After Vancouver-born horse trainer Liz Mitten Ryan relocated with her architect-husband Kevin to a 320-acre Gateway 2 ranch beside Kullagh Lake in the Nicola Valley in 1999, leaving behind a very large house in Gibsons, her work as a wildlife artist became secondary to her growing awareness that horses were "spiritual equals." Her herd of eleven wild horses, along with Linda Kohanov's book The Tao of Equus, has also inspired her to view horses as therapists.

"I find it hard to refer to animals as 'pets' now," she says. "They are wise teachers with profound wisdom that we have forgotten in our busy race to achieve. I don't train, but play, communicate with and love my animals. I treat my animals exactly as I would my family."

In keeping with a sensitivity Ryan has dubbed "Equinisity," she has published a hardcover collection of her photography, artwork and writing, One With the Herd: A Spiritual Journey (Colorado: Communications / Creativity 2007). It is marketed with the assistance of a New Hampshire-based project manager. Ryan has other books about horses in the works.

"When we spend time in their presence," she writes, "we open to their world... It's like being immersed in a foreign culture. After time we absorb the language and the customs. Immersion in 'HORSE' leads to communication and understanding in the spiritual realm.

"We become comfortable in their world; a world of crystal insight where pictures and feelings flash clearly across 'MIND'--and 'MIND' is a timeless connection to a higher truth. Beyond this dimension that is known to the ego, lies the simplicity of what is clearly obvious to animals, and equally obscure to we humans: 'We are all one with God, and God is all there is.' Relax and enjoy the experience."

As a visual artist, Ryan began her training at Heatherly's School of Fine Art in London. She was BC Wildlife Artist of the Year in 1993 and 1995, a Ducks Unlimited National Artist from 1995 to 1998 and a Habitat Canada conservation stamp winner in 1998.

978-0-918880-55-0 $39.95 plus shipping

[BCBW 2007] "Art" "Photography" "Advice"