Best Body Language blogs of 2013

I decided to go through and pick out what readers had deemed the best Body Language blogs of 2013.


IMG_1080The most popular one by far was entitled,  When should I stop riding my older horse? Obviously, readers out there who have senior horses have given some serious thought to how long they can ride them. The topic of riding is clearly important to our readers as another title, What if I can’t ride my horse? explores what types of situations can prevent riders from riding their horses, and how to deal with those situations.

Competition with conscience looks at how we can compete with horses mindfully, not overriding their needs with our egos and agendas. Be true to your horse addresses being centered as a horse person, so that the opinions of others do not unhinge us from what we know is right for our horses and ourselves.

Zuzka, Caja Del Rio Ride, 2011.
Zuzka, Caja Del Rio Ride, 2011.

Have you hugged your therapy horse today? tells the story of our gelding, Patches, who went from being a prize-winning show horse, to a therapeutic riding horse, to losing his job because of burnout or physical issues. Now he enjoys being a beloved family horse and also teaching people how to do Liberty Foundation Training.

Beyond the rescue, a story about a Navajo rescue pony who was clearly an Arabian, who survived a slaughter truck bound for Mexico and life-threatening disease, caught the interest of readers who follow the plight of the horses who end up on those slaughter trucks and who fight for horses to never have to experience that horror. Another chapter in the life of Sharif continues that story from the standpoint of the care sharing_territory_8-2-12_(16)Sharif received, specific to his physical issues.  Sadly, Sharif has since passed away but those moments he spent with his owner Cindy were beyond precious to him in his short, strife-filled life.

Afraid of your horse? also resonated with readers, as almost everyone can remember a time when they were afraid of their horse or someone else’s. The importance of touch in horse work looks deeply into how we touch horses physically and what they really prefer, how they can also experience human touch from across the pasture, just as they can with each other.

The most beautiful horse in the world is everyone’s horse, or should be. Your horse should be the most beautiful horse in the world, and you are excited to see him or her every day, before you lay eyes on him or her. That is the best possible situation for a horse, to be loved and honored so completely, and never to be spoken of negatively. If this is not how you are treated, it should be. This is what we all want, and what we can give to our horses.

Which is it: behavior or physical pain? Every horse person has debated the question of whether their horse has a behavior issue or pain. This personal story shows one journey, and how important it can be to not dismiss the signs our horses are giving us that they are in pain.IMG_0694

And finally, Cold hooves, warm heart — holistic equine care for the cold weather speaks of how we take care of our horses during the winter, and what’s important for their ultimate care, including the biggest one: movement.

That’s 11 posts — hey, who else has a Top Eleven Blogs of 2013?

2013 was the first year of this blog and it was highly successful, with readership growing exponentially over the course of the year. It also demonstrated to me that what I felt I had to write about each week, based on what was coming up for me in my work – was what people wanted to read about, what was nearest and dearest to their hearts.

To me it was also an opportunity to explore all the facets of the work I do, from bodywork on both people and equines to the Liberty Foundation Training that supports horses in many endeavors, to equine behaviors and needs. I see the interweaving of these types of work in many ways; the horse who is in pain may not be able to do liberty work; the horse who can do liberty work may be able to work out some physical and emotional and psychic issues and feel “met,” or maybe be able to enjoy being ridden again. The energetic component is always there, inviting us to go deeper, look more globally at a problem that may seem to be behavioral, to what is really going on and what can we do to make it possible for the horse to succeed.

When we ask a horse to do a meditative walk with us, we also invite her to be in her body, to place her feet in such a way to really contact the ground, to increase her circulation, and walk in synchronicity with us. (If you want to know about meditative walking, ask me about it; I haven’t written about this much yet.).

When we learn to change our body language and learn the language of the horse, we enter into another realm of possibility, where the horse is eager to be with us, share with us, and there is an exchange of energy. We want to know what they feel and desire, rather than always imposing our desires on them.C-Horse1-2014A

The New Year is the Chinese Year of the Horse, beginning January 31st, but we don’t have to wait that long to feel the energy of the horse thundering through our hearts, our hopes and our dreams. It has already begun and is a palpable new beginning, fresh hoofprints on a snowy field, light prancing steps that bound forward into promise. The horse is winged and powerful and has carried people for centuries; let it carry us still as we step into the New Year as centaurs reborn.


Services: Bodywork (Ortho-Bionomy for people, Equine Positional Release/Equine Ortho-Bionomy): private sessions (including Horse & Rider sessions),  tutorials, phone consultations, distance healing communication and gift certificates

Liberty Training: clinics, mini-clinics, workshops, private and semi-private sessions, tutorials, consultations: by appointment:  505.501.2478 or emailing Winter Lessons – semi-private, private and small group sessions. Scheduling now. Contact me for details.

New on the schedule for 2014:

January 18, OrthoHorse Tutorial – Arrowhead Ranch, Santa Fe, Susan Smith, Advanced Registered Practitioner Ortho-Bionomy 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. FULL. 1:30-4:30 p.m. OPEN. Don’t miss this opportunity! Three slots available!

February OrthoHorse Tutorial (Times TBA)

February 28 OrthoHorse Tutorial, Sound Horse Systems, DeLand, Florida. (see flyer below)

March 1-2 Horses at Liberty Foundation Training Weekend Clinic, DeLand, Florida. Contact Anne Daimler, (386-822-4564) or myself for registration and information. Space is limited. OrthoHorse Tutorial also offered before the clinic: February 28 (see flyers below). An afternoon Tutorial may be offered by popular demand.

April 4 OrthoHorse Tutorial, Spirit Horse Ranch.

April 5-6 Spirit Horse Ranch Liberty Foundations Clinic, Jones Oklahoma, Presented by trainers Ruella Yates and Susan Smith. Contact Ruella Yates, (405-771-4274) or myself for registration and information. Space is limited.

DeLand_Liberty_March_2014_3OrthoHorse Tutes


2 thoughts on “Best Body Language blogs of 2013

  1. This blog is a horse education in itself, Susan. By linking each of the blogs with a description, a person could get a great education about liberty work and philosophy by spending the time digesting your beautiful work. Thank you.
    For the Horse,
    Ruella Yates
    Liberty Trainer, Spirit Horse Ranch Liberty Foundations

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