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, October 14, 2007

Catching, Curiosity, Liberty, and Riding Success

Playing with Whiskey is getting more and more interesting and fun. Last night, he saw me with the bareback pad and walked away, out of the arena, and up the hill. Rather then pursue him, I just played with the horse that showed up, Fosse.

So, Fosse and I played on the ground a bit and then I rode him in the bareback pad and rope halter, one-rein, and we worked on not only PPL at the walk, but steering and point-to-point via my looking and thinking about where we needed to go, and he did it, with ease. We also rode through several obstacles initiated by each of us. Fosse is definately going to be a great time. I did try for a trot but he was not clear on my request--a bit premature on my part. Once we were done, I took him out of the arena and fed him. Whiskey was watching from the woods but not buying in---yet.

I returned to the arena and there was Whiskey, hanging out at the gate. I suspect he wanted dinner but, the bareback pad was hanging on the gate and I decided to saddle him. I haltered him first and then saddled him with the pad. He did not fuss at all and seemed ready and willing to play, if only for a bit.

We played on-line at firist. I would ask for a walk with one smooch and a trot over the obstacles and down the arena by asking for a trot with two smooches. He immediately changed gait as requested. it was totally cool. Rather than play on the ground on line much longer, I let him go loose in the arena still tacked up. He followed me. I then asked for a circle. He willing circled me --this is a first at liberty for us. What made this experience even more fun was, I was able to ask for a walk by on smooch and for a trot smooching twice doing this too. I also was able to do this with him close by me and far away. Whiskey and I were really partners and he looked great--this was so fun.

Finally, I rode him. We did walk-trot PPL using the one and two smooch technique. He and I did fantasitc! One time he even rung his head around in a playful motion, he was having fun! He is willing to trot out quite a bit more now and understanding the tasks. He even made some talking noises at me, happy horse talk--how interesting as he is usually silent. Whiskey's personality is really blosseming. By the way, he is looking better than ever too!

BTW--Mini-Me is doing much better. He has been sick if you recall but seems to be improving. He is in our version of a stall situation (horse trailer with three dog kennel panels out the back. He is happy. taking his meds, and looking better.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Good Thoughts for Mini-Me Please

Mini-Me is sick and I am asking that you please send your good thoughts his way. He is showing signs of toxicity and/or laminitis but not founder. Something has been up for a few weeks but, I thought he was just kicked or something. He is sore/lame, acted surprised when I touched him this morning (but I thought he saw me), was shaking in pain two days ago but was better after banamine, is acting sore and snotty now (when I went to feed and medicate him a few minutes ago), allowed the goats to push him around last night (very unusual), and Fosse is ignorning him (he usually hang out with him). I think there may be other things but I cannot think right now.

I have no concrete diagnosis, only suspicions (that may be totally wrong--I wish he could talk). I have him on bute, SMZ-TMP antibiotics, and confined (using the horse trailer as a stall, padded the floor with 2 bales of shavings), have the dog kennel panels as a turnout attached to the trailer). feeding hay and very minimal grain (enough to give him the pills about 1oz alfalfa pellets, 1 oz Ultium with a little molasses and oil), and water.

I have consulted with two vets and this is the plan for now. Anyhow, I am worried about him. (I did not realize until this morning how much I really do love the little guy.) .

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Has My Horse Been Abducted by Aliens? --Just Kidding!

I just had to share (as usual). Whiskey and I are making progress in leaps and bounds these days! (Which is why I joke about an alien abduction.) LOL

Tonight, we were able to work on pushing passenger with walk-trot transitions! He only offered one ugly look and nip attempt at my foot after the first transition. I used a lot of friendly game after shaking the lead line at him. This worked well to get him back to being calm and paying attention. I believe this behavior was because he had forgotten what it felt like to trot with a rider on board (we've only trotted a very few times and not anywhere near each other time-wise for a variety of reasons so it may as well have been the first time).

Anyhow, after that one incident, we had several walk-trot transitions around the arena. These were all sitting trot with the Parelli bareback pad (an English fleece pad underneath it) and a Parelli rope halter and 12 foot lead (riding with one casual rein). Once again, a lot of friendly after each halt and a lot of time and patience to get started again (using my phases slowly and deliberately). I am using several cues and experimenting. It seems that when I lift the rein, wait, then one smooch for walk, two for trot, he was getting it and was not agitated. I do use some leg pressure but only when needed. He is a very light and responsive horse so I am careful with my phases. I also did a little spank the air/hair as needed. By the end, two smooches and we were off!

By the way, his diet change is agreeing with him and he looks great, is eating well, and has gained weight--finally! It has taken me so long to find the right combination for him. He is also not exhibiting out of control herd-bound behaviors either (although we have not been back to camp).

Also, this evening, when he was eating his grain, the others left. I went out to put him back in the arena (remember he is separated to eat). I gave him one piece of carrot and let him go back into the arena (at liberty, I point and he goes). The arena leads to the upper turnout and barn. Once in the arena, he started to run up the hill to see the other horses. I called to him by name and he returned to me! I could not believe it! And, I just happened to have more carrots in my pocket. :) So, I fed him, gave him a last rub for the evening, and said goodnight. I am so happy and I think he is too! Yeah!

(Image from A White Horse, by Stacey Mayer. Click for Copyright Info.)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Morning Tidbit

I just had to share. I went out to feed the critters this morning. I decided to crawl up on Whiskey after haltering him (I was in my t-shirt, shorts, slip on sneakers). I did not go out with the intent to do anything but feed. However, I felt compelled to get on my horse and hug him. (There is a lot going on these days.) Anyhow, I was now on Whiskey, looking at the mountains, I hugged him, spoke to him, and then, I asked for him to walk forward (not with a voice command but with the cues I learned through PNH).

He moved forward and was very happy to do so. There was no biting, no head flipping/bobbing, no gulping noises, no sudden stops, no snotty twists and turns, or any other indication of irritation or concern. We walked around the arena a few times (maybe 5 minutes if that) and I dismounted. I then walked him to the front turnout and fed him (and went back to feed the others). I then proceeded to water the critters and gave out a few apple treats.

It does not sound like much but to me it was definitely important and progress. I like that he was pleased to do this with me, thanked him and told him I needed that time with him. It seems like I am getting through to him.

What a beautiful morning!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Clarity, New Focus, and Treats

Whiskey did GREAT the other night. I used treats though (I am ashamed. LOL) Anyhow, I have been working on keeping him separated from the herd at times, we played in the arena with no one else there, then, I rode him, bareback with the rope halter. When he was successful, I often, but not everytime, offered him an apple treat. He seemed lighter and happier. I also used a great deal of friendly game. On the ground, pre-riding, I was very clear and also asked for a lot from him. So, we are getting there!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Whiskey, Issues, the Vet, Etc.

Whiskey went alone with us to camp this past weekend (Thursday-Sunday). There were good and bad times--some very good (two walks a day on the 22 foot, destination was up to him--went well, people coming by with horses or horse trailers--he went nuts, on the trail, walking with Smokey there, he was nuts--not typical as he has been able to be ridden wtih him. But the bad were horrific including beating the heck out of the trailer on the way home--it was swaying on the road was just not acceptable.

I called Carol Coppinger last night and she wonders if he has gastric ulcers. She said that the things I am doing with him sounds on track and that horses don't typically blow a gasket like this unless something is really going on.

I spoke to Dr. Lamb today (the vet) and she said maybe ulcers but the cost to even try to medicate is almost $1000 per month!

We have opted to change his diet and work on additional training--still doing PNH. Dr. Lamb agreed and is hopeful that thhings will work out. She said that she understands and is fine with the choice we have made.

Tonight I played with the horses (in the woods and the arena) but paid particular attention to my interactions with Whiskey. I think that I have discovered something. I don't believe that I have been as good of a leader to him as I needed to be. With Fosse, I was always willing to push his buttons and really lead, hard at times. With Whiskey, I think I've let him off the hook when maybe I should not have. I think this is because he can be such a quiet horse, not an in-your-face horse. Anyhow, I am being more persistent and very clear about my expectations with him and, expecting more out of him. The result, I think that we had a little progress tonight, he seemed surprised but, more respectful. More later!