The Inspiration behind Passion for Horses
Passion for Horses is dedicated to the grace and beauty of my beloved mare, Melody Joy (MJ) who passed at 8:15 am on January 21st, 2010.
MJ taught me how joy and sadness can live together and to honour these incredible emotions. She helped many women come to terms with their own sadness, to release and rejuvenate themselves as they step out into the world.
“Because of you this site was born and you will continue to be a soulful influence on horse’s around the world. MJ, my girlie, girl, you will live in my heart forever — thank you for your gifts to the world! I miss our heart hugs each morning!!” – Linda-Ann
At the age of 45, I was called by the horses to begin a journey of incredible discovery, possibility and spiritual connection with nature. Not unlike many thousands of women around the world, I found horses for the first time in my life (or rather they found me).
I am a Master Life Coach, Intuitive and Empathic Healer and have studied with amazing women from the U.S. who are pioneers in the psycho-spiritual work the horses.
As a graduate with merit from Barbara Rector’s, Adventures in Awareness program out of Tucson, Arizona, I have continued to refine my intuitive abilities with horses.
My work has also been highly influenced by Linda Kohanov, author of The Tao of Equus, Riding Between the Worlds and Way of the Horse. I have attended many programs with both of these woman, and have also studied with Ariana Strozzi (www.skyhorseranch.com) and numerous other incredible teachers both two-legged and four-legged here in Canada and the US.
My story of the horses can be found in my book, Horse As Teacher, the Path to Relationship.
I discovered Natural Horsemanship at about age 14 and immediately knew that this was the path I wanted to pursue. My first step was to throw out my bits and start riding bitless. Just this simple change brought about such a transformation in my horses and I knew I was on the right track. I was becoming increasingly focused on developing a ‘special’ kind of bond with my horses, above and beyond the usual rider/horse relationship. I had a deep desire not only to understand my horses, but to have them understand and respect me of their own accord and to enjoy a close relationship of trust and constant learning together.
For me, riding was never just about perfecting a certain discipline, winning prizes or even just great trail rides. It was about the deep sense of connection and completion I always felt when I was with horses. As a teenager, no matter what troubles or upsetting emotions I was dealing with, just a few minutes with my horses brought a peace and calmness that centered me again.
I spent the next 7 years learning as much as I could from those who trained with and believed in the same natural methods that I did- But I truly believe that my most valuable teachers were my first 3 wonderful horses, William Penn, Mishka and Ruby.
I also started backing and training young horses, as well as working with and re-training horses that had been declared ‘problem horses’ or ‘dangerous’ due to abuse, bad training or in so many cases, just pure ignorance and lack of understanding for this majestic animal. Every horse I have ever worked with, taught me something new about myself and confirmed what I was already beginning to suspect- that if we are open and willing to learn, horses can and will teach us so much more than we think possible. Far more indeed, than we could ever teach them.
I also started pursing my interest in natural medicine and and in 2001 I did a diploma course in Phytotherapy (the study of herbs). I then started an organic herb nursery on our farm and ran it for the last 3 years before I left the country.
In 2005 I left South Africa and moved here, to Langley, BC. I was incredibly fortunate to meet Linda-Ann and I think that our paths were meant to cross. We discovered our mutual passion to make a difference (through natural horsecare and horsemanship) in how horses are viewed and treated worldwide.
This year, 2010, will mark the 20th anniversary of the day my very first horse (William Penn) burst into my life and changed it forever. I hope to continue sharing all that he and so many other wonderful horses have taught me along the way and in so doing, inspire others to make a difference in their horses lives and in turn, let them make a difference in yours.