Here at Healing Spirit Farm horses and their people come to continue the process of developing into their best selves. This process is never "finished" as we are always growing, expanding, searching for the better way... aren''t we? Please visit the "Testimonials" blog on the Info Sharing Blog page to read what some have to say about their experience here at Healing Spirit Farm.
By focusing on BEING we accomplish more than when we focus on DOING.
One Size Does NOT Fit All - I follow some basic guidelines when working with horses, but there is no "standard" process. As a therapist when working with children I remember dozens of times parents saying things like "wow, the last therapist didn't get this far with her/him" or "I can't believe he's - talking/doing/trying, etc. so much". It's not that I'm a miracle worker, it's just that I stay open to letting things take their course. I've watched school systems adopt entire curriculums for reading/science/math at enormous costs for training staff and materials, not to mention the stress to the teachers/students - then abandon them within a few years. No one thing works BEST for all. As an example, I happen to be one of those learners who can deal with almost any input - my preferred is Kinesthetic - learn by doing, but I've learned to read things and "do" them in my head in such a way that it translates very easily for me. Others really are more "auditory" learners and learn best by listening to someone explain it, and others still prefer pictures and are more "visual" by nature. How will your horse learn at his most OPTIMUM? Have you noticed?
Communicate Clearly! Maybe it's my background as a Speech Therapist or perhaps it has more to do with always "interpreting" for those who seemed to have difficulty being understood, but I believe that clarity of intent is essential in all life areas. So, no surprise that I bring this to my training with my dogs and with all the horses that come into my life. My "intent" when working with horses is to keep my thoughts on the tasks at hand and to stay "in the moment". Horses are keenly aware of our thoughts and feelings - I often think more so than we are - and this makes them excellent mirrors for the things we may most need to focus on. Next time your horse is being "naughty" ask yourself "Where were my thoughts?" You may find your horse was just trying to get youback on track!
Have a goal. When you go to work with your horse, know what you're looking to accomplish in the session. Know what you have time for and NEVER start something you don't have the time, energy or knowledge to finish. Your horse will appreciate your planfulness. When we have a plan we create a sense of calm in our assuredness and when we lack a plan we leave the door open to insecurity, mishap and frustration.
Be patient. Not just with the horse, but with your self. Know that your horse will be better for your efforts to keep a level head.
Be compassionate. A high school friend recently reminded me of something I had completely forgotten. When she first joined our soccer team she was intimidated, justifiably, by some of the senior girls. One day she was pulled to the bench and another girl remarked "finally". She sat on the bench and cried. I asked to be subbed out and sat with her, where I tried to console her and found myself shedding tears of my own. That made a big impression on her apparently because she retold the story recently, 22 years after the incident. I have a strong sense of how others feel. Not just people, but animals and I tend fo FEEL what they feel. It seems to be a real asset for this work I'm chosen to do.
You and your horse will experience more than just "training" here. There truly is a healing spirit at work here and you and the horse will feel it as you're driving up the driveway. My first mission is to get a sense of who you are and how your horse feels around you. Next I spend time working with the horse's energy to assist him to feel relaxed and comfortable about his stay. I use my hands to go over the horse from head to toe using touch and gentle massage looking for any soreness, conformation issues that may be an issue, overall fitness/condition, and taking note of cues from the horse that would tell me more about his story. I assess how the horse responds to pressure when asked to back up, move forward and sideways and ask lots of questions of the owner in order to have a clear sense of the goal for the training.
It is my expectation that the owner is an active participant in the training process. This may be as passive as watching some of the sessions at first, but will be more active with time. It is my sincerest wish that when you load your horse at the end of training and drive away it is with a sense of accomplishment, knowing that you have grown as an animal partner in such a way that will benefit not only the horse that was here for training, but all the animals that you share your life with.
There is no end to my suggestions for how to feed and care for your horses in a manner that will promote their wellbeing. It is from this place of wellbeing that your horse will be your best partner. A horse that has plenty of turnout (his free choice ideally), good forage, good footing to stand in, a herd of at least one other horse, good free choice minerals and salt and excellent hay with whole grains for needed energy when in work, and of course plenty of clean water.... is a happy, healthy horse.
$750/month - board included
If you'd like to try a session for you and your horse at your facility I travel too! I like to stay close to home - it's so wonderful here, but I venture out on occasion.
Within 30 minutes travel time - $55/hr first hour - $20 each additional 1/2 hr
30 min - 1 hr travel time - $65/hr (additional same as above)
Over 1 hr. email for specifics
These clinics are for the horse lover who wants to grow, learn and build communication skills with their equine partner. Mini Clinics are designed to build upon what you already practice and add new techniques that, when practiced, will create a well balanced relationship between you and your horse.
These Mini Clinics are intended to be once a week, three hours each session, over a four week period. Each participant and horse gets individual time and training with me and has the opportunity to observe other participants with their training. Each following week, new groundwork exercises and under saddle exercises are added.
At the end of each session group members will have a clear understanding of what their "homework" is and how to be successfull over the course of the upcoming week. Group members are encouraged to email any questions throughout the week so that the most progress can be made.
Mini Clinics are designed and organized by the participants themselves. Put together a group of your horse friends determine a good day each week to meet and we can get started. Times and dates can be flexible with the group. Minimum two participants per Mini Clinic, maximum four, $300.00 per participant paid in full at the first group meeting.
One Day Clinics are from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at my facility or yours. The morning is spent doing groundwork, break for lunch, then saddle up and ride in the afternoon. Clinics at Healing Spirit Farm will include a trail ride on our beautiful trails at the end of the day. One day clinic price is $125.00, for those in the clinic who would like to continue, a second day can be added for an additional $100.00, four person minimum, six person maximum.
If you're interested in trying something outside the realm of "standard vet medicine" for your pets I am available for consultation in person or by email or phone. Initial consultation includes thorough intake and assessment for $75. This will include one follow-up with future follow-up consults at $25. We may find that the animal would benefit from one or more of the healing modalities listed on the "Healing Naturally" page of this website and, of course I'd suggest switching from any processed feeds to more whole-food based diet.