Mentor Support Directory
Welcome to the Selfseeds Mentor Section. Our interest is to develop a community of holistic minded mentors who want to help people plant a Selfseed. The intention behind Selfseeds is to inspire and empower people to start growing their personal gardens. Our hope is to create a global support system for personal gardens throughout the world.
Origins of Selfseeds
Selfseeds © grew out of a request to create a “partnering workshop” for equestrians based on the partnering skills from ballroom dancing. My dance partner at the time, Eddie Schiffman, and I developed an awareness program from the principles of yoga, balance, weight distribution, flexibility, symmetry, rhythm, and partnering skills. Riders got to work alone and with human partners to better understand themselves and how they approach partnering without the presence of a horse. This self discovery undoubtedly applied to their equine partnership.
Overtime, as my interest grew in the areas of nutrition, fitness, personality, and meditation, I could see that the equestrian based program could evolve into a collective human program for addressing the fundamental ingredients of a holistic lifestyle. It is work and attention to detail to maintain a healthy lifestyle, so my challenge and others is how to realistically stay on track.
Out of stubbornness, I resorted to 5 minute practices when I didn’t have the time or energy to commit to a full practice. I started to experience and appreciate the continuity of this action. It tempered my feelings of guilt and created a sense of soul satisfaction to “stay in the loop.” I thought of the name soulseeds, but it was a practice inclusive of the mind, body, and soul: Selfseeds was more comprehensive. The idea of planting a Selfseed, nurturing it, and experiencing the fruition is very metaphorical for a peaceful life practice. So welcome to the Selfseeds Program!
Growth of Selfseeds
As a person who has worked with horses my entire life, I have always had a desire to see animals in their natural environment and more on their terms. An opportunity to combine riding horses and seeing wild animals in South Africa became available, so I put my life on hold for three months and headed out February 28, 2011.
The firsthand experience with elephants, rhinoceros, cheetahs, hippos, lions, leopards, water buffalo, kudu, impala, zebras, and all of the other mammals, birds, insects, amphibians, and reptiles, was absolutely amazing. Between the animals and the land, I felt like I had touched something very sacred on our planet. The Waltzing Horses blog became my daily communication with friends and family, but it also turned into a journaling process for me to take note and digest what transpired within a 24 hour period.
After six weeks in South Africa, I headed north to Jaipur, India to find answers about humans and spirituality in a similar way that I was seeking answers at the essence level of animal existence.I was out of options for answers, so this appeared to be the make or break step to finding answers for, “Is it possible to find inner peace under all conditions?” and ” Are we all connected by some deeper thread of being, below the ego level?”
Six weeks of remarkable inner energetic experiences, I decided that I would like to move to Jaipur for an indefinite period of time to dive deeper into this remarkable spiritual opportunity. The move required that I first return to California to reorganize animals, clients, and material goods. The blogging continued. The Waltzing Horses Blog shares an ongoing, deeper aspect of my personal journey through life.
In the meantime, Selfseeds continued to simmer by including a Selfeeds blog that shared personal experiences, videos, and articles that related to the 11 Selfseeds. They were germinating in the Selfseeds garden with the hope that they would inspire an interactive environment for sharing, supporting, motivating, and learning from one another.
As Selfseeds continues to grow, the step to create a virtual site is so the program does not become root bound and overcrowded. Now,the Selfseed garden walls are limited only by cyberspace, so let’s get started by picking a Selfseed, planting it, and nurturing it with a 5 minute practice. Who knows what it could grow into. Have fun!
“A garden is one of the few things in prison that one can control.
To plant a seed, watch it grow, tend to it and then harvest it gave me a feeling of simple happiness.”
– Nelson Mandela
Janelle is a licensed physical therapist practicing since 1990. She has been at the Shea Center since 1999 and is responsible for all program services. She is an expert equestrian and combines her knowledge of horses with an extensive knowledge of pediatric, geriatric, orthopedic, acute and neurological rehabilitation to treat clients of all ages and abilities.
Certified Clinical Instructor for the American Physical Therapy Association American Hippotherapy Registered Therapist North American Riding for the Handicapped Association certified instructor. One of only 18 worldwide graduates of the Balimo program specializing in the work of Professor Eckart Meyners, a German applied kinesiologist and early childhood development instructor.
Credentials / Education:
Physical Therapy license from the University of Oklahoma – 1990, BS in Physical Therapy from OU.
Horse Trainer / Riding Teacher:
Born and raised on a farm in New Zealand. Twenty-five years of competing Showjumping in NZ, England, USA, and Canada. Seventeen years of studying training systems, rehabilitating, and training horses. Helping riders become educated stewards for their horses. Involved in the promotion and education of Working Equitation in both USA and New Zealand.
Karen became an American Riding Instructors Association instructor in 2005. Currently, she is certified with ARICP Level III Certification to teach Dressage and Level II Certification to teach Hunter Seat. She is also a graduate of the Western Dressage Association’s “Advanced Train the Trainer” program.
Karen has found instruction to be the perfect way to combine her life-long passions for horses, learning, and teaching. As a riding instructor for over 30 years, her focus is on promoting healthy and harmonious training and riding techniques. When you combine a horse with a centered body and mind and a rider with a centered body and mind, the most beautiful partnership is born.
In her professional life, Karen’s has been able to incorporate her passions for Equine Biomechanics, Rider Biomechanics, Classical Equestrian Principles, and Natural Horsemanship concepts into the integrated and holistic program called Refined Performance Horsemanship (RPH). This program includes Natural Horsemanship groundwork exercises that help horses mentally and physically relax and stretch. RPH groundwork is based on classical “back to front” training principles and concentrates on horses using their muscles in a biomechanically beneficial way. Developed to empower horses and their riders to be their individual best, RPH helps horses and riders come together in harmonious partnership. Karen’s ability to help riders is based her ability to instill relaxation, suppleness and balance in both horse and rider through a series of progressive and easy to learn exercises.
Karen presents at national expos and conferences in the US, teaches internationally, publishes in magazines, and has been featured in television and podcast interviews. Named one of America’s “Top 50 Riding Instructors” by American Riding Instructors Association, Karen is a sought-after clinician with a proven ability to improve performance in equines of all disciplines, while maintaining and enhancing their mental and physical soundness.
Equine Therapist and Healer:
Education / Credentials:
Elizabeth has been working with the health and wellness of small, large, and exotic animals as well as wildlife for 35 years. She has spent the past 25 years doing equine and canine bodywork and rehabilitation on competitive and companion animals, managing nutritional issues and environmental effects, and using complimentary modalities to partner with veterinary medicine. She has had privilege to study and work under some of the top veterinarians and doctors in the field of saddle fit, nutrition, biomechanics, farrier science, CranioSacral therapy, myofascial release, trigger-point work, body balancing, applied kinesiology, herbal and homeopathic medicine, energy modalities and Traditional Chinese medicine. She works from a point of deep clinical understanding, empathy and compassion for the animal.
Elizabeth’s work has morphed many times through the years using whatever modalities fit each individual case. She has, in the past, ridden a number of different disciplines, which helps with understanding the forces and stresses these animals are under for our pleasure, work and competitive desires and needs.
The animals themselves, have trained her in patience, understanding, divine presence and humility as well as human nature. As a practitioner, she sees that each animal’s needs, priorities and personalities, as well as their humans, are different. Elizabeth evaluates all of this to promote well being in both the physical and emotional realm of all involved.
Her role is the spokesperson for the animal on many levels, with the owner/caregiver, veterinarians, farriers etc. This often includes a “veterinary to layman’s” interpretation for the owners to help them better understand maladies and most importantly, how to find the health of the animal. Elizabeth attempts to marry the owner’s timelines to the healing rhythms of the horse, which sometimes can be very challenging.
Elizabeth holds hands, gives hugs, and embraces their joys and their sorrow, always keeping an open heart.
Elizabeth brings forth a lifetime of experience with horses and has former extensive veterinary technician experience with large animal, small animal, exotics and wildlife rehab. She currently teaches an online accredited Equine anatomy and massage course for Horse Courses Online and Breyer University and was the Southern California Coordinator and co-instructor for Equinology and Caninology, an international educational program for equine and canine bodyworkers taught primarily by world-renowned veterinarians.
Accredited Professional Coach/Horse Trainer
32 year career spanning 4 countries, British Horse Society registered. Currently based in the UK, north of London specialising in rehabilitation and correct biomechanical training for the horse and the rider. Utilizing Classical Dressage principles, particularly in-hand and ground work for appropriate preparation of the equine athlete in all spheres.
- 1985 Snaresbrook Riding School London
- 1987 Kingston Riding Centre Surrey. Instructor lessons with Charles Harris (Spanish Riding School trained)
- 1988 Rietstall Brietfelt Abtwil Switzerland.
- 1989 Vale Da Guarda Malveira Portugal. (Oliveira School training from Rosalie Lewis and Joao Oliveira)
- 1991 Civil Service Riding Club Royal Mews Buckingham Palace
- 1991 Residential Competitive Dressage post Dorking Surrey training under a UK Olympian.
- 1992 The Royal Mews Windsor Castle. Training horses for HM The Queen
- 1993 Residential Competitive Dressage post Godalming Surrey, training under Herr Rochowansky of the Spanish Riding School
- 1994 Elevage du Rierette. France. Working with old friend and Lusitano Breeder Rosalie Lewis. Opportunity to train with Bettina Drummond friend and student of Nuno Oliviera.
- 1995-present Sense and Feeling Equitation, Classical Principles for Modern Horses and Riders, own business training and coaching in the South East of England) currently training with James Shaw the Tai Chi Master (ridefromwithin.com)
Associates and Bachelor degrees in Art and Equine Science from Becker College and Findlay University.
Sharon practices a unique blend of Classical and Natural Horsemanship guided by intuition and the principles of the Japanese martial art of Aikido. She draws from a wide range of experiences spanning over 40 years including university degrees in both art and equine science, grooming for the U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team, continually attending clinics with numerous professionals from many disciplines and managing her own equine sales and training facility near Aspen Colorado.
The horses have been and continue to be Sharon’s most prominent teachers.
Sharon’s mind body spirit approach facilitates experiences where horse and rider partnerships are developed with an emphasis on the health and longevity of you and your horse. A true partnership is created as horse and rider blend into one being. An emphasis on exploring horse and rider biomechanics through intellectual understanding, learn by doing and developing intuitive feel are all a part of each interaction.
Basic foundations are laid with ground work and while mounted so that each horse and rider partnership is self empowered to confidently create their own infinite potential.
All levels and disciplines welcome.