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Horse Sense Business Sense
6919 Meadows Town Road
Marshall, North Carolina 28753

Phone: (828) 683-7304
Fax: (828) 683-6281
E-mail: josie@horsesenseotc.com




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Horse Sense Business Sense helps professionals in the many fields of Equine Assisted Practices offer top-level programs in their communities through workshops/trainings, symposiums & conferences, consulting & immersion programs, curriculums, a working student program, and much more.

Over a decade ago, Horse Sense began the journey into becoming a top-notch EAP/EAL facility. We are eager to help other Therapeutic Horsemanship, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning programs make it, and make a difference, in their community.

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What's New at Business Sense?


Parelli & Equine Assisted Practice: 2011 Progress!

As October winds along it’s been fun to stop a moment and take stock of the year’s events. I can’t believe all we’ve done! Most of our work this year is about continuing to explore and develop the connection between Parelli Natural Horsemanship and Equine-Assisted practice.

In that vein, Brenda and I continue to make progress on the new Horse Sense book, which is all about integrating natural horsemanship concepts into the training of Equine Specialists & the care and support of therapeutic horses. The book includes results from a nationwide survey and dozens of interviews with top Equine-Assisted professionals, as well as my own musings, thoughts and ideas about our field, our profession, and the horses we love. There’s so much material, in fact, that we found our original timeline far too ambitious; we’ll spend the winter finishing the book for publication in 2012.

So far, one big highlight of the whole process was interviewing Linda Parelli for the book back in February. We already knew about her work as a teacher and master translator in the Parelli program; our discussion on how horses have motivated Linda to change and grow as a person was fascinating. She has hundreds of examples of how she’s seen horses change people through the Parelli curriculum. It was amazing to see how interconnected Parelli Natural Horsemanship really is to the Equine-Assisted world.

It was also a great honor to be asked by Pat & Linda to assist in writing the section “Exploring The Horses’ Role in the Counseling Dynamic” for Kay Trotter's upcoming book, Harnessing the Power of Equine Assisted Counseling: Adding Animal Assisted Therapy to Your Practice. We submitted our work to Kay back in March, and haven't heard any more about it since then. It looks like a wonderful book, and I'm excited to see the finished product. Well done, Kay!

Richard and I also continued to refine our Parelli-based Natural Horsemanship curriculum for the field this year, teaching workshops in late 2010 & in 2011, at the Horse Sense farm, at Prescott College in Arizona, and in England, showing practitioners how to better understand horse body language, psychology, and behavior while demonstrating how specific aspects of Parelli Natural Horsemanship can be utilized in Equine-Assisted work.

We also held our first annual Parelli & EA Practices symposium in April at the Horse Sense farm. We then spent the summer teaching clinics for both Equine-Assisted professionals (to introduce them to Parelli) and for Parelli folks learning about Equine-Assisted practice. We’ve found more and more people getting excited at the cross-over opportunities!

And we spread the word about Equine-Assisted work through various Parelli forums over the past 12 months as well. We participated in the Parelli Rendezvous in Jacksonville, Fl in October 2010, and had a feature article appear in the May issue of the Parelli Savvy Times. July found us at the Conyers, GA Parelli Jamboree, followed by the big Parelli Summit in September. In each case we manned an information booth and had dozens of enthusiastic conversations with Parelli students about Equine Assisted Practices.

Meanwhile, Richard is growing an active teaching schedule as a Parelli 2-star Junior Instructor, with regular clinics in Tennessee and at the Horse Sense farm in Western North Carolina. It’s exciting to see his practice grow!


Horses & Liberty: The Parelli Summit

Richard and I were really excited to attend the Parelli Summit in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, last week. We presented a booth promoting Equine-Assisted practice to around 1000+ Parelli students.

The topic of the Summit is Liberty and Horses, something incredibly relevant to our practice. 80-90% of what we do with clients is at Liberty, so finding ways to improve our skills influencing horses at Liberty is something we look forward to. As the saying goes, “when you take off the halter and lead rope, all you have left is the truth.” Horses at Liberty challenge each of us to sharpen our abilities and improve our connection...something which transfers into learning opportunities for our clients.  

Parelli Natural Horsemanship has played heavily in our work at Horse Sense over the years, and integrating its principles is a big part of our upcoming book. We believe Natural Horsemanship is the best education available for Equine-Assisted practices and should be part of the education for any Equine Specialist. The Parelli system is particularly well-designed for integration with Equine-Assisted work, with its well-rounded, highly-developed, and accessible curriculum. It helps make the multitude of Natural Horsemanship’s intangible principles tangible for every horseperson at a deep level.

In recent years Pat and Linda Parelli have become more clear in making distinctions in their curriculum between horse development and human development…and in recognizing the impact of horses on human development. They now devote specific aspects toward one or the other. Natural Horsemanship teaches patience, fairness, effectiveness, and developing perspective without assumptions, something we find in perfect alignment with Equine-Assisted work itself.

Every Parelli student is well aware of how the effects of Natural Horsemanship carry through into other areas in their lives; for Equine-Assisted professionals, this same carryover has enormous potential for helping EA professionals do their own personal work while improving their ability to understand horse psychology and the nuances of body language. Improving as horsepeople also helps us be calmer, braver, and smarter (just like our horses) for working in this field.

We were delighted to be part of the Parelli event, and look forward to sharing more with you in the future! 


Welcoming Yoga: A Morning of Relaxation

On Saturday August 7th, Horse Sense hosted its first ever yoga event! Welcoming Yoga turned out to be a beautiful morning on the farm!  We practiced leaving technology behind for a few hours and really allowed ourselves to fully embrace the amazing natural world. With plenty of acreage to explore and abundant wildlife (not to mention horses), we managed to fit in a full Tibetan Heart Yoga and a walk in the labyrinth.

Josie and Kendall are already considering how to make the next yoga experiential on the farm even more engaging and relaxing. Certainly more time with horses is on the agenda for future events. We practiced Mountain Pose and Virabhadra'sana in the mare pasture and had some hands-on time with the herd of five, but with all the lessons horses have to teach us we could have spent the whole day (or a lifetime) just connecting with them. Check back for future on when we will do this again!

If you are interested in the next Welcoming Yoga, click here to email us & we'll connect with you as soon as it's scheduled!