Discover your ideal relationship with your horse

CEGA creates an atmosphere of openness and trust in which to explore your own special horse-human bond. We want to help you remove blocks, deepen your awareness of the power within, and help you achieve your goals.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Favorite Time of Year to Ride!

My Favorite Time to Ride

The crickets are chirping, the air is drier and the nights decidedly cooler. While I don't want to rush out of summer and into fall, I do love this time of year most of all to ride, be with horses and enjoy the outdoors.
Something about the quality of light and the smell in the air. Something about the leaves beginning to rustle in the wind, the huge mixed flocks of blackbirds, starlings and cowbirds swirling through the sky or lining the wires. And yes, even something about needing a sweater when the sun goes down, or feeling a chill when I walk out to the barn in the morning.

I was born in the fall, and I don't know if that matters, but it has always seemed like "my time of year." Riding during these days never fails to make me smile, and feel great. Even the occasional rainy day is fine, when you have a great ride and come inside to dry off and have a cup of tea.

Anybody want to share their favorite time of year to ride?

Monday, August 27, 2012

End of summer reflections

Summer is winding down--what is your favorite memory that you created with your horse this summer?  Galloping across a field?  Taking that perfect lesson?  Winning a class that you have worked SOOO hard to perfect your skills for?  Maybe watching someone else ride your horse, and getting the chance to see how beautifully he moves?  Spending some down time with your horse, in a long grooming session?  

Whatever your answer, take a moment to look back and enjoy your accomplishments, and those of your horse.  And enjoy anticipating the accomplishments yet to come....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The world according to Danzig

I had the most amazing experience with my new horse, Danzig, recently.  In fact, it was so mind-blowing that I hardly know where to start.

I could start by telling you that that I bought Danzig, an 11 year old OTTB, a mere two weeks ago to be my new field hunter, and that it was love at first sight.  But most of you already know that, as I have been barley able to speak without inserting Danzig into the conversation one way or another.  

Or I could begin by telling you about the Animal Communication Workshop I took in June with Amelia Kinkade, and what a life-transforming event it was.  To have the opportunity to be with 40 or so like-minded folks, all of us there to hone our animal communications skills, and work with such a gifted and talented teacher was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. One of the skills that we worked on was doing body scans on animals, “inserting” ourselves into the animal to allow us to see what they see, feel what they feel. It was transformative.

I could also get the discussing rolling by asking you to relate some of your own successes in inter-species communication—and whether you are aware of these successes or not,  I’d be willing to bet the family farm that you have had just such an interaction with an animal, one where you knew what the animal was thinking and feeling, without knowing how you came by such knowledge.  

Here’s what happened.  We had just finished a lovely hack, with Danzig being his usual curious, enthusiastic self (“Let’s go here!  What’s over there?  What’s around the next bend?”) and were returning home.  We got to the pasture where I keep my sheep, and that’s when it happened.  Danzig stood there, riveted by the sights and sounds of the sheep, and suddenly, without me quite knowing how it happened, I was seeing the scene through his eyes, smelling what he smelled, FEELING what he was FEELING.   It was incredible—I was no longer in my body, I had become part of him, and could fully understand things from his perspective.  For Danzig, the sheep seemed to be magically appearing, as he couldn’t see the barn door from where they were emerging.  And the noises they were making!  The funny way they moved!  The shape of them!  And then, just as suddenly, without me knowing the connection had been “broken”, I was back in my own body, and able to verbalize to him what the sheep were, what they were like, what their jobs are (although we were communicating non-verbally the entire time).   

I’ve said it many times before, we all have the ability to communicate with our animals, it’s a matter of being willing to take the time to practice, like you would any other skill you are trying to perfect.  I’ve never had an experience quite like this one, but I’m confident that it will happen again.  And I can’t wait for the next time!

Here’s wishing for many connected moments for you and your horses.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


As spring turns to summer, and riding season is truly upon us, I become both excited and nervous. Why?
The expectations that the season brings makes me at the same time eager to get out there and do things, and also afraid I won't measure up, or make the grade.
But who is the scorekeeper? I am! I am the one who sets my own goals, my own challenges, and my own measures of success. Whose voice tells me what is a job well done, and what is not?
This year, I promised myself to base my expectations on only what I feel my horse and I can or cannot do. If it is the same as last year, who cares? If it isn't as brilliant as the rider after me, so what? All I need to think about is: Did we do our best? What can we do better? Were we prepared for the goal?
If I focus on answering those questions, then I can accurately measure "success" based on how well we actually performed, rather than how it stacks up against others (or how I believe it compares).
So this summer, I'm going to prepare, set clear obtainable goals, and listen only to my heart and my horse instead of imaginary voices. And hopefully you will see us out there trying our best, and smiling about a job well done. Good luck to you all, whatever your season's goals are!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Let's go!

Spring is here—it’s the perfect time to sign up for an individual CEGA session for some fine-tuning as you head out on the trails or into the show ring!  Or be sure to join us for our upcoming session, Stress-Free Riding at Home and Away, to be  held at The Equestry in New Haven, VT on Sunday 4/29. Our goal is to help you and your horse get the most out of your time together!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The harder we try, the less we accomplish?

Yesterday, during my lesson. I rode a horse that I have ridden a few times now.  He can be lazy, and requires a bit of leg/incentive to keep his energy moving forward without falling on his forehand.  I found myself working harder and harder to keep him going. I gripped with my legs and used my stick and gripped harder with my legs. I collapsed my body, so I could use more leg.  I began paying less and less attention to being in the moment, as my frustration began to rise.  I'm sure you can recall a time when you just wished your horse would do what you asked.  Well here's the thing, this horse is all about ease and flow and how you use your energy.  I of course had totally lost that and needed reminding about how this horse would be able to hear what I was asking for.
Finally after trying REALLY hard.  I was reminded of energy and flow and how if I were to become clearer and more fluid perhaps I might get more from this horse.  OMG what a life lesson.  Sometimes I get so focused on trying to create something that I forget about what it is I am really looking to do or have.  When I take the time to be in the moment, and stay with my horse with clear intent and energy my ride, my life, my work all flow with greater ease. Where could doing less with greater clarity be more in your life?

Friday, March 23, 2012


Communication is an interesting topic, don’t you think?

How do you communicate? How do you know if someone heard what you meant to say? How do you know if you understood what someone said to you? What do you do when the body language or tone is different than the words that were used? What happens when you don’t want to hear what the other person has to say? Do you listen to what the other person has to say or are you busy preparing what you want to say next?

We interact with people and animals on a daily basis and we rarely think about how we do it. While preparing for our next clinic, I have been reviewing the processes of how I learned to communicate with animals. The thing that keeps on surfacing for me is that there are so many ways to receive and interpret information. Every person is different and every animal is different. It took practice and a willingness to go with the first thing that popped into my head without second guessing myself or editing what I got. I studied with Penelope Smith and fortunately for me she had developed a system that allowed people in the class to practice and then she would provide feedback about what we got. So,…. That is what we have put together to introduce the topic.

Do you believe it is possible to communicate with an animal? Regardless of what your answer is, if you have animals in your life you have been communicating with them. How do you know: What they like and don’t like? When they want to eat? When they need to go out? When they are mad at you?

What about taking it to the next level? Would you like to listen to what they have to say? I was a bit surprised to find out how knowledgeable and conscious animals are. I am grateful for their generous contributions to the world. Hope you can join us on Sunday for the workshop.

Happy Spring


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Finding Quiet

Lately I have been able to find this quiet place in my head where I have stopped beating myself up.  I love it! I am finding comfort in a place I did not know existed.  I have spent a lot of my life trying to figure out what everyone else wanted me to be.  Now, I am at the beginning of asking myself, (not someone else)  how I want to be and what I want in my life. I am letting go of when the other shoe will drop or the idea of when  the pain will begin because I did not do "it" right. I am transforming the fears that have run my life into possibilities. I am willing to step into something new, something I have always kept myself from doing, because the infamous "they" said "that will never work".  Now I am asking myself how can I make it work.
What noise lives in your head?  How does it affect your life? How does it affect your ride, your horse?
Let us know what's happening in your world.
Enjoy the moment

Monday, February 13, 2012

February has turned into such an interesting month.  The cold snaps that chill to the bone and the warm snaps that breath in the beginning of spring.  Spring is the time of reawakening for me.  The time when I begin to look at what I want to do next.  This year I want to develop my business and do more coaching.  I want to let go of the thinks that have been keeping me from moving forward.  I want to ride more and have more fun.  Now is the time for me to figure out how to make it happen before time passes by and i don't know where it went.
What is your plan for the up coming season?  Have you chosen what you want in your life?  Have you created a plan to make it happen?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

rebuilding my body

Where to begin, it is always the question that pops up for me when I decide I need to make a change. Some changes just seem to happen and others need some conscious attention. Lets face it as I have aged and there were other things on my plate I neglected my body. So..... I have for several years now been putting it back into place. I could spend hours talking about the dysfunctional array of things that have occurred with in my being. I could beat myself up for having let this happen or making this happen. Or I could find some gratitude for how generously my body has put up with how I abuse it. Any way not wanting to spend hours ruminating on the past, I have recently stumbled on to some fabulous and easy exercises that are creating huge changes in my body. My hips are straightening and opening, which has mad significant changes in my riding. My back is realigning and my arms are becoming independent of my shoulder girdle. (did you say independent aids). How can this be possible after years of yoga and palates etc.
Simple targeted exercises re aligning the body and helping it to remember its own kinesthetic ability. Cool! It is called the Egoscue method and it is just another thing of the many millions out there and it is working for me. What is happening in your body that you thought you could not change? What if you could? Would you be willing to commit some time to yourself and improve your riding? What would it take for you to have more of what you want? Take a chance and believe in your ability to make a change in order to have more of what you want. If your happy and life is all you want it to be, no need.

Check out the upcoming workshop on creating greater connection with your horse and your body on Feb 26th. www.cegavt.com

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

True connection

Hi, everyone.
We have all hard a great deal about connection as it pertains to training your horse.  I’d like to get you thinking about your horse as a beautifully engineered marvel of design, and the true connection in your horse’s body, from nose to tail, from head to hoof.  

Here’s a brief overview:  your horse’s HEAD is connected to his FEET, from JAW muscles (such as the omohyoidius inside the jaw), which connect to  muscles of the NECK (the cephalic muscles, for example), which connect to the muscles of the CHEST (some of which make up the bicep complex), which connect to the FOREARM (the carpi muscles), which connect to the HOOF (via the flexor and extensor muscles and tendons).  

Think about it: head to neck to chest to forearm to hoof.  None of these parts operates independently.  What does this mean? Any tension or imbalance or strain in one part, will of necessity have an adverse effect on the rest of the system.  A strain in one area means compensation in another area.  Restriction of movement in any  area is going to lead to problems, some obvious, some subtle.  

The best thing you can do for your horse?  Allow him to carry himself freely and in a relaxed way.  A tense horse is not using his muscles to their full advantage.  Look at your horse when he is moving, and pay attention to how he feels when you ride him.  Do his strides feel even or choppy?  Do his hooves make the same sound when each hoof makes contact with the ground?  How does he carry himself?  If you’re not sure what you’re seeing, ask someone you trust to help you.  Asking questions doesn’t mean a lack of wisdom, it means that you know enough to know that you need to learn more.  

Our horse’s bodies are truly wonderful.   

Monday, January 9, 2012

What do you choose to see?

Welcome to 2012

It is hard to believe that time has passed so quickly and January is here and going fast.

We have been working on developing a winter workshop series that actually goes into May and I really hope it is not winter in May. I am really excited about the topics we will be covering. The first one is about being courageous and transforming how you work with your fears. It makes sense that this has developed into a workshop, we have discussed this topic before and now we want to give you some real hands on tools to use. So once again I ask: When do you act courageous? What does it mean to you to be courageous? What about your horse? Would you like to transform your fear into something you can manage?

What would it take for you to create a plan to make a change this year?

That's the sales pitch.....

The other thing I want to talk about today is something that happened before Christmas. Every year I send out an e-mail to my family asking, is there something you would like this year. My father, who is 92, replied that he would like for me to do a blog or something that would let him know more about what was happening in my life, the day to day stuff. I was really touched that someone (even my family) would be interested in my day to day existence. Hard to believe in these times of face book and twitter where so many share so much.

I now find myself looking for the things that have happened in a day or week that would be nice to share. I did not expect that this simple request would change my life. I find myself looking to have more fun in each day. I am looking for great things to happen and they are showing up. Somehow I could not give this to myself before, I have been struggling to respect myself and prioritize the things that are important to me. Even though I am doing this as a gift for my dad, it has become a gift to myself. Look for the good things that are happening in you life and you may be surprised by what you find. What we focus on really does get bigger. What do you want to choose?

Wishing everyone a wonderful new year filled with exciting choices.