“Take a Quiet Breath…”
From The Sudbury Star, out of Ontario, Canada, comes a lovely article, with The Resonant Horse sprinkled amidst it!! Enjoy!!
“Take a Quiet Breath…This is Manitoulin” (Manitoulin is an area in the province of Ontario, Canada)
Horses can teach us a lot about love and Valentine’s Day
I’m not telling you to treat your Valentine like a horse.
My delightful friend, author Mindy Tatz Chernoff, lives with horses. Don’t worry, she has a farm and a stable. For 50 years.
“With Valentine’s Day approaching,” Mindy says, “it seems acutely appropriate to share what my horses have to say about this day. Not all Valentines are two-legged.”
She invites me: “Get on the train and come to my farm in Newtown Square, Penn.; you’ll love meeting my horses.”
In addition to seven horses, she owns a goat, two pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and an emu.
Mindy’s developed her coaching skills exquisitely to become an author, and an equine specialist.
“This means I specialize in partnering with horses to help people get clarity and greater freedom in their lives. This gets accomplished in several ways,” she says. “As a mentor and teacher, I offer one on one sessions with the horse and the client. We have workshops and retreats.”
With the unlikely title of Mindy’s exciting new book, “From Muck to Magnificence: How Cleaning Horse Stalls Can Lead to an Astonishing Life,” you’ll find an exuberant story about her life, how she learns and what her animals teach her. See her TEDx Talk, which is fabulous. Go to https://youtu.be/QBZkFqulqog.
“Horses have so much to share with us. In today’s world, “Mindy says. “Being in the presence of horses can alleviate unmanaged stress. Horses, unless provoked, live in a state of satiation. They’re able to self-regulate. Of course, not everyone has horses, but if we look at the way they live, we can also self-regulate, become more content and allow for connection.
“Horses allow the space and freedom to focus on skills such as listening and noticing. This exploration can lead to a greater sense of freedom, openness and love,” Mindy says. “Horses take time to play, rest, roll and run. Self-care is paramount.
“When horses are distracted, they focus on the momentary distraction, then they return to grazing. As humans, we do the next thing that needs to be done, and then return to a state of openness, non-judgment and curiosity. Not only for Valentine’s Day, but love can thrive in such an environment. Horses woo us to linger, to slow down and stop for a few minutes,” Mindy says.
On Manitoulin, I talk to multi-media artist and painter Ann Beam, my delightful pal, who lives in M’Chigeeng and has two horses in her backyard. She has a copy of Mindy’s book, which she loves. Ann lives in three Adobe houses, which she and her late husband, artist Carl Beam, built. Her new book, “Earth Builders Narrative,” details how they designed and built their own house, studio and art gallery without a mortgage.
Now there’s a stable for her two horses. I am not jealous.
I love listening to Ann, whose energy, even in the heart of Manitoulin winter glows.
“Bon, in the winter, I feed my horses, Mystery and Noel, twice a day. I clean the barn and talk to them. This keeps me in great shape; they energize my life. I say a prayer for their health and strength every night before I go to sleep. These horses have inspired my art, enabling me to create new images and new techniques.
“Every day of my life, I’m grateful for these horses, who teach me so much.”
No sir, I’m not jealous. I tell Ann that I have two horses. Both ceramic, each eight inches high, Emerald and Ruby, stand on my writing desk. I dust them daily. A city girl’s gotta do what she can, loving horses.
Ann Beam’s bold world-class paintings have been shown in art exhibitions throughout Canada; her themes are positive thinking about Earth. My favourite is inspired by Bridal Veil Falls in Kagawong. It’s titled “At the Horse Washing Waterfall.”
Her Neon Raven Art Gallery, open all year, offers paintings, sculpture, books, prints, small and huge artwork. Go to www.neonravenartgallery.com and to www.annbeam.com
Some Manitoulin summers ago, I eagerly arrived at the home of Cathy Seabrook in Mindemoya. A noted veterinarian and author, Cathy at that time was in practice on island. She wanted me to meet her beautiful horse, Dante. A huge bay gelding. A real beautiful, smart horse.
So smart, Dante’s credited with co-authoring “The Spiritual Nature of Horse Explained by Horse: An incomparable conversation between one exceptional horse and his human.”
Over the years, this has been a mainstay for horse lovers.
After coffee, Cathy and I went to the sun-drenched August field. There stood the magnificent bay gelding. I gaily held out my hand, shouting an enthusiastic New York “Hello Dante!”
Dante swung his head away.
“Bonnie, take a quiet breath. This is Manitoulin,” Cathy advised gently.
I took three breaths and laughed at myself. It instantly changed energy in the field. Dante swung his beautiful face, extending his nose to me in a soft greeting.
Cathy quietly said exactly what an Ojibwe Elder said when I danced too fast at a Wikwemikong powwow. “Dante’s telling you “¦ slow down. You’re already here.”
How our doctors, artists, writers and animals in the universe keep teaching us. Eh?
From Mindy, Ann, Cathy, their horses, and me, Happy Valentine’s Day.
Our Bonnie’s had her ceramic horses since she was 12. Easier in a city. She’s delighted to be in the Window Seat for 26 years. Please find her at BonnieKogos@gmail.com.”