Saturday, December 28, 2013

Press Release

AHP Newsgroup: Equestrians from Around the World

Gina McKnight, Author & Freelance Writer
Member: Ohio Arts Council & Outdoor Writers of Ohio
Author, freelance writer and equestrian, Gina McKnight, shares her current interview series of Equestrians from Around the World! Enjoy informative anecdotes, training suggestions, world-class riders, and much more…
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Shelley Hamilton is the proprietor of Spirit Horse Farm and the facilitator/instructor of Horses 101, a program geared for all ages of horse enthusiasts! From Ontario, Canada, Spirit Horse Farm embraces the wonders of horsemanship.

The Alchemy of Lightness; Dr. Maria Katsamanis is a horse trainer, clinician and psychologist. Her equine background is broad. She studied in Greece, France, and the United States and influenced by great masters such as Dominique Barbier and Walter Zettl. Her early equestrian career included working as an exercise rider for a French racing barn. Katsamanis is part of a select few trainers, outside of India, that has worked with the rare and exotic Marwari horses. She was selected to be a breed display rider in Windsor, England for the Queen’s 60th Diamond Jubilee Pageant. She maintains an active and exclusive student base in New Jersey and continues to be sought out as a clinician both here and abroad.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Seasons Greetings from Iron Gait Percherons (IGP) Draft Horse Rescue.   It is through a lifetime of education and great love and respect for the horses that we formed IGP, and we have grown and accomplished so much in these first few years of operation. Please help us continue to raise the bar by rescuing, rehabilitating, and adopting out even more of these "Gentle Giants" in 2014!

Welcome author, equestrian, Liz Mitten Ryan and her amazing December newsletter….
All articles copyright protected. No duplication without permission.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Best wishes...

Merry Christmas 
from our outfit 
to yours !

Wishing you and yours
peace, prosperity, and blessings in the 
New Year ! 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Liz Mitten Ryan, Guest Post

 Seasons greetings !

Welcome guest blogger: equestrian, animal communicator, author, 
and artist, Liz Mitten Ryan….

Issue 51 - December, 2013

Magic is all around us when we choose to see it. It is everywhere here at Gateway and particularly at this time of year. The horses are extremely grateful for their new feeding system and are gathered around their new 1-1/4" hay nets covering 3 large square bales, until we send them out to exercise (which involves standing around the trees and breathing in the beauty of the scene) I have been inviting 'Magic' (not the horse) to impress me lately and am on a winter quest to connect more deeply to my angels, guides and animals on the other side and inviting the ALL to speak to me through symbols, signs and miracles, which has opened 'Gateways' to new adventures. I have a whole new library of wonderful books and several new sets of oracle cards for the retreats next year. Earth Magic, The Enchanted Map, Wisdom of the Hidden Realms, and Trust Your Vibes are some of the titles of the oracle cards and I will be designing some exercises to include them in the Oneness Retreats.

I've also been called back to the easel and I am so excited to be painting again. Jan, an EHC student and champion enroller (for new students and retreat participants) commissioned me to do a portrait of her four paint horses. They really were present in spirit when I painted them, each showing me their unique personalities, and Jan reported that when the painting arrived her dog barked at it! I am now being called to paint the magnificence of horses in a large scale and am currently bringing a 3'x4' horse head to life.

There is a lot of interest in the spring retreats and I am suggesting to people who want to come early to e-mail me their requests. The calendar is up starting the beginning of May but people are welcome to come during April. The spring retreats stay in the Guest House so are limited to three people per visit. Also many of my EHC students are booking the Lizzy Meyer Retreat in July so if you are interested in that fill out a booking form on site and make your deposit as we will be full at ten participants.

Back to our theme of Magic, these photos were sent by one of my EHC graduates, Beate Sommer, from Australia, who is also a photographer and are truly amazing. Her website is below, followed by her story and the photos (put on your glasses to see the purple orb between the horse and human):
(Mind-Body based Life Coaching and Energy Healing Facilitated by HORSE)

Both of these horse-human interactions were spontaneous and organic while spending a couple of hours out in the pasture with the herd under the recent December full moon in Gemini.

In the first two photos, our mare Echo had just finished a long and concentrated healing session with this lady where she stood in front of her at about 1m distance, with her head slightly lowered to the level of the woman's chest and I could sense very clearly that she had 'lined the woman up' and created an energetic channel. Both became very still and almost like in a trance. It lasted for what seemed an eternity. As I did not have a watch on me, I have no idea how long it lasted in real time. The next morning the woman told me that she had had the first deep, uninterrupted, good night sleep in a long time. The photos were taken immediately after the interaction when they first touched physically.

In these two photos, our Brumby gelding Buffalo was literally 'loving up' this young woman. You can see he is working on her front area and the energy vortexes are around the heart chakra. The photos were taken during the energy transmission, which was also very physical with lots of smooching, which made the young woman giggle and laugh.

Here are some magical photos from Gateway:

The balloon shaped orbs were photographed by Liz Phillipson over the Third eye chakra on my birthday and the 14th anniversary of our move to the ranch. 

Angels we have heard on high ... bring their glow to Gateway.
And two pictures of the herd enjoying this time of year ...

"Magic is who we are and always available when we choose to experience our true selves, the moment and LOVE which is the substance of ALL creation. As human beings you are held in a group consciousness, which defines you as mortal, eqoic beings, captives of time and space. We know the truth and the reason of creation. It is not a concept to be understood with your brain but an experience to be found when we open our hearts and surrender to the wisdom and direction of the ALL. Float with us in the light of being and follow our breath to the place of knowing. We have chosen to come to earth as guides and teachers of the light. All is a magical journey towards the light. Examine the pattern of growth on the physical plane. Life begins in the darkness and the softness and grows to the light. Invite the magic of life to encompass you and guide you with it's soft winds and whispers and deep pools of reflection, to grow your wings and fly ever faster with guidance, to the place where you will remember that we are all you and you are ALL in myriad magical expression."

... and my messages and gifts today, in keeping with this theme: The gift of a Miracle: 'Things come together as if by magic to create the reality you seek'. The gift of Creativity: 'Expect to be inspired and to meaningfully touch others with all you create', The gift of Fairness, Balance: 'The Law of Harmony is enacted when you make conscious choices that create balance in your life', The gift of Reverent interaction with the World: 'Everything is sacred and every action a prayer of devotion.'

Ask the ALL, ask your spirit helpers, ask your horses and animals on the other side and present now ... They Love to help and will.
Blessings from,
~ Liz and The Herd

Our Journey to Enlightenment Video is on YouTube, visit and be sure to rate it! You can also buy the full 35 minute meditation DVD at
Attending the ultimate life-illuminating retreat just became so much more accessible. To begin your journey, visit
To learn more about all of the books or to order, visit
If this newsletter was forwarded to you from a friend and you would like to join our list of subscribers,click here.
If you would like to send this newsletter to a friend, click here.
If you would like to preview some pictures and sample chapters from the book, please visit our website Please feel free to share this newsletter with your animal loving friends, association or club members.
If you are experiencing problems with this newsletter in your e-mail, you can view it on our website at

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Iron Gait Percherons

 A Christmas Message from friends at
Iron Gait Percherons Draft Horse Rescue

Dear Horse Lover,

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Seasons Greetings from Iron
Gait Percherons (IGP) Draft Horse Rescue. I wanted to again say
thank you so much for your continued support of IGP this year. It is
through a lifetime of education and great love and respect for the
horses that we formed IGP, and we have grown and accomplished so
much in these first few years of operation. Please help us continue to
raise the bar by rescuing, rehabilitating, and adopting out even more
of these "Gentle Giants" in 2014!

These are tough economic times for everyone, which has especially
impacted non-profits like us. Our success is significantly determined
by your generosity, and every little bit counts! No one at IGP
receives a salary and 100% of donations go directly to supporting this
cause. In addition, we have undertaken great efforts to minimize
costs and streamline processes in order to bring the most value and
impact to your donation dollars without affecting the quality of our
care. BUT WE CAN DO SO MUCH MORE! We need to expand our
programs. Your generous donations of any means will not only help
us maintain the daily cost for rescuing, training, and caring for these
magnificent animals, but help us to do so much more. We can't do
this important work without you!

Please take a moment to review our most recent campaign for Junior
Cong and consider donating to help make surgery possible for him.
Global Giving Campaign for Junior Cong This campaign is not only
important for Junior Cong, but also for IGP to be able to expand our
fundraising visibility via the Global Giving programs. Thank you so

For the Horses,
Denise S. Polydor
Founder/Executive Director

For more information and to connect with Iron Gate….

The Spirited Woman 2014

Congratulations Val Fox !

Val writes…..

This is way cool.  I never thought I’d be a Cover Girl but there I am, front and top center on the Spirited Woman 2014 Directory Online Magazine:

Wanna see it??

Click Here: My Gift to You! The Spirited Woman 2014 Directory: A Collection of Stories & Resources for an Inspired Life! 

It features over 75 Every Woman Visionaries, who are changing the world one Spirited Woman step at a time. It is filled with inspirational stories and an array of uplifting resources. It is yours to share with friends, family, and associates.

I do hope you get your copy of the Directory (it’s free, no strings attached).

Take a look at my story, it is on page 26.  In it I shared some deeply personal memories, painful events and what seemed to be insurmountable challenges, all of which have helped me become the person I am today and which strengthened my resolve to fulfill my purpose here.

I know that every woman’s story in the Magazine will inspire you and if you’re like me, it may even move you to tears as well as make you giggle, smile or even laugh out loud.

I’m so honored to be included with this amazing, remarkable group of empowered, spirited women.

And this copy is my gift to you and yours.  (You could even read the stories to your animals – they like to be inspired too!)


Much love,


P.S.  Seriously, go here now and check it out.  It’s like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Spirited Women style!

Val’s blog…

Saturday, December 21, 2013

You Are Valued

“A Dream is just a dream if it’s not pursued”

RickyRoberts III is the world class author of YOU, a positive approach to reaching personal goals. Ricky invites you to participate in his GIVE 1 GET 1 campaign as featured in the October 2013 episode of ABC’s Prime Time Special; You are Valued, a program that provides encouragement to those facing challenging circumstances. 

GIVE 1 GET 1 allows you to send an autographed copy of YOU to a youth in need, in return, Ricky will send you an autographed copy...
“I have been inspired by youth I work with to find a way to GIVE copies of my first book, YOU, to as many as I can, out of the 1000's I work with on a yearly basis. Our youth are craving positive influence, in a world where they are getting so much negative ones. I am passionate about inspiring our youth in anyway I can. I created the GIVE 1 GET 1 campaign to GIVE copies of YOU, signed and delivered by me, to at least 100 youth (it will vary depending on the perks people pick), but hopeful more.

I invite you to view the campaign and open your heart up to what you may be called to GIVE to this worthy cause.”

Many Blessings,
Ricky Roberts III

Join Ricky and help thousands of youth reach their potential…

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Alchemy of Lightness

Lambertville, New Jersey – When looking for ways to improve riding skills or raise equitation scores, most equestrians would never think to turn to the science world for training tips, riding lessons or for solving problems in the dressage ring. Words such as molecules, electric charges and chemical reactions don’t seem to naturally coincide with words like piaffe or passage. But for clinical psychologist and horse trainer, Dr. Maria Katsamanis, the two worlds are deeply intertwined. For her, phrases like “intermolecular energy exchange” and “being on the bit” co-exist quite nicely. In a new book that Katsamanis co-authored, along with Dominique Barbier, called The Alchemy of Lightness, she explains how science can easily be converged with the art of dressage, and the results between horse and rider are amazing. Enlightening riders on how to truly become one with the horse, this spiritual riding guide opens the world of molecular equitation, which is otherwise known as the scientific study of the interplay of mechanisms when humans and horses meet, communicate and interact. By encouraging the equestrian to let the horse be the teacher at times, this book explains how a rider can change consciousness in order to affect riding habits and build on togetherness with an equine partner. A beautiful example of the importance of respecting, trusting and fully connecting with the horse, this resource provides the key to obtaining the ever-elusive quest to find total lightness with our horses.

“Our relationship with our horse is key,” Katsamanis explains. “It is timeless, and our two species, horses and humans, share a connection that predates any gadget or formula. The inclusion of scientific information to explain our relationship with our horses allows for a new way of thinking. Science helps to explain what we experience with our horses.” Katsamanis goes on to describe that The Alchemy of Lightness provides dressage riders with valuable, best-of-both-worlds information based on real life experiences that she and Barbier have had with horses, and combines it with clinical and scientific facts. In this book, Katsamanis has skillfully leveraged her background as both a psychologist and a dressage trainer to benefit the reader. “Evaluating the science behind the art of equitation is the perfect marriage of my experiences in both arenas,” she states. “In the end, both professional caps I wear contend with mammals, albeit different species. I am fortunate that my education as a scientist helps me describe the excellence we aspire to with our horses.”

Katsamanis also shares these experiences and provides this beneficial information to equestrians through many clinics that she conducts around the world. “During the gathering that I hold the night before my clinics, I introduce the participants to classical principles of the French tradition of dressage along with scientific findings from the world of New Physics,” said Katsamanis. She adds that all of her work is based on real-life experiences. “So, writing a book with Dominique, who is a world renowned clinician, was just another way that we can share personal life experiences. It was fortunate for the two of us that many of our life philosophies parallel each other.”

Katsamanis hopes that The Alchemy of Lightness will provide valuable information, guidance and direction to benefit all riders well into the future, and ultimately help to shape a new way of how humans relate to horses. “I wanted to be part of creating a new philosophy of equitation that will endure through time,” she explains. “I see so much aggression and ego in the equestrian community, and no major advances to bring us closer to connecting to something bigger and more powerful. Having a doctorate in psychology provides the perfect complement to my working with horses and their human counterparts. Because I have a parallel passion about humans, I am committed to each individual’s journey with the horse. We ride as we are. We ride as we live.”

Dr. Maria Katsamanis is a horse trainer, clinician and psychologist. Her equine background is broad. She studied in Greece, France, and the United States and influenced by great masters such as Dominique Barbier and Walter Zettl. Her early equestrian career included working as an exercise rider for a French racing barn. Katsamanis is part of a select few trainers, outside of India, that has worked with the rare and exotic Marwari horses. She was selected to be a breed display rider in Windsor, England for the Queen’s 60th Diamond Jubilee Pageant. She maintains an active and exclusive student base in New Jersey and continues to be sought out as a clinician both here and abroad. With a formal education as a clinical psychologist, she is able to help demystify and explain the elements of equitation that are key in helping riders establish the ultimate connection with their horses. Her explanations of the barriers and myths that block the path between horse and rider help to free the rider to connect with their mounts, making the dance accessible to anyone regardless of age or breed.

Co-Author with Dominique Barbier / Dr. Maria Katsamanis
For more information, a review copy or an interview with Dr. Katsamanis, contact:
Christianna E. Capra, USA CapraHorse PR (publicity and marketing)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Chaps or no chaps...

With several new books being released in 2014, it’s time for a new publicity shoot. In participation of the shoot, I am contemplating what to wear. The perfect publicity photo requires thought, the right photographer, and, in my case, a groomed horse.

So, with the anticipated shoot months away, I’ve plenty of time to decide what outfit, or outfits, to wear. First there’s the choice of colors. I think I look good in red, so I might lean toward red (again). However, my sense of style has changed since my first publicity shoot and I think I might go for a little glam. No, I am not lying across the back of my horse half dressed! Thinking more along the lines of a studded rhinestone belt, a choker, and maybe a glam-banded hat!

With my locks longer, braids may be the route to go, especially if I have a new hat. Chaps may look nice, but do I wear the brown chaps or the blue chaps? Decisions, decisions. One thing is for certain, though, the braces that have been on my teeth for over a year now, must be off (!). 

Then there’s the decision about tack for my horse. Do I use the banded bridle with the ring snaffle? Or the less flashy one-eared bridle I used the last time? Or how about the silver show bridle? Breast collar? Which saddle blanket? I don’t know. I don’t what to be too pretentious. I think I may need a fashion consultant for this one. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Maybe I am over thinking this shoot. Maybe I need to wear a t-shirt, jeans, and a smile and forget about it. After all, pics don’t sell books, right? Good writing sells books. Right…. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Horses 101

Shelley Hamilton is the proprietor of Spirit Horse Farm and the facilitator/instructor of Horses 101, a program geared for all ages of horse enthusiasts! From Ontario, Canada, Spirit Horse Farm embraces the wonders of horsemanship…

Welcome Shelley!

What is Horses 101?
Horse 101 From the Ground Up is a non-riding program where students come to learn about horses through hands on teaching, improve their level of handling horses, and to teach and then communicate in ways the horse understands! 

Our classes run every day, however, our classes are just one student at a time, no groups.  We want every personality to get the most from this program.
We start students at the very beginning at ground level and give them the information on how to look after horses, and inform them on what the horse’s needs are.

Our goal is to train both horses and people the same way. Small forward detailed steps for better and longer retention.  Safety is ALWAYS our priority.  Topics covered include proper brushing, anatomy, bandaging, stable management, taking vitals, major horse illnesses (how to spot them, and what to do),  colors,  markings, breeds, nutrition, horse massage and relaxation, lounging, join-up, parts of the saddle and bridle, how to place and adjust your equipment properly, and respect.       

Who can benefit from this course?
After 35 years in the horse industry there are some things that you see and hear over and over, and most of it has been questions or concerns on things that should be general basic knowledge.  This program, designed in 2009, was designed for everyone who has questions on horses from ground level.

The starting place... It does not matter if your ride English, or Western, or have miniature horses or big draft horses, “from the ground” the horse world is equal. So it was created to help those that seek that information. Students that have come through our program have normally fallen into categories below, including ages from 9 to 76…

*The new horse owner.

*The rider or owner who is coming back into the horse world after a long absence.

*A rider who wants to improve their riding by learning control and communication from the ground.

*Riders, and or people that have had a bad or scary encounter.

*Family members who do not ride, but want to get more involved with their horse-loving family.

*People who just want to experience the wonderful magical connection of a horse-human bond, but do not want to learn to ride.

*People who do not want to own their own horse, but want to donate their time to horse rescues.

Why is Chancy called the 'Jungle Horse'?
Ahh Chance.

Chance came to The Spirit Horse farm and joined our program at a young age.  In general I like older, more mature horses to deal with the public, but when I met him I knew he would be perfect.
Chance (or Chancy as his owner affectionately refers to him) had a bad start in life. He was separated from his mother young, and he lacked the proper teaching from his mother on herd etiquette. He was outcast and ranked very low in the herd when I found him.

When we brought him home he would stay away from the other horse, in fear that he would be chased, and it took some time before he trusted and felt comfortable to eat close to the other horse. Once he had established himself and was no longer chased off,  Chance’s personality really began to shine. He became the horse version of Inspector Jacques Clouseau.  He was allowed to go where he wanted and check out the things he had not seen before. There is a wooded area in the middle of the horses pasture, and once Chance found his way in, he was in his glory, eating different types of grasses.

His favorite thing was to sneak in one way, and pop out the other scaring his herd mate (which I think I have even seen him smile doing this activity),  but the best is he can go in and scratch himself up against a tree to scratch areas that he normally can not reach by just rolling.  I have watched him carry out sticks and use them as personal toys, entertaining himself for hours. So his name has been changed to Chancy the Jungle Horse.

I have Ripley's (Believe it or not) on speed dial waiting for the day I see him climbing one of his beloved trees. :)   

What training method do you favor for horse and rider?
If you were to take the world’s top 5 trainers, and give each of them a young, unbroke horse, and ask them to train it in 3 days so that it can be ridden under saddle, I have no doubt that you would end up in a arena with 5 horses that would all walk beautiful under saddle at the end of 3 days.  The key is that each of them will get the finished product all with very different styles and techniques. Everything that is learned by rider and horse moves them to a new level, and each level or goal has its own training.  

In my opinion, there must be trust and respect between horse and rider before we can have love.  We as humans enjoy the love part, but horses need leadership. And in order for each to have what they need and want – there are steps to building that.

For me, when I train, I start with a Join-up always.  It allows me to talk in a language the horse understands on who is in charge. (Join-up uses natural body movements that a wild herd of horses would use to communicate and is done in a round sand pen). Then once I have completed that I start training in small steps of information and work with the horse over many repetitions until they understand and do what has been asked freely. I never set my horse up to fail, and I have learned from my mentor, Martha Josey, that practice does not make perfect…. “PERFECT practice makes perfect.” 

Describe the perfect horse....
The perfect horse, is not all about blood lines, or just how they look, it is if he/she wants to have that human connection, the one that keeps you safe during riding or working with him. Where both horse and rider have respect for one another.  For without respect first, then neither will ever get what they hope – a loving, strong partnership.

To date, what has been your favorite horse adventure?  
I have been blessed with MANY.  Certainly building my own farm, and creating Horse 101 From the Ground Up has been a wonderful experience. But 35 years has given me a long time to make, see, and experience many things.

But I do have one that always comes to mind and always makes me smile. In was 1980 and it was on a horse that took me from beginner to pro.  All horse owners remember their first horse that takes them to a different and higher level. And he was mine.

I wanted to travel to Texas to study and learn from a top Barrel racer whom I have admired and respected my whole life. So I packed up my truck and trailer, loaded my horse and off we went to Texas for 3 weeks. Because the trailers back then did not have the suspension they do today, in order to stop my horse from seizing up, he had to come off the trailer and be walked every 3 hours.  The people I met and the glorious places I stopped were just fantastic.  I had the best time in Texas at the clinic, but the trip itself was just as much fun - well except for the tornado, but that’s a story for another day!

What does horsemanship mean to you?
To me, horsemanship is learning all you can, and to give the best you can. To listen to all the advice that is given, and pick and choose what works for you. To respect the opinions of others and their experiences.

Never think you are better than anyone, because there is always someone better than you.  Never set your horse up to fail.  Take the time to help others if asked because you were there yourself once.  To provide the best care for your horse, so they never feel pain because of human ignorance, and finally horsemanship is about the end result of hard work, a quiet ride on a warm summers day with the sun peeking in and out of the trees, and a cooling breeze that floats your way; to feel the power of muscle under your seat, yet feel the softness of fine sleek hair through your fingers, to know that you have created a partnership that is forever.  

Connect with Shelley…

Thursday, December 5, 2013

N a d e z h d a

World acclaimed poet Dr A.V. Koshy is presently working as Assistant Professor in Department of English, Faculty of Arts for Women, Jazan University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has authored six books, published poems, research articles and journalistic pieces. He is also a distinguished teacher of the English language and literature and a critic, with a Ph.D in modern poetry, specifically on Samuel Beckett's poems in English.

N a d e z h d a
by Dr. A.V. Koshy

Nadezhda, where are you tonight?
In which of hell’s rooms are you waiting for the lights
to be switched on for the next ugly performance
the next no guerilla video, the next curve of art’s sad-edged flight
Nadezhda, I reach out for you from the other end of delight

Nadezhda, Pussy Riot has now become a fight
over one more wintry Russian street that speaks of a new night
The lamp posts sullen in the red or orange sodium vapour glow of sight
Nadezhda, all over the world the icicles catch fright

This must be how suddenly one is rocketed to fame
Malala and you seem to be two sides of a coin’s blight
tossed in the air by a careless hand
indifferent to right
only the echoes of mankind’s or man’s old cry of the power of might

Nadezhda, alone I look at your picture and wish
for freedom first, and only then this question of conscience
Ever we walk, even into death, in this fear of common sense
all over the world, while you go to the grave
vanished, one fine night!

Nadezhda, I look at your face
helpless in my plight
I pray to you to give me this day
sleep, and peace and rest
What they took away from you
Nadezhda, don’t deny
to your votaries, as you
now stand for the one light
They did not want Pussy Riot
but pussies will riot
and all over the world still spread
their Black Forest fungus

This poem is in the highly commended category on Destiny Poets UK for November 2013.

Read more of Dr. Koshy’s poetry….

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...