without fear or force, all through gentling methodologies.”
Anna’s hosts in China were so pleased with their record crowds, with the valuable knowledge and insight Anna shared, that upon her return to Beijing she was invited as the prominant guest speaker to open the new western saloon! She has since been invited back to China and is planning a second trip in 2017.
“When I came to America 20 years ago, my goal was to learn as much as I could and bring this new found knowledge back to the police force. I wanted to spread the word to my fellow Bobbies, to show this small community that there was a better way. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would have the opportunity to share my message of compassion and communication, and open up the way to a better partnership for people and horses, all over the globe. This is a very exciting time and I can’t wait to see where this message will take me next.”
The Next Generation of Horsemanship!
Join the Colt Starting group at Friends of Horses as they start and spook bust their horses. Many of the horses you see here are Mustangs, and there are a few Friesians, as well. Just imagine though, if you could make this kind of solid progress as you build trust over the first 7 days of training, there is no limit to what you could do and where you could go. For more information on Anna Twinney, her methods, and how you can Reach Out to Horses to better the lives of all involved, please visit us on our webpage at:
A dream come true; an educational storm of horsemanship, Anna Twinney’s ROTH clinics are always a life-changing experience. No matter the topic I come away a different person. Not only do I gain horsemanship knowledge, but as a youth learning to live and grow in our dynamic, sometimes confusing world, I gain valuable life skills. Never did I imagine how many lessons come through, not only from horses, but all animals. All my experiences have been nothing less than magical.
This year I was able to attend the Colt Starting clinic with my three-year-old mustang, Whisper. Whisper was my first horse to gentle using Reach Out to Horses methods. I remember saying on the day I picked her up that “next year I can bring her to colt starting!” To be able to bring her and start her under Anna’s watchful eye was a vision made real. The whole colt starting experience was incredible. It included driving the long twenty hours down to Colorado with four horses, staying seven days during the clinic, and riding Whisper for the very first time! Bringing Whisper from an untouched mustang to getting on her back for the first couple times was an extraordinary experience. I learned a lot, trying to absorb as much as I could! I had a wonderful time meeting new people and horses, making friends all around the world. Near the end of the clinic I was included with the trainer-course students while they received a lecture about the course. Reading and signing the course papers was empowering because it had been my dream since the second time I ever attended one of Anna’s clinics. Thank you, Anna, and Reach Out to Horses, for all of your hard work and dedication to all of us, animal and human. It feels like you have shown me how to live, and have helped me reach my greatest ambitions. What you have taught me is priceless and I can’t thank you enough for everything.
No matter what topic we are on I am always learning a miraculous amount. I have thoroughly loved every second of it. Since the first one-day-clinic I attended it’s been a dream, and to experience it coming true is life-changing and magical. It’s a journey and I am excited to see what else it holds.
Written by Lani Salisbury
Please visit our website for additional information on Anna’s courses and to read about her extraordinary work in the world of horses and the people who love them.
WSHN – the Warm Springs Horse Network
Beth Matanane – Board Member
WSHN – the Warm Springs Horse Network was chosen to provide the amazing foals to an Anna Twinney clinic held in Sisters, Oregon this past week. This week-long, intense, hands-on clinic provided attendees with something they will walk away with as a memorable, life-changing experience. While learning the techniques and theory of horse gentling the students focus on obtaining the knowledge of a kinder, gentler method of horsemanship. Respect along with permissions. This makes perfect sense while dealing with eleven Warm Springs foals ranging from 2 months to 5 months old. Recognizing the subtle body language, approach and retreat along with respect proved to this writer the amount of time, effort, and dedication is priceless in the student and the animal.
After witnessing a student establish an acceptable touching space on the animal then moving forward to establishing a true communication language between the pair. I watched in amazement as the student was able to guide the foal into acceptance and respect for the student. Under the kind leadership of Anna Twinney, this breakthrough between species made yet another marked impression on all who observed these actions. The sense of accomplishment lead to one proud student and a lip-smacking, chewing, yawning, comfortable foal.
Students also were hands on with the care and feeding of each foal. Some stayed through lunch to enrich this experience even further, petting and observing the friendlier horses. As the week is progressing the entire group will travel to the Warm Springs Reservation, guided by a Tribal Member to observe the wild horses in the wild at the reservation. The amount of community abounds when WSHN is involved. We are proud to have been a piece of this multifaceted composite that has led to a well-rounded, amazing learning experience. An equine nutritionist will also explain the nutritional needs of equine.
Auditor, Tracee Dmytryk commented on how “comfortable the foals became from her first day of observation to the third, “it’ appeared the horses had little stress, became more confident and comfortable around the students.” Another auditor, Angie Shelby, observed “how the gentle techniques used by Anna were an amazing interpretation of gentle horsemanship.” Shelby also remarked on the high level of care that was given to each foal. Anna provided what was “best for the horse – the herd.” She also observed how, “the more reactive horses were being touched in a short period of time,” using Anna’s techniques.
WSHN is a 501c3 nonprofit developed by a group of four women in central Oregon: Shontae Thomas, Robbi Pruitt, Tori Reid, and Beth Matanane. Dedicated and developed with the sole purpose of promoting the Warm Springs horses and providing an educational avenue for persons interested in the Warm Springs equine. A portion of the proceeds from this clinic will go to aid in the care of the WSHN horses looking for adoptive families.
Anna Twinney is a recognized Equine Consultant at The Equus Projects/ OnSite NYC, Natural Horsemanship Clinician & animal communicator at Happy Dog Ranch, and Natural Horsemanship Clinician at FOAL – Friends Of A Legacy Lives in Elizabeth, Colorado.
For more information and courses offered here at ROTH, please visit our website at :