Seminars and Workshops
Seminars & Workshops are an integral part of the healing & learning at Gypsy Wind Ranch.
Whether you are looking to advance your horsemanship skills or develop deeper personal insight, our seminars combine aspects of learning, experiential actives and supporting guidance often resulting in a truly soulful encounter.
Click Here to see the current topics & scheduled dates.
You've gotten to the point where you are ready to reach out and talk to someone about the things you are searching for in your life. How do you know if we have the solutions for your situation? Here are some of the approaches that you can find at Gypsy Wind Ranch.
Linda Kohanov has been a key influence to the experience offered here at Gypsy Wind Ranch. Part of the premiss of the Eponaquest Approach is that horses are emotional masters, using their inate being to bring healing, wisdom and mirroring to those who interact with them. The horses are seen as co-facilitators versus objects, teaching respect, relationship and authentic community dynamics. Some of the key principles of learning into our seminars and training:
- Emotional Reslience
- Effective Boundary Setting
- Empowering the Authentic Self
- Accessing Inner Wisdom
- Authentic Community
Turn Off the Chatter
Journey Riding is a way to turn off the chatter in our brain in order to tune into our own innate wisdom. Riding a horse during this guided meditation can deepen the experience by the rhythm and rocking motion of the horse.
Privacy and Safety
Journey rides are conducted in the privacy and safety of a secluded arena with horses specially selected for this activity. Journey rides are most often scheduled after a client has an established relationship with the facilitator and has a foundational understanding of body scans, the emotional message chart, and skills that support the deeper nature of this experience.
*Weight limits of 210lb. apply to riders, based on the horses wellbeing.
Figuring It Out
The tween and teenage years are a time of figuring out who you are. In this world of social networking, the judgments of peers, family and others can often be confusing and devastating.
- Why don’t I fit in?
- I could fit in, but at what cost?
- My friends are doing it, why can’t I?
There are so many confusing and conflicting issues that young people are facing and during this time, their parents are often alienated for a number of different reasons.
Horses can be a particularly effective way to reach kids and young adults. Horses provide immediate, unfiltered feedback as well as unconditional acceptance. Through groups and individual sessions, teens learn about communication, boundaries and themselves.
At the very heart of relationship, is the art of communication. Often, the culprit that disrupts even the best of relationships is expectations. “You are not the same person I married!”
Part of couples counseling is examining our expectations of the relationship, our partners and our selves.
How do we communicate these expectations and feelings, especially when we change throughout the course of our lives? What about trust?
This can be violated when there is an affair, hidden agendas, abuse, money/family manipulation or other boundary violations.
Can we look at the situation and re-establish any sense of joy or possibility of love in the relationship, or do we need to learn how to broker an end to the relationship that allows us to get on in our lives in a healthy manner?
Depression and Anxiety
Depression has become a catch-phrase in our modern self-help vocabulary. Yet for all of the information available, it doesn't seem to capture the loneliness, lack of energy and dark feelings that often settle into a person's bones.
When you are in that place, there is often a feeling of being overwhelmed or that life seems to be without hope. You may be experiencing a loss of interest in family, friends, or activities that once brought joy or energy to your life.
Karla McLaren, author of "Emotional Genius", talks about depression as "ingenious stagnation", or "the stop sign of the Soul", and asks us to look at the messages behind the emotion in order to find our way back to hope, energy, and living life at a higher level.
Fear and Panic
Anxiety may start with discomfort in different situations, or it may escalate into an overwhelming fear/panic attack. You may feel acute anxiety in a social situation or perhaps in the opposite situation where you are left alone.
You may feel intense anxiety when facing new situations or situations that have caused you fear for your entire lifetime. Your body's natural reaction to different circumstances may be anxiety; this isn’t always bad!
Anxiety becomes a problem when the anxiety intrudes on your quality of life. Anxiety of often a common partner with depression.
No Time Limit
Grief is different for everyone. It just isn’t necessarily true when other’s say, “I know how you feel”. What is true is that just about everyone has experienced grief in some form or another. There is not a time limit on grief.
I can look at a picture of my mother who has been gone since 1997 and still get that tightness in my chest, the muscle tightness in my face and the inevitable tears that I thought I should have been done with certainly after the first year of her loss.
We are Changed
Through the alchemy of loss, we are undeniably changed. The question is whether or not we can integrate the loss and new definition of who we are into our lives in a positive, healthy way while still honoring the grief when it needs to be heard.
PTSD - I have had bad things happen to me, but how do I know if it is Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome? What types of therapy can help me deal with PTSD?
One of the most comprehensive answers to whether or not a person is experiencing PTSD can be found in an excerpt from the DSM. This excerpt is provided for you below.
Horses can be instrumental in dealing with PTSD in the following ways:
- Horses are prey animals who's survival has depended on their ability to act first, then determine the threat later. Learn how to deal with the threat in constructive ways.
- Horses have the ability to deal with the threat, then "go back to grazing". They teach us to breath, and be mindful in the present moment.
- They help us to quell the voices in our head. They don't "ruminate" over situations, saying, "Can you believe that mountain lion? Who does he think he is, trying to ambush me. Why did God make mountain lions anyway?"
- One of the most important things that a horse can offer is unconditional acceptance. Horses have a way of being present with us in way that no verbal interaction can touch. There is a healing that can take place just by being in the presence of a horse.
YOU CAN ALSO
Read more about the New Diagnostic Criteria for PTSD to be Released: DSM-5.
In 2000, the American Psychiatric Association revised the PTSD diagnostic criteria in the fourth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR)(1). The diagnostic criteria (A-F) are specified below.
Diagnostic criteria for PTSD include a history of exposure to a traumatic event meeting two criteria and symptoms from each of three symptom clusters: intrusive recollections, avoidant/numbing symptoms, and hyper-arousal symptoms. A fifth criterion concerns duration of symptoms and a sixth assesses functioning.
Criterion A: stressor
The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following have been present:
- The person has experienced, witnessed, or been confronted with an event or events that involve actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of oneself or others.
- The person's response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Note: in children, it may be expressed instead by disorganized or agitated behavior.
Criterion B: intrusive recollection
The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in at least one of the following ways:
- Recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts, or perceptions. Note: in young children, repetitive play may occur in which themes or aspects of the trauma are expressed.
- Recurrent distressing dreams of the event. Note: in children, there may be frightening dreams without recognizable content
- Acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (includes a sense of reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and dissociative flashback episodes,including those that occur upon awakening or when intoxicated). Note: in children, trauma-specific reenactment may occur.
- Intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.
- Physiologic reactivity upon exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event
Criterion C: avoidant/numbing
Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness (not present before the trauma), as indicated by at least three of the following:
- Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma
- Efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the trauma
- Inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma
- Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities
- Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others
- Restricted range of affect (e.g., unable to have loving feelings)
- Sense of foreshortened future (e.g., does not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span)
Criterion D: hyper-arousal
Persistent symptoms of increasing arousal (not present before the trauma), indicated by at least two of the following:
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Irritability or outbursts of anger
- Difficulty concentrating
- Exaggerated startle response
Criterion E: duration
Duration of the disturbance (symptoms in B, C, and D) is more than one month.
Criterion F: functional significance
The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
Acute: if duration of symptoms is less than three months
Chronic: if duration of symptoms is three months or more
With or Without delay onset: Onset of symptoms at least six months after the stressor
American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (Revised 4th ed.). Washington, DC: Aut
Trauma and Loss
Trauma is the unique individual experience of an event or enduring conditions in which the individual's ability to integrate his/her emotional experience is overwhelmed and the individual experiences (either objectively or subjectively) a threat to his/her life, bodily integrity, or that of a caregiver or family (Saakvitne, K. et al, 2000).
Trauma Has Many Forms
Trauma comes in many forms. Physical and sexual abuse are often accompanied by emotional abuse. Long after the physical scars heal, the emotional wounds can still be affecting the quality of your life. Trauma doesn't have to be associated with physical or sexual abuse. You can feel the effects from trauma from neglect, bullying, and life losses as well as natural and man-made disasters or conflicts.
Whatever the root of the trauma, the process is to look at the issue and integrate it into our life, and reduce the emotional charge around it. Both EFL (Equine Facilitated Learning) and HMR (Holographic Memory Resolution) are effective tools that you will have access to in the process of working with your trauma and loss.
“Stress is the body’s reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental, or emotional adjustment or response.
Stress can come from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, nervous, or anxious” (From about.com, glossary: stress).
We don’t normally think of stress as a good thing, although stress is a contributing factor to just about every accomplishment that we make. Stress becomes a problem when it disrupts our lives and we don’t get offsetting times of rest, rejuvenation, and relief from stress.
People, employers, family, friends may have expectations of us that cause an enormous amount of energy to meet. In this economy, many are facing the stress of losing their jobs, homes, or not making enough to pay bills. There are other stressors that arise from medical problems, aging, divorce, or maybe just fitting in. Learn how to cope with these stressors in a way that helps you to rejuvenate your life.
The Big Questions
Often times we feel stagnant in our lives. Other times we have that feeling of an open ache or yearning that isn’t filled by material things or activities.
- What is the meaning of life?
- How do I define myself in this life?
- How do I find peace in a world filled with violence, stress and strife?
- How do I deepen my consciousness?
- How do I learn to communicate with people on a deeper level?
These are just a few of the existential questions that are a normal part of our human experience and desire for growth and understanding. We explore dreams, do guided meditations, journey rides and other forms of experiences that open the doorway for greater personal and spiritual understanding.
Work and Career Issues
Categories of Work
We can categorize work into several categories. A job is what we get when we need money to get by. It doesn’t really fulfill us, but it is often a means to a different end.
A Job is something we do just to get by - provides money, but lacks personal or professional gratification
A career is what you study or strive for, and is often how we define ourselves, especially within the working world. In a career, you have goals of advancement, promotion and prestige.
A vocation is an occupation that you feel specifically drawn to, resulting in sense of fulfillment even if the pay is not great or the conditions are difficult.
Finding the Fit
Many people struggle with the process of finding the right job fit for them. The job is depressing, but the pay or prestige may keep them in that role. Or, you may be struggling because you lost that job that was so necessary for your financial or social well being. We can explore these issues and set you on a path to find the best fit for you.
Talking to someone about personal issues can be different for men. You might be looking for support with anger, depression, PTSD, trauma, relationship issues, or just gaining a deeper insight into yourself.
You want the ability to talk with someone who can identify with your unique challenges and situations. Laurel is able to provide an environment where your issues can be examined, helping you to find your own unique solutions.
That Killer Rain Coat
Some horses are just sure that the rain coat you want to put on is going to kill them - or, it might be the shadow of the trees, or the unexpected bicycle, car, noise, or other cryptic things that our human sight or hearing just doesn't register.
Spooky is Dangerous
Regardless of the cause, a spooky horse can be dangerous. I work with the horse to help them "de-escalate" from a the spooky in a horses life.
Creating Safe & Solid Riding Skills
Many kids & people start with horses with the goal of performing in an event or show or to follow a particular discipline, for example, barrel racing, dressage, or jumping. Many times, basic horse riding or safety skills are not taught.
- When you feel that tight know it your stomach, are you told to ignore it and ride through it?
- When do you need to listen to your body?
- Do you know how to listen and respond to your horse?
- How do you form a true partnership with your horse, and how does this affect your ability to enter the performance arena or events?
I work with the horses to help them develop communication with a rider on their back. Horses learn to move forward, backward, sideways, and other foundation movements with minimal communication from the human.
Horses learn to stand for mounting and dismounting, to respond to a "soft feel", and how to listen to their human's request for changes in speed and direction.
Would you like your horse to back up with a hand signal? How about walking with you and not pulling on the lead rope - or better yet, walking with you even if there is no lead rope?
Learn how to use different techniques from the ground to help calm your horse when their energy goes up and you don't know how to help them, or you don't feel safe.
Establishing foundation ground training is a combination of mutual respect and learning the horses' language. Good communication on the ground results in better performance on their backs.
Horse Won't Load
Do you stay home while your friends go on trail rides, shows or other activities because your horse won't load? Or do you just plan to start loading 4 hours before the event because you know there is going to be a fight?
Best Place To Be
What would you give to point the horse's nose in the trailer, throw the rope over his back, and watch him walk right in? Trailer loading is based on good foundation ground skills, communication and trust. Using this philosophy, we can work together to foster an attitude that the trailer is the best place that your horse can think of to be!
Trail rides provide an outlet for your horse and helps you to connect with nature as well. A good trail ride can lift the heaviest weight from your shoulders, if for only an hour or two.
Safe on the Trail
Yet, not all horses are safe on the trail. I provide training that helps the horse develop their trail savvy and confidence using techniques that stem from foundation ground work and foundation riding skills. I work with the rider to help them develop safety and confidence on the trail.