by James Cassese LCSW

The equine herd is a collaborative group with complex roles that help to provide comfort, safety and the opportunity for growth. While the lead stallion "owns" and may be called upon to fight for the group, the alpha mare actually calls the shots. The young filly is located at the least dominant position in the group, except, of course when she is with her mother. As the filly moves about with her, she shares her mother's dominance status. The herd effort is simultaneously clearly proscribed and fluid.

At Equine Energetix, the collaborative process has always been an important aspect of our work, and this Spring newsletter has been put together with that in mind. In "Mirrors: An experience of Equine-Interactive Psychotherapy and Learning," one of our clients, a lovely writer, does a great job being open about her experiences in a way that gives us a glimpse into what can happen in an Equine Energetix session.

In "Half Halt," JoAnne reflects on her experiences with her horse, Mystic. JoAnne discusses some of the realities that we face with our horses, and speaks to the fluidity and inevitability of change and transition. It also is a perfect companion piece to my latest article for the Hudson Valley Horse Source, which will be available next month.

Having these essays included in this Spring newsletter has also given me the chance to develop the long-awaited EE blog. While I've resisted the idea of one, many of you have reached out to

ask for more frequent communication, and yet I know I don't love to have my own mailbox jammed with stuff. I imagine some of you feel that way, too. But there are so many interesting things that happen in our work! It finally seemed to make sense to share the insights and perspectives that come from being around the horses and people who are working toward healing, growth and change. Be sure to check it out and let me know what you think. You can access it but clicking here.

This year, we will also have more resources for those or you interested in coaching, leadership and organizational development. Wagner has carved out more time to share his expertise, from personality inventories, like the Meyers-Briggs scale and the Hogan Personality Inventory to business coaching. You can also hear him weekly on Sirius/XM Radio channel 107 on Fridays at 1pm during his new show "At Work Radio with Rochelle and Wagner". Wagner has a wealth of information to share, and for those of you at career crossroads, or trying to figure out your next paths, Wagner can combine tests like the Hogan, for which he is fully certified, with equine-interactive work.

In the further spirit of collaboration, I will be offering "Conquering Rider Fear" a seminar and demonstration benefit for the My SHINE program on Saturday May 4th. I'm very excited to be able to join with MY SHINE for many reasons. While Equine Energetix does not have the capacity to add a program to work with former military, MY SHINE is eager to start one to help our veterans. We are so happy to help get this started by donating our services. If you can't make the May benefit, and want to contribute, or check out their website for information on how you can help.

Please remember to have a look at our workshop offerings this year. If you are interested, please register early! There are only a few spaces still available for May's Mindfulness in Everyday Life, and there are already a number of people registered for July's Seeing with the Heart.

Happy Spring!