The Horse Healer

Jeff Moore lives at an equestrian facility with his family. His father influenced his passion for animals at an early age. Photo: Cindy Sloan

One evening in central Washington, Jeff Moore received an urgent call. The man on the line was five hours away, in Canada – a horse trainer on his way to a big race with six horses in tow. He needed Moore’s help, so the two met at a halfway point, a deserted truck stop on the side of a highway. There, Moore cracked open his toolkit, filled with a pulsed electromagnetic blanket, micro-current machines, heat, and ice.

Moore is a certified equine bodyworker. He traverses North America to heal injured and sore horses on family farms using qigong, the Chinese medicinal practice of aligning breath and movement for exercise and meditation purposes.

“Working with horses is a peaceful, meditative job,” says Jeff Moore, as his two-year-old wails in the background. “It’s like I’m in a whole other world. Communicating with [the horses] is not always verbal. The essence is movement and body language.”

Age: 54
Grew up in: The Philippines and California. My father was drafted into the military.
Based in: Oregon
Graduated from: University of Washington, degree in biology
Years in the business: 20 years

Previous jobs: I worked at the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, but I didn’t want to work for a state agency. So I bought an outfitting business and took people horseback riding in Hells Canyon between Idaho and Oregon. A client opened my eyes to how chiropracy can help horses move better and make them happier and safer, and I followed that healing path.

Job description in two sentences: I do bodywork, training, saddle fits, and clinics to help horses move correctly again. I’m also a qigong instructor, which has really informed what I do with the horses.

The Robert Redford movie has left Moore with disdain for the term horse whisperer. Photo: bossip.com

How large are the horses you work with? Anywhere from 80-pound miniature horses to 1,800-pound warmbloods. But size doesn’t matter much. Ponies and bullfighting horses in Mexico move relatively similarly.

Most common problem: Riders. A lot of what happens to horses is because of humans, often because they’re sitting incorrectly or forcing something that shouldn’t be forced. 

Your toolkit: Mostly my hands and eyes. I’m not much of a gadget person, but I do use a pulsed electromagnetic blanket that helps increases circulation, micro-current machines, heat, and ice. You need to know horses’ movements well enough to be able to see what’s not right.

In that sense, horse chiropracy seems similar to human chiropracy. Yes. A physical therapist can know biomechanics from the books, but if he’s also a runner, he has an intuitive sense of what’s happening in a runner’s body. So having the experience of being a rider and a trainer helps me with my work.

Trained by: An equine chiropractor. Legally, you have to be a vet to do any type of chiropractic or acupuncture work on a horse. I’m not a vet, but I’m certified as a equine massage therapist.

Best part of your job: I’m making the world a better place, one horse at a time. I’m helping to bridge the understanding gap between humans and horses. Horses are highly emotional animals.

Most challenging part of your job: Horse owners. Usually, when I see that a rider is hurting the horse, it’s not intentional. But my job is to keep out my judgment and help them in any way I can. People own horses for a variety of therapeutic reasons, not simply because they enjoy riding. 

When horses photobomb. Photo: flickr.com / Andreas Müller via buzzfeed.com

What would people be surprised to learn about your job? How sensitive horses are. They just want to get along; they’re incredibly forgiving of humans’ mistakes. The more I approach them from a healing point of view, the more I realize that.

Other animals you work with: I gave a client’s chicken monthly massages for the same fees that I charge for horses. I’ve also worked on cows, pigs, dogs, and cats.

Standard session: About 1.5 hours for $135; clinics for neural re-patterning last for three days. I work with 20 to 25 horses each week on an as-needed basis.

Session rundown:

  1. I typically don’t get too much information about a horse before arriving at the barn, so when I get there, I ask the owner what’s going on. By listening to the owner, I start a diagnosis in my head.
  2. I get my hands on the horse and ask the horse what’s wrong. I watch him move. Sometimes, there’s a big difference between what the owner thinks is going on and what the horse thinks is going on.
  3. I decide what tool(s) will best help that horse: body clinics, physical bodywork, fractural relief, or spinal adjustment. I’ve been doing this long enough that it’s often apparent what’s wrong. For chronic musculoskeletal conditions, Moore integrates traditional vet diagnoses with therapeutic horse shoeing, spinal mobilization, acupressure, and flower essences.

Do you own any horses? We have a thoroughbred mare, an English cob, and a 19-year-old Arabian horse that my 9-year-old daughter rides and jumps. We also have a few cats and dogs.

If you could communicate with horses, what would you say? “I’m sorry for my species.”

Meet more hoof-happy No Joe Schmos: the kiddie ride refurbisher and the bull rider.

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The Woman Revolutionizing Airbrush Tanning

Tamar Vezirian contours and sculpts her clients’ bodies with a spray gun. Photo: Yvonne Lynch

“No showering until tomorrow morning,” Tamar Vezirian instructs. “And no bikram yoga. The tan comes off more quickly if you sweat through your pores.” The woman nods obediently, handing over her credit card.

Half an hour later, another trim, blond woman opens the door, more warily than the previous customer. It’s her first time at an airbrush tanning salon. “If you don’t want tan lines, take off your underwear,” Vezirian says matter-of-factly.

Last year, Vezirian, a self-described “tanning drill sergeant,” opened Gotham Glow, an airbrush tanning salon in the heart of New York City’s Flatiron District. After nine years in the industry, she realized she couldn’t maintain a client base of 10,000 from her cramped one-bedroom apartment. To her neighbors’ annoyance, clients were lining up outside her door or inadvertently ringing their doorbells. Vezirian was repeatedly telling her subletter not to come in because naked women were drying their tans.

Now, with a roster of some 30,000, including names like Mariah Carey and Paula Abdul, Vezirian is trying to reverse the bad rap often assigned to the airbrush tanning industry.

Click here for the chance to win one in-studio tanning session at Gotham Glow through No Joe Schmo.

Age: 33
In the business for: 9 years
Graduated from: I only went to high school, and then acting school in San Francisco. So I went to the school of hard knocks.
Previous jobs: Makeup artist for 17 years; standup comedian; waitress

Your “in” to the tanning industry: I found a job on Craigslist working for an airbrush tanning salon, which, at the time, was the first airbrush tanning salon in New York City. I came from a makeup background, so I was good with the spray gun and making people feel comfortable naked. Making people comfortable is 90 percent of the job.

What instigated you to start your own business? I started taking on clients as a side hustle while doing comedy shows. But it got big; for the last six years, I’ve had 115-hour workweeks. I finally opened my own salon about a year ago, but before then, I tanned out of my apartment, which I subletted from the guy who played Cookie Monster on Sesame Street. It was pretty ghetto.

I’ve never gotten a spray tan. Can you walk me through the process? Exfoliate beforehand, and make sure you don’t have any moisturizer on when you come in. The whole process takes about 10 minutes, including drying time. You stand naked, and I go through poses like an aerobics workout. I’m like a drill sergeant: Start with your back toward me, arms all the way up, bend all the way down! Let me have your hands! Suck your cheeks in, turn to the side, bend all the way down! People start laughing in the middle of [my instructions], but I’m just in the zone. Then you dry under a fan for a few minutes.

Post-tanning rules: As the day progresses, you get darker and darker. You can shower after eight hours, and then all the surface stuff comes of. You’re left with a nice, even tan for five to 10 days.

Above: the waiting area at Gotham Glow. Vezirian still makes house calls to special clients, to which she totes a pop-up tanning tent. Photo: C. Bay Milin

How do you put people at ease about stripping down? I’m very gifted that way. I guess I have an I don’t really give a sh*t attitude. Women with breast cancer who have had mastectomies, who haven’t even shown their husbands, get naked in front of me. Even Catholic girls who have a lot of guilt feel totally comfortable. My whole life has been filled with naked women, actually; I was once a makeup artist at a strip club.

Do most go fully nude? Yeah, or just underwear. Women wear thongs, men wear boxers or briefs. I tell women who are breastfeeding to wear strapless bras.

You tan some very wealthy, powerful women. That’s an interesting juxtaposition: they stand vulnerable while you’re in control. People can get very bitchy and demanding when they feel vulnerable. After many years, I have learned to put them in their place and say, “I’m not going to bother tanning you if this is how you’re going to talk to me.” Usually, that does the trick.

Do male clients ask for spray-on abs? I do some light contouring underneath the belly or on triceps, but I won’t just put two strips down your abs. That’s ridiculous. You have to come in with a little definition; I can’t make a severely overweight person have a six-pack.

Best part of your job: I love running my own business. I have ADHD and need to keep going all the time, and this is the perfect fast-paced environment.

Most challenging part of your job: Other people working for me and making sure they’re up to par. I have three girls who work for me, but I’m looking for more. To me, a great personality and honesty are more important than tanning experience.

What would people be surprised to learn about your job? Very fit women with amazing bodies are more shy of getting naked than overweight women. Overweight women are much more confident and have no shame.

Your celebrity clients: I recently tanned Mariah [Carey] before she went to sing for princes somewhere. I’ve done Paula Abdul, Courtney Love, and a lot of reality show people.

Photo: cinemablend.com

Do you get starstruck? No. I care more about seeing Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm than Madonna.

Most memorable tanning stories: One client threw me her stiletto Christian Louboutin shoe and a $100 bill to chase a cockroach around her apartment and kill it. I was like, Eh, I’ll do it for 100 bucks. Gotta pay the rent. Another time, a prominent New York doctor started dancing in my tanning tent, but there wasn’t any music playing. I had to kind of follow her body with the tanning gun.

Ingredients in your tanning solution: It’s all-natural and homemade using sugar cane, beets, aloe, vitamins A and E, hemp, and grape seed extract. Airbrush tanning has a stigma of being tacky and orange, but I specialize in light, natural, sun-kissed looks.

Do you self-tan? Yes. I have it on right now. But it’s like working at a restaurant; you’re always in it. So the last thing I want to do is spray-tan before going home.

The tanning mom story got a ton of media attention. What was your reaction? The media always focuses on stories like the tanning mom and puts a negative spin on the tanning industry. But I tan so many people who can’t go in the sun: people with melanoma, with lupus, who went through chemotherapy. Instead, they come to me, and that’s a good thing.

Cost per session: $75 for an in-studio tan; $50 for half-body tan. House call are $150 to $200, depending on location; I service Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. I also do parties and on-site photo shoots.

Guilty pleasure: Pork belly and duck. I’m a meat-and-potatoes kind of girl.

The wall above the front desk at Gotham Glow. A large part of Vezirian’s growing client base comes from Yelp, she says, where people find others with similar tanning fears. Photo: C. Bay Milin

Your required reading: Business books, like The Tipping Point and The E-Myth. I love reading about other business owners and how they succeeded.

LAUNCHING YOUR CAREER>>
1. Work for a tanning salon as a receptionist or booking coordinator. You’ll learn how to talk to clients and the do’s and don’ts of the business.

2. Spray all different types of people: really skinny, really overweight, darker and lighter skin tones. The more people you tan, the better you’ll get at it.

3. Learn to feel comfortable in front of naked people. Clients will be able to tell if you’re nervous, and then they will get nervous. Confidence can take years of experience. Above all else, give great customer service.

Enter below for the chance to win one in-studio tanning session at Gotham Glow. Entry period closes on Sunday, August 19 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

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The Sommelier Wants To Sip Bordeaux With Winston Churchill

“I don’t think wine should be intimidating or pretentious,” Cree says. “My job is to introduce people to wine in a fun, down-to-earth type of way.”

When Chris Cree passed the Masters of Wine exam in the early 90s, he was one of only a handful of Americans to earn the title. Now, as one of 297 Masters of Wine in the world, he dazzles friends at guess-that-wine parties and customers at his resale shop, 56 Degree Wine, with his grape and vineyard acumen.

Sometimes, Cree opts for sparkling water or iced tea with a meal, but he mostly sticks with reds and whites. He prefers crisp, elegant ones with lower alcohol content, especially a glass of sweet Sauternes paired with pan-seared fois gras. “It’s about balance,” Cree says. “You want wine that will compliment your food, not overpower it, and vice versa.”

Below, Cree reveals how to tackle intimidating wine lists (ask for the suhm-uhl-yey), suggests his favorite reasonably-priced summer wines, and champions the oft-overlooked rosé.

[Cheers: Take 15% off your purchase at 56 Degree Wine, excluding sale items. Enter promotion code SCHMO now through July 31, 2012.]

Age: 51
Graduated from: I didn’t go to college. In high school, I began working at a large liquor store in New Jersey for college tuition, but opportunities kept coming up, and I really liked working in the wine business.
Based in: Bernardsville, NJ
In the wine industry for: More than 30 years

What initially sparked your passion for wine? I loved to cook since I was a kid, and wine became a part of that. My stepfather was a pilot, so we traveled to Europe and I was able to see a different way of eating and drinking. When the owner of the liquor store I was working at in high school passed away, his daughter and son-in-law asked me to run the wine department. That’s really where I got my start.

You’re one of only 297 Masters of Wine living in 23 different countries. What does the title mean to a non-connoisseur? A Master of Wine can taste a wine 6,000 miles away from where it was made, and 10 years after it was made, and identify the location and year of the bottle.

I bet that’s a title you brag about at parties. I’ll identify wines for customers in my wine shop, or for friends at a guess-that-wine party. It really forces you to focus on what’s in the glass.

Qualifications to become a Master of Wine: I went into the program in the early 90s, right when they began offering it in America. I was only the thirteenth American to pass. To me, the exam is a business degree based on the wine trade; we were tested on everything from grape-growing and vineyard management, to production of wine and quality control, to marketing and sales of wine. Then there’s a three-day tasting component.

You must need a pretty high tolerance to prepare for the exam. You’re wine tasting every single day for most of the year leading up to the exam, and it’s really accelerated the month before. I’d bring home five or six or 12 wines to practice with, and at the time, I lived in an apartment. I would leave some of the wine bottles outside my neighbors’ doors, but once I passed the exam, that stopped. My neighbors were sad that I had passed.

Where did the name of your resale shop, 56 Degree Wine, originate? We keep the wine at 56 degrees, which is right within the ideal temperature range for storing.

Wines in Provence are grown under demanding conditions; the hot weather and abundant sunshine ripen the grapes quickly. Photo: blogs.transparent.com

Which wines are you drinking this summer? Plenty of lighter reds, or crisp, lower-alcohol whites. To name a few: Chablis (2010), Mokoroa Txakoli (2011), and Rosé de Provence.

You don’t scoff at rosé wines? I drink a lot of dry rosé from the south of France, especially from Provence, in the summer. A few years ago, it was hard to sell, because people associated it with the cheaper, sweeter wines. But it has really evolved into a classy, beautiful summer wine that goes well with salads and grilled fish.

No-fail strategy for tackling an intimidating wine list: Ask to speak with the restaurant’s sommelier, if it has one. Tell him what you’re thinking of ordering to eat, and ask what on the list would go well with that. Or tell him the types of wines you’ve had in the past that you really like.

Have you ever sent a bottle back after tasting a sip? You’re really sipping it to see whether it’s what you ordered. Give it a swirl, smell it, taste it — and ask for more if they haven’t poured you enough to properly taste it. But only send the wine back if it’s flawed or corky. Corky wine manifests itself in a musty, wet-basement smell. It’s not so much about whether you like the wine.

Photo: viticlasswines.com

How long is a wine good for once it’s opened? There’s no rule of thumb, but most of the time, it’s only one or two days. Using a suction pump or wine preservation spray might you buy a couple of extra days.

Ideal storage conditions: Dark, 55 to 58 degrees [Fahrenheit], no rapid temperature change.

Best part of your job: Traveling to Europe, California, and other wine regions.

Most challenging part of your job: At the end of the day, it’s still running a retail business. It just happens to be with a fun product.

What would people be surprised to learn about your job? Great wine doesn’t have to be really expensive. Small growers in lesser-known regions produce hundreds of great wines in the $15 to $30 range. Sort of like fresh produce, they only come in certain seasons. The best bet is to find a shop that really knows its stuff, and ask for what’s new, exciting, and inexpensive. I love white wines from the Loire Valley region (Sancerre, Touraine) and Burgundy (Macon wines for value).

Most significant change you have witnessed in American drinking culture: A push towards a richer, more fruit-driven, higher-alcohol style of wine. But that may have peaked now, with the trend moving more toward elegant wines without so much alcohol. That’s refreshing. I’ve also seen the American wine drinker grow more confident and adventurous with trying new wines, which sort of dovetailed with the food revolution. Food became a big deal with the fresh, local movement and celebrity chefs, and wine was a part of that scene.

If you could share a bottle of wine with anyone in the world, it would be with: My wife and family, and close friends.

When Churchill traveled, his porters often carried cases and cases of wines for him. Photo: education-images.blogspot.com

That’s a cop-out. Okay, Winston Churchill.

What would you drink with him? We’d probably drink the gamut, from champagne to Burgundy to great Bordeaux.

LAUNCHING YOUR CAREER>>
1. Work in a retail wine shop, where you’ll be exposed to a wide range of products from various countries, regions, and price points.

2. Taste a ton of different wines, and keep notes of what you taste. I keep my notes in my iPhone. Then, ask questions about what you taste, and read up on them. The Oxford Companion to Wine is a great big encyclopedia with pretty good definitions of every wine region and grape out there.

3. If you’re really serious, travel to wine regions. Talk to people, taste their wines, see what’s happening in vineyards and in cellars. Take classes if you can, too. Like anything else, you have to immerse yourself in it if you really want to learn it.

You can follow Chris Cree on Twitter at @ChrisCreeMW and on his blog, Down to Earth Wine.

Never drink on an empty stomach! Meet some foodie No Joe Schmos, like The Food Spotter and the editor of Serious Eats New York.

The Soap Maker

Cirese Clindinin whips up 50-pound batches of soap three times per week, which translate into more than 2,000 bars every month.

Inside the confines of her 12′ x 5′ kitchen, Cirese Clindinin makes soap. Lots and lots of soap. She boils down hundreds of pounds per month, on the same stove as she cooks her chicken dinners.

“They’re like my kids,” Clindinin says of her 15 varieties, from almond to eucalyptus, that she concocts for craft shows and online sales on the Down To Earth Body Shop. “I love them all.” She’s a one-woman show, handling research and development, sales, and marketing. She even tests all products on herself to ensure the ingredients — like oatmeal, goat’s milk, and rice bran — won’t irritate her customers’ skin.

Click [HERE] for the chance to win one of Cirese’s handmade soaps through No Joe Schmo.

Age: 31
Based in: Irvington, NJ
Graduated from: I dropped out of Rutgers in my junior year, when my business really picked up.
In the soap business for: About 12 years
Previous jobs: Sales temp jobs and receptionist positions. But I was the worst employee ever, because I would just be working on products for my personal business.

How you got your start: When I was 21, I was working on my business, going to school, and going to craft shows. Then I met Bobbi Brown, and a year later, my products were transformed into a real business when I landed an account with Estée Lauder.

Most valuable lesson learned: Bobbi Brown taught me that nice people finish first. And from Estée Lauder, I learned the importance of business integrity and putting out a good product. If your customers tell you a product doesn’t work, they’re probably right.

Where did you learn to make soap? From Barnes & Noble, mostly, and trial and error. I bought some books, tried it out, and honed it over time. I really like The Natural Soap Book: Making Herbal and Vegetable-Based Soaps.

What were some of your “errors”? Oh, man. I remember being on a crazy deadline for Estée Lauder. I had a big pot with 100 pounds of soap to be melted, and I forgot to cover the pot. I came back four hours later, and there was 100 pounds of soap all over the floor. You would think I would have only done that once, but it’s happened three or four times.

These lemon-vanilla cupcake soaps are topped with real pink coconut.

So you no longer work for Estée Lauder? I worked for her for nine years. That ended when the recession started getting bad. But getting back on my own [and starting the Down To Earth Body Shop] was exactly what I needed, because it was time for me to grow.

What have you learned as a small business owner? Have confidence in yourself, in your ability, and in your product. I’m still learning that.

What ingredients do you use? Mostly simple things you can find in your kitchen cabinet: oatmeal, milk (whole and/or goat’s milk), olive oil, avocado oil, sugar. It’s just like cooking. I add scent, texture, and color with things you might not normally imagine go into soap, like poppy seeds, sesame seeds, rice bran, pink and green miniature lentils, quinoa meal, millet seed, wheat germ, and shea butter.

The process: All the ingredients go into a pot on the stove at 150 degrees Fahrenheit, which takes a few hours to melt down. Then, I pour the mixture into 2-pound trays and add essential oils made with fresh ingredients, like mango oil, tangerine oil, almond oil, and safflower oil. After that, it’s time to create designs, often using old soap. I’ll cut up vanilla soap and layer it into the mango soap and let it dry. Finally, I let the soap harden at room temperature, or put it in the freezer for five to ten minutes. At craft shows, I like to leave it out in blocks and cut it fresh for customers.

Your workspace: I used to work out of this big, 500 square-foot warehouse. Now, I make soap right out of my own small kitchen. I get a much better response, though, since I’m really making it from scratch.

What would people be surprised to learn about your job? You have to be strategic. Soap is something that you think everyone needs, but it really requires marketing. It’s also a very messy business, which is perfect for me, since I’m already messy. It’s hard work — my schedule is pretty much seven days per week — and there is a lot of competition.

Best part of your job: Meeting new people, since I don’t really have any coworkers.

Most challenging part of your job: Learning the business side of things. I didn’t really want to, since I tend to be more creative, but I had to.

Cirese’s signature Sandbar Soap is made with a layer of sand and a layer of oatmeal and apricot seeds.

How does your soap differ from the regular store brand? Store-bought soap has more detergent in it, which dries out your skin and makes it tight. My soap, which contains Vitamin E, gives your skin more sheen and makes it softer.

Do you carry spare soap in your purse to avoid that milky pink soap in rest stop bathrooms? I suck it up at rest stops, but I do carry my own soap to hotels — usually something citrusy, like my lemongrass soap. And I always keep a box of soap in my car trunk for emergencies.

Your car must smell really clean. I can’t even smell it anymore. I think I’m immune to it by now. Sometimes, when I’m cutting up the soap at a craft show, I’ll hold it up to my nose and think, Wow, this smells so good! That’s the only time, though.

Your required reading: I love self-help books. I often reread 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself on mornings when I don’t feel like getting much done.

LAUNCHING YOUR CAREER>>
Find one product that you think you can make really well — and that you have a unique perspective on — and brand it. Instead of selling a ton of products, just choose one or two that are really solid. And don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.

Enter below for the chance to win one of 10 homemade soaps from the Down to Earth Body Shop. Entry period closes on Sunday, June 10 at 11:59 p.m. ET. [Browse more of Cirese’s products on her website and Facebook.]

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