Icelandic Horses in Vermont

10-11-2021: I’m on my way to meet some Icelandic horses. Their ‘owner’, Rachel Hochman has reviewed my book, Coherent Horsemanship: Combining the Quantum and the Classical, and since winning an award for Excellence in Equine Media announced by American Horse Publications in September (2021), has invited me to interact with her horses, and maybe ride if there’s time.

Icelandic horses are ‘gaited’, meaning they can travel in a way that might – to some – be unusual. While they have the walk, trot and canter we’re all familiar with, sometimes a pace… Rachel tells me that, “You have not lived until you have tölted!!!!!”, the gait Icelandic Horses are famous for. For you Dressage folks out there, the following video has some SPECTACULAR footage of extended trot, but that tölt is IMPRESSIVE. It’s easy to see why it evolved. The tölt is a very fast, balanced gait producing minimal ‘air’ time. This provides more stability on challenging terrain, allows for sudden changes in direction with more safety, and has lower ‘impact’ on the body of the horse…


As I travel to Vermont, I recite a silent meditation. The exact words are different every time, but my intention remains the same:

I ask that this time with horses and people be blessed with joy, comfort and ease.

As I interact with the horses, I ask that deep inner knowing and communication flow without limit. I ask my body, my mind and my higher self to attune to the horses and to allow the horses to communicate clearly and confidently.

I ask for the deepest connection possible, and I ask for the highest and best guidance for the highest and best for all present.

Rachel Hochman receives me with elegance and graciousness. I feel warmth and intellect reaching out to meet my gratitude and enthusiasm. We walk toward the pasture/paddock where two of her three horses are grazing contentedly, and one, David (pronounced Dah-veed’) is peacefully lying down in the cool grass.

Their group energy is clearly vibrant. I can feel it from quite a distance, and it is clarified as we enter their space. These horses live in a semi-feral state within their luscious ‘Green Mountain’ environment. They are kissed by the all the vibrational and healing colors from sunrise to sunset, by raindrops and breezes, along with the stars and moon at night. They have beautiful, ample shelter for relief when they want or need it.

This is a supportive, nourishing oasis bordered and surrounded by mature woodlands, with whisperings of deep Love and balance in all its tangible and intangible forms; from soil to plants to insects to animals, including the boundless blue sky with a few wispy clouds traveling leisurely from one horizon to the other…

I feel ‘water’ everywhere; deep beneath my feet its energy rises to greet me, and as I turn, I see a lovely farm pond where wild turkeys are foraging and refreshing themselves.

I gently reach out and concentrate on my spine and ask for alignment and fluidity. I bring awareness to my feet and ankles, and ask that anything that concerns me personally, whether it has to do with this moment or not, to flow into the ground. I ask to be completely ‘empty’ of beliefs, attitudes, preconceptions, trapped emotion, new emotion, ideas and thoughts, tasks or to-do lists no matter where they come from, so that I can flow more beautifully in this moment with the horses. I think of ocean waves coming ashore and the ceaseless ebb and flow of natural communication. It’s the gift horses give whether I’m standing next to them in silence, or working with them some way from the ground or on their backs. There’s tremendous ‘heart’, and a lot of movement.

One of the horses, Jör, approaches. He’s curious but cautious. This is a wonderful sign; caution instead of suspicion… caution instead of fear. I feel as if he has this ‘me, me, me’ thing churning inside, though. I learn more about his life experience. He’s relatively new here, and his previous experience was unsettled by many changes of ownership and residences… many inconsistencies and hard circumstances…

It’s important to feel what the horses are feeling, not only as group, but as individuals. Just as importantly, it’s important to feel how they relate to ‘home’. There are many things in which they have no choice; things that concern and effect them constantly and at times poignantly. Deep connections with earth and herd ARE the foundation for horses. These elements are even more important than genetics, heredity and temporary activities, because this environmental energy that is ‘home’, is what they depend on for support, balancing, compassion, companionship, healing and Peace. “Home” is a presence that is amplified and consistently repeated. It effects the horse on many levels; emotionally, mentally, psychically, and physically down through the cellular and subatomic levels. The dominant Home energy can activate or de-activate existing cellular coding by what is referred to as epigenetic influences.

I refer to these elements – Home Energy – as ‘the foundation factors’.

As I’m talking with Rachel and integrating these ‘metrics’, Jör approaches. He delivers his head to Rachel, parking his body directly in front of me. I put my hands on the friendship spot, a place where the neck merges so gracefully with the shoulder, and let them rest there. Energy flows like a swift river and disperses itself according to Universal wisdom, streaming effortlessly into and with Jör’s ‘local’ and ‘non local’ wisdom. This process produces a distinct warmth and tingling in my palms and fingers. Whatever is happening and how it is happening, I feel, is ‘their business’. I facilitate, and at this point, his body seems to want energy in his lower back; the lumbar region in front of the sacro-iliac joint. It is more pronounced on the right side, and covers a large area. It could be where he holds his tension, and where toxins have been stored in tissues over the years. As I’m working with him, I feel like massage may help, along with loads of stretching work either from the ground or under saddle.

He enjoyed the work and relaxed throughout. I feel sure this ‘non-demanding’ time was good for him… another positive experience he can assimilate. One that respects him as an individual, and one where he didn’t have to ‘do’ anything to be appreciated, accepted or validated.

Sometimes pictures or feelings enter the session and I’m aware. In Jör’s case, he came to me in a dream that night. I ‘knew’ it was him, but this vision didn’t look at all like his embodied form. He was very upheaded and not only a bright white, but a bright glowing white. He was noble and stunning… but dampened by these ‘restraints’ he wanted to show me. In the dream the restraints were leather straps about two inches wide and perhaps 1/4” thick. They were embellished by red rope or material of some sort. One wrapped around his girth like a surcingle, but without any buckles for more comfortable adjustment. The other, attached to the first, wrapped around the front of his chest, pressuring the base of his esophagus/trachea.

There seemed to be suppressed emotion; perhaps anger, perhaps frustration, perhaps fear from broken connections. It altered and complicated his ‘natural’ world view, forcing him to adopt a view based on traumatic and confusing experiences. It was an unjust place that didn’t make any sense at all, a place where the trust he was so desperate for, hadn’t flowed freely and naturally. In a sense, he ‘had to become selfish’, in order to fulfill his emotional and physical needs. He had to provide his own safety the only way he could, not knowing when the world would be compassionate without question… not knowing when the world would be a place he could trust; not knowing if he would ever feel the security that comes only from Love, Compassion and Community, in every Moment…

These symbolic restraints went all the way around his heart and heart chakra, and also blocked the ‘high heart’ area, which can, if you put pressure on the area between your own collar bones, makes you feel trouble swallowing, and alters your voice.

Interpretations may sound like this: stifled compassion or love for others, stifled ‘breathing room’, stifled expression, trouble processing accumulated injustices…

Without those restraints, he seemed like a jovial creature with quite a sense of humor! I could see it in his eyes!

Help in releasing these stored traumas would give him the freedom to thrive in ALL of his relationships:

  • His relationship with ‘home’ improves his outlook and has a healing and balancing effect already.
  • His relationship with his people contains the consistent love and harmony that help him ‘believe’ or experience moments of trust. These moments can then accumulate over time. It’s like depositing money in a bank. As long as you deposit more than you withdraw, progress continues to be made and mistakes can be easily forgiven.
  • His pasture mates, David and Gymyr are self ‘Masters’; steadfast, patient, self-reliant and confident. They don’t ‘need’ attention, they kind of greet and go, while Jör is becoming a self apprentice working out his identity issues and getting help from several sources to balance and soothe his emotional, psycho-spiritual and physical traumas…

… and so, as a result, Jör now has a chance to reach toward his creative potential. He is now experiencing a foundation from which he’ll be expressing his talent and personality in ways he can truly understand. He now has the chance to ‘shine’; to feel the pride and ‘nobility’ of who he has always been, and who he wants and needs to be.

Published by Adrienne

Researcher | Author | Illustrator | Equine Energy Technician | Classical Dressage Published work: "Coherent Horsemanship: Combining the Quantum and the Classical" - 2020 AHP Award Winner for Excellence in Equine Media, "Legendary Hearts of Horses" - Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Reviews, EQUUS Film & Arts Fest Official Selection

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