Summer  2013

2013-06-07_19-23-01_347Dolce Far Niente (“Sweet Idleness”) with the Alchemical Horses

In the last newsletter I mentioned that we have moved to a different location this year–Sugar Creek Ranch, near the intersection of highways 141 and 21 in Fenton. The horses have settled in and love their new home: green pastures and a smaller herd for Galahad and Nevada, and a private paddock for Midnight.

The facilities at Sugar Creek are very nice: a large round pen, indoor and outdoor arenas, and lots of space to walk and talk. It’s also much closer for clients living in the Saint Louis area. We couldn’t be more pleased!

We’re on our summer “vacation” now until mid-September when the weather cools a bit and we can resume taking appointments. Meanwhile, I thought you might enjoy a couple of videos. As you’ll see, we’re doing not much of anything except enjoying the weather! Those of you who follow The Alchemical Horse on Facebook will have seen some of the clips included here, but there’s some new stuff as well.

Dolce Far Niente,” 2013…

Nevada enjoys her bath…. (The cut on her shoulder that you can see in this video is now completely healed. We never did figure out what happened.)

An afternoon with the herd…my personal favorite summertime activity.

NEW this fall

In addition to working with clients here at Sugar Creek, we will be implementing a new service: Beginning this fall, those of you who have your own horses can arrange for a session at YOUR barn, with your own horse! I’ll help you decipher what your horse is trying to tell you, and teach you skills to make your relationship even deeper. More on this next month….

Meanwhile, enjoy yourselves! Stay open to learning!

Winter 2013

The Move.

Our three at the new place 350This has been a fairly mild winter here in the Saint Louis area (other than today, when I’m writing this during a blizzard!). The horses have been enjoying the chilly weather and taking the opportunity to do relatively little except stand next to the round bales and chow down.

Our recent move to a stable in Fenton was a big event, but they seem to have settled in quite well. Galahad had a rough couple of days, when the resident geldings put him in his place. Poor guy doesn’t respond well to being kept away from his food source—I think it brings back memories of the hard times he suffered at his original owner’s hands.

Galahad and 'Mike'“Mike,” one of his gelding friends from our former location, ended up at the new place, too. He was in a stall at first, but about two weeks after our arrival, he was turned out into the pasture where Galahad lives. Hard times are now over for my big guy, because his old buddy has become his protector, chasing off all the higher-ranking horses. The two of them hang out together most of the time.

Nevada hasn’t fared quite as well—those mares are a tough bunch! Everything seemed fine for a week or so, but then during the recent cold snap, her pasture mates banded together again to keep Nevada away from the hay when they wanted to eat (which is most of the time!), and to keep her out of the shelter when they wanted to be in it. Poor little tyke. But I do believe she’ll be fine once the weather clears up again.

Midnight seems to think he’s landed right in heaven. He now has his own private, 1/8th acre paddock with an attached stall. He still gets twice-a-day grain and hay, and his paddock is right across the narrow lane from the geldings pasture. That way, he can see Galahad and Mike, and they can visit companionably. He has two horses in their own paddocks on either side of him. And (best of all, if I know Midders), he gets daily attention from the staff at the Barn and frequent walks from his human friends who found it too far to travel out to the other place.

Here’s a glimpse of his little piece of paradise on a recent rainy night.

New Appointment Schedule.

The move to the new barn will also make it more convenient for my clients to visit. We’re now located near the intersection of Hwy. 141 and Hwy. 21 in Fenton. Contact me for directions.

New client sessions will begin on Wednesday, March 20th, and appointments will be available until the summer “holiday” begins in mid-June. Time slots will be as follows: Wednesdays and Thursdays 9:30AM, 1PM, 3PM, and 7PM. Fridays 9AM and 1PM. Some weekend appointments are also available; call for times.

Articles and videos of interest.

One of the people who’s been influential in refining my goals for my relationship with the horses is Frédéric Pignon. He and his wife, Magali Delgado, founded the equine spectacle Cavalia, which many of you probably saw when the troupe visited Saint Louis last year. Frederic and Magali are now retired from Cavalia and are doing their own work in Europe.Frederic and Magali 1

Take a look at this wonderful video, which features Frédéric and his younger brother Jean-François. The woman doing the interviewing had only limited experience with horses at liberty when she began the project. Don’t worry if you don’t speak French—just watch it for its beauty, and for the love between horse and human.

La leçon indispensable de Frédéric et Jean-François Pignon

“What is Equine-Assisted Therapy?”

Here’s a link to an article that discusses some of the health-related uses of equine-assisted therapy. It’s a bit rambling, but gives an impressive list of situations in which horses have proved helpful.

Thanks for reading! When you’re ready to experience the benefits of equine-guided learning, give me a call!

August 2012

It’s been a long, hot summer, with more to come!

The horses are enjoying their summer vacation. From the end of June until mid-September, they mostly just get to be horses. We do some training and a little bit of riding, but lots of our time together is spent just hanging out. We all especially love walking in the creek!  Galahad’s favorite activity is standing in the water eating grass.

Midnight gets special treatment: He lives mostly in the grassy “playpen” near the barn. Here’s a link to a video of him sharing his dinner with our resident turkey.

Client Sessions Resume September 19th

Fall client sessions begin on Wednesday, September 19th. There will be three time slots every Wednesday and Thursday: morning, early afternoon, and evening. Friday there will be morning and afternoon appointments. Some weekend appointments are available; call me to check on times. The last available appointments this year will be Friday, December 14th, and we’ll start up again in February.

More Support for Equine-Guided Learning

Here’s a link to an interesting article from The Guardian, a British newspaper. There’s more and more research being done in this area, and all of it supports the effectiveness of horses in both therapeutic activities and things like leadership training. It’s great to see it reaching a mainstream audience. And here’s a link to the University of Kentucky’s study of horses in leadership training.

Support The Alchemical Horse on facebook

If you’re a facebook fan like I am, be sure to “like” The Alchemical Horse. I post quick tips and interesting links there. And share the page with your friends. I appreciate your support!

Enjoy the rest of the summer, and we’ll see you in September!