I can’t say that I remember signing up for Anna’s newsletters… but I was receiving them. I remember opening one and feeling like the timing was perfect. The content spoke to me and offered something I could participate in from home, a webinar series on Holistic Horsemanship. This felt serendipitous, having recently become more involved with horses again. My mom and I loved the webinars, but I soon realized that I wanted and needed more in person — hands on experience with these methodologies. So, I went to Colorado to take the 2.5-day intro clinic and I loved it.
I grew up riding horses back east. My grandmother enrolled me in riding lessons every summer as a young girl. Gymkana, jumping, vaulting, trail rides and more. I loved the horses and my teacher.
Upon graduating from college with a BA in Documentary Studies and Photography, I moved to upstate New York and cared for my grandmother for 7 years. After she passed, I moved back to Placitas, New Mexico. There I was immersed in and introduced to a whole new world of wild horses. They were literally in my back yard. I photographed the mustangs, also known here as “wild” or “free-roaming” horses, every time our paths crossed. It felt powerful and special to connect with them as my dog and I enjoyed our walks on the BLM land behind my home. I learned more about the bizarre and intense issues spawned by these community horses.
Two mares were hit and killed in the Placitas village after seeking water during an intense drought, and this prompted me to become involved. I began documenting the wild ones as well as the horses that had recently been rounded up. No longer “free-roaming,” they were transitioning to a life of domestication — confined, engaging in day-to-day interaction with humans, getting microchipped by the livestock board, trailered, moved, vetted, etc. I used all of my tools to support their transition, particularly an energy healing modality called Crystalline Consciousness Technique™.
The grey stallion that was rounded up with his remaining mares was the first to get gelded. He was still very wild, not touched or haltered. The approach was to squeeze him in a secure area to heavily sedate him — enough to have him gelded, vaccinated, and his hoofs trimmed. Long story short, he was given too many drugs and had a hard time recovering from the sedation. Everything went wrong, and in the end he had to be shot. This was quite a traumatizing experience, and very heartbreaking. It impacted me hugely, and I vowed that I would do everything in my power to prevent something like that from happening again. It was clear to me that the mustangs would have to be handled, haltered, and gentled to some extent prior to getting gelded in order to ensure that the procedure be safe, with minimal trauma and not life threatening.
Anna and ROTH were exactly what I needed. The Universe lined it all up. I have embraced the ROTH program and the education, experience and support its offered me as I learn and grow in my journey adopting, raising, and gentling Placitas Mustangs.
Anna likes to say I did her course backwards. I started with the Untouched Horse Clinic before the Foundation Course because that was my primary focus. I’m grateful that I did, but I also realized that I was lacking skills and training that the foundation course covered. I attended the 3-day Liberty clinic which blew my mind as it introduced me to a whole new world with horses. I continued with ROTH, taking the Foundation courses (1 and 3) and graduating in Fall, 2015.
I was granted the opportunity to take the Untouched Horse clinic one more time after doing part of the foundation and filling in the holes in my training. I enrolled in the Foal Gentling Clinic, and against my better judgement adopted my allocated foal because all the signs I received indicated that it was meant to be. I completed the Colt Starting Clinic, rumored to be the hardest. Indeed, it surprised me with a few firsts. I was kicked on day 1, and by the end of the week rode my first “baby”, a horse named Hopi. I then signed the contract and committed to the trainer’s program. Last month, I completed the NEW Simple Solutions Clinic and it exceeded my expectations. I loved everything about it. As I write this I am working on compiling my 20 case studies, done over the past few years, to submit for the Trainers Exams next month at Zumas Rescue Ranch in Colorado. My highlight is starting my own mustang Friendly, now five years old, under saddle with my ROTH sister Liv from Denmark for our Colt Start case study. What an exciting and fulfilling experience for us all! Friendly was also my first horse gelded (when he was 2) after the passing of the grey stallion. I was nervous, so I took my time and made sure he was haltered and ready and that I had a vet team I could trust.
My mom and I now have two dozen mustangs (after all the babies were born). They are our world, and have been for the past 3 years. We have received funding assistance from Animal Protection New Mexico, and have gelded three of our colts thus far — all free from complications.
Studying with ROTH has empowered me on many levels. Understanding the psychology and nature of the horse, and using it to support them in a trust-based partnership resonates with me on a core level. I trust that I was ready and that the perfect teacher, Anna, was placed in my path to help me and the horses I was adopting and raising. The timing was perfect to support a journey I never would have predicted. I believe completing the trainer’s exams will be a jump start for creating my own business as I move forward using all of my tools — holistic horsemanship, energy healing, essential oils and a deep desire to make a difference in the lives of humans and horses!