FOUNDER, THIRTEEN MOONS MEDICINE HORSES
I have been with horses since 1956 and have had a life time involving many kinds of experiences with horses.
I have very little formal education having left school at the age of sixteen to pursue my passion and to self-educate.
I have been self-employed in the horse industry since 1981 originally as an owner operator of a horse boarding and training facility.
In 1986 a move to a larger facility in Brantford, Ontario, Canada allowed my career with horses to develop further. On this farm I owned twenty acres and leased an additional 800 acres from the Ontario Provincial Government.
On this land I was able to begin a lifelong independent study of both semi feral and domestic horse herds which led to the development of a horse/human language I call MareSpeak. This study has allowed me to understand the interactions between horses but more importantly has led to my study of the healing benefits of being in connection with the energy field of particular horses who are called Medicine Horses by North American First Nations and Native Americans.
Few horses are among this elite group.
I currently manage five.
Since 1986 I have
Owned and operated Rocking W Ranch which included the care of up to 65 horses in boarding, lessons and training, guided trail riding and day camps. These camps were attended mainly by youth at risk and especially First Nations Children in foster care systems.
Owned more than 400 horses and worked with many hundreds more
In 1993 Rocking W Ranch was rebranded Hilltop Farm Equestrian Center which continued to allow for my study of the herds but also included showing horses, Appaloosa horses in particular. I was trainer and coach to youth and Amateur riders and we competed in local, Provincial, National arenas often winning championships and Appaloosa World Shows (Fort Worth, Texas) where home bred horses finished within the top five in the World in both Western and English events.
Since 1993 I have worked as a peer recognized Equine Behaviour Modification Specialist. This work is most often requested by other coaches and trainers who have problem horses beyond their scope of understanding. This work has taken me all across Canada, the USA, to France, New Zealand and Italy.
In 2004 I moved to Victoria, British Columbia. During this time I made a conscious decision to leave the world of horse showing. In order to spend time with horses I began to volunteer at a therapeutic riding facility where I was given ‘free rein’ to work with the therapy horses who were exhibiting troubling behaviours. I quickly concluded that a different kind of therapy was needed due to the lack of understanding for the therapy horses and the subsequent levels of suffering they endured.
In 2008 I began to locate and gather Medicine Horses who are chosen on their ability to interact with each other and other species in a way that is profoundly healing and safe and most importantly can be accomplished without direct interaction with the horses. The healing is done primarily on the energetic level as known by native shamans and that is held within tribal Medicine Horse teachings. Medicine Horses Sessions are equally effective for a single person or large groups.
This offering of healing attracts people from all walks of life and to this point through ‘word of mouth’.
Among our clients we include
Children on the spectrum
First Nations Residential School Survivors and their families
In 2015 I, along with one of my long time apprentices established The International Academy of Medicine Horses.
Through the Academy we offered a certification program which to date has Level One, Two and Three certified students across Canada and in several U.S states.
Most of our candidates have been involved in other Equine Therapy programs but have found them to be lacking in understanding of the healing qualities of the horses but also in the understanding of the requirements of the horses to remain in a balanced healthy state.
Although I remain a mentor to these certified students I ceased offering certification due to the need for the teachings to be wholly experiential in nature. I happily accept new students on a non certified basis.
In 2015 I was among a very few chosen to present in the Traditional Healing category at the Indigenous Health Conference, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.
My presentation focused on the reasons our equine therapy is readily accepted by First Nations Peoples over all other equine therapies and other western medical modalities in general.
In their words… it works.
The Medicine Horses have no agenda or ego and are not attached to the outcome.
Our ‘method’ does not require ‘power over’ which many other therapies do especially if they use round pen work.
In a ‘regular equine therapy’ that involves riding or control, people who have been placed in residential schools, or who have lived in conditions wherein they have had little or no power, will reach a point where they realize that they are submitting the horses to similar circumstances.
It is at this point that the ‘regular equine therapy’ will fail the client and can in fact lead to a deepening of the trauma.
Thank you for reading,