On the passing of Sally Swift…

 My wife, Kirsten, regards her.. and has since she was 13… as one of her pivotal mentors in natural horsemanship. When Kirsten learned that Sally had passed, she was devastated, yet inspired. We’ll have a post coming soon. But for now, we just acknowledge her passing with grief and wish her much happiness, joy, and peace in her new life and a deep and abiding respect for the profound effect she has made in in so many lives. She will be missed and remembered…

… she will Inspire.

In love and respect,

Mark & Kirsten

Gift From A Horse

Like any young horse in training, Wally the Warmblood has his good days. He has his not-so-good days and he has those frustrating, tear-out-your-hair days when he seems to forget how to put one foot in front of the other, much less do so with suppleness, impulsion and cheerful submission.

Today was like no other. It had been a knock-down drag-out day full of time-consuming roadblocks and way too many balls in the air. And that was just in the office! Wally was the last horse of the evening after working through a particularly tough trailer loading session with a two year-old.

Wally was matter-of-fact from the get-go. Quiet brilliance. Stood like a rock while I mounted. Warm-up. Focus. Turn on the forehand– rhythmic and accurate. Turn on the haunches–ditto. Up into a round, light trot, every step a lesson in newly-developed power controlled not by the rider’s seat or legs or bit but by the horse’s own understanding and desire. Canter balanced, regular, even on that troublesome lead. All the movements and principles we’ve been developing coming together in a moment almost outside time.

Nothing left but to ride out to join the sunset in the spring blooming woods with deep gratitude for the gifts our horses give us.