THE POST SUMMER 2010
Warsaw man finds his calling PHOTO BY RACHEL LARUE
Bill Northern takes a moment to greet Malibu Barbie, owned by Karin Mustoe, before he starts his communication session with her.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the Virginia Horse Industry Board. The board is allowing The Post to run the article to illustrate the diversity of Virginia’s horse industry. By Dan Neman
cientists don’t believe it. Veterinarians don’t believe it. But the people who hire him believe Bill Northern can talk to horses and other animals. And that they talk back to him. Northern, 72, is an animal communicator—or, as he puts it, a horse psychic. He closes his eyes, dangles a small pendulum from his right hand, and telepathically asks a horse if anything is bothering it. It’s the kind of occupation that invites
skepticism. Bonnie Beaver, executive director of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, said, “Most of the ones that claim to be communicators probably are not, any more than palm readers are palm readers or fortune tellers are fortune tellers.” But horse owners pay attention to Northern and other animal communicators because they seem to be accurate. A lot. On a recent Saturday, Northern was at a farm owned by Karin Mustoe near Nokesville, in Prince William County. Mustoe mentioned that one horse was balking at being loaded into a trailer. Northern closed his eyes and telepathically talked to the horse, a mare named Gracie. When finished, he told Mustoe that Gracie would
like one of Mustoe’s ponies to be loaded alongside her. Mustoe did not look surprised. “That’s just what I had to do the last time, after 30 minutes of struggling with her,” she said. This was the second time Northern had been to Mustoe’s farm. The first time, she had him come up from his home in Warsaw mostly out of curiosity, as a birthday present to herself to see what animal communicators do. “I was skeptical in the beginning,” she said, but when he started to work, “he knew things he couldn’t know.” Now she listens carefully to what he has to say—or rather, what he says her horses have to say. Continued on Page 7
More on Bill Northern Born: 1938, Warsaw, Va. Resides: Lexington, Ky.; Warsaw, Va.; and Rakaia, New Zealand. Family: Married 51 years to wife, Ann. Adult daughters Debbie and Cathie. Pets: None, after a beloved dog died. Occupation: Animal communicator, dowser. Former owner of Wardico, an office and janitorial supply products company. Education: One year at Lynchburg College, studying business. Best horse advice ever received: “Don’t take it so seriously. Just enjoy your horse.” People would be surprised to know: Although he doesn’t like to communicate with cats because they lie to him, “I don’t really hate cats.”