Category Archives: horses, dogs & more

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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kindness

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I am just finishing Mark Rashid’s  A Journey to Softness.  In the book, Mark talks about kindness, and putting the intention of kindness into every part of your contact with the horse — actually into everything that you do.  I write about my experiences in attending some of Mark’s clinics in my book, Our Horses, Ourselves: Discovering the Common Body, due out in September.

Two things come to mind.  The first is that I have been observing the coming and going of kindness in my life and in my riding. Kindness is easier to sustain while riding than it is in the world at large in the current unkind, caustic climate.

I am curious about the blending of curiosity, kindness and clarity in all parts of my interactions with my horses.  Curiosity because I always want to be interested in learning more about what is absent and what is present in each ride and each moment with them.  Kindness because I can immediately feel the attunement, willingness and enthusiasm from my horses Sanne, Amadeo and Capprichio when that is how I initiate each contact.  And clarity because  offering enough guidance helps us to stay in alignment and communicate more clearly.  Not only my clarity and direction to them, but the clarity and direction of their responses, and my willingness to hear what they are communicating to me.

As a movement therapist, I am interested in the idea and experience of interstitial kindness.  What that means to me is inviting mindful kindness into the small, in between spaces of your relationships,  the way you treat your body, and your actions – especially the small, casual or seemingly unimportant ones.  Notice how you touch the keyboard of your computer, how you make the bed, how you wash your face or fold the laundry.  What is kindness in those moments?  And how does that shine a light back into your body and mind?

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bringing out the book

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The publication date for my book, Our Horses, Ourselves: Discovering the Common Body, is approaching (mid-September).  The final scramble of editing is finished, and within a few weeks, it will be in the hands of the printer.

This project has been an amazing, daunting, joyful, frustrating journey of over 10 years.  Actually though, this book pulls from the last forty years of living in a moving human body,  and the past twenty years of dropping deep, then deeper still into the world of horses. The horses hold the two ends of my life – the raw childhood horse love and the ripened adult passion.

Are you emptied out when you finish a book like this?  Not really.  Like making dances, there is always that thing that wakes you up in the middle of the night – a movement that must be danced or another way of saying something about touching horses, learning to be a mindful being in the blessing of their presence.

This next stage -getting the word out, scheduling of readings, workshops – feels overwhelming.  I have done this as the artistic director of a dance company for many, many years.  For whatever reason, I do not feel that  has prepared me.  Maybe it has to do with the ephemeral nature of dance and dancing.  A book is something that can be held, it is an object.  Scary, that, and exciting too.

You can (please) order my book HERE.

 

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