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Adventures In Paradise - Whisper to Horses

by Annette Roller,
Arizona Foothills Magazine, November 1999

Oceancliffs TrailrideBreathtaking ocean views, 200 to 300-ft. cliffs, majestic horses in a lush tropical setting and an opportunity for self-discovery? Franklin Levinson owns and manages Adventures On Horseback, an upcountry Maui horse ranch that offers high quality horseback riding excursions. Levinson along with psychologist Lee Jampolsk, facilitates a day-long program called The Maui Horse Whisperer Experience.

Like you may have seen in the movie by the same name, a horse whisperer has an ability to listen to and share a common language with horses.

"Besides dramatically reducing the stress levels in one’s body, being calm and centered opens the channel for intuition to speak," says Levinson. "Thoughtfulness, perceptiveness, sensitivity and quiet strength. The purpose of the experience is to find these qualities within ourselves to benefit the relationships in our lives as well".

The day begins at Levinson’s coastal ranch. Along with morning refreshments and lunch, the program includes a seminar, lessons on basic horsemanship and a gorgeous trail ride. It’s a day of horse-human interaction. "You talk, walk, ride, whisper and join with horses in one of the most magical and rare experiences in the world," he says.

As a horse lover, I most enjoyed the feeling that we came to have an understanding with each other. Duke was a beautiful chestnut that had just been shipped to Maui from Oahu. After some time in the ring with him, I learned how to gain his confidence and watched him change from being standoffish to friendly. There is nothing more magical than that moment when a horse invites you into his world.

After connecting with my horse, the horse back ride was even more meaningful. We rode through rolling green hills, a lush eucalyptus and fern forest, by fresh water streams and to the edge of a spectacular cliff with huge crashing breakers below. The unspoiled scenes enhanced the day of horses and self-improvement.