About Me

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North Lawrence, New York, United States
I can be described as lover of life, an animal lover, and lover of education. I am constantly striving for knowledge and learning opportunities. I've been around horses my entire life. I enjoy working with horses and their human partners through natural horsemanship philosophies, natural balance bare foot hoof care, reiki, red-light therapy, essential oils, aromatherapy, crystal healing, chromotherapy, flower essences, and more. I am a Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master Teacher who offers treatments for people, horses, dogs, cats, and other creatures great and small. I also teach Reiki classes for those interested in learning how to treat themselves, their loved ones, and even their animals! Natural Horse Lover Farm is located in Northern New York between the St. Lawrence River and Adirondack Mountains. Heaven on Earth. naturalhorseloverfarm.com

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Annual Trail Competition and More

This is me with my friend's horse Parlay today.

Our Southwest Virginia Natural Horsemanship Club group (our two members Dian and Donnie) hosts an annual trail competition. Today, I was part of the ground crew. You can see the photos at http://s109.photobucket.com/albums/n77/arabhorselover1/Trail%20Competition%202007/

I also had a chance to ride Whiskey (at home) this evening. He did very well. Although he is still exhibiting the nipping at my feet behaviour, it is not as prevalent as before. I look forward to taking him to the next Parelli Play Group meeting at the end of the month.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Communication and Horses Makes My World Go Round!

I finally had some time to spend with the horses today. Everyone (including the goats) was in the arena. I played with Whiskey on the ground for a bit (just on the 12 foot line) with obstacles. I then decided to ride him. It was interesting and fun.

Rather than take all of the equipment out, I decided that I needed a direct communication line with him. I had felt a bit anxious about riding him because of his issues in the arena and thought that the pretenses of bareback pad, breeches, and helmet would only make me have a false sense of security and possible barrier between us. So, I rode him with one-rein and his rope halter, I wore my summer shorts, a t-shirt, and sandals. I also needed to show him trust and avoid micromanagement. Now, I don't intend to get into the helmet debate right now so please, let's not go here (please note that I usually wear mine).

So, as usual, he was trying to nip me in the foot/leg. He was not flipping his head this time and mounting was a non-issue.I wiggled the rope to deter him. Using the "My Horse Won't Go" techniques (lift rope and your energy, smile with all 4 cheeks, smooch, spank the air, spank the hair, squeeze legs) and long phases, I discovered a few things. (By the way, the Parelli literature seems to list these in a different order http://www.parelli.com/info_page.php?page=article&lit_num=16&title=My%20Horse%20Won't%20Go!&t=lit --I will investigate this too. I have found that if I just lift energy--smiling and spank the air, it works instantly.)The most predominant thing I learned was that smooching annoys him and leg pressure can be used if the phases are followed correctly, if I give him ample time to respond, phases like in Level 2 (and no smooching--LOL).
So, using persistance, proper position, and patience--especially this, I was eventually able to get him to walk forward and keep moving, sidepass, go backwards, and stop with confidence. We did pushing passenger mostly and a small bit of steering. I also flipped the rope over his head several times changing the rein. Everything was done at the walk. I did ask him to walk over a ground pole several times and was even able to use leg pressure to ask him to turn around. He also enjoyed going after the goats and other horses.
I feel excited and ready to continue. I cannot wait to try this again tomorrow! What I love most is that this horse has taught me a great deal and although our progress has been slow (for a variety of reasons), we have made progress nonetheless.

Monday, June 11, 2007

It has been a long time...

Well, I am finally back home and will have time to spend with the horses again. I have been traveling for work quite a bit and have barely seen them.

So an update...Wilbur has been placed in a new home. I downsized a bit. So, right now, I have Fosse, Whiskey, and Mini-Me. Wilbur needed more pasture and geriatric care than I could provide and his new home is going to be great!

The Parelli Play Group is going strong and I am very pleased with the progress overall. We are getting ready to plan our 4th meeting.

I was trimming this weekend and really need mini-sized equipment. My regular horse-sized stuff does not work well for Mini-me. For Fosse and Whiskey, my tools work well.

So, that is it for now, I'll post again soon. Please keep checking back!