Category Archives: Expect the Unexpected

3 Essential Lessons On How To Be An Improving Human; Taught To Me By Serenity, The Horse

In the beginning of last year’s Year of the Horse :), I leased a superb horse named Serenity. I posted this on my blog site at that time and wanted to repost here because it so aptly captures the beginning of The Novice Horsewoman’s life lessons 🙂

Christine Hendler's Blog

Lesson Number One: Release your over-cleanliness issues, germ-o-phobia, vanity and more-than-slightly-compulsive neatness!

I had ridden horses a lot in my life but never with any knowledge or instruction. Galloping and hanging on for dear life on a beach in Punta Cana seemed fine with me. After all, the water and sand would break my fall ;). But as I approach a retreat in Wyoming titled, Literature and the Landscape of theHorse, during which we will not only be writing, learning about the history of humans and horses and enjoying renewal; we will also be assigned to a horse all day for five days as part of the experience. Since I am generally a shy and embarrassed person, I didn’t want to spend those five days in the agony of my embarrassment at horse ignorance, so I asked a friend and yoga teacher who is “mommy” to a superb horse…

View original post 1,523 more words

The Confessions Begin!


One’s life can turn on a dime!  I had thought I would sing opera and teach voice forever.  That is until, one day, I realized that I was dreading each job I sang, that I was not enjoying music, that I might actually NOT be an opera singer the rest of my life!  I was blessed that one of the last times I sang in public was a benefit concert of The Liebeslieder Waltzs by Johannes Brahms, one of my all time favorite pieces.  The solos were satisfying and the quartet with four hands piano was electrifying.  That and being able to wear a gorgeous evening gown, one more time, was a wonderful note on which to end 🙂 (yes, pun intended)

I moved, took a job, that while gratifying, was not my life passion and just….waited.  Everyone kept asking me, “What are you going to do next?”.  They kept asking and asking and asking.  All I could answer was, “I have NO idea.”

Then, completely unexpectedly, I was watching television and a show came on where this group in New Mexico had a program that paired horses with PTSD war vets.  I was mesmerized.  I was sobbing at the stories and pictures being told and shown.  Like a bolt of lightening, I knew!    I didn’t know the “what”s, “where”s or “hows”. But I knew I would be destined to work like this in some capacity. I was being “called” to go on this path.

Only one problem, other than childhood/ young adult horseback rides and fearless gallops :), I knew NOTHING about horses other than I thought they were glorious creatures.  I certainly knew not much about war vets, other than through the organizations where I had volunteered and contributed.  But I had a feeling things would unroll piece by piece.

Now, two years, almost to the day, after that first “lightening strike”, I am on the path with both feet and not only 4 but 8 hooves!  This blog will attempt to chronicle the beginning and the current adventures on the path.

So many books are written about horsemanship.  I’ve read hundreds at this point.  What was lacking for me is knowing what it feels like to become a horsewoman without having grown up around horses or ridden horses regularly since childhood.  Sometimes these books have caused me to think or feel that I’ll just never catch on or catch up!

My hope with this blog is that others in my situation will find comfort and edification reading the myriad of new experiences (as stated: the good, bad and the silly 🙂 that the novice horsewoman or man enjoys!