The story of Equine Synergy began long before we opened our 'gates' six years ago. It started when I was a child; my love for horses was typical and my dream was to have my own. I had a great uncle who kept horses and ponies for as long as I can remember. My first encounter with these amazing beings was at his barn. Each time I went to his place, he would have new horses and ponies and each time he would say 'this one is yours'. I never really gave much thought to each switch-out, although, I do fondly reminisce being so happy to have ‘one of my own’. He passed on all his books, magazines and equine related accouterments (stuff) to me as we clearly shared this passion. Uncle Art has been gone for some time now, but his small, yet light-hearted gesture many years ago, positively influenced me, lasting a lifetime.
Fast-forward about 43 years, being in my professional role for more than 20 of those, I was in a good place financially, had a new home with all the niceties anyone could ask for, yet something was missing in my life. I was on a trail ride with my son and daughter when I commented on the horse the trail guide was riding; a beautiful bay Thoroughbred named Felted. The guide said, 'he's for sale' and I replied 'I'll buy him'. No questions asked, no idea where I would keep him, but I bought a horse!
I boarded Felted and our second equid, Coal, for the next several months until I decided that I needed my horses in the same place as me every day. I purchased 6 acres in a secluded corner with a river running through; this is where the next chapter begins.
Having very little horse handling experience, I quickly recognized the need to acquire as much knowledge and hands on practice as I could get, not only for the safety of my kids, and myself but for my horses as well. I realized that I wanted to work with my herd in a way that was not the conventional. I researched various natural horsemanship models and liberty training, following a couple of well-known individuals that I felt were like-minded. I studied equine nutrition, equine first aid, signed up for every magazine, website and purchased a library of reference books. I asked a million questions to my newfound horse friends and was selected along with a handful of others to edit the book “I am Cadillac” by Ross MacInnes; it was such an honor to be chosen to work on this project with him.
My need to gather more knowledge was and still is, endless. However, over the years I have weeded out the information that I felt was not relevant to my personal values; I have developed my own methods based on my research and philosophies.
I completed a Barefoot Trimming program and continue my education by attending workshops regularly, follow my mentor on Patreon and Facebook as well as attend his workshops twice per year. I felt that the care I was giving my herd was incomplete when I had someone else providing hoof care. I wondered how could I possibly understand my horses if I did not fully appreciate the true foundation of each being? And we all know the saying, 'no hoof, no horse'.
Over the past 6 years, I have worked with both children and adults as a personal development coach and provide equine assisted therapy to individuals. I have assisted others with getting their programs started and provide ongoing peer support. I have been approached often with the request to train practitioners. Finally, after years of practice and research, I have developed a program to certify practitioners in Equine Guided Learning (EGL), Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) and Personal Development Coach. My goal is to establish guidelines for practice to create a safe and credible practice with our equine partners.
Read more about our programs, horses and thoughts in my Blog.