Once again September was a very busy month here at “Alchemy Place” with our 4 week module. We had a diverse range of students and horses from all sorts of walks of life and all different levels of experience. While we have a format for each week of the 4 week program the details of what I teach are very much adapted to suit the needs of the horses and people that turn up. People stayed various lengths of time from 1 week to 4 weeks.
Special extras that were offered during the course were Feldenkrais Body Awareness sessions with Kate Bose, Ki Shiatsu treatments with Peter Hons and many of the students watched and or particiapted in some Aikdo (martial arts) classes learning about centering, grounding and how to use energy.
Another great learning opportunity that I can offer here at “Alchemy Place” is the opportunity for people to watch me ride and work with my horses in the mornings before class and students always say that they learn loads from that.
I was lucky to have Issie (Isobel Whiteman) to help out with my horses and the daily running of the place and we were graced with the cheery and ever energetic and smiling Nyrie Glover who caterered for us for the four weeks keeping us well nourished with her Super Foods.
Here are some pics and memories from our course.
Here is what some of the students had to say:-
I was lucky enough to participate in the last week of Mel’s 4 week course this year. There were so many great things and new experiences that I am so glad I made the long drive over from Orange.
Firstly we were a small group but with very wide ranging levels of ability with our horses, I was so impressed with Mel’s ability to manage us all at the level and pace we need to progress at. By the end of the week we had all made huge changes. I am finally starting to feel the softness needed to ride with contact and my liberty understanding is at a whole new level.
Mel offered us a range of new experiences beyond our horsemanship and yet so closely related. I really enjoyed attending the Aikido classes and the Feldenkrais sessions. We also had fun trying out the foot spa detox in the evenings as well as the various seat simulation exercises. I often felt I was getting a little out of my comfort zone but not in a fearful or unpleasant way. If we don’t move outside of what we already know and do we never learn and change, I went with the attitude to try it all and loved every minute.
The venue I had been told was superb and I was not disappointed, waking up in my swag looking up at my horse’s head hanging over the rail asleep above me was amazing. The beautiful valley and magnificent Granite boulders in the changing light through the course of the day were inspiring. The food was always so fresh delicious and plentiful, thanks Nyrie for your efforts.
We were lucky to also have Mel ride or work one of her horses with us which is always so good to watch and learn from. Finding out the stories behind her horses journeys was also inspiring, they are so lucky to have found a home with Mel.
A week went so quickly and I admit to being exhausted by the end, but would I do it again? Oh yes you can be sure I will return to Alchemy Place and soak up some more of the wisdom of Mel at the first available opportunity!!!
I enjoyed the time with you to the utmost and wished it could have been for much longer . You offer quietness and connection and wholeness in your methods and challenged me to be more sensitive, stronger but softer, clearer about my goals and about what I was asking of the horse and more aware of my body, and how it influences and communicates. I loved the comprehensiveness of the experience of the clinic – the bodywork , the consideration of all aspects of the horses’ health and wellbeing and the challenge to the handlers to rise above their own perceived imperfections and work at being better for their horses and for themselves . (Its interesting isn’t it that we can sometimes expect great strength and fitness from our horses without ever expecting it of ourselves – I wonder what our horses think about us coming along “for the ride “) Thank you again Melanie.
I hope to return soon,
I had an amazing ride on Jag yesterday, after he got through his usual anxiety he was so soft I couldn’t believe it. We nearly got to trot in one spot we were so in tune, just the thought. You made me realize how much softer I need to be and how important it is to him and to help him be more emotionally and mentally fit and then it improves his physical fitness. This week with you has given me the biggest leap forward yet. It’s like I have cleaned the lens on my glasses and can see much clearer now. Jag and I thank you from the bottom of our heart, the journey has been life changing. You are amazing. Love u heaps XXX
And some more pics of our amazing learning expereince together.