The Psychology of Equus: An HHC Student’s Investigation

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How do horses interact with novel stimuli, and does personality play a role?

By Asila Bergman
2017 HHC Student

Introduction
This topic was explored with the help of three horses with previously unknown histories at Drifter’s Hearts of Hope rescue facility in Franktown, CO. The main goals of this project were to learn how horses in general use their body language and energy to communicate how they experience, feel, and learn about new things in their environments, as well as how each individual horse interacts with novel stimuli, and what this can tell us about his/her personality. Another goal was to explore these exercises as possible enrichment activities that could be used by the rescue
to encourage exploration, curiosity, and creativity in horses that may benefit from environmental stimulation.
The horses that participated in this project were Captain (12 yrs), Jack Sparrow ( 13 yrs), and Rosy (20 yrs). Since little was known about their origins, their ages were estimated. All three horses were rescued from a feedlot, and were together at a quarantine facility prior to arriving at the rescue. This project began within a few days following their arrival. They were all healthy and sound, and cleared by a vet to participate in this project.
Each horse participated in three exercises: obstacle course at liberty; obstacle course in-hand; and scent enrichment. The obstacle course consisted of nine obstacles made with a variety of different objects, and was designed for the horses to either walk across, through, over, or under, and was set up in an indoor arena. Some examples of the obstacles include: plastic chairs in two rows creating a lane to walk through; a tarp covered with swim noodles to walk over; car wash strips hanging down to walk through; wooden teeter totter to step onto and walk across. The horses were encouraged to explore the obstacle course at liberty with handlers applying pressure/release
using body language and line, and in-hand with handlers applying pressure/release with the Dually Halter.

For the scent enrichment activity, the horses were given the opportunity to explore four scents (rosemary, lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus) in 5 min, using free choice. Each scent box was made by putting 5 drops of the designated oil onto a paper towel and placing it inside of a plastic Tupperware container with several holes in the lid. The scent boxes were presented by sliding them under the gate, and placing them on the ground in each of the horse’s run area.
Captain
During the obstacle course at liberty, Captain approached and investigated several of the obstacles almost immediately, and was exhibiting curious and relatively confident behavior. Within a few minutes of being in the arena he walked up to one of the chairs and picked it up. His level of confidence and comfort could be due to the fact that he was not alone, and also had a familiar horse, Rubicon, in the arena with him. While working their way through the obstacle course with handlers, it became apparent that when Captain was given clear instructions through body language, he was able to follow them without much hesitation or fear. He was comfortable with objects touching him on the sides, as well as stepping up and over objects. He did not require a large amount of pressure from his handler (via body language/distance) in order to work up the
courage to cross any of the obstacles that he was presented with, and appeared to enjoy taking the lead. From observing him, it appeared that the value for him in the obstacle course at liberty was exploration, being allowed to influence his environment, and showing Rubicon where to go.

Captain exhibited similar behavior during the obstacle course in-hand. His handler noted that when she allowed him to make the decisions about which path to take, he often was seeking out and investigating obstacles on his own. She described him as being very keen, intelligent, and independent. He was also engaged with her during the obstacle course, and not afraid to have a voice in the process. He had many moments when he wanted to speed the process up, and sometimes got bored relatively quickly depending on the obstacle, where as during other more difficult obstacles (e.g. teeter totter), he needed some shaping, as well as more clarity and confidence in order to get through the entire obstacle. The value for Captain during this exercise was working through the difficult obstacles with his handler as a partner—because he is so
independent, it takes practice for him to take direction and leadership from others.

When the scent boxes were placed in Captain’s run, he immediately approached them to
investigate. He used his mouth and lips to touch each box as he sniffed them, and although he moved from one box to another pretty quickly, he spent the most time near lavender and peppermint. Captain spent approximately 30 seconds investigating the scent boxes, and then turned his back to them and walked to the other end of the run. Captain was inquisitive and interested by this exercise, but once he had taken a whiff of each of the boxes, he lost interest relatively quickly.

Jack Sparrow
During the obstacle course at liberty, Jack spent the first several minutes in the corner of the arena near the mirrors, showing that he was fearful in the new environment and was seeking safety with other horses, so he remained near his reflection. Once he was asked by his handler to move through the course at liberty, he was able to complete several of the obstacles. Through observations of Jack during the obstacle course, his behavior was somewhat distrusting, as if he was preparing for things to get uncomfortable, or go wrong. He was not completely checked out, but did show a fear of engaging and a lack of confidence. His behavior showed his need for security and comfort. As the session continued and he received clear communication from his
handler, he showed more of a willingness to connect. The value for Jack during this exercise was being challenged, and gaining confidence by being thrown out of his comfort bubble, and in doing so, learning that not all experiences with new environments/objects/people have to be negative.

Jack’s sensitive side came out even more during the obstacle course in-hand. He was extremely tentative going through all of the obstacles that were asked of him. Although he didn’t spook or start, it was still very apparent that he was fearful, and told his handler this by planting his feet at the edge of each obstacle and resisting forward movement. He only moved forward off of very light and gentle pressure on the halter, and needed lots of shaping and repetition in order to feel comfortable completing an obstacle. He also needed lots of praise, extra care, and encouragement during this process. In watching Jack move through the obstacle course in-hand, it seemed that the
value for him came from learning to trust, and that by being willing to try, he learned he could rely on his handler to not put him in harm’s way.

Jack was eager to approach the scent boxes as soon as they were placed in his run. He was very curious and engaged during this exercise, and showed a side of his personality that we had not seen in either of the obstacle course sessions. He began exploring the eucalyptus scent first, and spent the most time with this box. He first sniffed it, then picked it up in his teeth, then pawed at it until it opened, at which point he briefly explored the scented paper towel. He then moved on to the other boxes, one by one, and tried to open them as well. He picked up the peppermint and swung it around in his mouth. He spent a total of 1 min, 30 sec with the boxes, and although he investigated all of them thoroughly, he spent the most time with eucalyptus and peppermint. After
investigating all of the boxes multiple times, he lost interest and moved toward the other end of the run.

Rosy
Rosy was a very interesting horse to observe during the obstacle course at liberty. Prior to this, when she was observed in her paddock where she was living with several other horses, she appeared to be depressed and withdrawn. It was quite a surprise when she was released into the arena and completely lit up with positive energy, and was behaving as if it were an opportunity to show everyone what she could do. She immediately began running around the arena and investigating all of the obstacles in her path. She looked overjoyed to be there in that space, and was behaving like a completely different horse, exhibiting confidence, comfort and courage. When her handler attempted to drive Rosy away from her (towards an object), she became confused and a little anxious. Once she began running away, it was difficult to get her to slow down, and she began to glaze over. It became very apparent that Rosy is very sensitive to energy, and when her handler began to over-think things, Rosy disconnected. However, as soon as her handler put out a
clear intention of love, Rosy became completely engaged and followed her throughout the entire course. She was willing to move through the obstacles as long as she had that partnership, leadership and guidance. Once she felt that this was attained, she was amicable and giving. The value that Rosy gained from the liberty exercise was excitement, mental stimulation and activity, a platform to express herself, and human connection and loving energy.

During the in-hand obstacle course, Rosy explored her environment in a similar manner. She was a willing partner that moved through most obstacles with ease and fearlessness, accepting her handler as a leader. She needed some shaping during the car wash strip obstacle, which proved to be more difficult for her, but once this was provided, she willingly moved under it, and later through it, without any hesitation. Her value in this exercise was being able to deepen her connection with a human, and gain affection, leadership and confidence.

Rosy did not approach the scent boxes for over a minute after they were placed in her run. When she decided to investigate them, she used her nose and her tongue. She briefly sniffed the boxes one at a time while she was licking her lips, and did not show any preference for a particular scent. She only spent about 5 seconds with the boxes, and then raised her head to watch some people who were walking off in the distance. This was more interesting to her than the scent enrichment. Once she was finished watching the humans, she turned around and left the area where the boxes were to go to the opposite end of her run, and did not return.

Summary
Each of the three horses that participated in this project responded to, and interacted with, the exercises in different ways, and this was very apparent through my observations and those of their handlers. The body language and energy that they displayed and exuded during each of the new environments/situations that they were presented with told a very clear story about what they were thinking and feeling. Some examples of body language indicators that I used to interpret the messages that each horse was conveying include: posture and movements of the entire body, appearance of eyes and ears, how tense/stiff their muscles were, how quickly/slowly they approached an object, whether they actively avoided an object, how much distance they kept between themselves and the object, and themselves and their handler, the amount of time they spent near something, whether they darted through an obstacle or walked slowly, how much time/shaping/repetition was required to get comfortable with an obstacle, which objects were more difficult, which parts of their body they used to explore an object, etc. There are likely an infinite number of examples of this (subtle and dramatic) but these were just a few that I understood, and used to interpret what the horses were thinking and feeling during my observations.

In observing Captain, Jack, and Rosy during the exercises, they began to show us what their individual personality traits were, that each of them was unique, and definitely affected how they interacted with new objects/stimulation, and how they responded to their handlers in both of the obstacle courses. The most interesting part of this project for me, was that we were able to see different parts of their personalities come out depending on the exercise, showing the depth and complexity of each individual. If we had only observed Jack in the context of the two obstacle course exercises, we would characterize him simply as a sensitive, but willing horse who was lacking in confidence and in need of security and a light touch. However, the scent enrichment exercise showed very clearly that he also has a playful, creative, and inquisitive side to him.
Another example of this would be Rosy, and how she behaved during the obstacle course at liberty. When simply observed in her paddock, she appeared very withdrawn, and her behavior completely changed when she was given the opportunity to express herself in the arena and obstacle course. However, she was not particularly moved by the scent enrichment, and was much more drawn to the human activity nearby. Prior to starting the scent enrichment with Captain, I predicted that he would be highly engaged and curious during that exercise, based on his behavior in the obstacle course, and although he did spend some time exploring the scent boxes, he was not nearly as enthusiastic about them as Jack was.

In completing this project, I learned the incredible value in exposing horses to novel stimuli, whether this may be objects, situations, environments, or stimuli targeting a particular sensory modality, as long as it is done in a way that is safe for the horse and handlers. Doing so will not only allow a horse to express themselves and grow as individuals, so that we can learn about their personality and what motivates them as intelligent beings, but also allows us to provide them with optimal care, with consideration for each of them as an individual. I see this as being of great value
to any rescue facility because it could provide important information about the horse that could aid handlers in providing adequate care, and potentially rehabilitation for certain horses with behavioral problems, as well as in matching each horse with the right person for them during the process of adoption.

 

Does Equine Psychology intrigue you? Us too!  If you couldn’t join us for this year’s HHC but want to learn more, sign up for Anna’s newsletter, Diary of a Horse Whisperer, and get access to the insights and tips she shares about the psychology of Equus delivered conveniently to your inbox!

Sign up here!

 

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Sharing Projects From our Stellar HHC! Equine Massage – an in-depth look…

 

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Our own 2017 HHC students, Gretchen H. and Heather H. of CO, chose to do a thorough investigation of Equine Massage Therapy.  We invite you to peruse their material and find all the necessary research done in advance!

WHAT?

Equine massage therapy is the assessment of the soft tissues and joints and the treatment or prevention of physical dysfunction and pain of the soft tissues and joints by manipulation to develop, maintain, rehabilitate, or augment physical function and or relieve pain.

Equine massage therapists manipulate the soft tissues of the body (muscle, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and skin) through the application of varying degrees of pressure and movement.Massage therapy may include many techniques such as Swedish massage, sports massage, myofascial release, trigger point therapy, acupressure, and other bodywork approaches. The type of massage given typically depends on the horse’s needs & condition as well as the therapist’s training.When massage is used in conjunction with chiropractic and/or acupuncture and/or acupressure the benefits are increased.

Equine massage therapy is not a substitute for veterinary care.
The growing use of complementary therapies alongside conventional veterinary medicine represents a shift towards a more integrative approach to equine health care. The goal is to combine the best of both worlds, while considering all aspects of an animal’s health in their management.

Why?

Physical benefits of equine massage
• Aid in recovery from injury & reduce the chance from future injury (preventative therapy)
• Pain relief: it can be used to cause the body to release endorphins, which aide in pain relief & a sense of well-being
• Relief from restlessness and sleep disturbances
• Improved propioception (sense of the orientation of one’s limbs in space)
• More efficient movement
• Improved recovery time from workouts
• Improved posture, circulation, hair coat, & muscle tone
• Increased flexibility and range of motion
• Immune system support
• Injury prevention

Emotional benefits of equine massage:
• Improve overall disposition
• Increased sense of wellness
• Help relieve anxiety & aid in relaxation
• Promotes general sense of calming & reduction of stress
• Stress relief:help calm nervous horses or horses in unfamiliar surroundings and/or stressful conditions.

Physiological effects of massage (NBCAAM*)
• Increases circulation of blood and other body fluids
• Releases endorphins (natural pain killers)
• Increases the excretion of toxins
• Relaxes muscle spasms/relieves tension
• Alleviates stiffness and restores mobility to injured tissues
• Prevents injuries and loss of mobility in potential trouble spots
• Increases range of motion
• Enhances muscle tone
• Increases flow of nutrients to muscles
• Reduces inflammation and swelling
• Lowers blood pressure
• Improves animal’s disposition
• Increases athletic performance
• Increases endurance
• Maintains overall physical condition

When?

The following symptoms can be signs that your horse is suffering from restricting muscular stiffness, painful muscle spasms, soft tissue adhesions or soreness:
• Limited range of motion, not fully engaging limbs, not stepping under, not extending
• Refusal to take a lead
• Unwilling to change gaits
• Horse hollows the back
• Horse throws head up during gait changes
• Horse looks ‘disconnected’ (hind and front not moving in unison)
• Bucking or crow hopping
• Not relaxing or rounding etc.

Symptoms that may indicate your hose would benefit from massage therapy:
• Irritable or bad disposition
• Head tossing
• Unexplained lameness
• Lead problems
• Shortened strides
• Loss of performance ability
• Head & neck discomfort
• Improper tracking
• Resistance to training
• Girthing or ‘cold back’ problems

How long before you see improvement?
Many horses show improvement with just one massage session. But each horse is different and depending on the issues at hand, may need several treatments before significant changes are observed.

Regular maintenance massage is a powerful preventative measure and a good way to help keep your horse healthy. Recommended maintenance regimen:
• To maintain the average horse in good condition, two sessions per month.
• For working horses weekly sessions to maintain optimum performance and recovery from workouts.

A horse that is massaged on a regular basis is less likely to develop painful muscle spasms, restrictions in soft tissue and effected joints and resulting performance limitations.

DO NOT massage if (NBCAAM)*:
• Horse is in shock: shock lowers blood pressure; massage lowers even more
• Horse has fever: fever is body’s way to fight infection; massage could elevate fever
• Horse has cancer: massage could spread the condition (get approval from veterinarian   first)
• Horse has open wounds: do not massage these areas
• Horse has torn muscles, tendon, ligaments: massage only after veterinary approval due to increased risk of inducing bleeding
• Horse has skin problems like ringworm: massage could cause it to spread
• Acute stages of diseases (i.e., equine influenza)

Who?

What to look for in choosing your equine massage therapist:
• Are they certified?
• How long did they study and where?
• Do they have good knowledge of anatomical form and function?
• Do they have good horse handling skills?
• Are they supported by other Equine Care Professionals?
• What results are expected from a course of treatments?
The effectiveness of the equine massage therapy is dependent upon:
• Correct evaluation
• Use of proper techniques
• Skill level and experience of the practitioner

How?

Equine Massage: A Practical Guide (Howell Equestrian Library)by Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt.
The Basic Principles of Equine Massage/Muscle Therapy, Equine Massage, Horse Massage Paperback by Equine Therapist Mike Scott.
Videos on youtube.com, horsechannel.com, & other sites

ROTH DVD In Partnership with Horses includes an equine massage therapy demonstration from Ronald Bouchard of Equissage. He offers these three tips:
1. Observe your horse. Pay attention to what your horse is trying to tell you and listen to your horse. A change in performance and/or behavior may be because something hurts.
2. Regularly check your horses back, especially where the saddle sits.
3. Make sure your horse is happy before beginning (i.e., a trail ride, competition, work, etc.) and as needed use massage to relax the horse before starting.
http://www.equissage-ne-ny.com/index.html

Case studies http://www.equissage-ne-ny.com/cases.html

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For reference:

*National Board of Certification for Animal Acupressure & Massage (NBCAAM) purpose is to establish and uphold professional standards for animal acupressure and massage practitioners. http://www.nbcaam.org/

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Scope of Practice: Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine (CAVM) and other practice act exemptions
https://www.avma.org/Advocacy/StateAndLocal/Pages/sr-cavm-exemptions.aspx

COLORADO Animal massage – any person may perform massage on an animal if the person does not prescribe drugs, perform surgery, or diagnose medical conditions and has earned a degree or certificate in animal massage from an approved school.

 

Thanks, Gretchen and Heather, for choosing such a great topic on behalf of educating others in support of their horses!

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Photo of our 2017 HHC Part 1 students!

 

 

 

 

The 2017 HHC Journeys to the Crystal Show in Denver, CO!

Holistic Health Support and Healing are a signature part of the HHC, and ROTH was fortunate this year that one of the largest crystal shows in the US coincided with the course.  Some of our students chose to do their presentation on several crystals that spoke to them on a spiritual level.  Below is a list of the crystals and some of the more prominent aspects and healing properties associated with each.

Which crystals speak to you spiritually?  Have you used crystals before on either horses or yourself?  If so, which ones and what was your experience?  Feel free to share your comments on our Facebook page that accompanies this post!

 

Apophyllite

Apophyllite

Keywords: Spiritual Connection and Meditation

A crystal of facilitating and strengthening consciousness. Apophyllite brings high energy to mystical and other endeavors.  When placed on the third-eye chakra, it can help one see the truth for use in spiritual growth and connection.

Mental and Emotional Health– It is used to help one see the truth and then act on it.  It assists one in an ability to see and comprehend their own behaviors and attitudes that fearful avoidance may have kept hidden.  With the new self-awareness, one can find a way to move forward in both their practical life and spirituality.

 

Amethyst

Amethyst

Keywords: Psychic and Sobriety

Amethyst is a meditative and calming stone that works on the emotional, spiritual, and physical areas to promote calm, balance, and peace.  It is used to eliminate impatience.  It can increase spirituality and enhance intuition and psychic powers.

Mental and Emotional Health– It is used to help heal personal losses and grief.  It has a gentle energy that can promote peacefulness, happiness and contentment.  It brings emotional stability and inner strength to be strong in one’s life, enhancing flexibility and cooperation.

 

Cobaltian CalciteCobaltian Calcite

Keywords: Healing the heart, harmony and friendship

Cobaltian Calcite is a crystal of joy.  It is excellent for use with the heart chakra and can aid in releasing buried emotions.  It is uplifting and will encourage us to think positively and let go of the negative feelings onto which one may be holding.

Mental and Emotional Health– It can give one an enhanced awareness of one’s own body language and brings increased harmony to people or groups working with each other.  It also helps to form friendships and may facilitate in raising consciousness.

 

Fluorite

fluorite

Fluorite is a highly protective and stabilizing stone, useful for grounding and harmonizing spiritual energy.  When working with the upper Chakras, Fluorite increases intuitive abilities, links the human mind to universal consciousness, and develops connection to Spirit.  Fluorite further anchors intuitive insights into the physical plane, allowing mental and physical coordination.  A popular stone among energy healers, Fluorite can also clear the aura of mucky energies.

Physical Health- Physically, Fluorite is known to strengthen bones and teeth, and ameliorate the pain associated with arthritis.  Fluorite is also used to enhance mental functions by balancing the chemistry in the brain.

 

Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz

 

Rose Quartz has a pink hue due to several minerals including manganese and titanium. Physical features: known as a heart and circulatory tonic, and it improves circulation.

Physical Health-  Best for injuries and wounds but will also reduce stress.  Very good as a water stone.  It promotes the balance of all bodily functions especially when combined with amethyst and rock crystal.

 

Moon Stone

Moon stone

Moon Stone is a stone of protection, especially during childbirth, pregnancy, and travel at sea. It is a stone of calm and relief from emotional stress. It is also associated with love of all kinds.

Physical Health– Physically, Moon Stone is used in crystal healing to aid the pituitary gland and digestive system, obesity,  water retention, hormonal problems, and menstrual problems.

 

Black Tourmaline

black tourmaline

Black Tourmaline- Black Tourmaline keeps an electric charge, as it is pyroelectric (meaning it can generate electricity when heated), as well as piezoelectric (meaning it can store an electrical charge), causing it to release negative ions and far infrared radiation – these are very beneficial for health. This incredible stone is associated with protection, grounding, health, happiness, luck, and positivity.

Spiritual- Considered to be one of the most powerful protective stones. Heals on all levels- physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

 

Labradoritelabradorite

Labradorite- A stone of transformation, Labradorite is a useful companion through change, imparting strength and perseverance. It balances and protects the aura, raises consciousness and grounds spiritual energies. Excellent for strengthening intuition and promoting psychic abilities.

Spiritual- Stone of transformation. Grounds spiritual energies and grounds and protects the aura.

 

Smokey Quartz

smokey quartz

Smokey Quartz– In addition to the generic healing properties of Quartz, Smokey Quartz is an excellent grounding stone. It gently neutralizes negative vibrations and is detoxifying on all levels, prompting elimination of the digestive system and protecting against radiation and electromagnetic smog.

Spiritual- Grounding and neutralizes negative vibrations.

 

 

The Equine Chakras

 

 

a_Horse_Chakras_Pic for BLOG 3

 

This presentation belongs to ROTH’s own Shantel S. of the UK, and Gina K., Laura Z., and Kate F. of CO.  Thanks, ladies, for sharing your work with us to help educate and inspire others!

HHC 1 2017

Photo of our own 2017 HHC students on trailer loading day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Hoof to Heart: Bridging Gaps Between Horses and People

Man’s relationship with horses dates back millennia. The progress of humanity and of industry is, in large part, due to the sweat and toil of these magnificent animals.
Even today, the world is torn between animal welfare and human desires. It’s sufficed to say that the word “relationship” is somewhat of an overstatement when classifying the co-existence of man and horse.

If the horse could speak, they might say the “relationship” is tumultuous, at best.

Today, horses are used less for work and more for pleasure. The horse industry sports an eight billion dollar a year economic impact in the United States alone. Still, the manner in which man communicates with horses is often tainted with force, myths, scare tactics and gadgetry.

Enter Anna Twinney, a respected authority on interspecies communication, the language of the horse and energy healing. Twinney, with her sunny smile, blonde locks, and lilting British accent is known as a “horse whisperer”.

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Twinney is a 20 plus year veteran of gentle horse training methodology. She initially studied with Monty Roberts, who came into the limelight after the popularity of the major motion picture “The Horse Whisperer”. Over the years, her hands-on experience, her dutiful observations of horses in the wild and her unique perceptions have developed into her own way of interacting she calls “Reach Out to Horses”.

Twinney seeks to help horse owners and lovers learn the language of the horse. She works to help them understand the energy and sometimes baggage they bring into a session with their horses. It’s all in an effort to create harmonious interactions that bring joy and happiness to both the horse and human. In addition to her desire to bridge the communication gap, Twinney is committed to helping nonprofits that help to rescue, rehabilitate and ready all types of equines. The vast majority of her work gives back financially to the facilities and programs she works with.

Twinney is fond of the adage “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” … without a complete education in the subtle communication of the horse, a language that goes far beyond simple body language and physical cues, people are lost as to how to accomplish anything, Twinney explains.

“Usually, people use force, fear, and gadgets to bend the horse to their will. Some people are cognizant that their choices are poor and some are oblivious. My mission is to give a voice to the horses and show people a way to work with compassion and cooperation, not coercion,” Twinney states.

Currently, Twinney travels the globe helping people who wish to work in concert with horses and seek a gentle and non-intrusive way to communicate. Usually, a training facility or a group of like-minded individuals will call Twinney to come and spend a few days with them in a structured, educational environment.

This summer will land Twinney in four different locations beginning July 24th in aid of untrained humans needing help with their young horses at Zuma’s Rescue Ranch in Littleton, CO, on to sweet foals in need of basic training to be adopted and more easily cared for.  She’ll fly to sunny California to work with untouched wild horses at a mustang sanctuary and finally, the courses will culminate in Arizona where Anna will teach horse owners dealing with behavior issues. These four unique courses are designed for students who wish to expand their understanding into everything from babies, youngsters, wild, and behaviorally challenged.

These courses may be taken together or individually, but do require a prerequisite. To learn more about what each course entails and the programs and horses that will be a part of the educational scope, follow the link here: t.e2ma.net/message/rsftp/fbi6zs
To learn more about the many unique ROTH programs and Anna Twinney, visit www.ReachOutToHorses.com

Reach Out to Horses, founded by Anna Twinney, exists to give a voice to the voiceless. A comprehensive education in the language of the horse for the purpose of deep connection, better understanding and eliminating force and fear in horse training.

Reach Out to Horses
Vin Mancarella
Vin@ReachOuttoHorses.com
PO Box 1913
Elizabeth, CO 80107
Office: (303) 642-7341

Thankful Tidings: A Holiday Salute to our Students and Followers

 

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What they undertook to do They brought to pass; All things hang like a drop of   dew Upon a blade of grass.
~ Lewis Carroll~

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS ANNA?

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’Tis the time of year to celebrate and reflect the recent months watching our global ROTH HHC participants graduate the  horse whispering certification program with each and everyone wearing their “I survived ROTH” t-shirts with such pride.  We celebrated the graduation of four tremendously dedicated and talented ROTH trainers who came to CO from NM, CA, Denmark and Germany to return to their respective homes to represent us triumphantly!  Each and every journey unique as they discovered their gifts and talents in support of horses globally.  Today we offer you the same chance to witness the appreciation, joy and wonders we share.  These are magical moments captured as we attract people who seek their true life’s purpose and discover them selves, their voice and their dreams in the process.  

I want to know more about this certification!

ANNA IN THE NEWS:

Truly honored and humbled to see myself (ROTH) on the news in Morocco! Strange and exciting to see another language in another alphabet scroll under clips featuring my visit and courses there. 

Did you miss our Morocco visit?

 

In Partnership:

A year ago, we were delighted to be a part of the launch of Horse Lifestyle TV, (think Netflix for horse people). This beautiful video is in celebration of the one year anniversary of this fantastic addition to the lives of horse lovers everywhere. We are happy to be a part of this service!

Ooh! Tell me more!

ASK ANNA:

Video answers to ongoing questions

1. We are often presented with questions about horses who have suffered traumatic beginnings or events and how it relates into their behavior, meet Sparrow.
2. We reintroduce the idea of ponying to help youngsters ease more comfortably into their new roles.
3.  Finally, a fantastic example of the trainer circuit buzz word “desensitize” (we prefer positive terms like adapt and adjust). While introducing objects is fairly straightforward, it’s tougher to arrange for horses to any hear noisy environments they might encounter. We can’t recommend the Spook Busting CD series enough and they make great Christmas gifts!
Ponying as a valuable lesson during colt starting and beyond! 
Sound spookbusting: Moving horses from concern into coping…
CONNECTIONS MATTER:
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I am overdue from my self imposed timeline to tell you about the 2nd of my three heroes by the new year, that would be Anna Twinney of Reach Out to Horses/ Anna Twinney Holistic HorsemanshipAnimal Communication with Anna Twinney.
In 2013, I adopted 3 “Mustangs” – TNT, Muppet, and Jethro – from a rescue in No CA, Hooves and Angels – I had never owned a horse before, let alone 3 that were not really gentled. The challenge of these 3 horses mirrored the challenges of my life at the time and it was overwhelming. I went to Reach Out to Horses website and found a buried link to buy 12 remote training sessions w Anna. I think she was taken by surprise and I believe was saying to herself “WTF did this woman get herself into?”
However, she took charge and took me on to train…I watched all of her training DVDs and for the next 6 months I would video tape my assignments w each horse, edit them, and then 1-2 times a week, Anna would spend 1-2 hours going over every single move, look, and nuance of energy of me with each of my three horses, critiquing and training me – major success! Over the next 2 years I went to several of her workshops and also completed all 3 of her Holistic Horsemanship Certification courses. The most beloved clinic w Anna was the clinic in which we gentled orphaned untouched foals –I adopted my fabulous 3 mo old colt, DJ from this clinic.
I can honestly say that Anna turned me into someone who can develop a deep relationship with horses and am comfortable handling and working with any and all of them.
Anna then went on to speak to all of my animals through Animal Communication over several months.
And because of all the things I was personally going through at the time, she brought me out of the murky mud I was stuck in. ~ Val, Arizona
KIDS CORNER
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STUDENT SUCCESS
Student? Family? Who can tell the difference?
We are very proud of our newest Certified ROTH Instructor, Elaine Ackerly!  It has been a road full of trials and tribulations, heartache and pain, joy and exuberation.  We have watched her grow into a confident and competent instructor of the language of Equus and the ROTH methodologies.  Her desire to make the world a better place for all horses is only surpassed by her giant heart and the love she has for our equine companions. We would welcome her into the ROTH family but she’s been an invaluable member for many years already.  We wish her the very best as she spreads her wings and fulfills her destiny.  

Elaine writes: Although you have taught me a great many things outside of horsemanship, and one of those that is most apparent is my improved writing skills; I can’t seem to write anything at this time in gratitude.
Where would one begin? 
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THROUGH THE EYES OF ONE VIEWER: THE INTUITIVE RIDING EXPERIENCE
for-blog

If you asked me what I believed a good horseman to be when I was ten, I would have said someone who could ride their horse in a halter.  If you’d asked me when I was sixteen, I would have said someone who could ride a high-performance horse in a halter, mostly because I’d never seen that.  If you asked when I was twenty, I would have said someone who is gentle and who can get the most out their horse without resulting to physical abuse.  If you’d asked me when I was thirty, I would have said first of all I’m twenty-eight, and …

Read all of Lacey’s Story

 

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Gratitude is Our Attitude

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We survived ROTH!
We are so proud of your achievements this year and excited to continue our relationship with you all.  Knowing that you are taking the ROTH methodologies globally to help humans and their horses is the best gift we could all receive.  With all of your unique talents you now have the chance to develop your accent and find your niche in the horse world.  11 students from all over the United States, UK and Morocco attended Zuma’s Rescue Ranch to complete their year-long comprehensive studies.  We captured special moments and created ever-lasting memories.  Many of you are staying connected via social media and we have included you on the ROTH Graduates page for continued support, education as well as upcoming events, special offers and a social gathering.  If you are not on FB its a good idea to simply join our group to connect with like-minded people as well as take advantage of the ongoing offers!
 

Throughout our time together I have introduced you to two companies I am proud to endorse.  Many of you have either brought their products or signed up as distributors so to enhance your life, the lives of your loved ones or indeed build your business.  We encourage you to get in touch with us to explore these natural health and well-being resources.  You may simply wish to order a product and get it shipped directly to your home, or indeed have a reference for others to visit, or sign-up for to take advantage of wholesale prices.   You can also check for yourselves and access the pages here: 

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Learn More About Dynamite!

Learn More About Young Living Oils

I have found that the natural products support us as horse whisperers on an emotional, mental, physical and spiritual level.  We would be delighted to support you in making your passions pay:)!  If you are computer Savvy you may sign-up directly and if not please call our office.

This year’s courses include the highest numbers of individuals continuing their career with ROTH.  We are excited to accommodate everyone’s needs from amateurs through to professionals who wish to delve deeper into the language of the horse.  Our courses are unique in support of rescues and rescued horses, these opportunities cannot be found just anywhere.  Our calendar for 2017 will be announced by the end of November and you will be the first to find out as the year unravels.  We suggest you sign up early on to secure your spaces and continue on your horsemanship path.  Once you participate in the first trainer’s course of your choice you will be furnished with the trainer’s letter to guide you through the course and the expected field study.
 
In the meantime we offer you ongoing support through our website and on-line resources. With over 230 youtube videos on the ROTH channel it will keep you busy during the winter months. 
                                                                2016 ROTH Graduates!
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Stay connected for this years calendar and we hope to see you again very soon for another ROTH adventure.  Please do spread the word.  We spoke briefly about you submitting testimonials for your event, so please remember to get in touch and share your experiences and pictures with us:)!
What’s on the horizon for 2017?
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Holistic Horse Modular Course Graduates 2012

We had a very successful HHC Modular course this year. Hear what the students have to say about their time with ROTH.

Anna, I am lucky enough to have had many extraordinary adventures all over the world but the Holistic Horsemanship Modular course has blown my mind.  What a transformative, life-changing experience!  To be able to communicate with the horses on so many levels, to see these gorgeous creatures – whose experiences with humans have not always been the best – move from fear to trust, from resistance to willing co-operation as we students grew in confidence, refined our skills and learned to develop the heartfelt connection under your wise, compassionate guidance – it was intense, emotional, joyful, challenging and immensely valuable.  I don’t believe there is another trainer out there who is teaching what you teach or any other course, however comprehensive, that covers so many depths, subtleties and nuances of what it means to be a horseman/woman.   The total commitment and dedication shown by you, Braxton, Elaine and Adam were astounding – there was always someone available to answer questions, clarify a technique.  But it went way beyond all that – into wonderful friendships, stepping into our own power, and making huge growth leaps in our own psyches with new strengths and tools that will impact us in all aspects of our lives. It is so sad to think there will not be another module next month – they have been the anchor and inspiration for most of my year – yet I am excited too knowing this is just the beginning of an awesome journey.

Hope to catch up with you again some time, with luck before the next course.  In the meantime I’d better start using Facebook.
love

-Lorraine x

This course has been amazing. I learned all that I wanted to and more. The subtle (?) life changes that I experienced were an added bonus that I had not totally expected but were welcome and embraced. I certainly achieved my original goal. A big shout out to hanks to Braxton, Elaine and Adam for all the support they offered to us. Thank you, Anna, for the willingness to take us on this journey to the horses and to ourselves.

-Annette Price

ROTH Holistic Horsemanship Foundation Modular Course has been extremely powerful for me. Not only in taking my horsemanship skills and mindset to a whole new level, but in my personal development as well. Anna has an uncanny ability to read people as keenly as she reads horses. She knows just how to challenge each individual to prompt deep learning and introspection, and increase one’s awareness to overcome personal obstacles.
Anna is a master at matching students with horses to lead to the perfect lesson. The successes in each students ability to apply the methods and achieve positive outcomes in every session is a testament not only to the methodology but to Anna as a teacher. She is a true leader and sets an example as one who is aligned body, mind, and spirit and can be in the present moment like few people I have ever encountered. I am deeply grateful to have had this amazing opportunity and look forward to more in years to come. Braxton, Elaine and Adam were an integral part of the class. Their knowledge, skills and support created the foundation of the Foundation course! Huge heartfelt gratitude to you guys!

-Christina Stinchcomb

As a licensed psychologist and horse owner, I provide equine facilitated psychotherapy as well as traditional psychotherapy. I enrolled in the ROTH Holistic Horsemanship Course to deepen my understanding of the language of equus and gain more skill and experience as a horsewoman. Anna’s immense capacity for understanding and working with horses on every level never ceases to amaze me. She has a unique ability to accurately gauge precisely what each student needs to learn and grow while simultaneously tailoring each lesson to the specific needs of the horse. This Course has far exceeded my expectations and has certainly added fuel to my passion for working with horses. I want to extend heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Anna and her assistants (Braxton, Adam and Elaine) for guiding me further along my path. I know I have come a long way from where I started at the beginning of the Modular Course!

-Jo Brilhart, RN, PsyD

“There is no way to completely express how Anna and the ROTH Holistic Horse Course have changed my life. I am a better person, woman, mother and friend and ultimately a better horsewoman. This truly is a life-changing experience. Horses are communicating with us at every moment we are in contact with them. Wouldn’t you like to know what they are saying? Yes…I definitely would! It is such a wonderful experience to learn their language and ultimately to catch the whisper and connect with them on a deeper level. I am truly blessed to have been a part of this unique experience, and I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to understand horses better and ultimately anyone who wants to grow as a person. Horses are my love, and now I can have a true partnership with them. Thank you Anna, Vin and the entire ROTH team. You have helped me in more ways than you know. This is only the beginning…you’re stuck with me now. I’ll see you all again soon.”
Thank you Anna, for everything. You really are stuck with me for the long haul…if you’ll have me. Take care and I’ll see you soon.

-Janet Kindt

ROTH has provided me with the structured program to add to the paradigm shift I have had in my horsemanship. I have noticed enormous progress with our horses at Zuma’s since we have been consistent in incorporating ROTH methods. Anna and the instructors are amazing in their ability to push students past where they believe they can go while providing the support needed and instilling confidence that carries far beyond the arena and class. The horses always have a voice with ROTH; such a refreshing and effective approach to working with these amazing, intelligent beings! Thank you for this amazing opportunity and experience!

-Katie Dixon

The ROTH HHC Modular Course was one of the most comprehensive and impactful things I have ever experienced. Not only was the information complete and in-depth, making me a confident and capable horse handler but the emotional growth I experienced has helped me to overcome life-long patterns of fear and insecurities and helped me to become confident
and proud of myself.
Anna and Braxton as well as Adam and Elaine offered support throughout and the teaching styles of both
Anna and Braxton were powerfully directive yet compassionate. Anna has the unique ability to always allocate the perfect horse for each student’s growth both physically as well as emotionally. More than once tears were
shed for disappointment and then ultimately again for progress and gratitude…sometimes with the same
horse!
The growth in each individual student was very noticeable and powerful. Some overcame personal styles of resistance, others of lack of confidence, but everyone emerged a competent horse handler and proud of their
progress.
Many new friendships were formed and a community of like-minded women who will stay together for years to come on their ROTH journey was built. I look forward to many more wonderful experiences with these women and men and am thrilled to call them colleagues!
Happy Trails!

-Lauren Munger

“Successfully completing the Reach Out To Horses Holistic Horsemanship Foundation Course was a huge and transformative step in my personal recovery process. Having survived a traumatic brain injury in 2009, I was unsure if I would be able to sustain the physical requirements and, more importantly, have the brain processing speed needed to connect with and keep myself and the horse safe as I worked with the horses. The first weekend of the program was very difficult for me. But I did not give up (and the ROTH staff did not give up on me) and I got stronger and stronger as the course continued. I was able to safely work with every horse assigned to me. When I completed the final weekend of testing and received my certificate of completion I felt that I can now be a positive and successful role model for other brain injury survivors. YES you can recover and continue to follow your dreams. As for me, I am now considering continuing my ROTH education and embarking on the ROTH Trainer program. Thank you Anna for giving me the opportunity to continue in my recovery process and to follow my dreams.

-Terri Mongait

I’m not one of Anna’s best students. I came to her work with a deep love of horses, and some riding experience, but not much more. Anna always supported me, even when I wanted to give up. She never gave up on me. She is patient, and encouraging even if you hit one of those “what am I trying to do” moments. She is an extraordinary teacher. I am now certified in ROTH Natural Horsemanship and can offer so much more to horses than I ever knew was possible. I am deeply grateful for all I’ve learned through Anna and her fantastic, capable staff and teaching assistants.
In joy and gratitude,

-ROTH (Rarely On Time Horsewoman) Grace

The ROTH modular course with Anna and staff has been a journey for me.  When Anna is guiding you, you are able to truly “feel” the horse, the communication and timing.  Like a magic wand.  I have learned more about the horse and myself than I bargained for.  Both Anna’s and the horses teaching have been priceless.  I will us information and skills I have learned each time I meet a horse.

Michelle R Finkbeiner