Should horses be paired?

A lovely horse is always an experience.... It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words.  ~Beryl Markham
A lovely horse is always an experience…. It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. ~Beryl Markham

Some of us, while driving down a country road have witnessed a lone horse in its round pen, or in a field. While this is not unusual, the question remains: Should horses have partners?

Because horses are herd animals, loneliness can cause separation anxiety, and emotional distress. Herbal remedies, and essential oils can help to calm stress and anxiety. In addition, Bach flowers can also help with varying emotional states; Bach Flower Remedies for Animals by Helen Graham, is a helpful book to reference. You can also visit our store, for more options in caring for your horse under emotional duress.

If a horse has a preference to pace in a specific area or pattern, the other concern is the wear and tear on their legs and feet. Finally, another malady that the horse may experience due to chronic stress and loneliness is ulcers. Common symptoms can be loss of appetite, poor hair coat, grumpy attitude, and poor weight. Some horses with ulcers have few symptoms except a lousy attitude and a refusal to work!

Many factors come into play when a decision is to be made about pairing up a horse with another horse, a donkey, goat, sheep, etc. Consider the environment of the horse, and until a decision can be made whether to bring a partner into your horse’s life, massage, acupressure, acupuncture, and other types of naturopathic treatments, may also be viable, and helpful solutions, in aiding your horse to cope with loneliness.

RMSAAM would be interested in hearing any of your experiences in dealing with a lonely horse, and any creative solutions that were used to help your horse through lonely times!


Denver Dog

And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.-Khalil Gibran
And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.
-Khalil Gibran

by Sandi Martinez

Let’s face it; life can be full of stuff.  Our lives are packed with things that we’ve done, must be done, and waiting to be done.  We have full and busy lives, but every once in a while, life comes to a stop.  Jobs end, things we’re familiar with are changed forever, sometimes at the drop of a dime.  Mercury Retrograde started yesterday, February, 23rd.  It goes on until March 17th.

This isn’t a lesson in Astrology.  It simply seems to coincide with my story about my dog Samson.  My life changed quickly (late last year), and the rug seemed to be pulled underneath my feet.  At the risk of not sounding cliché, I’ll add that life grabbed a piece of my pant leg, and dragged me along with it.  This being said, my dog Samson, (many RMSAAM students met Samson at some point, and even worked on him during the hands-on portion of the class) has experienced some of that shaky, unsure, and stressful ‘what are we going to do now’, drama.  But through all of the unexpected, comes clarity, and the order that seems to naturally unfold after the storm, so-to-speak.

We get jobs, our lives go on, but along the way, with Samson specifically, he went into shock.  We spent day in and day out together, and now, I’m gone over 11-hours a day, 5 days a week.  On top of it all, with ailing parents, and the need for quiet, Samson is now whining; calling for his mother who happens to be an hour’s drive away – as it turns out, he wasn’t whining for me, he was swimming in the energy that surrounds anxiety, and stress.  However, this new information called for extreme measures.  He now had to become a (temporary) Denver dog.

He lives with my sibling, has a furry friend he plays with, and lays contentedly at the feet of my sister Debbie, when she’s home.  No more whining.  This is an interesting lesson for me and Samson: A happy home truly creates happy hearts.  And how about me?  My separation anxiety from Samson is less than a two-week ordeal, and I continue to hear snoring during the night, and realize, he’s not here.  I hear his pitter-patter paws hit the ground, and look around with delight, but it’s not Samson, but a family member’s dog instead, I pat my bed and invite him to watch a movie with me, but he’s not there.

I’ll be going to pick up my little old man as I call him (he’s about 14-years-old), next weekend!

We here at RMSAAM would love to hear about any similar stories about separation anxiety you’ve encountered with your furry loved one, and how you handled it!

The Three Vital Treasures

A healthy individual will keep all aspects of our being: Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, balanced. (Photo:
A healthy individual will keep all aspects of our being: Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, balanced. (Photo:


by Sandi Martinez

In December of 2012, I successfully completed my Fundamentals of Traditional Chinese Medicine course from RMSAAM! Some of you may remember previous entries in which I was challenged not only in making time to study, but also, the challenge in learning what I was studying. This was not only a comprehensive course, but a fun one – alas, my determination to work through the loneliness of this correspondence course! Once I got past the ‘lonely’ part, I stopped grumbling, and looked for fun and effective ways to study, and absorb the material.

For over 5,000 years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has observed how human conditions are related to nature. Three vital essences, Jing, Qi, and Shen, are said to be life force components that make up the substance and functions of the body and mind. The vital essences or, three vital treasures, are responsible for carrying out every manifestation of our lives. The balance or imbalance of these directly affects the state of our health.

Jing, is considered DNA, genes, and heredity, in the Western world. It is a substantive essence we are born with; the basic material in each cell. Jing’s substance is composed of blood and fluid.

Qi, (pronounced: chee) is known as vital energy, or life force. When this energy is free-flowing and unrestricted, it reflects as a body full of health. This energy flows through meridians. Qi and blood are closely related. It is said, ‘wherever the qi goes, the blood will follow’. In addition fluids (Saliva, tears, joint fluid, lymph, urine, and central nervous system fluids), are also considered one of the vital essences.

Shen, is the spirit and the psyche of the body. It encompasses our emotional well-being, our thoughts, and beliefs. When qi enters the heart meridian, part of it turns to shen. It helps to guide our survival instincts, allowing us to express love, caring, and compassion; keeping our hearts calm.

A healthy individual will keep all aspects of our being: Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, balanced. Emotions can and do affect the physical body.  Our animal friends most certainly are affected in the same way. Extreme anger can adversely affect the liver, causing pain in the rib cage, such as a continuously chained dog, who then constantly barks at passersby. Too much worrying can affect the spleen, (perhaps like a dog that worries about pleasing her human). And finally, too much fear can adversely affect the kidney, such as a cat that is petrified by loud noises, or sudden movements, caused by too many screaming children.

Will I be considering taking the Energy Meridian Pathways course next? You betcha!

References: Four Paws Five Directions, by Cheryl Schwartz, DVM.

It’s Almost Christmas!

A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety. -Aesop, Fables (Image:
A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety. -Aesop, Fables (Image:

by Sandi Martinez

(From a dog’s POV)

“Hey, where you going with that?” Budgey the Beagle asked with eyes wide, mouth hanging wide open.

“None of your business,” replied Hamlet the German Shepherd.

“But… I don’t understand! It’s almost Christmas!” Budgey said; desperation laced her voice.

“Look, who’s gonna notice?” Hamlet looked around one last time.


“No more buts!”  Hamlet positioned his stick with a bundle of kibble bits, and treats over his shoulder.

“Our humans will worry… they love you!”

“Oh really? Look around girl! It’s all bustling around and no attention on us. Open your eyes!”

Suddenly, Tula came around the bend, and rubbed Hamlet’s head, “Hamlet! I promise I’ll play stick with you in a bit! And what’s this?” Tula unraveled the bundle to find the kibbles and treats. Puzzled, she set them on the kitchen table out of reach.

Budgey rolled on the ground with laughter.

“What are you laughing at?” Hamlet shouted.

“You’re such a grouch! Do you really think she’s going to let you go? That she doesn’t know? She’s the smartest human I’ve ever met. Otherwise, she would have passed you by at the animal shelter. You know how it was in there – get hold of yourself man! I know… I was there. She brought us both home with her.”

“Whatever.” Hamlet sank to the ground and sulked.

“What more do you want groucho? Endless amounts of lavish cooing, and wooing? Don’t you see she has other humans who are coming to visit? Don’t you smell the food, Hulloooo?”

“Doesn’t it bug you? She hasn’t even looked at us today.” Hamlet ignored the saucy sarcasm.

“She has petted us more times today than I can remember. What’s eating you, I mean really?” Budgey set her sarcasm aside.

“It’s just… it feels like the other times.” Hamlet let out a sigh, as if he’d been holding in his breath.


“I know she’s here, and talks to us, but I don’t know.”

“It’s not like the other times and you know it. Humans… they’re busy. They have a lot on their plate, unlike us – we eat, sleep, drink, play, and do it all over again, but I don’t think they eat, sleep, drink, and play like us Hamlet.”

“But they could!” Hamlet ran around the kitchen in a frenzy.

“Whoa groucho… what’s getting into you?”

“What if we teach them to slow down?”

“Well, hmm.” Budgey sat and scratched her ear in thought, “how?”

“Watch me…” Hamlet knocked down the stick that partly hung from the kitchen counter. He put it in his mouth and ran toward Tula.

Hamlet made fancy flips, and ran and slid across the oak-wood floor. His tail wagged furiously, and he barked playfully. Tula laughed, and stopped decorating the tree. She ran after him and grabbed the stick and held it up in the air like always.

Budgey came sliding around the corner, and toppled Hamlet over. She rubbed her muzzle against his belly. Tula laughed aloud, the sound reverberated through the living room. “Budgey and Hamlet… this Christmas would not be a good one without you… I love you!” she rubbed their tummies vigorously.

“Now we just need to train her how to eat, sleep, and drink…” Hamlet smiled at Budgey.

“Great… and I really did think the name ‘Groucho’, was fitting…”

Merry Christmas!

From RMSAAM staff!

Buzz Words

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. – T. S. Eliot (Image:
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. – T. S. Eliot (Image:

by Sandi Martinez

The feeling never changes, but the presentation always does. A longing, a twist and turn of synchronicities, a nudge that comes from nowhere and everywhere, that leads to the same notion; idea. And each time, the buzz word, fear rears its head against that idea.

Each time the ‘impossible dream’ comes riding around, it goes right back from whence it came. The dream is here, it is now; it is you as you picture yourself doing what you love the most. As you run your hands down the powerful, solid muscles of a horse – the intention of love and pure energy working its way to those sore muscles. Each time you picture yourself massaging an animal, they reap the benefits of your love, the light you send, and receive. A wholeness, and the feeling of coming ‘home’ to yourself is no doubt the result of choosing such a rewarding career as an Animal Practitioner.

This is the heart-felt notion/idea of your dream and your passion, yet reality once again, the other buzz word, makes a come-back, the center of a never-ending circle, and the other word, ‘impossible’, makes that familiar, realistic, music in your ears. What do to do with such redundant, dull, and yet strangely comforting sounds?

Risk is a double-edge sword. One side speaks of unspeakable actions, and the unknown factors of doing something new; the other side is the risk of doing nothing – waking  up one day and asking ‘what if’? What if this question is asked when it’s too late to take the other risk? The one where fear lives?

What if there are too many ‘If’s’? As spirits living in physical bodies, our hearts are married to our souls; isn’t that the ultimate perfection of making a decision that ultimately leads back to oneself, the true self? It may be easy to say: Just do it. When the heart and mind find a solution, the possibilities are endless. But what makes that possible, is the determination to walk down the path that brings immense happiness, the belief that it is possible to be incredibly happy doing something you love.

And the path? Perhaps over time weeds and thick brush covered it. It’s a bit hard to see, but the outline of a road exists. The machete sits on the side of the road where it is easily seen, and the question arises once again, what if? Fear, Unrealistic, Impossible, Risk, the buzz words corner and freeze ideas, passion, and possibilities. The choices are simple, yet undeniably complicated: Do it, or don’t. Like the fool that rests his/her stick with a small bundle  of belongings hanging over their shoulder, set out on their way a cliff underfoot, a dog barking a warning… what if, a two-foot drop existed, and not the drastic fall that is presumably predicted?

RMSAAM would love to hear your stories on risk; was it worth it?


Plant the seed

“To see things in the seed, that is genius.” - Lao Tzu (Chinese taoist Philosopher, founder of Taoism, wrote "Tao Te Ching". (
“To see things in the seed, that is genius.” – Lao Tzu (Chinese Taoist Philosopher, founder of Taoism, wrote “Tao Te Ching”. (

by Sandi Martinez

The morning starts with a start – literally. Our hearts beat and move to the cyclical rhythms of our bodies, and nature. It’s natural to begin the day with a list of our priorities. As an Animal Practitioner, there are different ‘tunes’ that the body dances to. Awareness is captured not in bits and pieces, but rather a blank music sheet, in which notes were already created during the sleep cycle.

Brainwave maps of frequencies actually measure mind expansion, and the opportunity to experience a person’s awareness rising into higher states. “Music is the bridge to conscious awareness, self-healing, celestial attunement and the Creative Forces,” words of wisdom uttered by Edgar Cayce.

Biofeedback research has shown how brainwaves react, change, and reach higher vibrational frequencies, through meditation, chanting, heart-felt singing, guided self-discovery meditations, and the actual act of a massage/other naturopathic modalities performed on a human, or animal.

The fact of the matter is, the more relaxed, and open to peace, harmony, and living in the here and now, the practitioner is more apt to successfully positively influence those around them. And though realistically we live in a fast-paced world, one filled with competition, chaos, and a never-ending speed of change, it’s not easy to strike a balance.

It is a practitioner’s role, to plant a seed of self-recuperative abilities; thus encouraging their clients/patients to see the opportunity of being the Buddha in their own life, therefore witnessing mutual vibrational energies interact. Be it a broken human or animal; the need to feel safe, at peace and above everything else, to see the light at the end of the tunnel is paramount.

As an Animal/Human Practitioner, what do you do to take care of yourself? What are the first notes of music played as you start your day, and what instruments will you use to tune yourself, thereby creating the beneficial music that your client/patient needs to hear, and aids in our own recuperative capabilities?

RMSAAM encourages you to share your thoughts on brainwave activity, the immediate results of your massage sessions with animals or humans, and how you apply vibrational energies in your daily life.

The Catalyst

Painful as it may be, a significant emotional event can be the catalyst for choosing a direction that serves us – and those around us – more effectively. Look for the learning. ~Louisa May Alcott (Image:

by Sandi Martinez

‘Catalyst’ as defined in the Free Dictionary has two different meanings: 1. Chemistry A substance, usually used in small amounts relative to the reactants, that modifies and increases the rate of a reaction without being consumed in the process.  2. One that precipitates a process or event, especially without being involved in or changed by the consequences.

I would like to focus on definition # 2.  I’m finding that healers encounter highly spiritual events that may change them physiologically; in contrast, # 1 focuses on actual substance reactants.

We don’t have to go very far though to prove this point, or even verify if it has any truth.  If you are a healer and you are reading this, you’ll find that if you look back at moments of the magic that happens when you’ve massaged, used Reiki, or Acupressure on an animal or human, you might have experienced body temperature changes, or other ‘unexplainable’ reactions.  And furthermore, do physiological changes compute to chemical reactions in our bodies, as well those being worked on?

Looking back, my dog Samson was a catalyst for me in 2001.  Those of you whom have attended the Canine Massage courses in Castle Rock, CO, have met my best friend Samson!  I was heart-broken, a bit lost, and basically thrown into a major life-change that I simply wasn’t prepared for – the last thing I needed was to care for another little being – but the universe had a plan.  I needed a loyal friend.  I needed to know what that felt like.  By the same token, Samson, just skin and bones, as well as very frightened and cautious, and had exhibited abused behavior, needed me.  We both became catalysts for each other.  I might challenge definition # 2.  I was totally changed by Samson’s presence in my life, and he in turn was totally changed by my presence in his life.

While my purpose isn’t to challenge the Free Dictionary, we here at RMSAAM would love to hear about your catalytic experiences, or how you plan to use your gifts as a healer to affect positive and long-lasting changes with your gifts.  Because while there is no guarantee that you will not be affected by any of the changes you inspire, can you guarantee the other party won’t be profoundly affected?  And if the other party is profoundly affected, are you ready to take full responsibility for a clearly much-needed healing, within a fellow human being, and our animal counter-parts?  Being a healer is not only an honor; it is a responsibility; are you ready to be a part of this exciting, fulfilling, and life-changing career, as an Animal Massage Practitioner?  We’d love to hear from you!