I've loved horses for as long as I can remember. I was a lucky 9 year old girl growing up in the woods of New Hampshire and had an amazing Chincoteague pony named Penny Wise. She taught me how to ride and jump and was my best friend when my parents got divorced and my brother went away to boarding school.
Though I loved my pony with all of my being, I was taught in the traditional old school mentality of "show 'em who's boss." Use your spurs and your crop and get out your whips and chains when met with resistance.
Seeing the white's of a horse's eye meant they were scared and would likely do something dangerous and so you'd better be prepared and use all the force and dominance or bribery required to get them to "cooperate." Get in the trailer! Go over the jump! Stand still while we clip the hair in your ears or your muzzle or all over your body!
Horses were "bad," "naughty" or even "rank" if they didn't want to be caught or haltered. The bits we put in our horse's mouths could be swapped for more severe designs if our horses didn't listen to us when we pulled on the reins to slow down. My trainer had me ride my pony in a double twisted wire snaffle. I fell off more times than I can remember and landed more than once in the middle of a jump when my pony stopped short at the base instead of going over the obstacle.
I had a long hiatus from riding and returned to horses as a young adult in my early 30's. I picked up right where I left off and bought a gorgeous thoroughbred. One of my instructors liked to say, "Don't go to war without your weapons." After finding myself in familiar situations like not being able to get my horse back into the trailer to go home, and having to use spurs and crops to get through a jump course, I decided this was not how I wanted to be treating these incredible animals that I so loved and revered. Perhaps I was the problem! Finally I decided there had to be a better way.
I wanted to start over with a clean slate. I rescued a PMU foal and was determined to do things differently. I discovered Natural Horsemanship and set out to "start" my filly and not "break" her. I learned that horses are prey and humans are predators. Trust, respect and leadership are essential and can only be earned. My journey toward enlightenment had begun!
I worked with many instructors and clinicians. Read books, listened to tapes, (yes, cassettes!) and watched many videos. Then one day in late 2011, I discovered Anna Twinney and Melisa Pearce. They were co-facilitating a three day retreat called, "From Fear To Love," and offered an evening open to the public in Longmont, Colorado. I lived in nearby Boulder and went with my friend James to get a glimpse of their individual work.
I was captivated by them both. Anna's incorporation of body language, energy and telepathy when engaging with the horses was magic. It was true harmony and partnership like I had never witnessed. The horses were given a voice and were clearly honored in her approach.
Melisa's ability to recognize and bring forth the healing nature of the horses and their gifts of insight, honesty and the power to open us up to our inner wisdom through braving vulnerability and dropping our armor was astounding.
I embarked on both of their certification programs in 2012. I graduated from Melisa's Equine Gestalt Coaching Method program in 2014. And completed Anna's Reach Out To Horses Trainer's program in 2015. Shortly thereafter, my husband Bart and I moved from the mountains of Colorado to a beautiful horse farm on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
Airy Hill Stables in a place where you can come to discover what horses have to share with you! Through their powerful presence and their mastery of living in the present moment, they offer their hearts and their honest reflections - without judgement - of what they see when they look at us. There is so much to gain from time with these amazing beings.
Contact us today to schedule your time with some of our incredible equines.
"Christina's dedication, love and belief in her profession, her horse and me, was contagious and inspiring. She made our session real, she made it fun. Christina and Jade helped me find a simple answer to my challenge. Together we developed ideas that have exponential value and helped me to show up as the very best version of myself." ~ Jaclyn M.
"Christina is such an amazing coach. She made me feel safe enough to open up about something that I have never opened up about to anyone. I feel as though a huge weight has been taken off my shoulders and that this will no longer rule my life. Thank you so much for all of your support." ~Lyndsey S.
"Christina expertly helped me tap into my own wisdom as I negotiated a major life change. As I squirmed and struggled with my inner conflicts, Christina guided me to a solution that felt absolutely right to me. She then helped me create a plan moving me forward from inner strife to inner peace. Thank you Christina for mid-wifing me through this transition! Your patience, humor and steadfast commitment to my highest good made this process both successful and fun!" ~Emily G.
"I have worked with Christina in person at a workshop and also have had Christina as a phone coach. Christina offers a unique gift to the world, to me: her presence. When I am working with her, I feel seen and heard. She offers compassion and wisdom while encouraging me to find what's right for me and my journey. By assisting me in tapping into my own innate wisdom, I have found clarity, focus and forward motion. And healing. Christina has been instrumental in helping me make peace with parts of my past. Parts which had been causing me much pain. I am truly grateful to have such an amazingly powerful personal coach. ~Vicki J.
"Spending time with my horse, Jo, at Christina's Power Of Connection Workshop strengthened my bond with him. The subtle energy I used to connect with Jo during the practice allowed for more room in my heart to listen and love. Thank you Christina for giving us space to remember such profound communication."
"All of the work Tera has done with Christina has given her an amazing and solid foundation. This incredible base will help Tera manage all the challenging facets of her life with strength and the confidence that she can handle whatever she encounters." ~Alice W.
"Christina is a masterful guide who imbues the whole experience with confidence and a warm healing presence. An hour with Christina and the horses and the natural beauty of the land does more for me than a week's vacation. Stress dissolves and I leave happy, open and joyfully alive." ~Marlene Z.
"Christina has helped me so much. My attitude about life has totally changed since working with her. I feel like a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders and I am so much more positive." ~Amy M.
"Christina is nothing short of an amazing coach! Her work with our group of public safety professionals brought our effectiveness as a team to a whole new level. As a licensed mental health professional attached to this specialized unit, I found her coaching insights, skills and abilities to be of superior quality. Christina's synergistic partnership with her horses created a supportive environment where beneficial change happened. For that, we are deeply grateful!" ~Dr. T.
"Christina offers a wealth of experience and knowledge for creating and facilitating equine assisted programs. Our counseling center trains intern psychotherapists and Christina authored an amazing agenda to help our team with self-awareness, holding power, leadership and attunement. It was a pleasure to work with Christina and be in the beautiful setting of her ranch." ~Andrew Rose, LPC, Director, Boulder Emotional Wellness