Category Archives: horses, dogs & more

moving landscapes

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This is Andrea Kozol dancing with Jaxon earlier this summer at out workshop at the beautiful Mountain Horse Farm.

What I love about this is Jaxon’s ease with this new way of experiencing a human moving.  Too often we are trying to “do” something with the horse, and need them to “do” something in response.  Jaxon teaches us that he can rest in the moment, and at the same time support and receive Andrea’s dance.

I will be offering a demo of how to deepen feel and connection with horses using Conscious Touch and Conscious Movement at Equine Affaire on Saturday morning, November 9.

And next June, I  will be teaching another workshop at Mountain Horse Farm.

Please join us!

For more information, contact me.

 

 

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dancing with Izarra

 

Ben Willis and I were at Little Brook Farm earlier this week shooting footage for my new film, Conscious Touch, Conscious Movement with Horses: Improving Feel and Connection through the Body

Seven years ago, I collaborated with LBF and its wonderful director, Lynn Cross and her daughter Summer Brennan on the performance project, All the Pretty Horses. They are the most generous, compassionate rescue and sanctuary that I have worked with, and I feel so blessed to be working (playing) with them again.

As we were walking around the farm, we went by a paddock where a lovely dark horse stood in the shade of a run-in shed.  “Who is that?” I asked.  Summer said, “That is Izarra. She is one of the Mustangs.” Then she looked at me with a new thought, “You should adopt her.”  Summer knows that I have a long, deep passion for Mustangs.

Yesterday I went back up to LBF to see Izarra and play with her.  She is a dancer!  Curious, playful, unafraid, ready to join.  And so my heart is wide, wide open to this  beautiful being.  I do not know how this chapter will be written, what is the plot or the timeline.  But in this uncertainty and possibility, I am feeling a buoyancy and joy that I have not felt with such clarity for many months.

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Summer said something interesting – that in her experience, Mustangs, because often they have not been domesticated, put into training programs and living situations that can gradually extinguish their essence, are more “here.”  In many cases, they have not closed down, despite the trauma of their capture and confinement.

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california

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I am thrilled to be presenting a Conscious Touch, Conscious Movement with Horses workshop at the University of California at Santa Barbara as part of the annual Body-Mind Centering Association conference.

Conscious Touch and Conscious Movement is way of improving and deepening our relationship horses through the shared languages of touch and movement. Learning to connect with horses in this way helps us become more comfortable in our own skin, confident, trustworthy to ourselves and the horse, as well as sensitive and skillful in our riding and training, regardless of the discipline.  In my experience, this work with horses translates pretty seamlessly to our relationships with our spouses, children, friends, and ourselves.

When I am working with a client and a horse, I never know just how that session will unfold.  It is what I love about the work – it is deeply improvisational, and allows the essential invitation of Authentic Movement to undergird the process:  “wait to be moved.”  That means that the human has the opportunity to go underneath the cognitive habits of language, interpretation, analysis, and planning.  To rest in the moment and to listen.  To speak when moved in the shared, primal, intimate, and unpredictable languages of the body: movement and touch.

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To arrange a session with Paula and a horse partner, contact me.

 

 

the invitation

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This is Mystical Mel, a Paint mare whose registered name is Mystical Finale. According to the description on The Mane Intent website, “her markings would suggest she is Medicine Hat Paint. The myth and mystery of the Medicine Hat Paint goes back many years. But it is known as a spirit animal with special powers, and is very rare.  Like many Medicine Hat Paints, Mel has a pink muzzle and two blue eyes, making her especially prized.”

Mel was our partner for the last part of the Expanding Body, Mind and Spirit wth Horses workshop that I recently taught at The Mane Intent.  Mel has a kind of light, floating attention that I find unusual – some confluence of her color, her mare-ness, and ethereal blue eyes.  Her presence feels expansive, yet vigilant and quietly discerning.

We entered the round pen with her two at a time, and let the experience of moving with her unfold in its own way, inviting her to connect in her own time.  The last dance was three humans and Mel.  One of the humans began to sing softly, as they linked arms, facing away from those of uis witnessing, and toward Mel. She approached slowly and then moved carefully into the circle of their bodies, looking at them and toward us with those astonishing eyes. The song ended and horse and humans moved slowly apart.

This work is always surprising, always moving – an experience that is beyond words – one that lives in the deep possibilities that live in our wordless connection with horses. The invitation to join is offered without limitation or expectation.  For us, the greatest gift is simply to breathe and to be in the presence of that embodied mystery.