My Clinic on Catalina Island

I am back from my presentation to a group of equestrian women that gather each year with their horses to celebrate and promote community activities on horseback. Julia Felton from the UK, a working student for the past four months, went with me as my coordinator and personal assistant. This year the group had 51 riders. It was their 15th Annual Ride on Catalina Island. They call their organization the Las Caballeras ride. Horse training in EsconditoI gave one of my presentations at the Escondido Ranch, which is the original Wrigley Ranch, and I got to meet Alison Wrigley-Rusack. Not only did I have the opportunity to meet Alison but I got to use her prize black Arabian Gelding, Zanadu, for my presentation of the Waterhole Rituals™. Alison had purchased Zanadu to be her special horse after falling in love with the stallion in the movie the Black Stallion. Zanadu had led most of his life as a stallion and was recently gelded. Even gelded Zanadu was every bit as animated and beautiful as the stallion in the movie.

Horsemanship clinic on Catalina IslandWe also got a private tour of the Wrigley museum that held at least 15 Bohlin saddles, matching bridles and breast collars belonging to various generations of the Wrigley family. The saddles were laden with lots of silver and some with gold and silver. There were a range of saddles from work saddles to parade saddles. I have ridden in many Bohlin saddles myself and always felt quite special getting to ride in one. I still have a Bohlin saddle that my friend Ray Hackworth, an all time gifted horse communicator, trainer, and competitor of reining horses, gave me. The tour brought back the feelings and the sentiments of the old times for me.

Natural Horsemanship on CatalinaI want to recommend this annual ride for anyone that has a horse. It is the event of a lifetime. It is a non-profit ride so it is very reasonably priced but you do need to get someone to sponsor you to attend. The price includes your horse being transported to the Island and back plus all your accommodation, food and a full schedule of activities – both night and day. You get to camp out on at the beach and can even take your horse in the ocean.

I stayed at the Banning House Lodge, a bed and breakfast at Two Harbors, which actually looks over two harbors – one on each side of the Isthmus. I intend on returning to the Island in the future. The island was so unusual as it has been left in a natural state, almost frozen in time, and it reminded me of my childhood. The buildings were like most of the buildings I remember from my childhood. Nehtia Barrios a member of Los Caballeras, who was raised on the island, volunteered to take care of our transportation driving us everywhere we needed to go. She drove us around on the back dirt roads of the island that sported beautiful ocean views and bays and waves. During these incredible tours I never spotted any civilization or telephone poles outside of the horse ranches we visited. It was like I had gone into a time capsule and stepped out into my idea of paradise.

And now I am back home I am looking forward to my long awaited vacation to Jacksonville, Oregon to visit family.

I would encourage everyone to read Leanna Kielian’s comment to last Thursday’s blog Benefits of The Waterhole Rituals to Riding – Part Two and my response. I think many of you will find this helpful in giving you more ideas in how to start a daily connection with your horse.

Going forward I would like it if even more of you would leave comments to help build mine and everyone else's enthusiasm and to bring more awareness that many people are evolving to a new attitude in how to connect with horses and life in general. The larger the number of comments the more energy you also bring to me to write. I will write anyway but your comments even if just to say 'thanks' always gives me a shot in the arm to think of new things to share with you.

Whilst I'm away on vacation, it would be great if you could help with my blog by sharing your beautiful ideas and stories about what's happening in your life right now as Margaret did earlier in the year. For example, I would like to feature entire stories of some of the results you have had with my Method, especially if you have been in the Insider Circle Club. [More news on that next week, I promise!].

If you have some stories you would like to share, please send an email to

Finally, I would like to tell you something that my mother told me recently about a ground squirrel that has been stealing the bird’s feed. He has been running away when my mother steps outside. He is so quick in leaving when she goes outside that he looks like a blur running. He never stops until he is out of sight. Today my mother spoke to him in a sweet voice saying “Don’t go” and he turned around and came right back to her and sat right up at her feet. It is in moments like this that I am able to see evolution in the process of change. I told my mother that I want to get something like a rabbit hutch that is artistic for him and keep the door open so that he can come and go freely and he would look like a pet. Who knows where this will lead. I will share pictures with you when he is in it.

I have always wanted to have artistic birdcages as bird feeders without doors on them so that the birds could come and go as they choose. This way I can enjoy having pet birds and the birds do not have to give up their freedom for my need of another pet. I see these cages as outdoor art forms for the garden or in nature where the wild life is an active part of the art itself.

I am always creating art forms in my mind. An example of this is that I have created a standing figure of Saint Francis that is made so the wild animals can actually sit on him and interact with the sculpture because you can place food in his out stretched hands and on his shoulders and arms. This year for Halloween, I might make a scarecrow feeder for the crows.

I have always loved when the imagined and the real can be seen interacting together in movies and plays like puppets talking with real people or Gene Kelly dancing with an animated Mickey Mouse in the musical Anchors Aweigh. What project would you like to share with us this winter?

Have a lovely weekend and do let me know how my blog is helping you and the relationship with your horse. Thank you.