Sunday, November 25, 2012

Missy Wryn, Equestrian

Through tragedy and triumph, Missy uses her own experiences to help others through emotional and physical challenges.  Her horses are amazing, compassionate and loved….

Where are you in the world? 
The magical foothills of Estacada, Oregon, USA, at the edge of the snowline where we get a (snow) dusting or two around Christmas and the New Year.

How do you use horses to encourage wellness? 
My program expands from adjudicated youth to people who suffer from Fibromyalgia.  Whether horse owner or not, my program supports anyone who is drawn to be with horses.  It all starts on the ground building each person’s confidence while they become mindful of their thoughts, body language and healthy boundaries, both physically and emotionally.  My horses are specially trained - no matter a nervous or scared person, the horses at the Zen Barn support and nurture as well as challenge gently and positively the individual in their growth and healing process.

How do you acquire horses for your program?
Horses tend to “show up” as needed from rescues to boarders. I continue to work with and bond with the horses, creating harmony, gentleness and respectful horses.

What breed of horse do you prefer for your program?
No particular breed is better than another.  Each horse is very unique and brings their own gifts.  When you enter my barn a horse will choose you, not the other way around.  It’s a sense you have as you are drawn to a particular horse.

What is your greatest success story?
A 15 year old adjudicated girl who is facing very serious charges being tried as an adult under Oregon’s Measure 11, came to my barn by way of her mother.  This girl is beautiful, intelligent, a shining star, but was in the wrong place at the wrong time and breaks my heart to imagine losing her to an adult prison at 15 years old.  The mood was serious as I told her my story in 3rd person; as I wrapped up my story recounting my success, joy and living my dreams ending by saying “and you are looking at her”.  The mother sobbed as the girl’s face was serious yet a hint of relief crossed her lips as she barely smiled.  The success however was when she rode Paco and I witnessed this strong beautiful girl who puts up a facade of bravery and courage, a wash of childlike giddy and delight as she rode as “one” with Paco posting at a trot in perfect oneness.  In that moment she was a child, free from her worries, oblivious of her ever present ankle monitor that vibrates randomly checking on her coordinated location.  She was a ‘girl' set FREE.

How quickly do individuals see results? 
The first session people experience peace, calm, reduction of pain both physically and emotionally.  A common statement made by participants is “I’m in bliss”.

Follow Missy and her amazing horses…

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kitty Sutton, Author

Welcome Kitty!
A wonderful author and talented performer, Kitty writes about America's Native History...

Where are you in the world?
I live in Cape Fair, Missouri.  For those that have no idea where that is, we are west of Branson, Live Music Show Capital of the World, about thirty-five miles.  And Springfield, Missouri is north and east of us about the same amount of miles.  We are right on Tablerock Lake which is one of the better bass fishing lakes in the country.

This entire area advertises a connection with the country folk who were known to inhabit many of our rural areas here, however this area has a wonderful Native American history as well.  It was the Native Americans, i.e. Osage & Delaware [Native American Indian Tribes], who taught the early settlers how to live here.

Tell me about your writing, book releases and genre...
At the moment I am writing a series of Native American historical fiction mysteries, beginning in 1839 immediately after the last group of Cherokee were dropped off in Indian Territory.  I also write poetry, short stories and main stream fiction.  I prefer, by far, historical fiction.

Why historical fiction?

I am Cherokee as is my husband.  I read any book I can find based on Native American themes.  One day it popped into my head that I would like to know what the average Cherokee family or person did after they were left in Indian Territory.  I was surprised to find nothing at all.  I found several books related to the political struggles as a nation, but nothing to answer my question.  It seemed impossible to me that an entire segment of our nation could go without a written history.  So I embarked on a search of momentous proportion.  I started with a historian in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.  Tahlequah is the actually the capitol of the Western Cherokee Nation and I assumed that there would be lots of information for me there.  Alas, the historian was only able to find one paragraph that related to the fate of the general populace of the Cherokee in 1839.  The one paragraph, though, spoke volumes and gave me a will to look further.  It addressed the loss of life the first year after the Trail of Tears caused by starvation.  How could that be when the government promised to feed them.

I then made a trip to Fort Smith, Arkansas.  Fort Smith is actually named after the army post that were given the responsibility of helping to keep the peace between whites and Native Americans in the area.  Plus, they kept a supply of grain, seeds, farm implements that both white and Indian could buy.  It was on that trip that I discovered why there is almost nothing written about those years.  It seems that the newspapers of those times had printed many articles about the Trail of Tears while it was happening, and the reading public were aghast and wrote their newspaper editors to say so.  The newspapers were afraid of losing their readership so they pulled all of their news men out of Indian Territory.  This action was partly to blame for what came next, because if the news men had been reporting news from that territory, the great conspiracy to steal the food allotments would not have happened.  That first year over one thousand Cherokee, six thousand Choctaw and half of the Osage nation died of starvation because of this conspiracy and you will be hard pressed to find anything written about it.

The series I am writing now is dedicated to bringing this lost history out so that it won't be lost.  The first book is Wheezer and the Painted Frog, the second is Wheezer and the Shy Coyote, and I am now working on the third in the series.  We call the series, Mysteries from the Trail of Tears.

Where do you like to write?
I feel better writing at my desk in my office.  I have a recliner that sits behind my desk chair in which Wheezer, my Jack Russell Terrier, sits to encourage me in my writing.

Any tips for fellow authors?
The publishing industry is still in flux. I expect to see even further changes with the advent of the ereader and self-publishing.  I am published by a small press out of California.  Inknbeans Press is not a vanity press, which means that I don't pay them to handle me.  They are like a large publishing house, but more intimate in helping each author.  

I weighed the choices I could have made.  They were: 1. To self-publish, in which case I was in for a huge learning curve and it meant that I would be ultimately responsible for all PR and distribution.  2. Hire a vanity press, of which there are many.  They will gladly let you pay them thousands of dollars to print your book and make you feel like you are an author.  It is very expensive and you still have to do your own PR and distribution. 3. Try to submit my book to a traditional publisher who may or may not even read the book.  Even if they do and sign you, it can take two to five years for them to get around to releasing it.  Plus, anything they pay you as a retainer may have to be given back if your book does not sell as expected.  4. Not bother published at all.  I almost did this choice.  Or 5. Find a small press that fits my writing style and gets the reasons why I write.

I did not have to choose, as it turned out.  A small press saw some posts I made on Facebook, about my book and contacted me. I was pleasantly surprised by the generous contract and have been a happy writer ever since.

How did you come up with your book covers?
I have been an artist for some time and my publisher encouraged me to do my own art for the covers.  I know it is not like the more commercial covers people are used to seeing, but my publisher said that was the exact reason why I should do it.  So far I have had many good comments on the art.  The second book also have artwork on the inside of various characters in the book.

How do you maintain thoughts and ideas?
I read other peoples work every day.  I watch how they introduce their characters or I analyze their word choices.  I try to take away from my reading anything that can make me a better writer.  Plus, I continue with my research which spurs me on.  I am not able to write everyday though, I can't try to write when I am too tired.  Also, I try to write when I can give my undivided attention to my characters.  Some days I will have a great idea, but maybe not for the particular chapter I am on at the moment, so I will write the scene at the end to be placed later in an appropriate place.

What are you currently writing?
I am writing the third book of my series.  It is called Wheezer and the Golden Serpent.  This story is about something that actually happened in the mid 1800's.  Mexico had lost Texas and was searching for ways to get it back.  In my research, I found out that Mexico had sent agents into Indian Territory to foment a civil war there so that they could slip in and take Texas back.  It was through the quick thinking of the Chiefs of all the Indian nations within Indian Territory that averted this catastrophe.  And they did it without the help of white men or the United States Government.  It will have the same characters as the first two.

Do you have advice for novice writers?
I found that joining an online writing group help me greatly.  I joined  Once you join various groups on that site you will be challenged with various contests to write every day.  I believe that I developed into the writer I am on that site.  Or you may have a writers club near you.  The only drawback to that is that most clubs only meet once a month.  To get better at your craft, you need to be challenged to push out of your comfort zone and possibly write in genres that you are not familiar with.  It is a great learning experience.

What did you do before you became a writer?
I was an entertainer in Branson, Missouri.  I had my own show there for twelve years.  I have three music albums, one with all my own songs.  I suffered a health problem and had to close my show.  I am still available for short tours and single events.  I jut cannot do the six days a week, then hours a day thing anymore.  However, being a creative person, I used writing to fill the gap.

Follow Kitty...

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pick of the Poems

From Destiny Poets UK

Naïve Heart
Posted on January 25, 2012 by Gina

crystal clear
eyes wide shut
a heart misplaced
in dense forest resides

lost and afraid
uncertainties billowing
thickets shrouding
stuck and nonplussed

snares embrace
soft and blue
a naïve heart

deliver me now
drag me out
from the dense façade
shallow and dreamy

dying each day
a thousand times
a heart misplaced
in dense forest resides


This poem comprises one of the twelve chosen for inclusion in PICK OF THE POEMS, an Editorial selection of the best poems posted during January 1 - March 31 here at Destiny Poets.  PICK OF THE POEMS: QUARTERLY 2012 an Editorial Selection of the best poems posted at in each quarter of 2012.  Each quarter's Selection will comprise 12 posts, tabulated  in alphabetical order.We start with the 1st.quarter's poems posted between January 1st.- March 31st.   
*  Alice and The Hatter - Susie Bertie....* Dad I saw you well
- Jan C.Sorensen....* Daughter's Freedom - Audrey Lines.... * Freezing Night - Iulia Gherghei....* Fused - Umarani Jayaraj....* Genesis - Reena Prasad....* Guide - Madhumita Ghosh....* Lindy Hop - Sunil Sharma....* My life partner - Lokesh Roy....* Naive Heart - Gina Mcknight....* Spring - Elizabeth Hexberg....* Time Travel - Hollie Bolster. Enjoy , share and comment.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kerry Thomas, Equestrian

Welcome Kerry! 
Kerry is the founder of THT - Thomas Herding Technique. He excels as an equestrian, author and much more....
Where are you in the world?
My home is in southeastern Pennsylvania; but at THT we have representation in Lexington Kentucky and Bucharest Romania to handle Europe with developments evolving in other locations like Australia.

What is your profession....

As the founder of Thomas Herding Technique, I specialize in Herd Dynamics of Communication & Equine Athletic Psychology. I am the developer of Emotional Conformation Profiling and Behavioral Genetic Breeding Program Research. We do a motely of various works for the sport industry with a heavy amount of our work being done in Thoroughbred Racing. I provide performance profiles and patterns of motion evaluations, using another venue we are pioneering here at THT in Micro-Facial Expression Analysis where I use film and photos from around the globe to analyze how the athletes are interpreting and reacting to stimuli in motion as this greatly affects their performance. In a short version, my job as a researcher as well as service provider is to identify the unique pieces of the puzzle that make up who the horse is, and find innovative ways to create environments and training that will allow them the best opportunity to become the best at who they are. I fully believe the mental capacity of the equine controls the physical output of the athlete, making it vital to create a program around the unique needs of the individual. Essentially, every case regardless of the sport, is its own unique research project which affords us the opportunity to help turn about many horses who were just misunderstood.

What is the secret to motivating equine athletes?
The true secret is within the horse as an individual; identifying their unique Emotional Conformation will show you their strengths and weaknesses and provide you with the tools you need like an esoteric road map. It is vital to train the mind ahead of the body; to develop the athlete while you nurture the horse.

What impact does micro-facial expression analysis have on race horses?
As mentioned above it is for me and our company one of the most powerful tools I have in my tool box for doing very detailed profiling. Being able to do frame by frame analysis of a horse in motion you begin to truly see the ingredients that make up the psychology of that motion and you can begin to see the individual pieces of the puzzle as they work, or not, together. It also allows us to profile horses performing and training from around the world without the extra expense of traveling. Alone this reality makes it a very attractive service and coupled with real time profiling and exercise patterns of motion, it works to profile as well as to monitor progress and areas of concern. One resounding truth I have encountered is how patterns of behavior translate to patterns of motion.

Royal Highness Princess Alia & Kerry

Tell about your adventures in Jordan ...
It’s been a wonderful experience working with the Royal Family in Jordan, my dear friend Her Royal Highness Princess Alia Al Hussein is the founder of Princess Alia Foundation and truly the guiding light of the Royal Jordanian Stud, and she is one of the kindest people I have ever met, as are the people of Jordan as a whole. I had the honor of profiling horses at The Royal Stud and also to oversee children’s programs; my focus being on emotional wellness and communication/relationship building via the human/horse connection with the children of need. I am delighted to say that this relationship as well as the work ahead, is something I’m proud to be a part of with HRH Princess Alia and her foundation. I want to continue to advance our research into horse based Emotional Wellness and pioneering new innovation in this area is dear to my heart.

Why do you like to work with horses?
I love the sense of discovery, and my works with horses in the areas I focus on are very much like opening a window into the invisible. I often say that even though it may not be magic, it certainly can be magical. Horses are based in emotional communication dynamics, and this bridges the gap between species and cultures alike.

What is your favorite breed? Why?
This is a question I get asked quite often and the most sincere answer is that I am a fan and lover of the horse, so I truly do have affection for all breeds and all personalities. But if I am placed into a corner, I will say I have a very deep appreciation for the willing spirit of both the Thoroughbred and Arabian Breeds as athletes and as a high level communicators.

You worked with Lester Buckley's horses in Hawaii?
Yes. Here's a photo taken from my time working with my friend Lester Buckley of Buckley Sport Horses. Lester's wife, Mary, is a phenomenal photographer...

Tell me about your book release...
After quite a process over the last few years of quantifying my notes and research an idea emerged; that I should put together a book to introduce Thomas Herding Technique. In late April of 2012, “Horse Profiling, The Secret To Motivating Equine Athletes” was released by Trafalgar Square Books and it is available internationally. It was quite an undertaking with my schedule and would never have come to fruition without the help of writer and editor Calvin Carter of Classic Champion Thoroughbreds and so many others, like the man I called the closer, Pete Denk who is our Director of Equine Services. Many others were tireless assets like Larry Knepper and Gillian Vallis. I was happy it was done let me tell you. But I am most honored to say that recently the book and my work have been approved academically and in fact this year the book was used as text for mid-terms at William Woods University in Missouri where I went not long ago to teach and lecture for a week on THT. It is such an honor to see my work now being used in such an arena as academics.

As an author, do you have plans for a future book release?
I said no at the end of the first book but now I realize that I love to teach and lecture and have created a whole series of lectures and presentation topics, and as this and the furthering of my research continues to evolve I know now that I will tackle another book or two.

Follow Kerry....


Kerry M Thomas, founder of Thomas Herding Technique and author of the international released book in 2012; Horse Profiling; The Secret To Motivating Equine Athletes, is recognized by many around the world as a pioneering researcher and service provider in the field of Equine Athletic Psychology. Having made his first trip to Wyoming and Montana in the late 1980’s after High School, he started his independent research of wild horse herds to initially learn more about their social structures for the purpose of developing therapy horses for children. Kerry’s work has carried over into equine athletics and namely into the sport he dearly loves, racing. Kerry’s mantra for race horses: The mental capacity of the equine controls the physical output of the athlete.

Early on in his research Kerry realized that it was Emotional Conformation and not Physical Conformation that governed the herd dynamics. With an understanding that this was the basis for everything horse, no matter the career choices we as people make for them, it would be their Emotional Conformation Profile that would dictate in large part, the success or failure of the horse in the human environment. One of Kerry’s many key discoveries was how Patterns Of Behavior translate to Patterns Of Motion, a study he uses to develop his infamous Emotional Conformation Scouting Reports that reached worldwide audiences over the last two KY Derby Seasons.

With a growing focus on what Kerry calls Mother Nature’s Breeding Program, he and his team have embarked on researching the behavioral genetic markers intrinsically important in breeding programs. He has started in 2011 cataloguing the Emotional Conformations of Sires for a database to assist his clients in making breeding selections. At Thomas Herding Technique Kerry and his team provide many unique services in profiling from sales to breeding to developing programs for young athletes based on “identifying who they are and building a program around the individual” as Kerry often says of his work.

Though Kerry works with all sport disciplines and training programs, it has been Thoroughbred Racing, because of his intensive study of herd motion, which has made the most use of THT efforts and continues to do so. Kerry’s unique work has brought THT a global audience and he performs patterns of motion profiles for horses from around world and works closely with Princess Alia Al Hussein Foundation in Jordan to further work and research the mental and herd dynamic aspects of equine athletics and horse based human wellness programs internationally.

Kerry gives seminars and lectures to colleges, private groups and businesses on Herd Dynamics and The Dynamics of Communication and is developing an Education & Wellness research platform, and a THT Entertainment Division with a TV Show currently being created.

“The greatest discoveries in the world were not taught, they were learned.” 
Kerry M Thomas
Danny Glover & Kerry: 2012 Kentucky Derby Fun Day

To see Kerry's complete Thoroughbred Services Menu, 

To obtain lecture topics outline or schedule an event contact 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Castellare di Tonda

Welcome Jess!
Nestled in the gorgeous hills of Tuscany, Castellare di Tonda is an equestrians retreat filled with all the amenities....

Where are you in the world?
I live near Florence in the region of Tuscany, Italy.

Tell us about your Horseback Riding Tours of Tuscany....
I am a guide at Castellare di Tonda, a 900 acre holiday retreat with a Quarter horse breeding stud and equestrian center attached.

What breed of horse do you favor best for your stables?
We obviously love our quarter horses (for their wonderful temperaments) but due to the hilly terrain, we often prefer to use local mountain horses for the trail riding (Fjords, Haflingers, Bardigiani etc). We also have a wonderful team of Criollo horses that are used for trail riding - these are perfect for nervous riders. They are just unflappable!

Do riders choose their own rides, or do you decide which would be the best ride for them?
We have two weekly riding programs to choose from, though if a client just wants a day ride, or to do lessons instead we can tailor make a program for them.

What is the terrain like where you ride?
Mixed. We have the classic rolling hills lined with vineyards and olive trees, but we also have wild forests, mountains and open fields. One of the nicest things about this area of Tuscany, is that the ground is made up of Tufo soil - a soft volcanic sand which is great for the horses legs.

What type of riding do you offer?
We specialize in western riding, and train reining horses for competition here onsite.

Do you have a favorite equine adventure?
I love riding to San Vivaldo, a local monastery. There is calmness about the hill where the monastery is situated that is very particular. The riding is hard (6-7 hours) but varied and interesting for both riders and horses. Lunch at the trattoria (restaurant) beside the monastery is also excellent - this is one of the best restaurants in the area, and somewhat of a local secret.

What has been the most memorable ride for you?
There are many, but riding to towns like Volterra or San Gimignano are always special. These old medieval towns make one feel like they have been transported back in time... and the sound of horses hooves on the cobbles only add to this special feeling.

What are your goals for future equine programs?
We hope to introduce more European riders to western riding, and also to show more international riders how wonderful the Tuscan countryside is when experienced on horseback.

Any advice for those seeking international Horseback Riding Tours?
I recommend going through a good riding holiday agency like In the Saddle or Hidden Trails. These agencies know their stuff, and guarantee that the horses are well treated (tack is in good condition) and that the rides are safe and professionally run. I can’t imagine anything worse than arriving somewhere on a riding holiday, and finding thin, mistreated horses or unqualified guides that put client’s safety at risk. We recommend In the Saddle…

Follow Jess and book a ride in gorgeous Tuscany…. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Keith Wallis, Poet

Welcome Keith! 

...a writer of ekphrastic poetry (interpretation of a visual art into word form), an author and much more....

Where are you in the world?
I live in England, in a town in which I was born.  I love my country and very rarely venture beyond it. I’ve not even got a passport !

Tell me about your writing...genre, audience, etc...
I write poetry, mostly ‘ekphrastic’ poetry (spell checks hate that word).  It simply means one piece of art informed or inspired by another.  In my case it’s my photography which gives the lead.  I also write imaginative narrative poetry from those passages in the bible which lend themselves to putting myself at the scene.  

My audience is generally Christian as my writing is often faith based. I would love to be a ‘performance poet’ but I’m far too much of an introvert so the performance is mostly restricted to being used with the format of church worship.   I submit poetry to a number of online magazines and am a sort of ‘poet in residence’ for the e-zine ‘Ruby for Women’.

I get as much pleasure in the design and putting together of a book as writing the pieces within it.

Where do you obtain ideas?

The ideas for my poems come mostly from photographs I’ve taken. I deliberately wait at least a couple of months between taking the photos and writing the poems as this then takes any immediate emotional attachment away and can lead to some ‘off piste’ thought trains.  I also like to work to ‘writing prompts’ by third parties as this stimulates my imagination.

Where do you like to write?

I have to write in the quiet – any distractions seem to be able to destroy my thought patterns. So my version of Dylan Thomas’s poetry shed is my office in the loft of our house.

Do you have a favourite muse/inspiration?

The natural world features high in giving me ideas for poetry.  I particularly love the coast but as we live about as far away from the sea as it is possible to get in England that’s not as accessible as I’d like.  My grandchildren also give my writing impetus – particularly our handicapped grandson.

How do you maintain thoughts and ideas?

I keep a ‘work in progress’ file of a prolific portfolio of photographs jotting down lines and words associated with them.  Pieces rarely move from the WIP file for several months after the first words are added, sometimes accumulating several different strands of thought.  Usually the first thoughts are discarded completely !

Do you have suggestions for newbie writers?

Two pieces of best advice for new writers - do  not to get too ‘precious’ over first drafts – be ruthless with rewrites.  (I rarely ‘complete’ a piece - I abandon them as I’m something of a perfectionist and am hardly ever completely satisfied with them.)   Secondly, read a lot of your preferred genre – reading is never wasted time.

Keith's blogs:
'Wordsculpture' : 
'a River of small Stones':

Keith's books :

The early years consists of the four small booklets produced in the days of the small press:
Marketplace of Masks.
Real Tears and Crocodile Smiles.
Concrete Womb.

It containing both the original poems and the original graphics.
This is not ekphrastic poetry.

In moments like these is not ekphrastic either and has minimal graphics.  Half of it contains ‘a journey through Easter’ a cycle of poetry set around the emotions and events of Holy Week.  Some of this was used by ‘RootsWorship’ as a resource for churches.

By still waters is the big one.  A luxuriant coffee table book with large photographs.  It would make a wonderful gift.

The ‘River of Small Stones’ series each have 31 short poems and accompanying pictures written one a day throughout a month (ideal for folks with a short attention span).  But  primarily an exercise in concise thoughts.  

Keith is a Moderator at:

Thursday, November 1, 2012



A turquoise breeze
Sparks, ignites
Flickers dreams
In grimy night

Illusionary dreams
Through distant fields
Thoughts layered there
In low, bluish hills

Chills, burns
It’s all your game
Nothing left
But this sweet refrain

(c) gmcknight 2012

"Real poetry doesn't say anything, 
it just ticks off possibilities."  
Jim Morrison

Milliron Monday: The Recordings 4

  Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.:   June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010 Virginia Joyann "Jody" Haley Smith: April 2, 1938 - Ma...