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

Saturday, October 31, 2009

St. Jude's event was in the newspaper

I hope you can all read this, click on the image for the larger view, and I can certainly e-mail the article if you want to see it more closely too. Anyhow, the event was in the local newspaper recently and I thought some of you may be interested.

Here are a couple photos a friend took at the event.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Weekly Task Challenge: Physical Fitness (for the rider)

If you don't know what to do, have little time, or are just feeling stuck, try the weekly task challenge (posted on Wednesdays) as a way to at least do something with your horse! (It just may motivate you to do more.)

Pat Parelli teaches us that there are three components of fitness for partnership and that both horse and human should have these to achieve true partnership:Mental Fitness, Emotional Fitness, and Physical Fitness.

If you were to be honest with yourself, how might you rank your physical fitness with relation to your horsemanship? As we head into winter, it is a time where the pounds start to add up, the muscles soften, and our physique suffers. Rather than waiting for January to make another New Year's resolution, why not start now, looking into ways to become a more physically fit rider? So, here is your weekly task: Identify one thing you can do to become more fit and set a goal, write it down, and get started! To get some ideas, refer to my blog post called, Exercise for the Rider.

*Weekly tasks are based on many different Parelli resources I have studied as well as my own ideas on how to proceed through my journey. Some of the content was copied to make it easier to put up in a timely manner. Please consult http://www.parelli.com for any official instructions or materials

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Weekly Task Challenge: Parelli 10-Minute Tips

If you don't know what to do, have little time, or just feeling stuck, try the weekly task as a way to at least do something with your horse! (It just may motivate you to do more.)

Weekly Task: 10-Minute Tasks by Pat Parelli From HorseChannel.com

"Improve your relationship with your horse in as little as 10 minutes a day. If you don’t think you have time to try Parelli techniques, or if you think all that groundwork takes too much time, here is a no-excuses approach. Each tip requires a maximum of 10 minutes a day. Even if you board your horse and can only get out a few times a week, you can still use that time to radically improve the relationship you have with your horse."


*Weekly tasks are based on many different Parelli resources I have studied as well as my own ideas on how to proceed through my journey. Some of the content was copied to make it easier to put up in a timely manner. Please consult http://www.parelli.com for any official instructions or materials.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Finally playing with Lola

We finally got a reprieve from two weeks of rain on Saturday but unfortunately, I had to split and stack wood with Rick (we were out there working non-stop for 7 hours) so, no sustained horse time then. I say unfortunately because I'd rather be doing anything with horses but truly, I enjoyed our work and what a workout! LOL Sunday looked nice but ended up being drizzly and very windy (cold too). (Please note: I always do a little of this or that with the horses, anytime I am with them, PNH is integrated into my life as a whole.) Anyhow, I got lucky yesterday. I left work early, skipped the gym, and went straight home to play with Lola. (The only other times I have been able to play with her were once in the field for 5 minutes, for about 10 minutes in the rain waiting for the vet, and in the barn doing some of the Parelli 10-minute Tips stuff.) The weather was cold but not rainy, the footing was much better too. I whistled to her and the boys who were out in the big field and they all came running to me (they cannot see me until they get to the alley but heard me and stopped eating to gallop to my location), she even pushed her way to me (a first). She has been checking in with me on occasion but this pushiness was a first and to me a good sign. I haltered her and took her away from them over to our round pen. I decided we'd just start with the basic level 1, 7 games and see what we had. She has never been in the round pen and on our way there, she was leery of things but willing to walk there. I let her check stuff out (a tent, a boat, two trucks) and she seemed to appreciate it. Once at the round pen, I just started with the friendly game, the boys decided to tear back out in the field like lunatics but Lola was interested in me, not them (another good thing). She looked but came back to me. We played the games and figured out where things needed improvement. I then played with the obstacles with her (cones, barrels, tarp). We eventually did some liberty stuff and at one point, she was tearing around like a nut, squealing and bucking, and seemed to be having fun (our round pen is nothing fancy, it is literally plastic push-in posts and one string of white tape (not electrified), she did not try to escape at all (which means the amount of pressure on her was just fine). The footing is sand, it is still working in so too deep in spots but for what we were doing, ground play, just fine. I also played the stick to me at the walk and she did that quite well. (She was getting some treats throughout too so she definitely was looking for food too.) There were a few times she had a hard time looking at me but did eventually (a confidence issue). I really want to chart her horsenality, she is different from the boys and their two horsenalities. There are a lot of strange sounds and smells I think that she still is learning, we live in the woods with the wildlife. After the round pen, I walked her over to our play ground and the "horse" henge (huge boulders) for some play time (weave pattern and figure eight) and grazing time. She also was learning about our car wash obstacle (scary at first but eventually she played with it and walked calmly through), we mosied a bit working on OK eat, OK let's walk, then off to the huge tires for some squeeze and yo-yo, the mailbox, serpentine with cones, and then to another turnout area where I have log jumps. She walked over them and around, etc. This time, the boys were with us but she was now paying attention to me, not them. I also sent them away showing her I was there to protect her. Overall, she shows some opposition reflex but is willing to try. She is testing my leadership and testing the whole , "you can't make me" theory at times. Our playtime was about 90 minutes long and ended on a very good note (me feeding her dinner). I am really looking forward to more time with her.

However, in the barn, at liberty, with the boys, and food, she is a different horse and is defensive--although getting better. She is becoming more confident as I am teaching her that I run the herd, period. I am very used to doing everything with the boys, especially at feeding time and that is something I guess she needs to figure out, that it is OK to let her guard down and that I will protect her and that I am the leader. Our interactions have been mostly at this time which is when the red flag went up for me, I was concerned about her until now, until I had real play time with her, one-on-one. I see now, this is situational (and I jumped to a conclusion too soon, oops, my mistake) but I also think that, she has lost confidence and needs it back in all areas of her life and interactions (she was shuffled around a bit over the last year or so).

Anyhow, I think all is well at the farm. I want to get to know her better before I ride her. I think she needs to trust me as a leader before we do any riding as you know, leadership is a whole new ball game when mounted.

Finally, I've rented the private use of a local indoor arena for the winter so, we should really make progress then. I can haul there (10 minutes) and will start by renting 2 hours every Sunday beginning in November (and can add from there if I want). I need to get there for a tour to be sure it is ok but, the owner hosts clinics of a variety of sorts so it cannot be too bad (I hope).

Friday, October 09, 2009

The Holidays are Coming...Have you seen Horse and Wildlife Gifts, Inc? WOW!

Fall is here and winter is just around the corner. I bet you are making a list of gifts for your friends, family, and critters for the holidays. Well, I just had to share this wonderful store with you all, Horse and Wildlife Gifts, Inc. out of Zebulon, Georgia. There are many ways to find the perfect gift (by animal, artist, company, and product). These aren't your everyday gift items either, we are talking high-end gorgeous merchandise! I have been browsing and there are a variety of nice pieces. They have statues, furniture, jewelry and much more. Be sure to take a look and browse before you finalize your holiday gift-giving list!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Weekly Task Challenge: Friendly Game Revisited!

If you don't know what to do, have little time, or just feeling stuck, try the weekly task as a way to at least do something with your horse! (It just may motivate you to do more.)

This week's task focuses on Parelli Game #1, The Friendly Game.

*Remember, that there are thousands of ways to play all of the 7 games and that you need to be creative and provocative for your horse.*

The Friendly Game game proves to your horse you will not act like a predator, that you are friendly and can be trusted. You need to gain his confidence and be able to touch him with a friendly "feel" everywhere on his body. Any area where he is defensive tells you of his skepticism about you. By using approach and retreat, get to where you gain permission to touch every place on his body without forcing him to accept it. You can then advance to tossing ropes, plastic bags, coats, anything you can think of to get him braver, more confident and less skeptical. Be sure the horse is on a slack rope (or reins), not being held tight, or tied up.

Keys to Friendly Game: smile, relaxation, rhythm, approach & retreat, desensitization

YOUR TASK: Think of 20 ways to play friendly game in each of the four savvys, write them down. Then, go visit your horse and play! Once you get back from the barn, look at your list again and reflect on how it went. Were there any sticky points in your friendly game? Now strategize how you might improve or add onto this game.

Have fun, be safe, and keep it savvy!

*Weekly tasks are based on many different Parelli resources I have studied as well as my own ideas on how to proceed through my journey. Some of the content was copied to make it easier to put up in a timely manner. Please consult http://www.parelli.com for any official instructions or materials.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Living in the Lonely Barn with Normals Lurking All Around

For those of you on the Parelli path, the title may have struck a chord. Whether you are in a boarding barn or in a rural area, no matter your background, there is a chance you are around so-called normals and it seems there are more of them than us (those in PNH). This can be a very lonely place. Edie Brogan has been writing a blog that I have been reading about her PNH journey and her last post, graduation day from the ISC, addresses the idea of normals and loneliness PNHrs suffer as a consequence of isolation from others like ourselves. Please do go read her entire entry, it is excellent (read the others too, she has shared a great deal with us all). My comment to Edie on her blog, and now I am posting it here to share with you all is:

Thank you for sharing this letter, Edie. I am isolated from any Parelli people in my area, trying to run a Parelli Play Group to get people interested that isn’t working well, and trying to stay positive regardless of the isolation. I am a SC Gold member and am ever thankful for the resources and support. People around my area just don’t seem to get it and don’t care to. Several are trying to get me to a local tack and horse auction this weekend and I have politely declined several times, finally saying that I don’t like those environments and cannot stand to watch what goes on there, that I don’t buy tack that is sold there, etc. I only want to be around Parelli people but there are none to be had in these parts! I am alone. *sigh* On a positive note, I am heading to a private lesson with Fawn Anderson in Ottawa, Canada (about 2 hours away) in a few weeks, this may be the best break I get for a while. Good luck in Normalsville, it can be an ugly place.

Whether I am in isolation or not is irrelevant however because I will always put my principles before goals. I am a life-long dedicated student of Parelli Natural Horsemanship. It works for me and it works for my horses, period. I am proud to be part of this movement, this philosophy, this journney. I will continue on my journey, developing my horsemanship, developing my horses, and enjoying the trip, no matter what!

"Don't walk the extra mile for someone walking in the opposite direction." -Pat Parelli

Evening Update: Fawn's schedule changed and it conflicts with mine. So, for now, I am not going to be able to get a lesson from her. Darn. Perhaps this timing was not right for a reason (the universe works in mysterious ways sometimes). I think I'll watch for other events in the area and try to get to know the Ottawa and Quebec folks if possible. There are some PNH New Yorkers but, they are all much farther away. It is difficult being part of the lonely PNHrs club! I have a woman nearby that may rent me the use of her indoor arena through the winter (and I can easily haul there--like 10 minutes away). She does nothing with any form of natural horsemanship herself but is apparently nice and willing to let people use her place so I am going to call her. I will study my materials and take the time it takes to get to know Lola, work through each step, and should be okay until I can get to a future clinic or lesson.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Horse Update - It's Raining So Not Much Going On!

The video above is Lola exploring the playground on her full first day home.
The first part is a little hard to see but I promise, it gets better.

Well, there simply isn't anything to report. It has been raining like crazy and I've been really busy working. So, no news on the horse front except to say that everyone is getting along well. Many of you have requested more photos so here they are! These are of our trip, Lola'a arrival, and then some from this morning with the boys.