Dr. Hamilton’s Blog

Stalking Well Being

I am not an expert on finding well-being, though maybe I am an authority on searching for it. I recognize its tracks. I stalk it. I rarely catch it. And I never can seem to hold on to it for long. Here are a few simple assertions I’ve made during the process of stalking well-being for most of my adult life: Anyone who claims to have found the answers, hasn’t. There never is one way, one solution to finding well-being. [...]

June 28th, 2016|Well Being|

Ten Rules Patients Need to Know to Save Their Own Lives

We all know it’s better to prevent an illness than treat it, but there are times we may need to be admitted to the hospital for a serious illness or surgery. We also need to be aware that our healthcare system itself is a substantial risk to our wellbeing because it is so prone to “medical adverse events” (MAEs). This MAE designation is medicalese for what, in any other business, would be grouped under the headings of complications or mistakes. [...]

June 28th, 2016|Health & Medicine|

Ten Spiritual Guidelines for Confronting Life-Threatening Illness

1. Reach Out For Help You’re never alone. Illness—especially a potentially terminal or fatal illness—can isolate a human being terribly. Loneliness produces profound reductions in the ability of our immune systems to fight back. When we are ill, we need to reach out to the people who lend us strength. Very often this comes from sources we never knew existed. Having people pray for you or with you is often an important vehicle for helping to harness the loving energy [...]

June 28th, 2016|Health & Medicine, Spirituality|

Stick With The Doctor Who Answers Your Questions

Every patient has the right to ask any and all questions. And the questions can be plenty stupid. Usually, the “stupid” ones are the best ones. A disturbing number of patients report they never felt they were given time to ask all their questions of their doctor. I hear the patients say: “Well, he seemed to be in a real hurry. I didn’t want to bother him.” Or “I just felt my questions were silly. I was so anxious about [...]

June 28th, 2016|Health & Medicine|

What Not to Eat in the Hospital: Everything!

What is the problem with hospital food? You’re in the hospital, you’re sick, you’ve been given a thousand different medications that make you nauseous and rob you of your appetite. Everyone’s telling that you need nourishment to heal. What does the hospital do? They figure out a way to create the most bland, tasteless, unappealing, over-cooked food the world has ever seen. Then, just in case, you might be tempted to eat it, they leave it out long enough so [...]

June 28th, 2016|Health & Medicine|

Top Ten Things Cancer Patients Learn from Cancer Patients

As a brain surgeon specializing in tumors, I have known a lot of cancer patients. They are some of the wisest people I have ever met. Here’s my list of the top ten things my cancer patients try to pass on to patients who are in the early phase of struggling with the disease, to help them “over the hump.” There are no genes like no genes. Cancer is a disease caused by mutated genes that allow cells to grow [...]

March 20th, 2016|Health & Medicine|

Horses: Soft as Water, Hard as Stone

Lao-Tzu (600 B.C.) suggested we look for inspiration in the streams around us. “Water, he wrote, “is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.” Horses are the living embodiment of this contradictory notion: when we are rigid with them, when we try to strong-arm them, they [...]

October 15th, 2015|Spirituality|

Patience: Give Yourself a Year

The key to training horses is patience. Not because horses are so slow but because human beings are so fast. As humans, we are so inherently predatory by nature that we want the horse to learn, to respond now–or even sooner! That means that our intention is not focused on the horse’s mindset or how it relates to the learning process but, instead, we are looking ahead for the result. When we look for results, we lose our focus, our [...]

April 23rd, 2015|Horse Training, Horsemanship|

Your New Mantra: Pause, Pet, Breathe, and Praise

I recently got this heartfelt email from a couple that found themselves with a very troubled mare suffering with post-traumatic stress syndrome: Dear Allan: …. Last April we purchased a six-year-old mare…We had her evaluated by a respected professional horse clinician. He discovered that, when asked to canter (she was trained for dressage), the horse begins to accelerate rapidly,  until she eventually lost all control, Secondly, she seemed to go into an unusual form of panic that the trainer described [...]

February 23rd, 2014|Horsemanship|

Using the Right Amount of Energy for Every Horse

Today we look at a question from a reader: Hi! I just want to say how incredible it has been reading this book. I have had only trail riding experiences with horses and didn’t understand much about horses until I read this book. I have always had a love for horses but never knew the amazing qualities and minds they possess. Incredible. I also had never been able to have a horse to call mine until my mom rescued 4 [...]

March 29th, 2013|Horsemanship|

The Greatest Equine Hero Ever!

Yes, I believe the story of the Korean-born mare, named Sargent Reckless, is one of the greatest recorded stories of how truly heroic and brave horses can be. Reckless served during the Korean War with dignity and valor alongside her fellow Marines of the Recoilless Rifle Platoon, Anti-Tank Company of the 5th Marine Regiment. It is an iconic and inspiring tale of true courage which reminds us how much these magnificent creatures are willing to sacrifice to live and serve [...]

March 18th, 2013|Great Horses|

New Riding Environment? Help With Your Horse’s Anxiety

I recently had an interesting question from a reader that related to some of the principles I talk about in Zen Mind, Zen Horse. I thought it would be helpful for everyone to review this real life example: Dear Dr. Hamilton, (excerpted) I have an eleven year-old mare, born and raised in Montana.  Although Barbie was broke, she spent the first seven years “out on pasture,” the majority of time in a herd of twenty or so horses.  She has [...]

January 13th, 2013|Horse Training, Horsemanship|

A Great White Horse

A great, white horse has passed from this life. Romeo, my beloved Lipizzan stallion, who had been the star of a hundred different demonstration clinics over the years, died last night of colic. I had him since he was a yearling when he was just a gangly, dusky charcoal grey colt. I trained him for several years on the ground and then for two more years under saddle. I taught him to bow and to lie down. I taught him [...]

October 1st, 2012|Great Horses|

What’s Wrong With Predators Nowadays?

It’s easy—too easy, in fact—to look around ourselves these days and ask: “What’s gone wrong with the world? Is everyone on the planet crazy?” In just recent days, we witnessed the shootings in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and the killing of innocent Sikhs in a temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. There’s the government-led and sectarian killings in Syria. And NASA just recently reported that nearly sixty percent of Greenland’s icepack melted in less than four days and that [...]

September 25th, 2012|Uncategorized|

The Herd Bound Horse

Gillian Asks: Dear Dr. Hamilton, I really enjoyed your excellent webinar presentation, Zen Mind, Zen Horse.  I am only sorry that it couldn’t go on for at least another hour.  I made lots of notes.  Here is my question: I have a lovely 14-year-old Arab gelding who is my riding horse.  There are two mares and another gelding in his herd.  He is very herd-bound, and will act up when we are away from the others.  He is fine for the [...]

December 13th, 2011|Uncategorized|

Honesty Is Awareness

Recent research indicates that human beings lie, on average, anywhere from two to twenty times a day! We are hardly even aware that we are even lying. Here’s a teaching exercise an expert on lying recently asked members of the audience to do. “Pull out your cell phones,” he said. “Look up all the calls you made, all the text messages you sent, and all of your emails you fired off over the last twenty-four hours. Run down the list [...]

November 15th, 2011|Spirituality|

Living in the Moment

The past is a guidepost, not a hitching post. ~L. Thomas Holdcroft Horses don’t delude themselves about time. They understand that there was a past. If it was bad, they usually forgive it. If it was good, well, no reason to dwell on that too long either. As to the future, they don’t place too much stock in that either. Horses have a way of trying to size up the situation by confining themselves to the present. When they go [...]

October 23rd, 2011|Horsemanship, Spirituality|