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October/November 2010

Creating healthy biomechanics and stronger partnerships through combining natural horsemanship principles with the art of dressage... Karen Rohlf

never underestimate the potential for harmony & lightness to improve in ways you cannot yet imagine

Welcome back to the Temenos... Temenos is an ancient Greek word. It refers to a sacred space that has no limits, where special rules apply and extra-ordinary events are free to occur.

“Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.” ~W. Clement Stone

Rider Spot available for the Spring, 2011 10-week Intensive!

This Month • News from 10-week intensive

Upcoming Clinics: Clinic schedule: CLICK HERE

• Video Classroom in full swing

Nov 7 - 12

• Feedback From Students

Temenos fields, Ocala FL

• State of Harmony

6 Days in the Temenos Full closed to auditors

April 3 - June 11, 2011 10 week Intensive Temenos Fields, Ocala FL

The Spring 10-week Intensive was full but, life happens and one recently student needed to withdraw... So there is one spot re-opened for Spring 2011 (April 3-June 11) If you are at all interested, even if you are not sure how you would make it work... please email me right away at: This course has been exceptionally fun and rewarding but I am not positive I will be able to schedule a second one in 2011 so jump on this opportunity! 1

The group in MT

FEEDBACK Karen, This video [ Results in Harmony DVD #6] helped me feel more confident and focused with my horses as we explore and develop each conversation. I can now begin to be more positive conducting individual parts. The orchestral visual demonstration, followed by you talking us through the conversations in real life makes me feel empowered to play with each horse at their ability. I also appreciated seeing what we might be able to accomplish some day! It never occurred to me that one could change the bend with haunches in! I now have a picture that replaces self doubt and lets me be free to be non critical of myself and my horses as we explore this process. Thank you! Brenda L p.s. where can I find the tour dates for the D,N orchestra? "..whoohoo...we've been playing with relaxation BEFORE energy a lot the last few days! had two short plays today and BOTH times when I opened the gate for Jake to go after we had finished playing he wouldn't go..he asked to stay with me in our play paddock...must be doing something right!...Relaxation seems to be our missing link...WE are loving it!!!..thanks so much Karen :0) xx" Debbie C. "Just watched the first one from September. Awesome! So well put together - it really helped me having you playback specific segments so we could watch the horse again, and seeing the principles behind what you were doing come up in text. Super quality! Worth every penny and all your hard work! Karen thanks!" Maxine E Wow! What else is there to say? I just watched the first video of you playing with relaxation and energy with the grey horse and it was simply fabulous. I love that you are able to take what students of Natural Horsemanship


already know and move it to the next level. Your program fills in the gaps left by so many NH programs, specifically biomechanics and more importantly, relaxation, energy and balance. One need not be a dressage enthusiast to see how valuable these concepts are to the well-being of the equine. I am so happy to be a part of the Classroom. I am impressed with the format and I love that you explain what the viewer will be seeing and what to watch for, as well as the moments of explanation and replay along the way. I have long sung your praises and am super-thrilled to be able to do more. I would like to encourage everyone to join the Classroom; the instruction and education is spot-on. Thanks again! Jennifer F Hi Karen, I just wanted to say thank you for that amazing clinic! You have helped me in so many ways.  Most importantly, that it is ok to ask for more, to have a picture of what I want and to stop nagging, and also to think of myself as that biomechanical superhero!  We have already made progress since the clinic.  Now I have her yielding immediately instead of half way around the circle!  I feel the Sweet Spot is coming!

The group in CA

I really loved the clinic and wish you lived in Northern California! I will keep you posted on our progress! Stefanie and Epona

My horse and I have been enjoying experimenting with our energy and balance to find our sweet spot.  It is going really well and my horse is starting to float at times J.  I especially like the exercise of asking for a counter bend before a change of direction to magically maintain our sweet spot through the change.    Thank you so much for your dedication to helping us and our horses! Zuza and Aaghie  P.S.  I canʼt even believe that thatʼs me and my horse, yippee!

copyright 2010, Temenos Fields, Inc Oct/Nov

News From the Temenos

Special Guest: Dr. Gerd Heuschmann We had the wonderful opportunity to have Dr. Gerd Heuschmann as a guest for my 10week Intensive students. Dr. Heuschmann is the author of the book: Tug of War and the DVD: If Horses Could Speak. He is very outspoken against Rollkur and was on the committee to help stop the use of rollkur at competitions.. I found his DVD to be very convincing regarding why it is so important to ride our horses with healthy biomechanics. It is so important to have people out there standing up for the horses that need protecting. His primary message is that one must be a horseman first... To love your horse. Without that, techniques don始t matter. But with that said, there are certain techniques and criteria that must happen in order for the biomechanics to be healthy. He draws upon the wisdom of old masters, finding veterinary support for the principles they laid down. What I got the most out of his lecture was a strong visual of the muscles and skeleton, that now floats more readily in my consciousness while I am riding... Confirming my own strategies and priorities. He came for a one day visit, Interested in seeing what it is we do here in the Temenos! Atomic, Monty and Ovation all demonstrated some different aspects of my philosophy while my ten-week students provided a backdrop of excellent partnership with their horses. In the afternoon he taught the students in a casual environment, giving some practical feedback. I found him to be an open-minded person... A horse-lover for sure with a passion for healthy biomechanics. I highly recommend his book and DVD, and also recommend hearing his seminar on biomechanics if you get the chance.

copyright 2010 temenos fields, inc Oct/Nov


Everybody loves SiMoN! SiMoN, the School Master Noodle for learning lateral work made an appearance at the Parelli Rendezvous in Jacksonville. He has been getting quite a lot of exposure these days, so watch out all you Noodle-keepers, he may start feeling a little full of himself and if you have seen the end of the DVD that comes with him you will know to use all your savvy with him! (The Rendezvous was a great event, by the way... really nice format for getting out in public on your horse) “Thank you” to my spontaneously formed Noodle Quadrille who pranced around the property with me! And since I know you are all practicing out there... If you happen to put together a SiMoN quadrille of your own or maybe just a solo musical freestyle on him... Post it on youtube and let me know! I would love to see it!

The Video Classroom is in its 3rd month now! New November videos are up. ʻThank youʼ to everyone who has written me with your feedback... Especially since it has been so positive! I really enjoy putting the videos together for you. This month there is one video of me riding a studentʼs horse in an exercise to introduce the lateral positions. She gets a bit nervous and stuck (and even gives me a nice big buck) so you get to see how I deal with that issue... Plus 2 videos featuring one of my 10-week Intensive studentʼs progress over the past 4 weeks. Some of you have asked about getting the videos on DVDs instead, due to dial up or reeeally slow internet. At this time that is not possible, and would be expensive to do on the small scale that is ʻmeʼ. I can recommend that those of you with slow internet treat yourselves to some time at a Panera Bread or Starbucks or such... Have a nice coffee and enjoy the videos on your laptop. If you donʼt have a laptop, then your local library usually will have computers with good internet access.... And that wonʼt even cost you the cup of coffee! 4

copyright 2010 temenos fileds, inc oct/nov

10-week Intensive Update (From left to right) Shelley Candelario (CA), Barbara Appalonia (NY), Susan Nelson (CA), Iris Kleber (Germany) and Anne Timewell (Australia) set off on October 3 to begin their 10-Week Intensive! We are now just over 4 weeks into it and are seeing some wonderful progress. In fact you can see some of Barbaraʼs progress in the November videos in the D,N Classroom!

(Photo at left): Weʼre just sitting around, not really much going on.... NOT! (Huey enjoys a little sit and chat with Ann after a session...) Hueyʼs owner graciously loaned him to us for the Intensive and he is a perfect match for Anne. My goal was to make it a win-win for horse, owner and student and I have to say I am very happy with how it worked out. (Gotta love Hueyʼs ʻplumberʼs crack) Our days are a mix of private lessons, group sessions, discussion and demonstration. As mentioned on page 3, we also have guests such as Dr. Gerd Heuschmann, and Marcel, the professional dancer and student of the horse. They also got to enjoy watching me take some lessons!

Sometimes I ride their horses, sometimes I get to sit back and watch them experiment and practice. I also set up a special Pilates class for them so they can take full advantage of this opportunity to make core changes in themselves and their riding (literally!)

Photo Above: Students enjoy a ride at my neighbors arena that has mirrors Did I mention I have one spot that just opened up for the Spring 2011 Intensive? Stay tuned for more updates!

Read on for an interesting result of an exercise we did together

copyright 2010 temenos fields, inc Oct/Nov

You havenʼt truly visited Florida without a trip to see some alligators! I brought the group to Paynes Prairie, about 20 minutes from the Temenos where we saw a bunch of alligators. Here we are all waving to him!


State of Harmony My 10-weekers and 6-Day students did a simulation about changing our ʻstateʼ and in doing so, found an unexpected additional benefit: Harmony! In the exercise students from the Intensive and 6Day groups paired up and one became the human and ʻhorseʼ. The humans were to direct the ʻhorseʼ using as little as possible, and as much as necessary. Then I separated the pairs and led the humans through a state-changing exercise. It is the same one as at the beginning of DVD #4 where we become calm, confident, clear and interesting. We do this by embodying those traits, then the opposite of those traits, and then practice transitioning back and forth until we know how to access that state. We bring the ʻhorses back and try directing them again... to see if it feels any different or more successful. Then I separate them again and take just the ʻhorsesʼ. With these students I led them through an exercise to access power, where power is a combination of Energy + Relaxation. I asked them to jump up and down vigorously pushing their energy up, up up then transition to standing, closing their eyes and breathing deeply and calmly. We repeated this until they could feel they were in a state of power. We paired them up and the humans directed them again... Noticing if there was any change in how their communication worked. That is an interesting enough exercise. But 10-week student Iris made another observation and captured it with her camera. She noticed that in these heightened states of power, calmness, clarity, confidence and interestingness... The people in the pairs started to mirror each other, stand the same way, hold the same postures... They found harmony in a natural and unconscious way... Connected through their shared state. take a look at these photos that were taken immediately after the exercise as we are discussing it... Something to think about, For sure! Thank you Iris, for noticing and being there with the camera!!


copyright 2010 temenos fields, inc Oct/Nov

Some Images from the October 6-Day Clinic All Photo credits go to Dawn Garner! Me!

Shelby Hume

Kris Fulwiler

Marcel, the dancer came by to give all of us some very cool exercises on breathing and feeling energy!

copyright 2010 temenos fields, inc oct/nov

Geri Dorosz

Vicky Thomas


“Sometimes the less you know, the more you see the truth.” — Karen Rohlf

I’ve often joked that sometimes the innocent on-looker, the person dragged to the horse show who knows nothing about horses, could be a better judge than the one in the box. While we educated ones discuss whether the angle of the shoulder-in the person is performing is just so or if the way they are holding the reins is classically correct, this onlooker looks up and says: “Geez that horse needs a whiskey and a comfortable couch, he looks like he’s having a bad day.” (an actual quote).

embracing new concepts and coming to a clinic.

My other half, photographer extraordinaire Dana Rasmussen, has been watching a lot of clinics these days and he asked if he could contribute to the newsletter, so here it is: Wisdom from the innocent on-looker!

1. Be clear and specific - Send clear signals, be specific, and donʼt be afraid to be a leader when it is time to lead - A wishy washy signal or aide confuses your horse!

Itʼs been quite a year traveling with Karen to far away lands, teaching horses how to better relate to their humans. Between trips to Australia, New Hampshire, and Montana, Iʼve spent more time on a plane this year than I have in the last ten years! Anyway, itʼs been a pleasure to meet so many enthusiastic students and see the progress they are able to make at Karenʼs clinics. I realize the commitment that you, Dressage, Naturally students, have made to your horses and yourselves Itʼs unchartered territory for most riders, and I respect the courage and curiosity you show by


Iʼm often asked about my own horsemanship skills and how well I can ride now that I am around Karen so much....Hmmm....truth is, Iʼm not a rider, but I do pay attention to what is happening at clinics, and here are a few recurring themes from all the clinics Iʼve been to...

I know Karen makes all of these things appear simple when she demonstrates these techniques, but she has had years of experience For your own equestrian journey, start with your picture, your dream - How will it look when you are there? Start with this goal and take the steps necessary to get there - Enjoy yourself along the way - Go easy on yourself and your horse - progress doesnʼt often happen overnight, but with repetition and perseverance, your partnership will grow and you will see the results... in harmony...(Iʼm learning how to write like Karen too...) Ha ha! ~Dana

2. First step best step. - Donʼt take half a circle to get that walk, trot or canter happening - When you say go, commit to it and make it happen! OK, it may take some practice to get that to happen, but donʼt cheat yourself out of finding this great result. 3. Get in, get out - When youʼre working on a new skill with your horse, reward the horse for doing the asked task by releasing immediately after the task is performed - the horse then knows what you were asking and is rewarded for quick action by being able to relax...

Dana Rasmussen to enjoy more of Dana’s musings on all sorts of subjects plus photos go to

copyright 2010 temenos fields, inc oct/nov

Oct Nov 2010 Newsletter from Dressage Naturally  

october and November Newsletter