|I met Mel Fleming 10 years ago when I decided to begin riding again and found I had lost my confidence. I have had the privilege and joy of attending many clinics over this time. I have been to a variety of venues and I always come away with many new skills and astounding amounts of knowledge on so many topics- horsemanship, connecting with my horses on a deeper more spiritual level and a style of riding that seems to become more refined and effortless the more I learn.
The time I have spent at Alchemy Place over these years are some of the most wonderful experiences of my life. Mel, has developed and continues to enhance the learning environment of her home and as a guest / student we are exposed to so many intriguing facets of life and learning including meditation, grounding and centering, bodywork and body awareness, spiritual growth and self-development. Mel has also been studying the martial art of Aikido for some years and the soft strength of this art is so beneficial to the way we ride and the way we live our lives day to day.
Mel has developed her own very unique method, combining learning from many teachers in many disciplines with a lifetime of her own learning. She tell’s us that her horses are her greatest teachers and teaches us how to listen to our horses. She continues to bring new ideas to her teaching – constantly evolving which ensures there is always the joy of learning something new every time we meet.
To spend time at Alchemy Place is to experience Mel at her best and it’s difficult to explain how my time there has influenced me – in one word I would say incredibly ‘positively’. These are not just your typical horsemanship courses. We were given the invitation to sleep beside our horses in our swags under the amazing stars at the foot of the majestic Moonbi Ranges. It is a moving and wonderful experience to wake through the night and see your horse standing asleep or hear the quiet chewing and feel their breath is a gift. It seems at Mel’s that I slow down and become aware – and enjoy- the smallest details of everyday life.
‘The Shed’ otherwise known as the Horseman’s Hotel, is our meeting place where we enjoy the delicious food which is catered to individual tastes and dietary requirements. To come in from a day’s learning to find our nourishing meals prepared is wonderful. The wide and varied conversations around the dinner table seem to flow effortlessly between students, a sharing of life experiences that gives support regardless of backgrounds and age groups. There is much laughter and I have made many lifelong friends in my time at Mel’s. Alchemy Place has an energy which draws people together who are searching for that something “special” with their horsemanship and in my experience it is as if we are old friends from the moment we meet.
An added bonus of visiting Mel’s is the opportunity to watch Mel work with her horses- to see Mel as one with her horses is to witness something very beautiful. I try to hold the image of Mel riding firmly in my mind when I ride at home.
I would recommend to anyone, without hesitation, a trip to Mel’s. You will learn so much about horses, horsemanship, life and who you truly are. Mel will inspire you to take everything you do to higher level.