About Kindred Connections
Founder: Nancy Zintsmaster
The beginning of something wonderful...
I was born in Washington D.C. in 1958 and lived in Silver Spring, Maryland for 18 years of my life. Even though we lived in the city, my heart yearned to be in the country where my grandparents lived. My Mother’s family were dairy farmers and raised Welsh ponies on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and this is where my fondest memories of childhood remain. As a little girl, I could not wait to get to the farm and have my Grandfather, as we fondly named “PopPop”, walk me in circles on Melody, the horse that I loved.
When I look back now, I realize that he was a true “horse whisperer”. He always said “talk to your horse, the horse knows”. He was so gentle and kind and was always one with the horse. His pride and joy was a Welsh pony that he raced with a cart. His name was Jet. A pure white pony with a mane and tail that nearly dragged on the ground. Watching him and Jet race around the track was watching a beautiful dance between the two of them. Their trust and love for each other was something that could not be denied.
My first solo riding experience was on that same farm at 6 years old. I begged my PopPop, to let me ride alone. He was game and I was so excited to show everyone what this “city slicker” could do on a horse! As all of my Uncles, Aunts and parents gathered to watch, I climbed up on Melody and was ready to go. To my surprise, she was not so willing. She kept taking me back to the barn to be with the other horses. My PopPop kept telling me what to do and as I was getting nowhere with Melody he decided she needed a little push! All of the sudden, he tapped Melody on the butt and I heard “Yah” and off we went…running like a race horse with me on bareback…at 6 years old…was he crazy??!!
I was so scared/excited and around we went giving my parents a heart attack as my “farmer Uncles” laughed out loud at my Mom who was screaming her brains out in fear!! It was quite a first memory of riding, but from then on, I was hooked. I wanted to live the rest of my life on that farm with the horses and I vowed to do it someday!
In the year 2000, I met my soul mate, Z. On our first date he told me that he would be retiring in Costa Rica. I didn’t pay much attention to it at the time, but as years passed and he got closer to retirement age, he decided that he had better take me to his dream spot. After a few days in paradise, I knew that this would be our home someday. We soon bought a property on Lake Arenal and the Arenal Volcano and dreamed of retiring there. In 2008, that day finally came and we moved to El Castillo, Costa Rica to pursue our dream of a more tranquil life.
Of course, the first thing we did was buy a horse named Gurrion, and once again all of my dreams came back to the horses. We have since rescued five horses and had our first foal, Gracie. The idea was to adopt these beautiful, sentient beings from their terrible circumstances and then find them homes. After spending a year of feeding, grooming and bringing them back to health, the bond and connection to this amazing herd was something that I could not deny. We made a decision that would change our lives forever, we would keep them all together, and with us!!
Although, for years, I had experienced the joy that horses offer our lives, I never realized the depth of the journey I was about to partake upon. Knowing that these horses had many issues, the main one being their inability to trust humans, I reached out to Linda Salinas, who teaches the Carolyn Resnick method of Horsemanship. Linda believes that the integration of mind, body and spirit can transform our relationships with animals and with each other. While training with Linda, I found that true connection with a horse is far deeper than I ever could have imagined. Horses have the ability to reflect our inner selves to help us better understand our true nature. Spending time with our horses and practicing what I learned from Linda and Carolyn changed my life and my horses' lives forever.
The connection that I now have with my herd has helped me realize my true nature and has led me to the path I was meant to take in my life! This is something that I feel is possible for all humans and horses.
Out of our love for the horses and passion for our work came Kindred Connections. As a way to bring what we love into what we do and share it with others, we began hosting all-inclusive yoga, horse and healing retreats, bringing like-minded people together, who want to connect with nature and heal mind, body and soul. As the manager of Majestic Properties, I have been able to incorporate this wonderful job into a way of life with our horses.
The horses helped showed us the way and the dream really did come true!
In Loving Memory of Gurrion