Changing the World— One Horse at a Time

 

I am pleased to announce the release of The Compassionate Equestrian.

 

Compassionate Equestrian Book CoverThis book, born out of a unique collaboration with a long-time trainer and competitor Susan Gordon, introduces the 25 Principles of Compassionate Equitation: a set of developmental guidelines that encourage a profound level of personal awareness during not only interactions with horses, but with all sentient beings.

 

By developing deeper compassion for our horses—and for ourselves— equestrians take the first step on a path to transcending differences and disagreements, learning instead to empathize and connect more closely with the “global collective” of horses and horsepeople.

 

Discover the simple changes any horseperson can make that will ultimately have a vast impact on the rider’s relationship with the horse, the state of the horse industry, and the world as a whole.

 

 

About my co-author:

 

SUSAN GORDON was a professional hunter/jumper trainer from 1983 to 2009. After retiring from training and teaching, she founded Green Pony Productions for the production of digital media content relating to social justice issues for horses. She writes and blogs regularly regarding the 25 Principles of Compassionate Equitation.

 

 

 

What people are saying about the book:

 

“This is a book for those who seek a mutually satisfying relationship with their horses.  The Principles provide a road map…we should read them carefully and often.”

 

Hilary Clayton, BVMS, PhD, Dipl. ACVSMR, MRCVS

 

 

“The Compassionate Equestrian is both ahead of its time yet remarkably ancient in its wisdom and fundamental teachings.  Based in art and proven modern science, the 25 Principles are a priceless collection of universal values, methods, and techniques that will greatly improve the mind and body of both horse and rider.  This impactful book is loaded with valuable lifelong lessons that place compassion and empathy at their core.  It will enable readers to develop and sustain meaningful, respectful, and successful partnerships with their horses.”

 

Philip E. Richter, Treasurer, United States Equestrian Team Foundation

 

 

“I would highly recommend this book for anyone who loves animals—not just horses—and wants to gain an understanding of them on a deeper, more intimate level. The authors offer us numerous, often profound insights, through their own varied experi­ences and backgrounds, regarding the integration of compassion into all areas of our lives.  With deeper reading, one begins to appreciate more fully, how the immutable relationship between human health, animal health, and that of our environment—a world of One Health—is the real basis for improving the life of our entire planet.”

 

Ted Cohn, DVM, President, American Veterinary Medical Association

 

 

“Dr. Allen Schoen is an innovative, compassionate, and thoughtful veterinarian whose book emphasizes the responsibilities that attend the human-equine relationship.  The Compassionate Equestrian provides practical information derived from a lifetime of caring for sport and pleasure horses.  Dr. Schoen has a keen eye for animal and human behavior, and his book has value for the novice and the experienced equestrian alike.”

 

Michael Kotlikoff, VMD, PhD,
Austin O. Hooey Dean,
College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University

 

 

“Dr. Schoen is an innovator in combining conventional medicine with holistic therapies.  In The Compassionate Equestrian, he charts the rise of a unique field of veterinary medicine whose foundation rests on a profound respect for all life, and specifically for horses.  This is compassion in its purest form, and it’s revolutionary.  Meticulously researched,  The Compassionate Equestrian enlightens any reader on the benefits of applying sympathy and empathy to the core of all equine training and care.  Practicing compassion is the essence of the bond between rider and horse, and of course between any two people.”

 

Arriana Boardman, Member, ASPCA Board

 

 

“Dr. Schoen has always lead by example, and lives a lifetime of connected joy with the horses that he treats and their owners.  We will continue to benefit from his kindness and guidance through his new book, The Compassionate Equestrian.  From backyard ponies to trail horses to show jumpers, it’s ‘all about the horse.’”

 

Paula Kennedy, LVT, Dean’s Advisory Board, Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine

 

 

“This book challenges us, to ‘slow down,’ take a deep breath, and examine our relationship with ourselves and with our horses. Using storytelling and personal experiences, combined with scientific research and a good dose of spirituality, these pages offer something for all readers.  Whether you are a seasoned horseperson or someone who just loves horses and wants to share in the journey, the book promises discovery for all.”

 

Mary Ann Simonds, Author,
Founder and Director of the
Whole Horse and Equestrian Science Institute

 

 

“The horse just happens to be the perfect animal to help us understand ourselves better.  He’s far more physically powerful than us, but also more perceptive in many ways.  Horses can see right through us, and they reflect our deeper selves back to us in a way that is undeniable.
 

This much-needed book asks us to not only try to become better observers of our horses, but to think about that which we notice in a new and deeper way. Most importantly, it asks us to watch ourselves as we are interacting with our horses.
 

The authors give us a path to follow, challenging us to use the powerful tools of self-awareness or mindfulness, and meditation (QFI in the book) to change our own behaviors and become better stewards of the horse, and then extend that to our interaction with other beings.
 

Learning these tools takes work, but with effort it can become an integral part of our behavior.  I know this because I have been on a similar journey myself, and the rewards gained in all aspects of my life—from my relationship with horses and people, to my ability to function in my businesses—are profound.”

 

Doug Thal, DVM, DABVP, Creator of The Horse Side Vet Guide

 

 

“I very much enjoyed reading the Compassionate Equestrian by Dr. Allen Schoen.  Reading this well-written book allowed me to better understand, both conceptually and scientifically, the feelings of our equine patients.  The information in the book will hopefully improve my ability to “listen” to my equine patients and become a more compassionate veterinarian and person (see quote on page 320).”

 

Tom Divers DVM, ACVIM, ACVECC and
Professor of Medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine,
Cornell University, Ithaca N.Y.

 

 

“Dr. Allen Schoen and Susan Gordon provide a thoughtful, provocative reminder that horses feed off our personal health and well-being.  The rush of our daily lives, work schedules, and pressures to succeed can weigh heavily on veterinarians, trainers, and riders, and can influence our approach to the horse.  The horse can sense this tension or stress. The book reminds us that personal mental/emotional well-being is important to ourselves and those (both horses and people) we interact with daily.”

 

 Ryland B. Edwards, III, DVM, PhD, DACVS, Fairfield Equine Practice, Newtown, Connecticut

 

 


Blessings for a Happy, Compassionate New Year

Dr-Allen-Schoen

Wishing all my kindred spirits a Happy New Year with a unique perspective on what True Happiness can look like….

After taking a bit of a retreat from blog writing, I am excited to share this heart advice from a Buddhist teacher on what happiness is

based on their perspective. I wish you all a truly transformative 2014!

This past year has been filled with seeing patients, large and small, lecturing about integrative veterinary medicine, mind/body medicine and the human animal bond throughout the world and working on new projects to be of benefit to all that is.  I lectured at the World Small Animal Veterinary Congress in New Zealand as well as the Canadian Veterinary Association Annual Conference in Victoria, B.C., sharing new insights from my 35 years of practicing and teaching.  In addition, I began working on some new projects evolving from my work with the Charter for Compassion where I was involved in beginning to establish Western Connecticut State University as one of the first Compassionate Universities.

With my co-writer, Susan Gordon, a holistically oriented horse trainer, we have begun a project called “The Compassionate Equestrian”  (see www.compassionateequestrian.com).  We have developed 25 Principles of Compassionate Equitation based on her decades of experience as a horse trainer and my decades of experience as a holistic, integrative veterinarian based on our exploration of what is ultimate healing for horses and humans and the Charter for Compassion.  We invite you to assist in this co-creation by sharing your constructive, positive, compassionate thoughts and insights as we create this new program and book.

In addition, I am working on similar projects for companion animals and wildlife. If you would like to assist in any of these co-creations, feel free to contact me here.

After reflecting on how I might be of most benefit to all beings at this point on my veterinary journey and my personal life journey, I feel like integrating compassion based on the latest research in compassionate neuroscience, contemplative neuroscience and quantum physics along with classic traditions is how I may be of benefit.  I look forward to sharing more from this perspective this year on this blog as well as through upcoming books, retreats, and teaching.

If you are interested in hosting any retreats, workshops or teaching regarding this new approach, feel free to contact me here as well.

Blessings to all of you for a joyous, peaceful, healthy, creative, fun, compassionate New Year!  Again, I would like to share these profound perspectives on what Happiness is from a special teacher.

Happiness by Gendun Rinpoche from Heart Advice from a mahamudra master

Happiness cannot be found

through great effort and will,

but is already there, perfect and complete,

in relaxation and letting go.

Do not worry, there is nothing to do.

Whatever appears in mind has no importance,

since it has no reality.

Do not hold on to it, and do not judge.

Let the play happen by itself,

arising and passing,

without changing anything-

everything vanishes and reappears, without end.

Only your searching for happiness

prevents you from seeing it,

just like a rainbow that you chase

without ever reaching it.

Although happiness does not exist,

it has always been there

and accompanies you

in every moment.

Do not believe that good

or bad experiences are real.

They are like rainbows.

Wanting to grasp the ungraspable,

you exhaust yourself in vain.

As soon as you relax this grasping,

space is there — open, inviting and joyful.

Make use of it.

All is yours already.

Do not search any further.

Do not enter the impenetrable jungle

to search for the elephant

that is already quietly at home.

Nothing to do,

nothing to force,

nothing to wish for —

and everything happens by itself.

Gendun Rinpoche



Happy New Year with a Unique Twist

Wishing all my kindred spirits a Happy New Year with a unique perspective on what True Happiness can look like….

After taking a bit of a retreat from blog writing, I am excited to share this heart advice from a Buddhist teacher on what happiness is

based on their perspective.  I wish you all a truly transformative 2013!

Happiness by Gendun Rinpoche from Heart Advice from a mahamudra master

Happiness cannot be found

through great effort and will,

but is already there, perfect and complete,

in relaxation and letting go.

Do not worry, there is nothing to do.

Whatever appears in mind has no importance,

since it has no reality.

Do  not hold on to it, and do not judge.

Let the play happen by itself,

arising and passing,

without changing anything-

everything vanishes and reappears, without end.

Only  your searching for happiness

prevents you from seeing it,

just like a rainbow that you chase

without ever reaching it.

Although happiness does not exist,

it has always been there

and accompanies you

in every moment.

Do not believe that good

or bad experiences are real.

They are like rainbows.

Wanting to grasp the ungraspable,

you exhaust yourself in vain.

As soon as you relax this grasping,

space is there — open, inviting and joyful.

Make use of it.

All is yours already.

Do not search any further.

Do not enter the impenetrable jungle

to search for the elephant

that is already quietly at home.

Nothing to do,

nothing to force,

nothing to wish for —

and everything happens by itself.

Gendun Rinpoche


Spirit Bear Revival

I have been blessed with experiencing one of the last great wildernesses in the world, The Great Bear Rain Forest,  before it gets devastated by a planned tar sand, dirty oil pipeline from one of the  greatest environmental disasters in history, the Tar sands of Alberta to one of the most sensitive and pristine  coastlines in the world on the British Columbia west coast.  It is an amazing living example of the Kindred Spirits Project where the First Nations bands still live and work in harmony with the animals and environment despite all the outer challenges from corporations interested only in financially extracting as much as they can from the environment and leaving the devastating results to everyone else to deal with.  I stayed with the Klemtu First Nations band in their Spirit Bear Lodge and spent hours interviewing band members from 18 years old to their elders and their chief.  I was blessed that their 30 year old (youngest ever) Chief, Doug Neassloss was by bear guide for a few days.  We discussed the endless challenges from corporations to destroy their homeland as well as how their culture is so intimately intertwined with all the animals and the nature that they share their homes with.  The human animal bond is evident in every moment here.  Watch this to get just a tiny impression of being in this precious, endangered  great bear rainforest.  This great bear rainforest video is a clip from the National Geographic documentary on this endangered region.

(more…)


Genetic Roulette Health Awareness

I would like to share some of the most important news that I have come across for disease prevention in both our animal friends and ourselves.  For most of my veterinary career I have been expounding the belief that we should feed our animal friends as naturally and organically as possible. I have seen so many diseases improve with simple dietary changes from allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, immune mediated diseases and cancer.  I have been well aware of doing my best to avoid genetically modified foods (GMO’s) in myself, my family and for my animal patients.  I just came across this new documentary, “Genetic Roulette” which is a free online movie that explains and summarizes all the potential hazardous effects of GMO’s on our food producing animals, our companion animals and humans.

Please watch this documentary, Genetic Roulette, and share it with as many people as you can.  We can all make this shift in awareness and improve the health of countless animals and people. I wish to keep this blog post brief, so you can spend your time watching this movie and spreading the word.  We can all help countless beings to quickly improve their health and happiness right now and that is what the Kindred Spirits Project is all about.  This is a key to preventive medicine for all beings.   Thank you for watching this and sharing it and spreading the word.  Let us create a healthier, happier world where compassion, health and happiness are more important than corporate greed and government corruption.

 

 


New Workshop


Workshop: The Kindred Spirits Project    
— Deepening Your Connection with Your Kindred Spirits
to Help Heal Your Animals, Yourself, and The World

For more information and registration go to www.oldstonefarm.org 

Dr. Schoen is cordially inviting a select, intimate group of committed animal lovers to experience a new approach that he has developed over the years.  Learn about science based techniques of mind body medicine to connect at deeper levels with your animal companions, yourself, your friends, and the world at large.  Dr. Schoen has pioneered innovative approaches to animal health care for more than thirty years.  His original vision of creating a more expansive view of veterinary medicine that is more integrative — including acupuncture, botanical medicine, nutrition, nutraceuticals, chiropractic, homeopathy, the human animal bond, and mind/body medicine — has been accomplished.  Join Dr. Schoen on the next steps of his journey exploring his life long quest for “What is Ultimate Healing…and how can we work together to help all beings?”


A Healthy Home for All Beings

A healthy home is an essential part of  preventive health care for us and our animal companions.  A friend and client suggested that I watch this video with Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Myron Wentz,  knowing that many of my foundational teachings and belief were encapsulated and visualized so well in this Health and Happiness summit.  I could not agree with him more after watching it.  These helpful suggestions are truly a foundation for our own preventive health care.  Certain cliche’s are cliche’s because they are so true.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is certainly one of these essential truths.  Many of the suggestions in this video pertain to our animal friends as well.   Though animals are not exposed to mercury in dental fillings, but they are exposed through thimerisol in vaccines.

As Dr. Wentz states regarding fluoride outgassing from frying pans, often times our animal friends are truly the canary in the cage.  This is quite evident more often than we might realize.  A relative of mine inquired about the sudden onset of asthma in her beloved cat.  Their veterinarian made the correct diagnosis and prescribed the correct medications.  However, too often, one does not question why the animal developed this condition suddenly in the first place.  My first question was what was different in the environment and had them review any changes in the house.  When I was visiting them and slept in the guestroom, I actually began to cough as I smelled something that was sickeningly sweet and toxic.  It was there new fabric fresheners that they put in the wash.  When discussing this with them, her husband actually said that he was coughing ever since that new freshener was used as well.  I suggested to stop using them and see how the cat and her husband were doing.  That solved the problem and they were able to stop using an inhaler medication and oral medication for the cat and her husband stopped coughing as well.  So often, we assume that many of these chemicals that permeate our environment are deemed healthy.  Often times, it is the exact opposite.  As my readers know, I am a huge proponent of the “Precautionary Principle”.  Science cannot possibly keep up with all the new chemicals we are exposed to.  Let us try to keep our environments as simple, back to basics and healthy as possible.  In the textbook I edited on Complementary and Alternative Medicine back in 1998, I had presented an environmental questionnaire developed by a human physician and one of the founders of the American College of Environmental Medicine  that I felt should be part of every veterinarians toolkit.  Instead of a life on hazardous pharmaceuticals, my relative’s cat is happy and free of asthma simply by figuring out the environmental cause of the asthma.  This is just one small example.

I was also thrilled to see that Dr. Wentz discussed electromagnetic pollution as I have written a number of blog posts about this ever increasing risk. I suggest that you read Dr. Wentz’s book and conduct an evaluation of your home and remove any toxins that can be hazardous to you and your animal companion’s health.  We will discuss more of the environmental triggers and potential health concerns in future blog posts.

May you and your kindred spirits live in a healthy, happy, toxin free environment.

 


A Dog’s Compassionate Wish

A  dear friend just shared these beautiful thoughts with me.  A while ago,   I had assisted their  family with the transition of their aged kindred spirit who they loved so dearly.  Though this may seem quite anthropomorphic to scientific ethologists, we continually see evidence of  compassion between animals that  sometimes defies our current scientific acknowledgement of what is possible.  Their are a number of youtube video’s of dog’s remaining with their deceased companion as well as other animals or assisting an injured animal friend.  When I read this, my own heart opened to memories of so many suffering animals that I have treated over the years and how many I wish I could have helped more in some way.  There are no words to describe the joy in one’s heart when one sees  the joy in a dog in need that you have just given a loving home to.

In my practice using complementary therapies to try to help animals where conventional medicine is not working anymore, I do end up assisting people with their animal companions death, when even the best of complementary therapies are not sufficient. As I have assisted many clients with the emotional transition of the loss of their kindred spirit, I have seen many ponder the question of if and when they might consider sharing their lives with another animal.  There is no right answer to this question and the perfect time unfolds for each individual.  I do love and agree with the sentiment of the thoughts below, that the love we share with another is the greatest gift that carries on beyond physical death. Sharing that love with another being that is yearning for that love is indeed the greatest memorial we can give to our deceased friend.  So often I see someone who is resistant to adopting another dog or cat for various reasons, yet once one has found them, their hearts re-open with joyous abandon.  This is the essence of our connections with dogs and all beings!  Rejoice in the love we share with others in need, whether they be two-legged, four-legged or winged!

 



Preventive Health: Electromagnetic Radiation Awareness for All Beings and Especially Our Kindred Bee’s

After a brief hiatus from blogging, I have returned questioning what the best purpose of my sharings with readers might be.  There are numerous places on the web where one can view heartwarming photo’s of animals that stimulate joy in ourselves.  There are wonderful websites bringing awareness to the alleviation of suffering in animals.  There are more and more photographic demonstrations of the bond between many species.  I feel like sharing news about animal health care that might not be readily available everywhere as well as insights into how new perspectives on the human animal bond can be of benefit to all beings.

With this focus in mind, there appears to be more and more research documenting the potentially detrimental effects of electromagnetic radiation (emr) on bee’s and actually on all beings.  This article on the detrimental effects of smart meters and their collectors in California.  It seems that in this day and age of prioritizing the hypothetical benefits of technology for corporate financial gain over the potential adverse health effects for all beings,  the damage to the health living beings is simply considered collateral damage.  The “precautionary principle” is not even considered.  There are very simple ways to avoid these hazardous health effects, yet corporations do not seem to care at all.  There is continued documentation of the hazardous effects of extended cell phone use as well, yet it too is ignored.  As electromagnetic radiation continues to permeate our environments, we do not look at the cumulative effects on our bodies.  More and more people are becoming electromagnetically sensitive.  Skeptics may cynically state that it is “all in their heads” and actually some of the hazardous emr effects are indeed impacting on the brain.  Animals do not lie though.  If one see’s the detrimental effects on bee’s and other animals, any argument regarding nocebo effect (negative placebo effect) goes out the door.

This article in Global Research offers an excellent brief review of studies.  This video lecture by prominent researchers offers an extended video explaining these effects further.

This article by Dr. Mercola also shares some interesting information regarding emr effects on health.

The growing amount of information should ideally prompt health authorities to acknowledge that these concerns are valid and override any corporate financial interests.   I have seen anecdotal cases of where emr has had significant adverse effects on dogs including increased incidence of seizures in a dog living under high power tension wires.  At the very least, perhaps this post can help make more animal lovers aware of the potential adverse health effects on their animal companions and themselves and then help spread that word and make a positive difference in this world.

As we choose to create a healthier, happier, more compassionate world, the regulation of emr radiation needs to be recognized as an important component to a healthy environment.