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are saying about The Mirror Effect?
“An excellent read! Karina is one hell of
a story teller!”
R.C. – New Hampshire
“I want to read it again! I couldn’t put it down!”
P.A. – Idaho
“This book has changed my life. I have a new perspective.”
A.B – California
“I am completely refreshed. What you have written has renewed
B.C. – North Carolina
“Wow! There are so many things I identified with in this book!”
H.J. – Texas
“The lessons in this book truly helped me to understand how to
reach my goals. It really is enlightening.”
P.T. – Wisconsin
“This book is about
intuition and timing, not recipes and drills. Truly
enlightening. Takes me back to when I was young and carefree
with my horse.” - J.P. - Washington
“You don’t go through a deep personal
transformation without some kind of dark night of the soul.”
Looking up I could see the clear, vast blue
sky canvassing the horizon in only the way that perfect weather
can. It was clear and limitless, the omen of a perfect day.
Then blinking I heard the click, click, click of a revolver
being cocked. Turning, I saw standing not ten feet in front of
me a disheveled man his eyes wide and wild and in his trembling
outstretched arm he held a pistol aimed at my head. The end of
the barrel from my vantage point loomed large and ominous and
looking down the barrel, I imagined that this is what death must
look like. Black and dark and violent. In a split second I
knew I was going to die. In my head I heard a warning to run
but my body wouldn’t respond. My legs felt like concrete and I
could hear my heart pounding like a jackhammer.
“Bitch!” I heard the man say and then a string
of other words followed but I couldn’t hear what he was saying
above the thump, thump, thumping of my heart. His shouted
profanity sounded like gibberish and even if he had not been
holding a gun to my head I would have known something was not
right with him. His eyes burned wild and bright, lit by a
There was no time for me to react. This was
all happening so fast! I did not want to but I stood riveted,
paralyzed by fear. I noticed his knuckles turn white as his
grip tightened around the gun and waited for the gun to
explode. Suddenly my body began to tremble uncontrollably and
the movement frightened me. I wanted to be still. Still, like
a rabbit hunched motionless in a thicket.
Then, the gun barked flames and the bullet
exploded from the barrel.
In that split second I wanted to scream but no
sound would come. I wanted to run, but my feet would not move. I
had never seen this man before. He had appeared seemingly from
The force of the bullet slicing past my right
temple sent a whoosh of air, raising the hair on the side of my
head, the clap of the gun’s report crashing into my ear drum.
Another explosion and in a split second the day turned to night,
sparklers of light bursting before my eyes. Then, it was over. A
senseless act of violence that would change my life forever. At the
last I remember the smell of the earth coming up to meet me as my
body fell, its scent fresh and autumn-sweet from the decomposition
of the cottonwood leaves and pine needles.
In the darkness that followed was a sense that I
had been born a thousand years ago and I had lived a thousand
years. With that sensation came a rapid stream of hyper-lucid
thoughts. And an awareness that I was meant for something
I was not conscious when this reality struck. Yet I
had an intense awareness of all that I am and was to become. With
this came a vision. I saw horses, dozens of them. The images
moving through my consciousness like ghosts in the night, startling,
vivid, and haunting.
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moods, the whole scale of our inner experience, finds in nature the
-“correspondences” through which we may know our boundless
Horses have personalities. They are as unique as we are.
They have emotions. They think. They reason on their own level. They
communicate. They love. They mourn. They are every bit as alive as
we are. They love life and they don’t like to think that they’re
going to die.
Horses don’t like thinking they aren’t cared for and they don’t like
being hit, pushed, frightened, or neglected. They like good food,
appreciate good care, and they recognize right from wrong.
Especially in their own herd groups.
In our herd, we have 5 mares in one large pasture. One of the mares
is a young draft cross with mischief written all over her. Moxie
(she lives up to her name) regularly swaggers around invading the
space of others. She leads the same way. Put a lead rope on her and
she’ll swing her head in toward you, bump you with her nose, and
push you with her shoulder, all at the same time. Put her in a stall
and she’ll try to bully past. Correct her and she’ll swing her hind
end and fire, and then swing the other way and fire with a different
leg. That’s just after she paws at you with her front hoof.
Moxie came to us a reject from a prominent clinician who tried to
start her in front of a crowd of people and failed. She made a
mockery of him and his inclination was to put her in the ground. It
was a caring citizen that informed the owner that perhaps she might
consider sending Moxie to us for training. She did more than that.
At the end of her rope, her owner made arrangements for Moxie to
arrive by trailer to our facility with a permanent reservation.
Moxie isn’t mean. She isn’t even dangerous. She’s just a hoodlum kid
that has a lot of energy and way too much intelligence for her own
good. In the near future she’ll have a full time job. Once she does,
we know the behaviors she has now will likely dissipate. Most of the
time, we don’t reprimand her, unless she gets way out of line. What
we do is let the older mares do our disciplining for us.
Read about Moxie and her new home:
Image 1 and
Beauty is our lead mare and she is all about business in a mature
and noble way. She’s a strength to the herd because she’s strong,
sensible and she’s benevolent. Her manners both in and out of the
herd are impeccable. Two days in pasture with Beauty as her
babysitter and our little beast became a princess. Horses never
compromise when they draw the line and they are infinitely patient
when they are ignoring bad behavior. They know about respect and
they know how to command it. Beauty has been a wonderful role model
for Moxie. They eat from the same hay pile and rotate around the
pasture together. Moxie emulates Beauty because Beauty commands
respect. And at the end of the day, Moxie’s behaviors are an effort
to gain a better position in the herd anyway. Moxie’s energetic
display is representative of a young horse that just wants to be
somebody in the herd and in the lives of her humans. She isn’t going
to modify those behaviors around people unless one of two things
1. She is disciplined into a state that isn’t natural to her.
2. She is allowed to mature while expressing herself in a way that
is healthy and appropriate.
We’ve noticed that Moxie’s behavior de-escalates when we spend
quality time with her. It isn’t just that the time begins to hone
her as a responsible horse. It is more than that. Not long ago we
observed that Moxie was routinely tipping over her water bucket in
the stall. We’d fill the bucket, place it on its hook and she’d dump
it over. Over and over again. When one of us entered the stall,
she’d softly snuffle, confident about standing in the very spot
needed to access the bucket. Instead of reprimanding her, we noticed
she was trying to get our attention. It was important to her that we
notice her, spend time with her, and acknowledge her. While Moxie
was very demonstrative about this display, ALL horses crave these
things. Just like people.
For me, I found my own brand of Kris Karr, Jack
Canfield, and Tony Robbins optimism in a little hinny (the resulting
offspring of a mating between a stallion and a female jack ass) named
Jenny was given to an older couple who had been looking for a donkey to
have as a pet. They had chickens and had heard that a donkey can make a
good guardian. Jenny wasn’t a donkey but she looked the part with her
mouse brown fur and dark dorsal stripe.
Jenny stayed with Joe and Mary for about a week before she escaped to
run wild around their farm and neighborhood. Her freedom probably
wouldn’t have been an issue if a local neighbor hadn’t taken exception
to Jenny creeping around their property. Shy by nature, Jenny darted in
and out of the woods at will, refusing to let anyone catch her.
As news of the wayward donkey spread, trainers, veterinarians, police,
and ordinary citizens joined the effort to try and catch Jenny. The town
government became involved after several complaints against Jenny
running free were lodged due to the fact Jenny was running free on a
Her worried owner tried tranquilizing Jenny by slipping them into her
feed but this was to no avail. Jenny simply ran back into the woods to
sleep off her stupor in the peace of a thicket. Locals chased her on
four wheelers and she was shot twice with tranquilizing darts. One man,
experienced with the long-eared variety of equines tried to lure Jenny
with another donkey but none of this had an effect on Jenny. Finally, it
was decided that Jenny might need to be shot and euthanized as her
wanderings had become a spectacle. Newspapers printed her story and
implored anyone who could to help to do so before Jenny met her fate at
the end of bullet. That is when I heard about the story and intrigued, I
contacted the owners to schedule an appointment to meet with them.
My first meeting with Joe and Mary was one I will never forget. The
dearest couple, they were distraught over the thought that Jenny’s life
was being threatened by law enforcement that saw Jenny as a liability.
They recognized the severity of the situation, but felt they had tried
everything to lure Jenny back to safety. They tried putting food out for
Jenny but she would not come in to eat unless the food was in the open.
Any whiff of capture and she would disappear back into the woods like a
ghost in the night.
In Maine’s best weather the woods can be daunting with thick underbrush
and wet swamps. But Jenny had escaped during the dead of winter. Not
only was it bitter cold, a foot of fresh snow lay on the ground. Jenny
took to the harsh environment like a duck to water. Browsers by nature,
Jenny reveled in taking long naps deep in the woods where the worst of
the wind and snow never reached her. She stripped brush of bark and
pawed through the snow to eat the frozen grass underneath. Jenny saw no
reason to live as a captive. She was free.
The first day I had contact with Jenny I watched as she peeked over the
snow banks and faded in and out of the forest like a summer shadow on
the snow. Jenny had gotten wise to what people wanted from her and she
didn’t have any plans of getting caught. She’d slip in to eat during the
night or early in the morning and disappear back into the woods during
the day. One morning when I arrived early to study Jenny’s patterns, I
surprised her. She was having her breakfast of day old bread, corn and
some sweet feed Joe had left out for her. She darted for the woods
wasting no time on pleasantries. Freedom was far more important to her
Over eleven days I followed Jenny on her rounds through the back woods
of Maine sometimes making brief amounts of contact with her. She was an
amazing creature. She wandered the woods perfectly adapted to Maine’s
Our time alone in the forest gave me time to think. I admired Jenny.
Watching her, she was aware I was there but completely uninterested in
getting to know me. She was an independent soul, happy to be herself.
She didn’t crave being near humans. She liked the food they left for
her, but she was just as content to eat frozen branches.
On the fourth day of our odyssey a snow storm rolled in and although I
knew Jenny was perfectly capable of taking care of herself I grew
worried. Trudging into the forest I saw where Jenny had made her way to
the edge of woods only to turn around when the snow had gotten too deep
for her to walk. Trailing her was easy with the new snow but hard work
as I pumped my legs through the deep snow. Then, just in front of me I
saw Jenny. She was standing with her head down, her rear facing me. The
snow muffled my movements so I was able to observe her for some time
before she knew I was there.
It was peaceful there in the forest. Watching her I wished I could be
her. Her coat, downy and thick kept her perfectly insulated against the
cold weather. Even in layers I was shivering. Her health was excellent
due to the fact that her diet of the past four months had been
completely natural save for the bread and corn scraps Joe and Mary left
out for her. Her belly was round and fat.
Sitting there I coughed unexpectedly. The cold air and physical exertion
had made my throat dry. Jenny heard me and popped up her head. She spun
and looked me straight in the eye. She was so beautiful.
I wanted to bring Jenny home to safety for Joe and Mary because I
couldn’t stand the thought of her being shot, but at that moment I
desperately wished that I could just turn around and leave. Captivity
was no place for her.
Jenny reminded me of how necessary it is to take time to just breathe
once in awhile. There is an importance of getting in touch with who you
are. Reflecting and meditating, allowing thoughts to slow and become
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