Company Spotlight: Centaur Trainology


A few years ago while in the Netherlands I met Dr. Menke Steenbergen, a young Dutch veterinarian who was developing a company called Centaur Trainology. As a high level dressage rider and coach, she had been exposed to the research of rein tension, especially with dressage horses. Wanting to focus on preventative health care and equine welfare, she and her team had gone through many prototypes and researched what other companies had investigated, as they developed their own version of a rein tension device (RTD). Through the past several years they have worked out kinks, developed software, and improved the technology. Now they are confident to offer highly reliable, light-weight rein tension devices that wirelessly transmit data to a program on the computer. This has proven to be incredibly useful for riders and trainers, coaches and consultants, veterinarians, and researchers.


Olympic dressage riders like Imke Schellekens Bartels have tested out the system, and happily use it with their own training and coaching. She and others want to know what is actually happening in the horse’s mouth as they train and ride. Veterinarians who work on specific regions of the equine body also find this device useful; from back problems to dental care to lameness to bit fitting. More and more practitioners are looking at the horse as a whole, where the mouth connects to the poll, to the back, to the legs, etc. By understanding what is happening at the mouth, it may be possible to reveal the source of other lamenesses and problems.

Dr. Steenbergen and her team of representatives around the world are eager to promote more conscientious training, riding, and competition practices. She has also written a book entitled Horse Signals: Look, Think, Act available in English that investigates equine behavior by looking at hundreds of tiny signals that give you a more solid idea of how your horse is doing and how you can improve working with them.

For more information on Centaur Trainology, rein tension devices, Dr. Steenbergen, or her book, the website is: or

Written by Callie Rulli, Skylark Animal Bodywork, LLC

Neuroscience: the Basics

Neuroscience…such an intimidating name for the study of the nervous system. There’s the joke that a brain surgeon goes to a party, and after asking each person what their job is says, “Well, it’s not exactly brain surgery!” After thoroughly angering everyone at the party, he is introduced to another guest who works for the space administration. “Ah, I’m a brain surgeon!” he pompously states. The other man cocks his head and replies, “Well, it’s not exactly rocket science is it?”

The nervous system, in simple terms, is how the body communicates with its many parts. The brain, brain stem, spinal cord, and nerves are the general make-up of this complex system. They all work together to keep the body safe and in working order.

There are many types of sensory nerves and neurons that communicate different types of information with the brain: pain, temperature, light levels, smells, flavors, pressure, proprioception, sounds, and more. All of these help keep the body safe and well-informed in space.

Why are these diverse and well-developed sensory pathways important? Some animals have developed very protective exteriors, like shells and calloused skin. Human, dogs, horses, etc. have not, so we all have developed a very sensitive “warning” system. Pretty nifty, right?

The central nervous system (CNS) is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system (PNS) is comprised of all of the nerves and ganglia (cluster of nerve bodies) that lie out in the periphery. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) controls the viscera and involuntary function. The ANS can be divided into two categories: sympathetic and parasympathic. These are how the body responds to external stress—either things are “rest and digest” (parasympathetic), or “fight or flight” (sympathetic).

Those are the basics of neuroscience….stay tuned for more on this incredibly interesting body system!!

By Callie Rulli, Skylark Animal Bodywork, LLC

Welcome to 2013!

2013; equals 6... there are 6 of us sitting here. A coincidence? I think not...
2013; equals 6… there are 6 of us sitting here. A coincidence? I think not…

by Sandi Martinez

So what does ’13 hold for you and your animal companion(s)? Perhaps let’s do something fun and take a gander at your Personal Numerology. I was curious to know what my dog’s personal year is in 2013. This is what I found; but wait – what is Numerology exactly? And is it similar to Astrology?

When looking into your Personal Numerology chart, your ‘personal’ year is the most important aspect to look at in terms of getting a fairly accurate outcome in the challenges/overall picture of your chart – arf, arf, – ah-mm, and your dog I mean!

And how do you get that number? Well in this case, my dog Samson (I count the day he adopted me as his birthday, since he was a stray) is figured by his birth month, April, the day, 6, and then we take the year 2013, which adds up to 6 (2+0+1+3: remember to add double digits as a single number – e.g. 32/5), finally we add: 4+6+6=7; his personal year is a 7.  More often than not, your pet(s) will not have an actual recorded birthdate. In that case, the letters of your dog’s name are assigned numbers.

Samson will appear to be on sabbatical. His intuition will be heightened, and reason/logic will cease to exist. He will have the opportunity to connect to his soul, and do much soul-searching as a result. He will also appear to need more sleep than usual! He may pull away from his loving human (me), and I shouldn’t take that personally… he may have more quizzical looks on his face, as he will tend to take more to philosophical discoveries. It will be a bit like cleaning his inner house (goodness knows webs abound!). He may even be able to take some time off from work for a while, thus the sabbatical. Faith indeed will be something that he will have to find the strength to latch on to, as inner development continues to be the main focus for 2013. Very serious stuff! Ruff, ruff!

Astrology may be considered a science; it traces planets’ placements based on birth dates; specifically month, day, year, and time of birth, which has certain effects and influences in a person’s life cycle. It’s all very complicated, and if you know the exact time of the birth of your animal friend, then by all means, a natal chart might reveal much about your pet! Numerology uses the addition of your pet’s name, with assigned numbers, or the exact birth date (if available), and all the different combinations one can apply to arrive at certain predictions, personality profiles, as well as soul revelations. Both of these forms of study, serve as a ‘peek’ into the cosmos, and perhaps unlock mysteries to events in advance… I’m anxious to find out from Samson what mysteries he’ll unlock in 2013!)

What does 2013 hold for you and your pet? And is it luck, fate, or destiny that decides what you do, or don’t do this brand new year?

Happy New Year, from RMSAAM staff!