What we want from the horse

In Buddhism there is the Tibetan word “Shenpa,” that can be translated “something that hooks us,” according to Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron. It is also “the urge.” Shenpa is what drives habitual patterns, motives and addictions. It comes in two parts: the reaction to pain and the escaping of pain. And the reaction to an…

What is the height of the horizon?

The first Permaculture Design course at our center is finishing today. The participants are showing amazing creativity in designing gardens with natural fences, chicken coups, flowers, food trees and vegetable beds to the benefits of the villagers. Students learn to measure the height of the horizon, number of sun hours, size of shades, distance between…

Happy New Year – a year of liberation

Happy New Year from Yurumein St. Vincent! Ayiti is the name of the island called Hispaniola where you have the two countries of Haiti and Dominican Republic. Haiti’s real name is Ayiti. It is a remarkable country in today’s world. When the Europeans “discovered” Hispaniola they shortly after decided that it was their island and…

Horse-olutions for 2018

Once again, I address the thing I’m not all that good at: resolutions for the New Year. I try to make them easy and attainable, otherwise they go the way of crash diets and best laid plans that get forgotten the moment stress or a better offer sets in. This Christmas we had the joy…

Nurturing the “Seeking Mechanism” in Horses

The “seeking mechanism” is a part of most mammals, according to neuroscientist and psychobiologist Jaak Panksepp, author of the book and concept, Affective Neuroscience, the study of  the neural mechanisms of emotion. For the sake of understanding our horses, it is a huge part of what makes us interesting to them. Curiosity about food, what we’re…

Connection vs Control

Thank you all for joining my clinic at Jeanette’s Ranch Bilitt Gaard in Norway last  weekend. I am well back in St. Vincent and happy for the feedback from you who have already taken out your chairs and sat down together with your horses. I was amazed by all the progress that already happened during…

Jazzie_trail

When should I ride my horse?

by Susan Smith This question comes to me often: When can I ride my horse? How much can I ride my horse? In our society, there is a strong push to get horses back to work after an injury or illness, just as there is with people. If you have a surgery, you can be back…

Lost in the Horse

I was lying on the massage table receiving physical therapy recently and talking about myself as I was asked to do, past injuries, etc., and then I made a switch to talking about one of my horses. My therapist expertly swung me back to the discussion of “me,” which is why I’m there, and I…

What? No more riding?

Many people have expressed to me great sadness over not being able to ride a beloved horse anymore. In many cases, it’s not just that they want to ride, they want to ride their own horse, whom they have spent countless hours riding, who is no longer rideable for health or other reasons.