Category Archives: horses, dogs & more

touching Mamacita

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This is Mamacita, the formerly feral mama cat who now lives in my studio.

In my book (just released!!!) Our Horses, Ourselves: Discovering the Common Body, I devote a chapter to the nuances of touch.  Besides TTouch (developed by Linda Tellington-Jones), I explore how understanding the developmental stages of touch can help us to become more intentional and mindful with our touch, whether with humans, horses, cats, dogs, or your morning tea.

Those stages are, in order, yield, push, reach, grasp and pull.  They are the usual sequence in which infant movement develops in relationship to the world and what she wants to be close to, or bring close.

For the first six years of knowing Mamacita, I could not touch her.  She was very fearful, but also curiously connected.  We fed her, built an outdoor shelter for her, and then one winter, she decided that coming into the house might be a good idea.  That was probably year seven.

I spent a lot of time sitting and breathing and making myself less scary.  Touches developed.  Slowly, with frequent setbacks.

Today, Mamacita’s favorite human is one that is lying on the floor so that she can do her verson of Contact Improvisation.  I can lift her, carry her, roll with her, tumble with her.

This morning, I experienced a revelation.  Mamacita, I realized, was doing ALL OF THOSE TOUCH STAGES AT ONCE WITH DIFFERENT PARTS OF HER BODY!!! Her back yielded into my legs, her nose and head pushed at mine, her paws reached, grasped (claws) as she pulled herself toward me.

I love what I learn daily from my creature companions.  I love the wordlessness, the openness and the fullness of it.  I love feeling the reciprocity – the being touched as I touch.

What are you touching? How are you touching?

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the gorgeous press kit

IMG_0967Capprichio enjoying the still green fall grass.

 

As the book-in-hand date for Our Horses, Ourselves: Discovering the Common Body nears, I am delighted to be able to share the ELECTRONIC PRESS KIT . It contains links for some beautiful dances with horses, an interview, and more information about the book.  Please share this with friends and on social media.  Thank you!

 

 

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appreciation

Screen Shot 2016-10-09 at 12.37.03 PMDeAnna Pellecchia, Ingrid Schatz and Pony taking a break during a rehearsal.

As my book Our Horses, Ourselves: Discovering the Common Body comes closer to its actual premiere/opening/you-can-actually-hold-it-in-your-hand day, I am filled with so much appreciation for all the beauty, wisdom and effort by my collaborators of the last thirty-ish years.  The list is VERY long, and appears in the “Special Thanks” section of the book.  It begins and ends, of course, with Pam White, my love, inspiration and best friend of the last thirty-one years. It also includes all the horses, dancers, mentors, friends, collaborators, and those whose  stories and perspectives are woven into the book.  It does indeed, take a village!

You can pre-order the book here.

 

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happy birthday Sanne

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His sweetness.  His kindness.  His presence. His wisdom.

This is Sanne.  Sanne is a named used for Friesians of either gender.  It means Lily. On days that we want to pay homage to him, we call him Sanne the Lily of Holland.

Sanne is my principle co-therapist when I am working with a client and a horse.  He is also a principle dancer in my company of dancers and horses.  He is also my big ride.  Big gaits, big heart, big spirit, big generosity.

On July 17, Sanne will be 20.  His origin story with us goes like this.  We wanted a Friesian.  We were visiting a farm in southeast Massachusetts that imported Friesians from Holland.  I was drawn to a beautiful boy named Tsjalling who peered out through a tangle of thick, long forelock from the back of his stall.  Pam had spotted Sanne.  “What about this one? she said.  “What about Sanne?”  And so he was born into our family.

Happy Birthday, dear Sanne.  May we be blessed with many more years in your company.  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

8659Glorious Sanne with the exquisite Brandi Rivera in the dance Scarlet.

 

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