December 2012
Happy Holidays from OK  
Hi Everyone,
We are very excited to announce we have joined forces with Kerry Thomas of Thomas Herding Technique to create the THT Education Center at Pine Knoll.  Kerry's philosophy and expertise is in complete alignment with our HorsEmpowerment System and will be a wonderful addition to Pine Knoll's Integrated Horsemanship Curriculum.
Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season and a New Year full of Peace and Happiness.
Gillian Vallis, Team Pine Knoll and The Peace Ponies
Pine Knoll Center for Integrated Horsemanship
Lexington, Kentucky

A Message from Kerry Thomas:

"I am most excited to be a part of Pine Knoll Farm and to have as part of the PKF family, my vision for continued research and education come to fruition as the THT Education Center. Having been on the road lecturing and teaching at the University Levels on and off for the last couple years, I have long wanted to begin the creation of my own school and research center where a central base from which to work and evolve could be. At Pine Knoll Farm in Lexington Kentucky, conveniently located 45 minutes from THT Training Center base in Nicholasville, I am thrilled to say we have finally landed. 
We'll start off in January by offering a menu of lectures to choose from for your group, or uniquely for yourself as I'm also offering THT One on One where you can have individual coaching/teaching with me. Late winter or early spring 2013 will start the THT Level One Certification program for Emotional Conformation Profiling which will be a three day course at this introductory level. The future of the school will bring forth higher levels of curriculum and certifications in Performance Profiling and a Masters Elite course which will also embrace Behavioral Genetic Breeding & Research. Another area that is exciting for me is that we will be working toward THT Research programs for innovations in horse based Emotional Wellness Therapies to advance efforts in finding solutions and facing the issues hidden within. Life skills training and quality of life thought leadership innovations as well as equine athletic psychology research will be housed in this arm of the school going forward. Keep in mind too, that if you cannot come to me in Kentucky, I can and will, come to you... So feel free to reach out to us at Pine Knoll Farm, and also visit the PKF Store for some uplifting and educational merchandise."


"The willingness to discover beyond one's own perceived limitations is a power to accomplish more than can be imagined, in ways we cannot predict." Kerry M Thomas

The Pine Knoll Experience 

OK with J&J


In Honor of "OK"


'Tis the Season for Family and Friends to celebrate and reconnect. Approximately 4 years ago we had a very special horse join our family and his name is OK. OK had a very challenging early life and had been so badly abused he had become very aggressive and difficult to handle. 


Bruce Anderson, a long time clinician at Pine Knoll, was approached by several ladies who had tried to rescue him from a bad situation. Unfortunately, even though they were experienced horse people, they could not deal with him.  Sadly they were thinking the only option was to have him euthanized because he was so dangerous.


They had heard about Bruce and as a last resort called to see if he would take the horse. Bruce said he had too many horses but he would work with him and give them his opinion. Well, long story short, after an hour of working with him the ladies were in tears because they could see hope and Bruce had agreed to take him. Bruce called him OK .


Bruce starting working OK in the round pen with his system called Nature's View, and took him trailing riding, breaking trails and even on a big beach ride with many other horses.  In November I was talking to Bruce about my wish to take a horse with issues and document his journey to wellness. I also needed to feel confident this horse could end up being a part of our program. Bruce agreed to trailer OK up to Pine Knoll from Camden, SC.  We agreed to address his feet, teeth and any chiropractic work that he needed.  Thanks to team members Tony Rankin - farrier, Lee Follet - Equine Dentist, and Dr Judith Shoemaker from Always Helpful Veterinary Services.    If we liked what we saw then we would buy him, if not Bruce would take him back to Camden and he would still be in a better place.


When I met OK I immediately saw how special he is...


You can read more about OK's journey to balance and health in the following article I wrote for Holistic Horse.  (See page 29)


OK has taken on the job of riding lesson horse, lunge horse, co-facilitator for equine guided leadership and baby sitter for Zeus when he was weaned (they are still best buddies). As every year passes he becomes more confident and relaxed with his variety of roles. He is gentle, sensitive and so willing to please he is a joy to be around. The following is a lovely article written by Sue Clark honoring this gentle spirit called OK.


I find it very sad humans had abused him so badly he was forced to become completely different to his inherent nature.  See Kerry's story about OK in Kerry's Corner.


Thank You OK !

Gillian Vallis


I'm OK, You're OK
by Sue Clark
Have you ever experienced a time in your life when everything came into place as though it were a beautiful gift which transcended from heaven? It was like that for me the day I rode a horse named, "OK" in the Tom Poulin clinic at Pine Knoll Farm. 

I came to Pine Knoll after looking for an instructor along with a safe and trustworthy school horse who could help me achieve my strong desire to simply grow in my riding ability.   Several years prior to finding Pine Knoll I had been kicked by a brood mare while caring for her. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time when she sprang to her feet and kicked me resulting in a ruptured spleen. It takes time to heal - my body needed time to heal both physically and emotionally from being hurt again. It is easy to cave into fear and I had certainly done so after my accident with that mare, especially when combined with other past traumatic events. I knew it would be a long journey ahead after the injury. My body soon began to heal physically, but over time I realized that the emotional scars remained. I am a strong believer that our body can heal itself given time and positive tools. I sought out massage therapy, chiropractic care and a Feldenkrais practitioner. I also knew instinctively that I needed to ride.

Finding Pine Knoll and meeting Cathy Fox, the riding instructor there was the special piece that enabled further healing for my body and soul. On my first lesson I was introduced to the special horse named, "OK". Just as OK had to develop trust with humans I was developing trust with horses and regaining the confidence that I had lost. After several lessons riding OK and under the instruction of Cathy I had been led to a point of experiencing many breakthroughs. After each lesson, the tension in my body decreased and I knew I was growing by just "letting go". The ultimate breakthrough came with my ride at the Tom Poulin clinic.

Tom's gentle and kind voice coached me every step of the way. During that lesson I had the awareness that I could truly sit up and sit back allowing the horse to carry me and enjoy the ride. I was no longer tipping over, caving into fear. I believe it was in that lesson that both OK and I learned that we could trust one another. I believe it was no coincidence that our paths crossed. I can smile now when I ride. The communication between the two of us is as though we are saying, "I'm OK and You're OK". 
OK & Sue during Tom Clinic Nov'12
Sue riding OK in the Nov 2012 Tom Poulin Clinic
Where in the World is Tom?
Dec 2- Clinic at Ft Lauderdale Dancing Horse Stables in Sunshine Ranches, Florida

Dec 8-9- Judged Wellington Classic Holiday Challenge at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, Florida

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Feldenkrais Workshop  yoga 1
Following our highly successful 
first workshop
Free the Pelvis, Free the Ribs
The Feldenkrais Method with Horsemen in Mind
 Meriah Kruse, Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner® since 1999
As many horsemen know, working with the Feldenkrais Method of Movement Education® can make you a better rider. This introductory workshop will teach a simple and profound way to find more freedom of motion in the rider's body -- so that the techniques of sound riding can be achieved more effortlessly. These lessons will also greatly improve body awareness, and can be used again and again throughout the rider's lifetime. The workshop is appropriate for riders at all levels of experience and proficiency.
The Feldenkrais Method, originated by Dr Moshé Feldenkrais (1904-1984), is an internationally respected awareness method which employs movement to address the deep-seated patterns in the nervous system which control all of our movement, thinking, sensing and feeling. The two components of the Method are "Awareness Through Movement®"and "Functional Integration®."
Meriah Kruse, the founder and primary practitioner and presenter for Lexington-based Be Free to Move, has been a movement educator for over 25 years. She has an eclectic background, with a wide breadth of experiences in dance, somatic education, therapeutic massage, cultural arts programming, wellness studies and outdoor recreation. Since 1982 she has been on a great adventure: creating opportunities for all kinds of people to learn, create, dance, explore, evolve, have fun and enjoy life.
12th January, 2013
1:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Workshop price : $70 min of 4 people and max of 7
PLEASE register asap to claim your space!
yoga 2
THT logo
 Kerry's Corner
 Thomas Herding Technique

OK and Kerry
 I've profiled countless horses over the years and the one thing that is a constant, is that each horse very much has their own unique behavioral characteristics, their own pieces of the puzzle that make up "who" they are. Each teaches me something different not just about them but also about me; emotional communication as a fabric of all relationships, whether they are interspecies or not is a key, the ways in which we feel things and express our own emotions has the most power. Considering this, every so often a horse comes along who, very often out of nowhere, sheds new light on communication dynamics, new things to consider, new ways of comprehension and OK is one of these horses for me.

When profiling OK he presented me with a perplexing level of idiosyncrasies in his communication dynamics and his dialects of expression, and at length what I discovered was an interesting capacity, that he responded to and respected in all peers, human or horse, a shared leadership quality and form of communication. Not only did I find this discovery interesting but in the days since, I also find my reflection back to OK as being very useful not only in my dealings with horses, but also people. So I say, thank you OK... quite very much for the lesson!


In the meantime you may want to check out Kerry's wonderful book Horse Profiling available at Amazon.com

About Kerry Thomas and Thomas Herding Technique 

Leslie Desmond







Equine Experiential Education  

  Feel and Release Seminar


Horsemanship Through Feel & Release is the method Bill Dorrance showed Leslie during the last years of his life. This approach to coaching riders and training horses does not require special equipment or the use of fear or force to obtain amazing, and very useful results for all breeds and riding styles.    


"My main goal is to teach others how to teach their students to develop a reliable partnership that is based on feel. We are not talking about mechanics when we are talking about feel. There is quite a bit to it. We are focusd on the horse's mind, and the intelligent ways he has of knowing what you want and doing what you want as any full and dedicated partner would if he or she could." Leslie knows this way and is available to help you learn it.

Would you like to learn how to release your horses to the desired maneuvers instead of forcing them? Leslie uses no flag, stick, whip or restraint devices to achieve submission. Why is this? . . . one could wonder. Submission cannot be the goal if partnership is...read more!


Spectators are always welcome at her demonstrations and clinics. 

Her students include veteran professional coaches, young trainers who are getting started in their careers, veterinarians, farriers, first-time horse owners and competitors in the western events, jumping, dressage, driving and racing. 

At Leslie's clinics, you will learn how to release the natural lightness in your horse -- on the ground and from his/her back -- using feel and release! This approach helps you gain access to your horse's world in a way that few can imagine -- one in which a relationship without resistance or stress is not only possible, it is the norm!


When you learn how to set the feet where and when you want them, at the speed of your choosing, with a willing partner who enjoys implementing your requests because your intent in perfectly clear, you will agree that it is a truly amazing feeling!


The Pine Knoll clinic is designed with a focus on participants from the equine facilitated /experiential/leadership/coaching field.  We will be using Pine Knoll Horses and each participant will be paired with a one horse for the three days of the clinic.


The tools and insights you will learn from Leslie can be implemented in all areas from groundwork to riding.  We are not limiting the clinic to equine experiential  participants because the content will be extremely beneficial to  equine professionals and riders of all disciplines.


This clinic will fill up quickly and is limited to 7 participants.  Auditors are welcome.  Please visit Leslie's website to sign up in advance. 

Participant package includes 3 hours private instruction on the ground with a horse, and attendance at both demonstrations (Thursday, April 11 and Friday, April 12 from 6 - 9 PM).  For daily schedule see Leslie's calendar.

Horse rental and facility use fees are payable directly to Pine Knoll $250 for the three days.

Private Instruction Leslie -  $750.00 /April 12 - 14, 2013

In This Issue
PKF Sign in Snow  
Clinics and Workshops

Feldenkrais Workshop
12th January, 2013

Leslie Desmond Clinic
11th-14th April, 2013 
Gold Essence

Sophie Medium Trot 

Sophie canter  
 2000 16 hh Chestnut Oldenburg Mare
Gold Essence- November 2012
Gold Essence- November 2012

Lovely amateur friendly mare with

VERY comfortable fluid gaits,

easy changes and great lateral work.

She is training Prix St George

 - a must see!


"This mare has the talent to advance and will be ready for PSG in the spring. She has a good work ethic. She has three gaits with clear rhythm and the mental capacity to increase their elasticity. Highly recommended for amateur or professional riders."

-Thomas Poulin, USEF S judge

Nov 20, 2012

  PKF Store header
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Kerry Thomas Quote Mousepad
Educational Poster
THT Educational Poster
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Tote Bag

Peace Ponies logo  Please visit our online store:


Find great gifts for friends, family and yourself! 


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Framed Tile with Horse Quote


At the farm store:   


Circle of Peace

Horsehair Friendship Bracelets

Can You Imagine a World Living in

Peace, Friendship and Wonder?


These handmade braided Friendship Bracelets are made with 100% natural horsehair. A rainbow of glass beads and a tonal mix of gold and silvery accent beads compliment different horsehair colors. Unique 'just for you' color combos. The casual, self-adjusting style is easy to wear and fun for both girls and guys.


Help us help the world by giving this Powerful Reminder of Friendship and Peace to your Family and Friends.


1 for $9   2 for $17   3 for $24

plus 6% sales tax






See Christmas Specials at the  

bottom of this Newsletter!!! 


Sassa Bella provides the highest quality, earth-inspired, 100% natural handmade soap and body care products for people, equines and canines. We make products that promote well-being, encourage a sense of inner harmony and enhances your own unique radiant beauty.


HIghest Quality: You can't get it better nor more naturally, no chemicals. Unprocessed, unrefined - It's real! From nature.

Earth-Inspired: The natural earth is a balanced place. There is a innate wisdom in the natural makeup of plants, that's why we combine pure, all natural plant ingredients so we end up with products that are naturally balanced and inherently beneficial. You see, plants have a lot of things in the perfect ratio that help and support healing in people.

100% Natural: EVERYthing in the products we make falls into the same natural category. Botancially based, from nature, unprocessed and unrefined - wild harvested or organic.



Every facet that goes into the creation of our products supports the philosophy that our health is integrally linked to the world around us. Our focus is on making choices that are good for us and the Earth. Our raw materials come from suppliers that utilize sustainable and renewable farming practices; and our manufacturing principles are based on waste elimination, sustainability, and corporate citizenship.

 Sassa Bella Equine Products

Sassa Bella, LLC.


The Legend of the Great Horse Trilogy
by John Royce
Trilogy books

"The Golden Spark" is a tale that will appeal to young readers of fantasy and particularly readers interested in horsemanship. The story is magical and enchanting and the writing moves along at a nice pace as we follow Meagan on her journey through history. ~ Kam Aures, Rebecca's Reads 


"Thrilling and intelligent fantasy..." ~ Emily Hinton, US Review of Books 


"John Royce introduces us to one of those works you will remember forever..." ~ Danelle Drake, Reader Views 


"Quite a Ride!" ~ Shirley Johnson, Bookwatch 

"Veteran horseman Royce combines history and myth with action and adventure to create a fast-paced, well-informed tale..." ~ Jackie Cassada, Library Journal 


"Great plot and character development, wonderful descriptions of equine history ... will leave you gnawing at the bit for more." ~ Rebecca Roberts, Historical Novel Society 


Christmas Special
Signed gift sets available at Pine Knoll
Please order soon so they can be sent in time
 for Christmas

This is a unique opportunity to buy the Trilogy and have it personalized for a Christmas gift.  Taking orders now...please contact us by phone or email. Sure to become a collectors item.

Always end on a good note!

Tom Poulin and Karin Glassman
Lessons Available on our Mechanical Schoolmaster "Harmony"

The 4Harmony  Schoolmaster™ provides an incredibly realistic simulated riding experience. Riders can focus upon developing kinesthetic awareness, flexibility, body control, and coordination, without the distracting variables posed by a live horse. Yet, they are able to acquire true feel for proper position, balance, and use of the aids. Without exception, every student with whom I have worked on "Harmony" has enthusiastically reported that they achieved perceptible improvement in their riding and horse's way of going, even after just one lesson. Under the guidance of a qualified instructor, the 4HF Schoolmaster, especially when combined with complementary unmounted exercises in Pine Knoll Farm's studio, provides a unique and powerful instrument to a rider's toolbox.

 ~Karin Glassman

Pine Knoll Family and Home
"OK" Chief Equine Co-Leadership-Facilitator
OK in field
Peace Ponies wish you Peace and Happy Holidays
Christmas Ponies
Stay Connected to the Peace Ponies
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Sassa Bella Christmas Gift Baskets

Discounted Gift Baskets!
(see above picture - excludes bath salts)

Baskets include a Shampoo/Body Wash, Body Cream and Bar Soap.  

It's a great way to try our products at a fraction of the cost...  Only $15!

 These are mixed baskets and should be

ordered by emailing sassabellabodycare@gmail.com 


Pine Knoll Center for Integrated Horsemanship | | pineknollfarm@aol.com | www.pineknollfarm.com
1101 North Yarnallton Pike
Lexington, KY 40511
Tel: 859 253 6838
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"Pine Knoll Farm is a wonderful 'therapy' for horse and human. The stress of life will melt away here so you can concentrate on the riding and learn more in your time here. Tom Poulin is a master!! Gillian is so hospitable and I always feel at home here. They are my family!!"


Kathy Ridenour - Tennessee


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