Saturday, February 23, 2013

Anna Twinney, Reach Out to Horses


Equine Professionals are Joining Forces to Rescue Foals Destined for Slaughter and Reveal Horse Racing's Dirty Secret. 

A combined effort is currently underway to rescue horses and foals in immediate need of assistance. Significant progress has been made but help is needed as the group embarks on phase two of the rescue. 

A team of equine professionals have come together to save the lives of mares, in foal, as well as foals torn from their mothers, in an industry, connected to horse racing, but unfamiliar to most - the nurse foal industry. Reach Out to Horses, based in Colorado, is playing a crucial part in these efforts. 

People interested in helping can get involved in a number of ways: 

Donations are being accepted at http://www.reachouttohorses.com
Sponsor a mare/foal 
Foster a mare/foal 
Adopt a mare/foal 
Organize a Fundraising event 
Spread the word through media coverage and public awareness 

To read more on this matter please visit Anna Twinney's blog at: http://wp.me/pAtCg-1p4 

Please, join Anna in her campaign to save these precious lives that would otherwise be left without hope. 


Anna's upcoming European tour schedule

Anna would love to see you as she spreads the joys of Holistic Horsemanship, Energy Healing and Animal Communication! Schedule your event today!

The 2013 ROTH European Tour 

Three Days of Animal Communication 
March 15, 16, 17 - West Yorkshire, England
May 22, 24, 25 - Steinhagen, Germany


For more information or to reserve your spot contact:West Yorkshire, England - Amanda, yorkshire.cowgirl@virgin.netSteinhagen, Germany - Doro, doro.schlumpf@gmx.de

2-Days of Animal Communication

 with Anna  
24th & 25th March
CantermerePaulhiac, Lot et Garrone, France
Location:  Cantermere, Paulhiac, Lot et Garonne
Date:  24th & 25th March, 10am - 5pm
Cost:  Only €230 when you register by 15th March €250 after 15th March
To reserve your spot contacting Helen at cantemerle@yahoo.com
or call 33 553365296.

Simple Solutions for Your Horse 
27th & 28th March
Cantermere Paulhiac, Lot et Garrone, France
Location:  Cantermere, Paulhiac, Lot et Garonne
Date:  27th & 28th March, 9am - 5pm
Cost:  Only €270 when you register by 15th March €300 after 15th March
To reserve your spot contacting Helen at cantemerle@yahoo.com
or call 33 553365296.

Holistic Horse Day with Anna Twinney
Saturday April 6 - Switzerland (FIRST TIME)
Tuesday May 14 - Hesteliv, Denmark
Thursday May 23 - Steinhagen, Germany
For more information or to reserve your spot contact:
Switzerland - Melanie,  Melanie.Hugener@orthmann.chHesteliv, Denmark, Regina,Reginahf@ofir.dk
Steinhagen, Germany - Doro, doro.schlumpf@gmx.de

Reiki I, II & for Horses 
May 10 & 11 - Reiki I & II, Sealand, Denmark (2 spaces left!)
May 12 - Reiki for Horses, Sealand, Denmark


For more information and to reserve your very limited spot contact:Regina - Reginahf@ofir.dk.

5-Days of Horsemanship with Anna 
May 15 - 19 - Sealand, Denmark
For more information or to reserve your spot contact:
Regina, Reginahf@ofir.dk

2-Days of Holistic Horsemanship   
May 24 & 25, Steinhagen, Germany
For more information or to reserve your spot contact:  Doro at doro.schlumpf@gmx.de

To keep up on what is happening with ROTH near you visit our events page: http://www.reachouttohorses.com/events.html

For the horses! 


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Seumas Gallacher, Author


Welcome best selling author Seumas Gallacher!

Seumas was born in the cradle of the Govan shipyards in Glasgow in the so-called ‘bad old days’ which were really the greatest of days, where everybody was a real character of note. For the past nine years, Seumas has lived in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East, after 25 years in Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines). 

An early career as a trainee banker led to a spell in London, where his pretense to be a missionary converting the English fell on deaf ears. 

Escape to the Far East in 1980 opened up access to cultures and societies on a global scale, eventually bringing the realization that the world is simply one large extended village.

The lifelong desire to write resulted in THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, the first in a planned series. Seumas’ sequel novel, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK was launched on Kindle in early July 2012. The third, SAVAGE PAYBACK, is work-in-progress with at least two other books to follow in the same vein. Kindle downloads on his novels exceed 60,000 to date.


When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?

S. That's kinda snuck up on me over the last three or four years after a lifetime career in the financial markets, much of that as a 'troubleshooter'. 
The pleasure derived from tapping away at the laptop is superb. As a complete Luddite in respect to computers, I'm amazed that it doesn't explode every time I switch it on...
If it lights up, I do a lap of honour.

What do you like to write about?

S. Surprisingly, my writing has split easily into two distinct areas...the crime thriller stuff is so simple, with so much mayhem constantly going on around us in the planet, just pick up on the cable news and magnify the events a little, change the names and the geography to protect the guilty, and hey presto, you have a story...the other stream which I've discovered is writing for my blog,  http://www.seumasgallacher.wordpress.com   I use that for light-hearted stuff about the 'Jurassic ' newbie writer coping with all this (to me) new-fangled social networking scene. A year ago I hadn't a clue what 'blog' meant...and in December, I garnered a Blogger of the Year Award...go figure...

How do you maintain thoughts and ideas?

S. I'm not sure that I do consciously maintain any rigid thought patterns...my story lines are generally pretty well-set in my head, and then I kinda just let it develop naturally. I like to think I'm a logically-minded person, so I find it quite straight-forward (we're not talking Nobel Literature Prize stuff here, y'know!).

Who is your favorite character in your books?

S. If they're 'live' enough in my mind, even the wild and nastier characters, I like 'em all. They're my babies after all...
however in THE VIOLIN MAN'S LEGACY, I had a minor character called Rico that I had to write out of the book as his role was completed...I hated seeing him go...

Where do you like to write?

S. I can write anywhere...I have the capacity to get into my own little cocoon, switch off the rest of you out there, and zone in on my 'other world'.

Where do you do most of your research?

S. Much of the plot development is from my own experience (I'm 250 years old now!), but for detail corroboration, the Web is a boon...

Do you find that editing can be tough?

S. No. Not now. An author pal, Jim McAllister (his book, ' iNation ' is on Kindle now, and a fabulous read) told me about AutoCrit, a self-editing software, which I find enormously helpful. When I realised what it could do to improve my books, I spent two months recently completely re-editing both novels..I know they are much the better for that.


What is your favorite author event?

S. Here in Abu Dhabi, I've been privileged to be a Guest Speaker at several Readers Groups, as well as the British Business Group (on how this old Jurassic came new to the social networking scene and made it work). 
I've also signed up recently with the Book Club Readers List on the Internet, and will make myself available by telephone, etc, to do live discussions if reader groups want me involved. I LUV IT!!! ( I'm still trying to figure out how to use Skype, so that may be the next 'Giant Leap' for this Member of Mankind..).


Who is your favorite author?

S. Depends what day of the week you ask that question, I've so many that I like, and have liked over the years...the bedrock names include Charles Dickens, Sir Winston Churchill, John Steinbeck, John O'Hara, Robert Ruark,...more recently, Lee Child and Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Do you have advice for newbie writers?

S. Oh, yes! tons of it!! My entire blog sequence over the last 9 months has contained loads about my experience in getting to grips with the social networking thing. The writing is the simple bit...getting the babies out there
takes time, and a lot of slog...it's called 'building the platform'...I'm thinking of doing a 'How To' book on my travails to date, to p'raps help others through some of the rapids that I've had to traverse.

Follow Seumas...

THE VIOLIN MAN'S LEGACY:

VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK:

THE BLOGGER'S GUIDE TO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING:





















Friday, February 15, 2013

Kate Meyers, Equine Massage

As a huge advocate for therapeutic massage, I believe that a weekly massage can be the cure for most ills; increasing circulation, rejuvenating tired/sore muscles, decreasing overall stress, and keeping the body in tune.

Based in Mount Vernon, Ohio, USA, Kate Meyers is a
Registered Equine Massage Therapist (REMT)
Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT)
Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist (CESMT). 


Welcome Kate! 

Kate is the proprietor of 'Top Notch Hands', healing both humans and equines through massage therapy. 

What was your first experience with a horse?
 The first I can remember is being put up on a lovely paint stallion and going for a quick ride with my godmother holding me in front of her. I was two years old then and years later I was able to pay him back for all of the joy he had brought me. He was the sire of my first horse and later my very first official massage therapy project. After three months of intensive work that included massage 1-3 times per week, hydrotherapy and a regimented treatment plan he went from completely lame on even the softest ground to completely sound on gravel. Before and after pictures and video are located here http://www.topnotchhands.com/gallery.html.

Mr. Windmaster after 3 months of therapy.
  
When did you know you wanted to become an equine massage therapist?
As a Sophomore in high school I was introduced to the idea and quickly decided that equine massage was what I was meant to do. My first horse suffered from Navicular Disorder and frequently he would be lame, girthy and generally sensitive all over. A fellow boarder was studying to be a licensed massage therapist and believed massage could help. She taught me a lot and we experimented with timing, pressure and where to apply massage for the best results. With the massage we were able to scale back his medications to almost nothing; he learned how to jump and successfully show against perfectly healthy horses.

The next summer I was allowed to attend the Equissage program (http://www.equissage.com/) even though I wasn’t technically old enough to do so. It’s a great program to get your feet wet, learn some of the basics and start playing with techniques. Quickly I found myself over my head because I would be asked to come out and try to fix something and wouldn’t have a CLUE what I was looking at, let alone what I was supposed to do. Research for a school paper lead me to D’al School of Equine Massage (http://www.darcylane.com/) and there was no question of where I was going to go to college. I firmly believe if you’re going to do something to do it the best you possibly can. There’s no other school that offers such in-depth, intensive program geared specifically to training equine massage therapists. My teachers were veterinarians and seasoned REMTS (Registered Equine Massage Therapists) who worked with everything from backyard horses to Olympic athletes. We learned physiology, anatomy, pathology, equine management, theory and techniques of massage, stretching and hydrotherapy, with every class having lots of hands-on with verbal testing. Looking back I can’t believe that I survived, that I could possibly have learned so much in just two years. I went in a “snot nosed kid” and came out a professional.

A few years later I attended massage therapy school to become licensed to work on people so that I could work on horse and rider teams. With training in both fields, I am able to provide the entire team with the best possible care.

What has been your most rewarding experience as a massage therapist?
Working with injuries and neglect cases has to be the most rewarding part of what I do. Helping them go from stall bound back to their jobs is the most that I can ever ask for. Being allowed to assist the horse and their team in the mutual quest to bring them back to healthy and happy is always an honor.

Last year I did get to experience a new reward. I have started to offer my services at a few select horse shows. The first show I did was an all breed youth show. Watching those kids come out of the ring with a ribbon and huge smile on their faces and knowing that I was there when they needed just that little extra help. That’s the best feeling. It’s the cherry on top of my sundae.

What is the worst case that you have encountered?
High tensile wire injuries stand out as the worst visually, but as long the tendons and muscles remain intact it’s a pretty simple procedure once the horse’s health care team are on the same page.

The most heart breaking case I've come across was my first neglect case. He arrived barely able to hold his head up and simply emaciated. The worst part of the story is that he was located at a reputable trainer’s facility before being bought (unseen) by my client. He was only three years old. (Pictures below).

There is a happy ending to this story although it’s only the beginning. He lucked into a home where he doesn't just have an owner or rider. He has a mom. We slowly and carefully allowed him to gain weight while building the right muscle groups to allow him to progress forward. Within two months he had attended his first show and in eighteen months he entered his first class at The All American Quarter Horse Congress. You never would have been able to guess what his past has been.
Upon arrival to my facility.
One year later. 
Does the weather make a difference in results? 
Weather absolutely plays a part in the results for massage. During warm months it is super-easy to zip through a whole body massage in about an hour and see outstanding results. The warmth allows the blood to remain in the outer tissues longer which allows the body more time to heal itself. During cold months I have to spend much more time getting circulation to and softening the tissue before the true work can begin.

Is there a basic massage that I can do to help my horse?
My favorite way for owners to massage their horses is with a curry comb. If you’re not trying to get hair off your horse I suggest a comb with “fingers” like this one. (link: http://www.bigdweb.com/ROUND-RUBBER-CURRY-LARGE-BRISTLE/productinfo/7825/#) You’ll build upper body strength while cleaning your horse and bringing blood into the muscles before you go for a ride.

If you want to do some hands on, try long strokes in the direction of your horses hair. You don’t need to apply much pressure  This technique is typically referred to as effleurage.

How often should a healthy horse have a massage?  
A healthy horse under regular work is usually started on a monthly plan to help relieve the aches and pains of his job. If your horse has a heavy show schedule and/or is a jumper/reiner/cutter/speed horse I suggest starting with one massage every two weeks for maintenance and adding extra sessions as the horse's schedule dictates.

Personally, I get a massage at least once a month and twice when I'm stressed.

What is your favorite breed? 
That’s a really difficult question! I really don’t have a particular breed but I do have my favorite horses. Horses with a distinct personality that leave an impression on your heart no matter how fleeting you've known them. The ones that you can’t help but compare other horses too. A few Paints, Quarter Horses, an Arabian, several Warmbloods, a Clydesdale gelding and a very special Shire colt stand out in my mind. They have all taught me something, things that without them I’m not sure I would have ever discovered. The most of important of which came from George the Clydesdale – Slow down. Breathe. Listen. And above all, trust yourself.


Follow Kate


Monday, February 11, 2013

Col Sarpartap Singh, Equestrian



Retired Col Sarpartap Singh is the ultimate equestrian. He is the Vice President of the Indigenous Horse Society of India, Vice President of the Punjab Equestrian Association, President Lakhi Sindhi Horse Breeders Society, member Tentpegging Committee Asian Equestrian Federation Horseshow organizer, Equestrian Consultant, Horse Trainer, Equestrian Instructor, FEI Endurance Judge & Td, and Tentpegging Coach…

Welcome Col Singh!                                                     

Where are you in the world?
I am from India and presently living at Chandigarh, the City Beautiful.

When did you meet your first horse?
I met my first horse, a grey Bhimtari pony named White Witty, at the age of four at Deolali Maharstra, where I started my schooling.  The pony was bought to encourage me to go to school by my grandfather Capt Sardar Gurbux Singh, who had come to spend some time with his daughter, my mother.

Where did you learn to ride?

Well, I really learned to ride at home where both of my grandparents, Capt Sardar Gurbux Singh and ex Hudson Horse cavalry officer and Sardar Bahadur Sardar Sunder Singh had fine stables with good horses.  Both my parents, Brigadier Gurpartap Singh and my Mum, rode horses. My Dad was an excellent show jumper and tentpegger of his time, being an Artillery officer. My Mum was great at hacks a gig driving. All of them taught me how to handle horses. Later, when I got commissioned into the army, I did the Army Equitation  Course which I topped, having ridden a vast number of horses - each horse  a different personality with different habits; a great learning.  It is here I also learned the finer points of equitation under three instructors, Col Sam Ahlawat, Col SL Reddy, and the late Major Farooque Bijli. Later, I trained under Italian Coach Nani Grigonolo for show jumping, prior to the 1982 Asian games.

How many different equestrian events have you participated?
I have participated in all equestrian events, such as dressage, three day event show jumping, hunters and tentpegging.

What is your favorite event? 
Show jumping.

As a horse show judge what defines a good horse?
A good horse should have a nice conformation with strong bones and calm temperament, be very alert, with an attitude to listen to his master rider.

As a horse trainer, what method do you use?
Patience and persuasion, never loose you’re cool, encourage your horse rather than push him to do things; it works better. You form a happy partnership.

What has been your best experience with a horse?
Best experience was with a horse named Raja, a half bred, when we started riding on the mountain trail along the Indo-Pak border in 1977 starting at 7 am.  The track was very treacherous. At places we had to dismount and lead the horses. We finished this trail of almost 60 odd km at 10 .30 at night. In the hours of darkness we walked the last few km downhill. The horses showed us the way home; otherwise we would have lost our way and strayed across the border. This confirmed my belief that horses can never go wrong.

What has been your most challenging experience with a horse?
This was at Kanndy Race Course at Sri Lanka where I had gone to train some tentpegger.  After finishing the training session, we returned to the stables to find that one rider and mare Goldilocks had not returned to the stables. It was beginning to get dark and cold since the weather had packed up. We set out to look for them when we saw the rider walking back with his bridle in his hand, totally smeared in slush. On asking him about the mare, we were told that some stray dogs started chasing the mare, she spooked and jumped into a 20 ft deep nullah (drain) running near one of the gates of the race course. Then started a night of ordeal; as we reached the spot we found this young mare struggling for life as the soil was not only slush but more like quicksand. The more she struggled the more she would go deeper.  Something had to be done and quick or we would loose the mare.

After all manual efforts of cutting a way out failed, I got a JCB, put a few guys to climb down and slip two ropes under the belly of the mare. These were then tied to the JCB and the mare hauled out. She was sort of dazed when she was suspended in air.  The moment her feet touched on the ground, she broke loose and ran back to the stable.

It was one hell of a night, dark and cold with most guys, even the owner, giving up hope. At last we had saved this beautiful mare. It was a wonderful moment with tears of joy running down most eyes present.

What is it like to ride a Marwari or Indian breed vs. other breeds?
It’s a wonderful feeling to ride any Indian horse as compared to the other breeds; that they have a nice strong back.  They are light to handle and very daring. They don’t spook that easy and you can lead them to go anywhere, and above all they are very concerned about their riders. Riding a good Indian breed and seeing through its ears as you ride is like seeing the world through the sites of a good rifle.

Did you enjoy the Queens Jubilee?
Yes. It was a wonderful experience, meeting up with some good horsemen and women from different parts of the world.

What has been your major accomplisment as an equestrian?
Winning a  bronze at the national show jumping championships  at new Delhi Jaipur polo grounds on a horse named Chetak, which I borrowed a day before the event.

What is your advice to the younger generation in India in context to taking up riding as a passion and profession?
It’s passion. They don’t know what they are missing out. Get involved to find out it’s the most passionate experience of life.  You shall forget all other things, as the profession may not make you that rich, but you will never be wanting for cash either.

Follow Col. Singh
http://horseindian.com/
http://www.equestrian-india.org/ 
RS Bonnie Dundlod and Col. Sarpartap Singh at the Turkey Equestrian Martial Sports Festival with the world record holder archer Kassai. 





Saturday, February 9, 2013

David McEwen, Artist




From Lodeve, a small town in the Midi Region of The South of France, David McEwen resides with his wife Sally. They run the Painting Holiday Center, L'Atelier du Soulondre (paintfrance.com). Lodeve is about 3/4 of an hour from Montpellier.

David is a world famous artist. Slated to be a “hopeless romantic, believes in Hogwarts and Narnia, has a dry, even sarcastic sense of humor and is gifted clumsy”.


The International Artist named him as a “master painter of the world”. His paintings are vibrant, come alive with emotions, nature and his love for life…
Welcome David!

How long have you been painting?
All my life. I taught Art at High School for some years but in 1995 I decided to bite the bullet and go full-time and the one regret is that I didn't do it sooner.

Where do you like to paint?
I prefer to work in my Studio. There are no bugs, it's cool and there's nobody looking over my shoulder making comments, anyway I always forget something when I do go out. Of course, when I have students with me we go out to one of many small, beautiful villages or painting venues that are close by and we work in the sun.

What is your daily motivation/muse?
On my own, my studio has everything that I need, especially coffee !
Chuck Close once said, "Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up for work." I agree with that so much. I'm a Painter, that is my job......Artists can wander around clutching their foreheads and waiting for their muse, I work from 9 in the morning until about 8 at night, 7:7, because I love it...it's the only thing that I CAN do. Anyway if I didn't work Sally would kill me.

Do you have family pets that inspire?
We do have two dogs who spend a lot of their day sleeping in my studio, they don't inspire but they do keep me company, and they force me from the easel to walk through the woods near our house twice a day.

Do you have a favorite indulgence while painting?
Music is important and I have some classical favorites, but the main indulgence are movies which I play while I work. I usually have to watch a film several times as I get carried away and forget that they are on so miss huge chunks. My taste in what to watch is eclectic, from the wonderful David Attenborough, History of Art to Cowboys with a bit of gratuitous sex and violence thrown in........no one can understand why I do this....I suppose it's because I can !

What type of research do you conduct to accurately reproduce the accouterments, insignia, medals and badges of the cavalry men/soldiers in your paintings?
Well, for example, with the series I made of the soldiers of The Garde Republican, I went up to their depot in Paris and during the day I took about five hundred photos. When I saw somebody I thought would be a probable subject I took many close-up photos of every detail of the uniform, medals, embroidered items and tack. The person and the horse got the same treatment and I would take close detailed pictures of faces, hands feet and hooves, all from the same angle which is a really important point to remember. When you know that you're only going to get one day with a subject or client, go for it and take as many photos as possible and that is the beauty of the digital camera.....you can drop the ones you don't like without having to take them to be developed.

Some people will tell you, "A real painter never uses photos !" don't listen because that would mean that Degas, Manet, Hockney and hundreds of others would no longer be "real artists " !
The Garde Republican
Do you paint faces under a magnifying glass, similar to the method followed by Chater Paul Chapter, a renowned 19th Century artist, whose medium was watercolor?
I use an illuminated magnifying glass to view the photos which I have blue tacked to a board beside my easel and occasionally I will check the painting with it too. I use a very large easel to which I clip a flood light with a day light corrected light bulb and an illuminated magnifying glass. 

Are the faces first painted on a larger scale to get the features right and then re-painted to the desired sizes?
No. When I'm preparing to work on a portrait I will do a number of small drawings then a full sized version in full detail. This helps me to understand the image. Sometimes if I find that likeness is not right, I will redraw the particular bit that's not working then try again......sometimes if it really won't " arrive " I will hang the offending piece in plain view on my studio wall and work on something else until I'm hit by the understanding of what is wrong?

What are your paint mediums?
For Oil Paintings I use Griffen Alkyds made by Winsor and Newton, they are a fast drying paint and they allow me to work in multiple glazes. I also work in watercolor with Daler Rowney Artist Quality paints. For Acrylics I really like are Golden Open, they are slow drying which is important during our summers. Pastels are a mixture of anything I can find from Lakeland Pastel Pencils to bits of this and that.

Do you have a favorite painting that you’ve created?
Yes. It's a painting that I made many years ago of all the winners of The Hickstead Show Jumping Derby. It was suggested by my late mother-in-law and Sally and I did about three months research then drove all over Europe finding signatures of all the riders for the Limited Edition Print.

Where are you currently exhibiting?
We have a gallery at home but there are three galleries who show my work in the United States. They are Forms Gallery in Delray Beach, Florida; The Dog and Horse Gallery in Charleston, West Virginia; and The Chisholm Gallery in West Palm Beach, Florida. In Europe, I have shorter exhibitions and have shown in Paris, London and Madrid amongst many other cities.

Have you accumulated any medals?
Yes, I've won some Gold and Silver medals.

Who is your favorite artist?
Oh, that changes depending on what I'm working on but the main ones are Corot for Landscapes, Turner for excitement and all round amazingness, for Portraits......Norman Rockwell, who I think was the most under-rated portrait painter of the 20th Century. Above them all is my brother Christopher who was my first and most important teacher.

Do you have advice for newbie artists?
Oh, yes. Learn To Draw and then draw everyday. I believe that drawing is the most important thing, the most vital thing that any painter can do and anyone who tells them differently is doing them no service whatsoever.
"You only learn to paint by drawing. For drawing is is a way of reasoning a place for colour in advance." Andre L'Hote.
     And...
      Learn when a painting is finished. 
      Then Stop.


Follow David….

Bio…
David McEwen has been a professional painter and internationally respected teacher for many years. His formal training began when, at the age of 13 he was accepted into a special group, formed at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, by the internationally renowned painter; Victor Pasmore. Although Pasmore was an abstract painter, he insisted that his students learned to draw and paint in the traditional and classical way .

For the first year of his training, David drew and drew, anything from rocks, found objects, still lives to academy figures. It was from this latter subject that his love for portraiture was born.

During the second year the students were allowed to paint – in a way. Pasmore gave them paints, brushes and paper and then indicated a huge list from which the students were expected to mix matching colors. Not painting – just learning about painting and color theory. It was a hard and sometime tedious apprenticeship.

Over ten years ago, McEwen decided to become a full-time painter. He and his wife, Sally, had many contacts in the world of equestrian sports and commissions began to come in from international and Olympic riders for paintings of themselves and their horses. Between 1992 and 1997 David completed over 700 commissions in watercolor, oil and pastel and was involved in a number of prestigious exhibitions.

Since coming to live in Lodève his work has been included in several magazines and The International Artist named him as a “master painter of the world”. He has been a prize winner in several international competitions and is a member of a number of painting societies.

Following an invitation to visit and paint by the Government of the Falkland Islands he produced paintings of landscapes, wildlife, portraits and marine paintings for a major solo exhibition in London.

Although he has a waiting list for commissioned work, David still finds time to teach and paint his favorite subjects and quietly exhibits them in Montpellier and Orleans in France; Madrid, Marbella and Jerez in Spain and San Diego in the United States of America.

Although David likes some abstract paintings, he prefers classical painting and sculpture. He has absolutely no time for “Installation Art” and regards much of contemporary art as a joke which hides the lack of talent of the so called artist. But he also thinks that the most wonderful thing about art is that it is totally personal so if you like a painting, put it on your wall and enjoy it.

Other than telling you that he is very proud of living in Lodève, he is a hopeless romantic, and believes in Hogwarts and Narnia, has a dry, even sarcastic sense of humor and is giftedly clumsy, there is not much left to say.

David can be contacted on 04 67 44 41 70 





Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Liz Mitten Ryan, Author



Liz Mitten Ryan is an expert in horse herd language, natural horse training, therapy with horses, horse programs, equine programs. She is the co-author of four award winning spiritual horse books…

Welcome Liz!

Where are you from?
I was born in Vancouver, BC Canada.

What was your first encounter with a horse?
Riding lessons at age five.

What is your favorite horse breed?
I own Warmbloods but recently bred an Iberian Warmblood (Andalusian/Warmblood cross). I love the mix.

Who do you have in your stables?
I have 14 Warmbloods, two ponies, a steer that thinks he's a horse and two llamas.

What is your riding discipline?
I call my riding and ground play method Natural Horsefriendship (as opposed to Natural Horsemanship) It is not a discipline but a joy. 
We ride around the playground, pasture, on the 320 acre property and in the hills. 

What’s your favorite thing to do?
My favorite thing to do is let my horse take me where she wants to go.

Do you have a favorite horse anecdote?
One of my favorite stories is when I was teaching the horses to touch cones, balls etc. with their nose. After I taught two or three, the rest of the horses just knew how to do it. Then Tesoro, the steer, came over and wanted to play. When I let him out, he ran over to the cones that were in a line and touched each one, then came over to say 'I can do anything they can... where is my treat'.

How can I learn to be intuitive with my horse?
Intuition is to humans what instinct is to animals. Make a commitment to spend more time in the natural world and with animals and listen to the clear sharp voice of spirit which is more easily heard away from the noise and clutter of the city. The more you listen, the more it will speak to you.

What is 'Equinisity'?
Equinisity was a word the horses offered meaning: 'The gift of finding the unexpected yet truly meaningful perspective through the almost 360 degree vision of the equine.'

Any advice for someone looking to buy a horse?

I would suggest making several visits, playing on the ground, riding, taking the horse on a walk away from the barn or ring -in the meadow or pasture, out on the trails etc. Spend lot's of time at liberty in a ring or round pen just hanging out, brushing, walking, asking him to join you. Make it fun, share some treats...

Any advice for a novice rider?
Get a kind, confident schoolmaster horse to teach you everything he knows.


Follow Liz…

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Vickie Kayuk, Country Rider Radio


Vickie Kayuk is owner of Country Rider Radio, as well as an avid equestrian and writer! 
Thanks, Vickie, for sharing your world; horses, stables and riding!

Where are you in the world?

  • Currently I’m located near the village of Reddick, Florida, USA, about half way between Ocala and Gainesville. I have an apartment in a Thoroughbred barn and my horse is in a stall adjoining my apartment. Originally all of the horses I brought down from Canada four years ago were in this barn, but I’ve moved the others to Santa Rosa Stables, my trainer’s barn. Olivia is still here because she’s recovering from an injury to a back leg.
When was your first encounter with a horse?

  • When I was a child my grandparents lived within sight of our house. My grandfather had a quarter horse named Sonny and later they had a pony. These are the first horses I remember, but the first horse I remember riding belonged to a traveling children’s photographer. It was a small paint pony with a mane and tail reminiscent of a Theillwell sketch. He had chaps, a matching cowboy hat and vest, and double pistols on a plastic western belt. When I got on that pony for my photograph I was Annie Oakley and Dale Evans rolled into one and the only thing I wanted at the time was to ride that pony into the sunset with the sun glinting on the barrels of my guns.
What is your favorite breed of horse?

  •  I have to honestly say that I never met a breed of horse that I don’t like. There are individuals in every breed that are less than totally likable, just as there are people, but breeds as a whole are bred for different disciplines and I love that. I think diversity is the spice of life. Imagine if there was only one breed of horse in the world! How sad that would be! Think of the hundreds of thousands of people who would never have been involved in horses if there were no Arabians or Quarter Horses, or Paso Finos, or Clydesdales. Each breed satisfies something—some inner desire—of someone, somewhere, that no other breed could fulfill. Think of all the people who are afraid of full size horses, but love working with minis. There is a place for every breed and I love them all. I think true horse people all over the world are the same. If you love horses, you love horses. Period. 
What is your riding discipline?

  • I prefer to ride English these days, although I started as a Western rider. The reason for the change was not a desire to change, but availability of riding instructors in the area and meeting new friends who rode English and invited me to ride with them. I was introduced to hunter/jumper disciplines and to the idea of dressage. Later I went through an eventing and competitive trail riding phases before returning to Hunter/Jumper, and now to Dressage. I fell in love with the elegance, control and beauty of the blending of purpose between a well matched partnership of Dressage horse and rider. I believe that if I had a choice of disciplines in which I could excel I would have to choose Dressage.
Do you compete/or Have you competed?

  •  I’ve never been a competitive rider at high levels, but I’ve enjoyed competing in the past—especially the eventing. The excitement of cross country is hard to beat. I also breed Canadian Sport Horses and have had a lot of fun at the breeder’s shows. I don’t necessarily go to the breeder show to win, but these shows are a great way to introduce very young horses to the show atmosphere, bathing, trailering, clipping, etc.
Do you have a favorite equine anecdote?

  • Wow, that’s a hard question. So many stories and events come to mind. I guess there’s always one horse that sticks in the mind for having the most stories to tell, but when you raise foals you realize how different their personalities are from the very beginning. Full Tesla learned that she could jump into the round bale holder and sleep comfortably on the hay while the other horses pushed her legs out of the way with their noses and ate around and under her. Radar and her dam, Allie, started in a large foaling stall with a door to a private courtyard. She thought it was great fun to run out of the stall into the courtyard with Allie trotting along behind nickering at her as if to tell her to watch out for wolves. As soon as they were both out in the sun Radar would turn and race back into the stall and her poor dam would panic and trot into the stall after her whereupon she would race back out again. Slide, on the other hand, never let poor little Charm get away with anything. When Charm tried to meet the other foals, Slide would wrap her neck around Charm and literally drag her away from them. I guess she didn’t want Charm to associate with the riffraff. Tess used to pull the sprayer from the water tank as it was filling, paw it until the spray was going up into the air, then stand in it with her head up to drink the water from the sky as it came down. Fanny used to jump up on the hay wagon for fun, scaring the living daylights out of me. So many stories, so little space.
What has been your most challenging equine experience?

  • That would have to be caring for 12 horses through the Canadian winters with no running water in the barns. Carrying enough water to the paddocks after the hoses froze but before there was snow on the ground for the sleds was a daily challenge, sometimes lasting for over a month in the fall. It was even worse in the spring when the snow was melted and the ground was so soft I couldn’t get the little tractor into the fields. I’m so glad to be living in Florida now!
Who is your favorite trainer?

  • Wow! Another really tough question. I’ve had so many, and each was important at a different stage of my riding career. All of the instructors who taught at the Equestrian Park in Ottawa got me started. Later I took clinics with Bruce Davidson, Lorraine Laframboise and Ian Millar, all of whom were exceptional. When I moved from the Equestrian Park I boarded at several stables around the Ottawa area as my interests and my residence changed. Frank Duguay at Twin Pines Equestrian had a great influence on me and was my coach in eventing, hunter, jumper and dressage when I was at the height of my riding career. He also started several of my young horses for me when I couldn’t get to them for one reason or another. Robingreen, Fiddler’s Green, Quarry Park and Westar Farms were other stables around Ottawa where I kept horses from time to time. Now I live just North of Ocala, Florida and I board at Santa Rosa Stables with Oscar and Zoe Hernandez. I have lessons with both of them, and they both ride and train my horses. Oscar is showing Full Fantasia (aka. Fanny), my jumper, and Zoe is training Full Bratzina, a young jumper prospect. I also have lessons with both of them.
Who is in your stables?

  • At this time I have seven horses. Five of them are at Santa Rosa Stables and they are all Canadian Sport Horse mares fully approved for breeding except Bratzina who hasn’t been to her mare inspection yet.
Full Radar Alert, born 1999 (broodmare of five foals)
Sire: Walis Nordis a Russian Holsteiner
Dam: Full Alert, a TB x Trackener mare and winner of the Brigadier McKee award for CSH mare with the highest accumulated offspring points in 2006. Full Alert was also the winner of the Progeny of Dam class at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in two separate years.

Full Bratzina, born 2007 (in training for jumper)
Sire: Bratt Z, winner of the highest ever points for jumping style at his Canadian Warmblood Horse Breeder’s stallion inspection
Dam: Full Radar Alert.

Full Fantasia, born 2002 (Show Jumper, dam of Full I’Candy)
Sire: Popeye K, Dutch Warmblood stallion and East Coast Conformation Hunter champion two years in a row
Dam: Full Alert.

One Last Slide, born 1995 (broodmare of 3 foals)
Sire: Walis Nordis, Russian Holsteiner
Dam: Let Her Slide, the top Canadian Sport Horse brood mare every year she showed.

One More Charm, born 2002 (broodmare of 1 foal)
Sire: Tejano Red, a racing TB and Silver rated CSH approved stallion
Dam: One Last Slide

Located at Crowns Way South, a thoroughbred training farm, is Fully Olivia, born in 2004. (in training for hunter)
Sire: Oellie R a Dutch Warmblood stallion approved as a CSH breeding stallion
Dam: Full Alert

Do you have advice for beginning riders? 


  •  Have fun. Every time you ride, every show you attend, every lesson you have. Never get so involved with winning that you forget to have fun. Some of my very best shows and top scores and wins happened when I went just for the joy of being there and didn’t care if I won or lost.
  • Go to clinics in your discipline of choice every chance you get if you’re interested in showing. Every instructor has a different way of getting the point across and sometimes something explained a different way will just ‘click’ with you when you’ve been having a hard time getting some new technique. If you can’t ride in the clinic, go watch. You can learn a lot from watching others ride and listening.
  •  Ride every chance you get. The more diverse horses you can get on, the better rider you will be, but don’t over-face yourself with a stronger horse than you can handle.
  • Take a deep breath and laugh when you’re having trouble with a horse. This will relax both you and the horse. Yelling or getting tense will only make things worse.
  • Try other styles of riding if you’re not sure what you really want to do. Maybe you would prefer driving. Be happy in the discipline you choose and be open to try new ones.
  •  Find a coach you like and take lessons. Even the top trainers have a ground person telling him to sit straighter, lift their hands, etc. No one knows everything there is to know and everyone gets into bad habits without some outside input now and then.
  • Be kind and reward your horse for a job well done. A simple pat or a kind word can go a long way.
  • Learn to take care of the horse you ride. If the person who normally bathes your horse after you ride gets sick and can’t do it, you should know what to do for your horse.
  • Decide what you want to do before you buy your first horse.
  • Never let anyone push you to compete if that’s not where your heart is. There is no law that says you must compete if you take riding lessons. If hacking or trail riding is what you like to do, just do that.
  •  Most of all.....HAVE FUN!