BY: Katie Dixon ~ Renegade Equine
In the fall of 2015, I was connected with a small but mighty rescue group called the Warm Springs Horse Rescue Network, who at the time had helped place over 500 foals in homes. This August, I was fortunate enough to coordinate and host the ROTH Foals Clinic in Sisters, Oregon. I was thrilled to bring the ROTH team of students and people who were interested together in central Oregon, as finding holistic and like-minded horsemanship had been a challenge.
The auditors, students, healers, rescue network, foals, and Anna (of course), contributed to a wonderful week of strong team building and brought awareness to holistic horsemanship in central Oregon, as well as connecting like-minded professionals living in the area .
Although we may be able to create positive change for our horses and clients on our own, it truly takes a whole-horse approach to be successful in rehabilitation of horses, or even if its not a rehabilitation case, to take them to the next level of physical health and performance.
It has taken a little over a year of stepping out of my introvert comfort zone and pushing myself to network with equine professionals to find and build my “dream team” here in Oregon.
The results of this year of work building connections and then hosting the clinic are multidimensional. This is the amazing holistic-minded equine team we have here in Oregon :
- A barefoot trimmer who sees the whole horse and how to help them move better
- Several body workers who can help the horse’s body release restrictions and move more fluidly, and also provide feedback as to how our physical conditioning plan is working from the body’s perspective
- A few different veterinarians who are open to a holistic perspective or are practicing holistic medicine
- Several saddle fitters who work to keep the horse and human comfortable to achieve their goals
- A Nutrition expert to guide us through basic supplementation and feeding practices specific to our area
- Quality hay providers
- Local feed companies
- A team of holistic trainers working together to better horse’s lives around us
Without permission from the horse and their human, the team isn’t able to get much done. It its inspiring to me, each day, when we give the horses we work with the ability to communicate and have an opinion about each aspect of their life how much information we are able to obtain.
You see, in order for harmony in your horse, you have to create harmony in your team. Some team members may have expertise in multiple areas, and each member of your team needs to be able to respectfully communicate and work together to help you accomplish your goals with your horse.
What I appreciate most about building a great team is having a community to discuss new cases with, and also having a group of people I can refer to that can be trusted and will be working for the good of the horse in their area of expertise.
It is our due diligence as equine professionals, to look at the information from our trusted team with open eyes and ears. We need to be willing to shift how we are approaching different aspects of our horse’s unique experience in the world. The balance of a horses psychological and physiological help depend on us being open to look at all areas of our horses lives: what we feed our horses, their living environment, what we ask them to do physically (and emotionally), how we balance their bodies, how we engage their minds, and how we support their growth.
When we utilize a multi-faceted approach, examined with a lens of honesty and integrity it is amazing how much we are able to help horses find balance and happiness in their lives. When we are willing to communicate for the good of the horse with other professionals instead of pointing the finger of blame, we are able to solve the puzzle with that horse and help them to live a comfortable and happy life.
Although it takes some effort in networking, a little shedding of ego, a bit of rallying the troops so to speak to get “your team” built, I would encourage you to do so! ROTH as an approach to horsemanship encourages us to look at the whole horse when we are training, and there are some really great equine professionals out there who can help boost your team and ultimately help magnify the great work you are all already doing. We can only benefit from like-minded collaboration, and grow into more skilled and knowledgeable equine guardians.
You can’t go wrong having ROTH on your team!
Everyone talks to their dog. Those of us with pets, have had casual “conversations” with our furry, feathered, or even finned friends. It’s human nature to chat. We’ve likely bent Rover’s ear too long over trivial irritations that happened at work or lamenting the tedious commute home. Our pets have long been victims of our mindless self-talk and keepers of our deepest secrets.
But what if you could have a real conversation with your animal companion? What if you knew what they were really thinking or saying …
World renowned animal communicator and horse whisperer, Anna Twinney would say “the only thing stopping you is your own beliefs of what is truly possible. You absolutely can know.”
On September 9-11, Twinney will lead a group of animal lovers at Ray of Light Farm in East Haddam on a journey to tap into their inherent abilities. Animal Communication is not supernatural, but a natural way of communicating with animals and even people! Animals communicate telepathically with one another all the time, we just need to reawaken those intuitive senses to explore this extraordinary skill.
Twinney is sought out all over the world by concerned pet and horse owners hoping to find answers to behavioral issues, health problems and other mysteries.
Her own journey into animal communication began over two decades ago. Having unlocked this missing piece of the puzzle, Twinney knew that she had to share her knowledge. Now known the world over for her exceptional abilities, specific, verifiable methods and extensive knowledge of horses, Twinney often found animal communication techniques helpful during her work with horses as well.
“The language of the horses, called Equus, is almost completely non-verbal. While horses have the ability to vocalize and they do use it … the nuances of their language is in the subtitles only seen by those fluent in the language,” Twinney explains.
The “Evening of Animal Communication” workshop is truly a step through the wardrobe into a world that most people only dream of.
To learn more about Animal Communication, Anna and the event at Ray of Light Farms visit ReachOuttoHorses.com or to learn more about Ray of Light Farms and the rescue efforts there, visit www.RayofLightFarms.org . A portion of the proceeds from Twinney’s workshops will be earmarked to support the ongoing horse rescue and rehabilitation at Ray of Light.
For further information on registering to learn Animal Communication yourself, visit us at the link below:
As I reflect on the week of foal gentling, there are so many humbling and profound lessons to consider, it feels a bit like looking around gratefully at a giant pile of Christmas presents. Every minute spent with the foals, being coached by Anna, supporting fellow students, and living the experience, is a beautiful gift. I know by now that I need downtime to process after each ROTH Clinic, and regain focus on regular life, so I build that in to the travel schedule as a general rule now.
As I have saved the foal gentling course until the end of my Train the Trainers course lineup, it provides a chance to reflect on the consistency of the principles, and nuts and bolts of the ROTH methodologies, that are presented in every clinic. The beauty of ROTH is that it’s not a new recipe or game you learn at each clinic. Rather, the methods encompass all types of practical horsemanship situations and horses, but each one is like a different facet of a prism that shows you a new way to apply everything to a new category of horses.
In the case of the foals, I was most touched by the truth in Anna’s day-one statement that they are like blank slates, and that everything we do goes with them for life. I watched this truth unfold as I gained the trust and affection of a little filly I named Topaz, who had no reason to trust a human, and every instinctual reason to run the other way. Without really doing anything other than speaking her language and being authentic, I earned this innocent, sentient creature’s trust and was able to teach her nearly all of the basic goals of the course. Even as a horsewoman intimately familiar with the ROTH methods, I was still wholly taken aback by how much can be received by these little ones in such a short time. For me, Topaz provided the most profound examples of latent learning and the value of ending sessions on a good note, because the innocence of the foals and the lack of other “baggage” makes every single message that much clearer.
It was empowering and educational to participate in the daily care of the foals, in building and breaking down the pens, and in writing their little “bio’s”. In fact, putting words to paper for the purpose of spreading the word about adoption day was yet another way I was able to give a voice to the voiceless. I felt like one of the cooperative components working with the Universe to bring about the manifestation of Topaz’ adoptive home. No sooner had I created a written description of Topaz and the home she was looking for, than her family materialized and indeed adopted her and two others, just like I’d hoped. Another lesson in the power of intuitive thought, connection, and words.
As someone who is working to develop a specialty in wild and untouched horses, the opportunity to gentle not just foals but wild foals, was a dream come true. I’m so excited about the connections made with the Warm Springs Horse Network through Anna & Katie’s efforts, and the inroads being made with the Warm Springs Reservation Tribes to continue to support the foals born on their lands through gentle and compassionate horsemanship.
This clinic provides so many things for horse lovers at many different stages of their training career or just life with horses. Foal gentling is a specialty one could easily fall in love with. I look forward to doing it again as soon as I can!
To find out how you can join us in Foal Gentling, Colt Starting, and so much more, please visit us 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.
Anna had a great week with our ROTH students and the foals of the Warm Springs herd in Bend, Oregon. Please visit our website, or our Facebook pages for more info on how ROTH’s gentle starting techniques are best for foals everywhere, and to learn how you can join Anna in the future!
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 that observed these actions. The sense of accomplishment lead to one proud student and a lick 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 on “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 where 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
By: Elaine Ackerly, free as a wild Mustang!
As we embark on a journey with horses, we can take many different directions. It can seem as though the horses come to us, serenading to our very essences, with what it is we are missing when we look at life.
The dangers of not being in the moment or truly listening to the people in our lives is an epidemic of the largest proportions. We hide behind our keyboards and answer strangers with our emotions fully charged, never fully grasping where the other party is coming from, and only seeing things with the filter of our own minds.
When we are truly open to the messages the horses have for us as individuals, we can feel a sense of being turned upside-down or end to end. We can feel a loss of self to start, but if we consider that the horses have made it through to us, we must not be a lost case.
The next generation of horse people are crucial to the survival of our horses and the industry that supports it. There has been a surge of horses as therapists as the world begins to recognize that these animals offer us more than just being the expired tools of transport and farming. Their connection to and ability to read the people in their lives is fascinating, as their prey animal mentality seems to offer a grounding that is beyond what dogs have brought us. Almost as if their passive search for food has a wisdom that mankind lacks.
This is something that money and insurance costs have taken from some of our pupils. Children. Without the horses and lessons I had in my life, I cannot imagine the impatient and angry brat I would have manifested into. And I can see why there is great caution and concern when mixing horses and children, but the more I see with this combo the more I see how they belong together. The children have fewer filters and barriers preventing them from seeing the language purely. And doesn’t that make sense when you consider that it is a second language and that, the younger the mind, the easier it is to learn another language?
What horses have to offer children in this technologically advanced, disconnected world is something that can save the planet from our self-destructive nature, to reconnect us to the world as a whole and not as the sum of the parts we have come into our lives. This inter connection brings in a confidence that cannot be paralleled, for it comes about only with a soft humbleness. The awareness that you are a small tiny speck in a vast sea of organisms, acknowledging that there are other perspectives and knowledge you don’t yet have, and finally, with even all the differences between human and horse, the children begin to see how much they have in common. Their search for comfort, company and fun. The emotions that flare up when you don’t feel heard, the appreciation you feel when you are given a voice…
We are giving away 1,000 DVDs to those who work in the fields of Equine Therapy, Healing, and Support. Visit our website to see if you or your organization qualify!
Please follow the link to all the information on how you can get DVD #12 and all of the pearls contained therein.
For additional information on all we do here at ROTH, please visit the website at: