“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!


ROTH at Home in Colorado


Dear Colorado and surrounding area’s friends,
We’ve put together our upcoming events, courses and clinics taking place here at home, simply click on the event  link below that you are most interested in (or all of them, we don’t want to limit you) to learn more about them and register! We can’t wait to see you at an upcoming event!

Learn More about RMSAAM’s Weekend


Find out more about how you can join


Join Anna for the day and learn more…



Join us at Mounting Miracles Ranch


Join Anna for 3 days of Liberty Magic


Learn more about Horse Whispering and how you can be a part!



Learn more about joining Anna in Lafayette


Find out how you can learn the valuable principles of starting and beyond…


Join us for this year’s HHC III

For any additional information or if you have questions please feel free to contact us at either 303-642-7341 or info@reachouttohorses.com.







Holistic Horse Course Part 1 as Seen Through the Eyes of Student, Lani Salisbury.

With a stringent week of Holistic Horsemanship Courses under foot, some fun and smiles must be had.  Join our students of HHC 1 as they find time to be goofy and light hearted.  Watch a wonderful video composed by one of our youngest-ever course students, Lani Salisbury.  Great job, Lani, in capturing the lighter side of what we do here at ROTH while encompassing the entire Holistic Horsemanship experience.


A ROTH Student Contemplates Cribbing

What Is Cribbing/Windsucking And What Are The Causes And Remedies?

Barb Gallagher August 31, 2013

Cribbing occurs when a horse braces his teeth against a fixed object, then flexes his neck as he draws air into his throat and grunts. Windsucking is similar except that the horse doesn’t grab an object with his teeth before sucking air.

It is an oral coping strategy or stereotypic behavior that is repetitive and a reaction to the horse simply not getting what he needs. In short a functional habit that meets the physiological need of the horse. It is not a compulsion. It is actually meeting a physical need. These behaviors are simply reactions of horses that are not getting what they need. Which is a more natural environment, which is usually unavailable largely because of stable management practices.

Most people believe that it is a vice caused by boredom or mimicry. Wrong! Researchers have ruled out that that is not the primary cause. Another longtime belief or myth is that they crib because they get a “high” from the release of endorphins. In fact studies have shown that endorphin levels in a horse’s bloodstream actually drop when he begins to crib. The causes of cribbing/windsucking are many and each horse is an individual so a full assessment of their history is necessary to understand the what, when, where and how it all started.

You may be able to curb it but, once the behavior is there it is next to impossible to cure it. As is in many addictions, one addiction is just exchanged for another. It is truly a sad thing to witness when a horse is in such a desperate place that they have to resort to such practices. The causes are varied and complicated but, scientific research is getting closer to understanding it and in my own opinion just using common sense of how the horse lives in the wild is key.



Can we assume that if we see cribbing/windsucking that the horse is under stress? No, once the behavior has developed it can persist even when the horse is not stressed. In another study, there was no correlation between the removal of the opportunity to perform the behavior and a rise in stress measurements. However, it was found that stereotypic horses had higher stress levels to start with, even in the pasture. Stereotypic behaviors have never been observed in horses who live as Mother Nature intended.


With the use of endoscopy the link between ulcers and cribbing has strengthened, but no one will state that one causes the other. Many horses with ulcers don’t crib and many cribbers don’t have ulcers. Although the incidence of ulcers in cribbers is higher. In recent studies it was found that 80% of all horses have ulcers.


Are some behaviors learned? We commonly assume this but, it could be that they are under the same management as their neighbors so, it could be the management or design that is causing them to adopt a stress coping mechanism. Beyond that, mimicry has yet to be shown in any horse behavior. There is also the possibility that the sight of another horse cribbing or performing a stereotypy is a stress in and of itself and that could be what is going on when the prevalence of a stereotypic behavior starts to rise in a barn.


Cribbing tends to occur immediately after a meal that contains molasses and researchers have established a clear connection between cribbing and sweet feed (although feeding a horse plain oats and molasses doesn’t seem to stimulate cribbing). Foals fed sweet feed at weaning are much more likely to develop a cribbing habit. Cribbing does not promote salivation but, it does stimulate the vagus nerve and production of stomach acid, which can lead to ulcers. Feeding alfalfa also seems to promote cribbing; otherwise, horses seem to crib less when eating only hay. Sweets, even apples and carrots trigger cribbing. Foals fed a concentrate after weaning are four times more likely to become cribbers that foals fed forage only. So, the recipe for producing a cribber, is early weaning, a high concentrate/low forage diet and infrequent feedings. It is also known that a cribber’s motivation to crib is equal to his motivation to eat.

Administering antacids to cribbers does raise the PH of the stomach (making it less acidic) but, it does not reduce the frequency of cribbing. According to a spokesman at Merial, the company that makes GastroGard, no studies have been done to determine the efficacy of their product on reducing cribbing. The common denominators in cribbers are: high-sugar “sweet feeds” consisting of a large portion of the horse’s diet, limited roughage, long periods with no available feed, social isolation and stall environment or design.


Cribbing often starts at weaning or when a horse is put into a stall and fed grain. Dr. Danial Mills, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in the UK believes that half of all cribbing starts within 20 weeks of age, the typical time of weaning. As stated above, foals fed a concentrate are four time more likely to become cribbers than foals fed forage only.


There seems to be little doubt among researcher’s (although it had not been documented) that cribbing is influenced by genetics and skips generations. It is very strongly suggested that cribbers never be bred, regardless of their conformation or potential. The highest incidence of cribbing is first among Thoroughbred’s and then Quarter Horses are next and evidence points to a genetic link there.

Science has confirmed that cribbers are prone to colic, making them largely uninsurable due to their risk of mortality.


A cribbing behavior can generally be reduced and sometimes eliminated by addressing the cause and not the symptom. Feed plain oats and grass hay, avoiding sweet feeds and alfalfa if possible. Grass hay is ideal because it keeps a horse busy and helps neutralize the stomach acid that flows constantly to the equine stomach. Check with your vet about adding an equine antacid to the diet. Add supplements if need be to replace the vitamins and minerals your horse was getting on a concentrated feed. Provide as much turnout with other horses as much as possible, 24/7 turnout is ideal.

Off the Home Range.

Home range being the distance the horse covers each day in search of food and water. In a domestic situation, the horse is in a very intense environment where what they eat is close at hand and food is in a concentrated form and readily available. A concentrated ration can be consumed in 2 to 3 hours where horses have evolved to graze 16 hours a day. In general, look at the way forage is presented and how forage time could be increased. Make them work harder to get forage. A variety of forages instead of just hay alone can also reduce the abnormal behavior.

Old Methods

Muzzles, straps or In extreme cases surgery, where the nerve or muscle in the neck is cut are all methods that have been used in the past with not much efficacy. There are also distasteful compounds that can be painted on surfaces they crib on but, that is time consuming and costly not to mention that every time you move the horse somewhere you have to repaint all surfaces.

Harm to Horse

Possible development of ulcers, wear on the upper teeth, over development of neck muscles. Cribbing can also result in a rare form of colic called, epiploeic foramen entrapment, which occurs when the cecum fills with air, floats out of position and becomes stuck. This type of colic, though rare in horses, is somewhat more common in cribbers.

Example Horse

Radar, a four year old wild mustang gelding taken off the range at the age of one and subsequently adopted by an 80 year old woman who developed a love/hate relationship with him displays constant windsucking on the back of one of his herd mates. From my understanding he was with this woman for two years and was sent to a couple of different trainers. There is little information on what or how the trainers handled him so it is hard to know when the behavior started. I believe he was also kept in a round pen by himself therefore his separation anxiety was probably huge. He has been at the Dimock ranch for the past year with some training and in a herd environment. He has gone from wood chewing to cribbing to wind sucking on another horse. The mere fact that he was taken off his natural habitat, isolated, not given the opportunity to forage and move and possibly abused it is no wonder that he has resorted to desperate measures to comfort himself. He has recently been adopted again and will be going to a home with a draft horse as a herd mate. If he is not given adequate movement and the ability to forage many hours a day I do not see his behavior changing.

He has been given some Bach flower remedies of Walnut and Rescue Remedy but, since we are only here for a short time we have not been able to see if they are working as yet.

What I have learned

This has been a very fascinating subject and I feel I learned a great deal by researching it and finding out certain things that I have heard over the years that are not true and I will not be parroting again. Thanks for the opportunity to learn!

Below is a picture of Radar wind sucking on his herd mate, Toby.


Join Anna this year as she teaches in the States!

Anna is excited every year to bring horse and human together through true, trust-based horsemanship and 2013 is no different. 


Join us in picturesque Cody, Wyoming for an adventure you won’t forget, or see how you can apply these unique and powerful methodologies to your horses in East Haddam, CT.

No matter the event, they are sure to change your horsemanship, your thinking and your life, forever.

Take the journey to another world.  A world of trust, a world of partnership…


A World of Results!

Anna and the whole Reach Out Team!

Photo by Lauren Munger
Photo by Lauren Munger

2-Week Holistic Horsemanship Certification Course

August 20th – 31st, Cody, WY

Learn the Art of Trust and Horsemanship
with the Exclusive Reach Out to Horses Methodologies.

Whether your goal is to develop solid, well-rounded skills in your own private horsemanship or to become a respected expert in the equine industry, the Reach Out to Horses® Holistic Horsemanship Certification Course is for you.

This comprehensive program is designed for those who have a genuine desire to learn trust-based, gentle, non-invasive communication methods. It is the perfect starting point for equine enthusiasts, potential horse guardians, instructors, trainers, managers, those working in the equine industry, and those seeking to become professional trainers and clinicians.

This program has been carefully designed for more than a decade to give you the solid foundation crucial to the success in any discipline of horsemanship.

You will learn how to give your horse a voice, to understand the horse’s language, and converse using not only body language (that’s just the beginning) but through the many facets of the .

Find Out How You Can Be a Part of the Next Generation of Horsemanship...


Reach Out to the Untouched Horse
August 6th – 12th, 2013, Cody, WY 1 SPOT LEFT!

September 28th – October 4,
North Dakota


This year you have 2 chances to let Anna guide you through the world of the untouched horse and the language of Equus.  Enter the magical domain of the wild horse and begin to understand their non-verbal communication in the natural world, Over the course of these 7 days you will discover herd dynamics and develop a bond through building a trust-based relationship. You will begin the training process and socialize a group of untouched horses that have come to the class needing and deserving a second chance.

Learn More…


Colt Starting 101
July 9th –  14th, 2013,
Ray of Light Farm, East Haddam, CT


The starting process is one of the most impressionable times of a young horse’s life.  Learn the highly effective, safe and very efficient ROTH methodologies for not only young unstarted horses but also to reestablish a more cooperative relationship with mature horses as well.

Learn More…

ROTH HHC I 2012 at Zuma’s Rescue Ranch, Littleton, CO

This year’s Holistic Horse Course was held at the beautiful Zuma’s Rescue Ranch in Littleton, CO. Not only did the students learn a lot, but they had fun doing it.

But don’t take our word for it! Here’s what they had to say about it:

I have been wanting to come to this training for a couple of years, now. This course was worth the wait. I have learned so much!

-Pam Swigged,  Queen Creek, AZ

Totally awesome 2-weeks, loved and learned every single minute of it, not just about horses but the whole holistic picture and the interconnectedness of the all in terms of energy. Will take away many, many tools that will help me in all areas of my life. Total respect and admiration for Anna.

-Sheila Moore, Auckland New Zealand

Anna Twinney has created and perfected the single most comprehensive horsemanship program I have seen anywhere. She brings to the table amazing skills, talents, gifts, and ultimately- magic – and possess also the unique ability to successfully and honestly impart theses skills to her students. She teaches all aspects of horsemanship – not just techniques – with a high standard of ethics like no other.

I would suggest there is no other human being with a greater connection to animals and their well-being, than Anna Twinney.

-Laura Schumann, Janesville, OH

A great 2-weeks with so much new learning and so many new experiences. I still don’t really know what my path is with horses. Perhaps, when I return home it will all unfold.

-Jeni Macnab, Perth, Scotland

Fantastic 2-weeks. I have gained confidence in handling different horses. I enjoyed the challenge of getting out of my comfort zone and working with my energy level to gauge the different horses. My instincts were honed in this course.

-Heidi Reid, Reynoldsburg, OH

Life changing experience. 2-weeks of giving and receiving unconditional love to and from the horses. A physical and spiritual challenge to feel the incredible;e energy from Anna and her team as they pushed us towards excellence. Zuma’s Rescue Ranch is ther most beautiful horse rescue that I have ever seen. Jodi, is an amazing woman who has created a safe, healthy and nurturing learning experience for the horses. Each horse I was privileged to work with had its own story.

Anna has an amazing gift. The skill set she passed on to all of us to develope our natural horsemanship will stay with us a lifetime. The entire learning experience is indescribable on so many levels. It goes beyond what I have experienced with other horse training clinicians. She takes the lessons to the next level. Extremely rewarding experience that I would recommend to anyone who truly wants to go beyond the more traditional methods of horse training. If you have ever asked yourself, “Is there more to learn?” then you need to discover Anna’s training methods and experience them for yourself.

-Artice Arnold, Elgin, TX

Check out our FaceBook album and hit ‘Like” while your there to keep up on where Anna is and what changes she and her team are making fo r the horses: ROTH HHC I 2012 Zuma’s Rescue Ranch

ROTH Holistic Horse Modular Course Testimonials!

Making Memories……….Enjoy the Reminiscing!

HHC Graduation 2011

20011 graduates from the ROTH Comprehensive Holistic Horsemanship
Modular Certification Course in


I am pleased to be a graduate from the ROTH Comprehensive Holistic Horsemanship Foundation program and proud of receiving the certificate.

As always, it was pleasure to watch and listen to Anna. Her lectures are interesting with plenty of stories of horses, demos clear and detailed.  She really has helped me to open my mind, truly listen the whisper and gentle my touch with horses.

The challenge for the modular course has been scheduling time for little over 6 months. While attending the six 3 1/2 day modules, the “normal” life still goes on and demands attention. It is important to constantly keep going with the case studies, personal horse psychology project and team project for the course; otherwise the time runs out fast. There is really no time off between modules.

The benefit of the modular course is definitely getting the information in digestible portions. I loved to get out after the module was finished and get on works studies with the exercises we had just learned at the class, while everything was still fresh in my mind. It was great to meet and work with different horses at HPL, Zuma’s and Joder Ranch.

Looking forward to see, what is next on my path…

Seija Tillanen


I started working with horses about 4 years ago, helping the “person” relax on their horse to keep themselves calm while riding.  It was rewarding to see.  As I stepped into the round pen in doing coaching and asking our amazing friends to facilitate healing it became obvious I needed to be more comfortable with the horses, especially when traveling and not knowing many horses’ personalities, quirks and sensitivities.

I joined Anna’s Roth Modular Course to gain comfort, leadership and a more complete understanding of horse behaviour.  Did I hit the jack pot, the course ran 6 mos. and it was quite a serious matter.  I  started my first class with my head down being overwhelmed at what I was asked to do, looking back it was simply “moving a horse”.  I had not a clue.  As the course continued I became more and more confident.  I feel I can get with a horse, assess the situation, read her/his personality and simply ask the horse what the situation is, giving the horse equal time as their owner.  The course has put the horse on equal ground as the human.  Quite amazing really.

Anna’s course was complete and took me deeper than I had ever planned, on most occasions I would opt out of things, and with Anna’s confidence in me, she took me beyond my comfort zone.  Going beyond my comfort zone, that is what I help other’s do as a coach, yet, she has helped me find the value of really stepping out so far beyond. It transforms lives, both in my personal/professional life as well as the lives of horses I touch.

Anna has questions that took me deeper within myself.  One which really helped me decide how I was to take this course deeper.  I believe it something like “how is this course going to help me make a difference in the horse world”.

I believe I am to help horse owners understand themselves by taking steps to understand their horses as mirror and facilitator to a deeper connection and relationship.  My life has already started and I have seen amazing differences with that deeper knowledge on both sides, the owner as well as their trusted horse.

Thank you Anna for the in depth introduction to the world of the horse.



As a professional horse trainer, I felt the need to round out my own skill set, and after diligent comparison against many other programs, I chose to attend Anna’s Foundation Holistic Horsemanship Course.  Anna is unique in her field, teaching how to create a true trusting partnership with the horse through the application of sound and gentle natural horsemanship techniques, use of energy, and the Language of Equus.  The Foundation Course is a “must do” for every horseman.

–William L. Pelkey, Ph.D. Founder and Owner of Equigetics LLC


The ROTH Modular course more than met my expectations.  I started with the goal of learning some new techniques to help me be better for my horses.  I left the course with a whole new perspective of horsemanship.  I feel I now have a toolbox to help with many situations, whether it’s a behavioral or a relationship issue.  I am looking forward to applying what I have learned, continuing the journey and bringing value to the horses.  Thanks for the experience.

Sam Marick


Anna, I would never have guessed taking this course would have been like it turned out.  I thank you for making or guiding me to the deepest part of my brain to “re-tool” my life.  It has been a great ride from the ground.

Cathy Amwake


The ROTH modular class is TLC for the human and horse!  This is a life altering challenge that will take you on a ride to a new understanding, appreciation and connection to that most marvelous world of Equine.

Lloyd Mower


Anna’s modular course was an amazing opportunity for me to start to truly learn about the horse.  Through the instruction, coaching and practice, I felt I began a journey into a fantastic new world.  The horses and Anna were my guides as I explored the language of Equus as well as my own capacity for “reaching out”.

Jan Dietrich, CO


This is a life enhancing extended experience for both horses and humans.  Anna and the ROTH team, pay close attention to the needs and personalities of the horses and the humans.  Anna and Brack dedicate their intention and responses to create success for both horses and humans.  It is really a rare commitment and competence to pay very close attention to the communication and behavior of both.  The results are equine and human development and this creates larger fields of awareness and relationship.  And so I complete the modular with a much more lively perception of our interspecies interconnections.  And this helps me to be more in love with life.  Anna and ROTH people give more than 100% and are authentically present, engaged and creative in teaching us to learn the language of horses, to become aware of our communications, to contribute to the best for all.

Mary Ehrgood


On this, the last day of the modular course, which began some eight months ago I find it hard to put into words what the course has meant to me.  To say it was life changing sounds trite but life changing it was and it and will be for years to come.

In this course with Anna’s wisdom and compassion, Brack’s enthusiasm and support and Adam, Sonke and Elaine’s confidence in us I was able to overcome a huge obstacle of fear, learn the steps to basic, good horsemanship and feel the confidence I came here seeking.

This course is by no means easy, but with dedication it is possible!  I know more about myself and horses than I ever imagined I would….and the journey has been a blessing.  It feels like a new beginning.

Lauren Munger