Sandra Wallin has been learning from horses, in one way or another, her entire life, but it wasn’t until her horses Grace and Chiron arrived that her apprenticeship truly began. Sandra claims Grace has taught her to be a better person and Chiron is teaching her to be a better horse, and as she learns, so she teaches, in her Equine Guided Development programs at Chiron’s Way.
Sandra often hears from her urban clients how much they appreciate the outdoor classroom, that simply being on the land enables them to feel more connected to themselves, each other, and their learning. As a lifelong learner herself, Sandra has had the privilege of studying with many leaders in the field of Equine Guided Learning and Wellness. She is a Horse Conscious Teacher, an Epona Approved Instructor and has Bachelor’s degrees in Science and Education, a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology and is currently working toward a doctorate in Ecopsychology.
Sandra is a Registered Clinical Counsellor, educator, and presenter, who having recently retired after 22 years in a local school district, divides her professional time between a private practice, and teaching Equine Guided Development and PSYCH-K®, locally and internationally. Her clients range from middle school students to corporate executives and she currently sits on two national committees helping to develop guidelines for the ethical practice of Equine Facilitated Wellness in Canada.
Sandra is a contributing author in Horse As Teacher: The Path to Relationship, the second book in The Horse As Teacher series. She loved the writing process so much that she has begun working on a new book, under Grace’s kind tutelage. She is also a feature writer in the Horses in Art magazine where her focus is The Art in Horses: How Horses Help Humans Become Their Own Masterpiece.
The Meaning of Chiron's Way...
When I first began to think of a name for my business, I did all of the traditional story boarding, reading and researching but nothing felt quite right. I loved the idea of the centaur but my initial investigations uncovered information that was not in keeping with my vision for this “work”. I then attended a lecture by a woman who spoke of Chiron as the Wounded Healer. After a few introductory statements, the name Chiron’s Way popped into my head. As I continued to listen to his story, I knew I had found my name.
Greek mythology tells of a centaur who was a master philosopher, one of the first ecologists, a holistic healer and a mentor of heroes. His multidisciplinary teaching brought out the best in each individual, fostering their greatest talents in a way that integrated the mental, physical, spiritual and relational energies of each.
Chiron’s role is that of a bridge between our socially defined conditioned self and the awakening of our greatest potential. He becomes a model for synthesis, connecting us with our individual journey, melding the cultural split between instinct and intellect, and conveying new ideas which catalyze change for tomorrow while drawing from the established strength of today.
In a nutshell, Chiron teaches us to find strength in the wound, transmuting old pain so we can exemplify the mastery of a specific life lesson. By working through and finding these strengths, everyone whose life we touch benefits by example. This is true heroism and one of the wounded healer’s greatest gifts.
Meet the Herd
Grace is a Tennessee Walking Horse whom Sandra calls the Equine Apothecary due to her innate ability to know just what lesson to pull out for each person, family or team. Whether it is carrying a child with autism to a place of connection and peace, or breathing deeply into the heart of a grieving cancer patient, Grace identifies with each person and adjusts her responses to suit.
People who meet Grace never forget her.
Chiron is best known by Plato’s quote which states, "Life must be lived as play.". Chiron is a great teacher of boundaries but once learned, he will accompany you on the dance of a lifetime. He is powerful, brilliant and curious as well as kind, sensitive and attuned.
Xen arrived during the Spring Equinox and though this is his baby picture, when he stepped off the trailer, the ground shook. I call him the Mountain for his sheer size and heart – my husband Greg calls him Hank. Xen is gentle and deep and we are so glad he is here. He and Tank are great friends and I now know where the term HORSIN’ AROUND came from.
Tank is a horse of many names (Tank, Tanks-alot, Tankaliscious, Angel Horse, Valour) but of one predominant quality… LOVE. Everyone who meets him feels welcome and safe, myself included and if you want to learn more about this Angel of a Horse, read the article I wrote about him entitled The Sacred Ride.
Some people do think he's a horse but Saxon, aka The Drool Meister, A Whole Lotta Love, Mr. Handsome...are in truth small names to describe the large love that is...Saxon!
Sadly, Saxon passed away after almost 12 years of joy and love. His presence is still powerfully felt by all who knew and loved him.