I’ve always had a fascination and heartfelt bond with horses. This love began as a young child, learning how to ride and care for horses at my family’s successful equestrian center in Quebec. As a highly sensitive child, I felt horses understood and calmed me. I would spend as much time as possible at the barn, I just wanted to BE with horses.
In my early teens I started competing on the regional Show Jumping circuit and was pushed to participate in clinics we were hosting with world renowned equestrians like Ian Millar and Eric Lamaze. I soon realized that this wasn’t for me. I disliked the competitiveness between family members and craved a more authentic way of being.
In 2000, I moved to Whistler and pursued training in fitness, nutrition, massage and several healing modalities. During that time I kept a connection with horses by trading training sessions for riding lessons and learning about natural horsemanship. I opened my own private practice in 2010 in Vancouver called Integrative Fitness where I offered wellness coaching, personal training and massage to people from all walks of life including celebrities, professional athletes and CEOs.
In 2017, after moving to Squamish, and feeling burned out, I started having visions of galloping horses. I would often dream about horses in a very unusual way wondering what it meant. I gradually slowed down my practice in Vancouver and started working at The Scandinave Spa in Whistler as a massage practitioner. I needed a shift. I also started volunteering at Second Chance Cheekye Ranch. That’s when everything changed for me.
I was accustomed to a heated, well-lit barn with running hot water, a giant covered arena where horses are kept in stalls equipped with water fountains. Or what is known as a very controlled environment. At Second Chance, horses are kept in a way that is the closest to their natural environment which is nature! Some are roaming free on the property outside of their paddock, something that was unusual for me at the time. I would watch Kris spend time with her herd and gentle some of the new rescue and was in awe.
I felt like I knew nothing and would question everything I thought I knew about horses. In the Summer 2018, a mare named Willow and a few other horses, were rescued from the meat auction and brought to the ranch. I instantly felt a connection with Willow. It was different. It was like I could actually hear her talk. She was in a lot of pain. She had gotten badly injured at the auction roundup and her days were unfortunately numbered as there was nothing we could do to save her. I felt really sad for her.
Willow had a protector in her paddock, Sierra, another mare that was rescued at the same time. Sierra would always be by Willow’s side. So I started spending time with both of them. Willow didn’t want me to be too close to her so I would just stand at a distance offering support and healing energy. The time came for her to be relieved of her pain. It was a difficult day. For days after Willow would appear in my dreams, letting me know she was okay.
In 2019 I was going through some tumultuous life events. I left for a month to tend to my terminally ill mother. During this time I was given a Guided Shamanic Journey. My guide, who didn’t know me, mentioned that a horse named Willow was there. She was wearing a silver heart pendant with a key (my mom’s necklace!) and she had a message for me: Include horses in your work. I didn’t understand. After the funeral, I came back home and went straight to the ranch to find solace in the forest and the company of horses. I noticed a new horse being chased around by one of the geldings in one of the paddocks and called Kris right away to let her know what was happening. She told me that a new rescued mare, Sable, had just arrived and we should obviously have her in another paddock.
As soon as I called her name, Sable ran towards me and put her nose in the halter I was holding for her. The connection was instant. She was different; she had a knowing about her. My heart was broken in millions of pieces. Hers too. We understood each other. I wasn’t looking to adopt a horse. Sable tried very hard to show me that this was the path I was supposed to be on… I remembered the journey and Willow. I adopted Sable in August 2020 and shortly after enrolled in the FEEL certification (Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning).
I am the founder of Kind Spirit Horses. My mission is to give you the opportunity to heal your mind, body and soul with compassion, kindness, understanding and years of experience. I bring you together with horses in a fun, safe and unique experience. Most of the exercises are done on the ground and no previous horse experience is necessary. I am a Certified FEEL® Facilitator (Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning) and holds certifications in personal training, holistic nutrition, restorative yoga, pilates, wellness coaching, massage therapy and several healing modalities.
To learn more about me and my unique Equine Experience offers, visit www.kindspirithorses.com