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Student Feedback

“Can’t wait til tomorrow for the rest of neck & shoulder!! Such changes in Tacoma today from day 1. She let her 4 paddock mates know when she got home tonight!! Someone is feeling better! I could see the changes all day with her as we learned and practiced. Gives me hope with her, knowing she has been suffering for so long. I think more of the emotional got released today than I have ever seen in her.” Margaret Cronyn (500 series student)

“I just wanted to thank you for having such a wonderful program and providing such an amazing learning environment where I could really be myself.”  Kendra

“Thank you, Cheryl and Simone for the opportunity to learn how to assist my horse with such an incredibly effective and gentle approach. Anika has an on-going shoulder issue and has been resistant to releasing the tension in the area. Since taking the Foundation Course with you last month, I have been using the Basic Body Balancing Protocol several times a week and have watched her responding – breaking through her normally stoic nature. Today’s session with her was incredible. After completing the hind end moves, she was still resistant to even the gentlest of moves around her shoulder. I allowed her to set the pace as you (and the horses!) had taught me and she began to show signs of relaxation response. As I worked on the mid-back, she suddenly perked her ears, became very alert –  and here is the cool part – she went somewhere. It was as if she was in a trance – her eyes were wide open but she saw nothing around her, she was totally non-responsive to people passing by. She didn’t move a muscle for at least 10 minutes. In spite of not knowing what she was processing, it was clear that it was significant for her. It is incredibly gratifying to be able to provide her with opportunities to release her tension! Thanks so much from both of us!”  Tricia Chatfield, (completed 101 – 103)

“I can’t believe the volume of information you provide. I am so impressed and excited to read the material you have included with the program. What an opportunity…it is not what I expected.” S.S. DVM (Equi-Bow Foundation Course: 100 series)

I want to thank you both for an amazing 2 days of Equi-Bow. It is such a relief to be in the company of like minded people. You both are such wonderful teachers.    Janet – Completed Equi-Bow 100 Series  (now going on to Practitioner status)

Just had to share…I had an AMAZING body balancing session on a 20 y/o Welsh X yesterday. It’s a pony I know fairly well – was exhibiting behaviours that both the owner and I had never seen!!! She does not trust anyone (previous abuse case) and does not like to be touched especially on her legs – by the end of the session I was able to not only do stifle procedure but was able to wrap my hands around her hind legs to open the gastrocnemius. She was a phenomomenal teacher for me!!!It was a very exciting experience for both myself and her owner – her owner has not stopped texting me about how incredible it was since yesterday!

Jenna, London, ON  – completing Practitioner Program

Dear Simone and Cheryl,

I have had a life changing moment when practicing Equi-Bow after the Foundation Course. I had been working with this pregnant mare, a thoroughbred that had been rescued from the race track after suspected abuse.

She is very nervous around people (understandably so) and only allowed her current owners to handle or touch her (after six months), but never on her withers or back. The first time I met her I knew that this was a really special soul that need a little extra sensitivity. During the first session I held space for her and just allowed her to understand that I was there to help, if she wanted me to. At the end of the 20 minutes I was able to rest my hand on her shoulder. It felt like a triumph.

The next time I met her she only allowed me to hold space, but from a distance and would not accept any physical touch or directed energy. She reminded me that every time you see a horse for an Equi-Bow session that they are a new horse and I had to remind myself not to be attached to the outcome or to be disappointed.

The third session was nothing short of amazing. She and I connected on a different level and I was able to energetically provide her with the Equi-Bow basic body balance moves (which I had never done energetically before and wasn’t even sure if I was doing it correctly), to which she fully accepted. She was finally completely relaxed and was reacting as if I had done the moves physically! During the session I noticed that her right hind hock and ankle were swollen and near the end of the session she was rocking back and forth between her hind and front end. As her owner and I were standing there, I blurted out, “She wants to stay inside for a few days.” I have NO IDEA where that came from! It wasn’t MY recommendation, it was HER REQUEST! I never knew I could connect energetically to an animal, so much that I could feel what they felt and be a voice for them! I was just shocked. That is a moment I will never forget! Thank you, as it was your teaching that made me aware of my own abilities!

Linzi Sally – Graduate Practitioner

Cheryl Gibson has greatly inspired me both as a patient of mine and as a student of Bowen. It is truly a gift when a patient can experience and share with you insights in the healing journey. Cheryl has the gift of perception so obvious in her work with animals and so perfect for the gift she is sharing with Equi-Bow. Dr. Manon Bolliger, Bowen College, Vancouver 

Thank you Cheryl & Simone! What a wonderful weekend….you certainly opened a Pandora’s box of Knowledge that I am dying to see and learn! I love the passion you two have….it is SO uplifting!   Janice Taylor – Graduate Practitioner

Hi Cheryl,

Well!!! I did my FIRST mare last night – what a sassy thing! She heard me very clearly as I was speaking to her owner about how the session is all about her and what she wants and that she is in control of how much I do or don’t do. So of COURSE she decided to test that. after hind end and trauma 1-4 she decided that I wasn’t to touch her any more. So I then went across her stall and stood in the corner and told her owners that I was going to wait until she came to me and I felt she had “shut down” with the session. So there I stood for about 20 mins. She kept looking at me but I could tell this wasn’t a sign to proceed – she was just checking/challenging. Then I remembered what we did with Numi the Icelandic Pony – so I bent my knees, slouched my shoulders, dropped my head and didn’t make any eye contact. She then started to come over but JUST before she got to me she turned and walked away. The did this 3 times coming closer each time but was challenging me. The 3rd time I “heard” a HAHA. She finally came right over to me and nuzzled me and I just stood and rubbed her face. The rest of the session went smoothly. AH Mares!! LOL

Amelia- Graduate Practitioner

….thanks again to Cheryl and Simone for bringing such care and passion to Equi-Bow training.

Thank you Cheryl and Simone for your enthusiasm and encouragement during this learning process. I was fascinated by the response Janice and I got from Faisan. My own horse has had another session. This time she was quite responsive….seemed more “into” the shoulder moves….and was quite relaxed.

Joanne Rafuse, D.V.M.

I also just have to say thank you to Cheryl and Simone for a wonderful learning experience. It was great to do Equi-Bow on horses and amazing to see the effects that it had on them.

Janice Taylor, Graduate Practitioner

“I am a naturopathic doctor and bowen has played a major part in my human practice since 2000. I first came to truly understand the potential effects of bowen during a class with Ossie Rentsch. During this class he demonstrated a technique on the back of my leg that caused an electric tingle to zip up my leg into my buttock, which continued back and forth several times. Previously bowen treatments had relaxed me and given pain relief, but never before had I felt such a dramatic response. This experience triggered my enthusiasm to further explore all aspects of bowen.

During an information night about the equine bowen course offered by Equi-Bow Canada, a striking example of one horse’s response to bowen was visible to everyone present. This mare with very tight muscles throughout her back and haunches demonstrated a dramatic visible response. After only a few bowen moves, her muscles began to relax and as a result, she seemed to plump up or expand like a marshmallow. She looked rounder, with less harsh angular edges. I was eager to take this course to reach a new depth of understanding with my human clients.

As I progressed through the equine course, I found that the more work I did with horses, the more I developed the feel of the moves through my fingertips, and my understanding of bowen developed in leaps and bounds. The fibres and fascia in a horse are so different from those of a human that I had to educate my fingers all over again. The areas of thick fascia and the different location and size of the muscles often means that there isn’t the same amount of skin slack as there is in a human.

An equine bowen move seems tiny and yet is very powerful when done correctly. It sometimes seems like a leap of faith that such a tiny gentle move can make such a physical difference in a creature the size of a horse. I was performing the coccyx move on an Andalusian gelding, which is one gentle move of the index finger over the bones above the tail. This single move sent a visible shudder all the way up his spine towards his head. The size of the horse really allows you to see bowen at work. To me, this clearly showed bowen at its best.

Unlike human patients, horses are very much “in the moment”. A person may or may not immediately demonstrate a reaction to the treatment, but during an equine session, the horse’s reaction is often very obvious.

Through my work with horses, I have developed a far deeper understanding of the tension of any muscle and the differing amounts of pressure required to achieve a therapeutic response in both humans and animals. This course has given me new perspectives in my daily bowen practice.”

Debra Ann Derbyshire, B Sc. N.D.

May I introduce myself as a “bowen addict” – a student who was transformed from one who had to go to school and dreaded most of the situations there, to one who could barely wait to go and learn more bowen, better bowen, and who now experiences tremendous joy in each day either doing bowen or thinking about it! A saying of mine use to be “the sky is the limit” but it really is just the beginning!

So many humans and other creatures are “stuck” in painful, uncomfortable, complicated bodies. This may be because of trauma from pre-birth on to senior years. Some conditions being mild and others quite severe. The “gift”, as Tom Bowen recognized this technique, is wonderful to share with those who want to change a body that is unbalanced, restricted, painful – to feel free, vibrant and balanced!

When I started to learn bowen about two and a half years ago, there was no hint of how involved I would become. I had experienced the benefits of bowen a few times and was interested in learning so that I might help horses. Cheryl, my firm but fair teacher said that it would benefit me to learn on humans as well as horses. Off to Cedar Lane Farm I went, feeling lots of excitement as well as some long term fear of the school situation. I asked myself how I could do this – leave home for a few days, learn anatomy and bowen moves, work in a classroom of 11 other students and teachers, and all that goes with that? This was not easy for me but it was not long before the other students became friends, the teachers were very kind, the classroom was bright and it was very easy to learn there. This was an excellent way to learn!

The arena was next to the classroom and this was where our horse teachers allowed us to learn equine bowen on their bodies. The arena has great footing, lighting and space so we had a good learning experience there too.

As soon as Unit One was finished I knew that I must go again for more. There was a time to wait for the next unit so I practiced what I had learned on humans and others. Some responses were subtle and others were phenomenal. I’m sure that more experience can bring better results but I was more than pleased with the moves that I had learned. The humans were happy and the horses rewarded me with their positive responses too. If I ever feel the need to question anything about bowen, there is no hesitation on the part of the teachers to check it out. All who have taught me have been generous with information and time, very accommodating with my way of learning and providing tremendous support at all times.

I had to wait a long time to learn bowen, but the opportunity came and all the conditions were in place at Cedar Lane for me to enjoy learning at a good pace, in a comfortable place and with those who also feel passionate about doing good work. It is hard to describe how you feel when you see good results – it is the biggest chemical high – natural of course! I am forever saying “thank you” to all who helped me get that goodness from life!

Lorna Butler, Newmarket, ON Graduate Practitioner

Hi Cheryl,

Just had to share with you this little story.

Saturday I went to ride Xaquiro. When I went to get him from his paddock, he resisted coming with me. I found it strange as he never resists and is always willing to come and ride with me. When I went to bring him to the mounting block, again he resisted, (I also found this strange). They only other time he ever acted like this, he was lame. He was trying to tell me something.

Although I was suspicious, I rode him, but did not find anything out of whack, I even cantered him and he was fine.

Yesterday was a different story. He again resisted going to the mounting block. So I decided to get on him and see what was up. BINGO. I could feel an uneveness, and it felt like one of his hips was almost under my leg. I jumped off, lunged him for a few trot steps and then saw it. He was dragging his right hind a bit, instead of picking it up. (I AM TOTALLY IMPRESSED WITH MYSELF)

My horse may be a “weenie”, but he talks. I will never underestimate him again.

So I did Equi-Bow on his hind end. (I was praying that I was doing it right, as I had left the diagrams at home and only took the cards that I had created). The amazing thing was that he kept dropping each haunch towards me as I did each side. It was as if he was telling me, “yes mom that is where it hurts”. Please fix it.

After the pause, when I asked him if he was ready to go on to the next movement, he nodded his head three times, and again he dropped each haunch towards me. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I probably would never have believed it.

Annie went up to ride him this morning, but I had already warned her last night. She said she saw it as well, but assured me that it looked very mild this morning. He will have a few days rest and I will go up again maybe tomorrow or Thursday to do some more bowen.

I will never underestimate my horse’s body language again or his communication skills.

Mary-Joe Figueira – Completed the Horse Owner’s Course