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

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Weekly Task Challenge: Find an Educational Opportunity

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.)

As your journey progresses, you may find the need for many educational materials. These often come in the form of DVDs, online videos, pocket guides, books, articles, the Savvy Club Vault, and more. Another form of educational support it to get some hands on help from a Parelli Professional. This week's task is to sign up for some in-person educational support (at least one opportunity). Contact the person coordinating the event, and commmit to attend.

Here are some ideas. If you have others, please share using the comments option!
  • Sign up to audit a Parelli clinic or workshop.
  • Sign up to participate in a Parelli clinic or workshop.
  • Organize a Parelli clinic or workshop.
  • Sign up for a course at the Parelli International Savvy Center.
  • Sign up for private lesssons with a Parelli Professional.
  • Get tickets for a Parelli Across America, Australia, or Europe event.
  • Get tickets for a Parelli Savvy Summit.

Click here for the Official Parelli Website.

Click here for the Official Parelli Savvy Club Website

Click here for a list of Parelli instructors and their clinic and workshop offerings.

Click here for a list of Parelli Centers to take a course.

Click here for more information on Parelli Across the World events.

*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 parelli.com for any official instructions or materials.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Weekly Task Challenge: Winter Horse Blues Buster!

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.)

I've talked to several horse people over the last few days via e-mail, instant messenger, Facebook, in person, and on the phone. It seems that we all have one major thing in common, we are all suffering from the winter horse blues! Each of us has had different complaints including but not limited to: too cold, too icy, too wet, too much snow, not enough daylight, no indoor arena, have an indoor but no energy, over-tired, too much work, no time, no ideas, feeling stuck, etc. etc. The problem is, these statements, whether true to you or not and lack of play/ride time with your horse can lead your mind down a dangerous pathway in the winter horse blues, the path that starts playing head-games and tells you that you are not good enough, don't deserve it, will never get ahead, and that maybe you don't have what it takes, it makes you stop studying, makes you spend even less time with your horses, makes you complacent, and actually stops any potential progress! The lack of time with your horse makes you feel removed, depressed, and incomplete. Crazy, huh? What a vicious cycle.

This week's task is simple but important. It is time that we take charge and bust those winter blues! So here is your task. First, take stock in where you are in your horsemanship and be proud of your accomplishments, I recommend writing them down, make them feel real, tangible. Then take a good look at your individual situation. What could you possible do, even if only for a few minutes each day to keep you bond with your horse and make you feel better? Write down at least three ideas. And finally, take a look at your backlog of study materials and commit to reviewing at least two each week until you catch up. Write down that plan too!

I hope this helps and best wishes kicking the winter horse blues. Until next week...

*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 parelli.com for any official instructions or materials.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Weekly Task Challenge: You are what you eat!

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.)

If you've been reading my blog over the years and looking at my photos, you know that I am challenged and have been struggling in the area of physical fitness (something that was not the case when I was younger). I am not lazy, I am active, I do move, I am athletic actually (but could be way more), and yes, I need to lose weight and tone up, just like millions of other people on the planet. I think my problem stems from complacency and defiance! You know, the devil on my shoulder telling me that I shouldn't have to work at it, that I should be able to eat and do what I want like when I was younger (I'm 38 now)! I have control in all other aspects of my life and am taking control of this one now too, period. Complacency and defiance have gotten me nowhere. This is for me (and my horse).

Pat Parelli has said time and time again (and I've blogged this time and time again) that there are three things to achieve fitness for partnership, both horse and human should have these to achieve true partnership: Mental Fitness, Emotional Fitness, and Physical Fitness. A few years ago, you might recall seeing Pat a bit puffier than in years past (sorry Pat). Well, he did something about it and worked with a trainer. He and his son Caton lost weight and gained better physical fitness (and in front of the world, or at least the Parelli world). And, they look great! Linda Parelli looks fantastic but don't fool yourself, she works at it too! Read her blog and check out the fitness Mastery Manual. She talks about food, exercises, balance, and more! (By the way, if you search the blog for physical fitness, you will find many posts, links, and resources too.)

As per my blogged New Year's resolution, I have been working on my physical fitness. I started back to Weight Watchers meetings last Saturday and have had a great week. (I did WW years ago and was very successful until I stopped paying attention.) All week I've been planning, journaling, and eating healthy! I wanted to go to the gym this week but had injured my elbow which seems better now and so gym here I come! I also have not been sick once all week, after any meal, and feel great. I weigh-in tomorrow and should show about a 5 pound loss! (Just an aside...I've been sick on most foods since my gall bladder surgery unless I was very careful about the meal's content. Over the last couple of months (holidays), I'd been eating poorly, getting sick all of the time, and feeling lousy--how stupid is that?) Anyhow, doing well, feeling great, set a very small goal of a 5% loss for now. I cannot look at the final goal at the moment, it is too scary. I am looking at WW (or the skills you learn) as life-long learning opportunities and skills, not a diet to quit.

Ok, so to this week's challenge. This week, I challenge you to assess your physical fitness and create a doable plan to get to your first mini-goal. I want you to be very brutally honest with yourself (not cruel to yourself, no negative self-talk, I do enough of that for everyone). One's fitness goals are completely personal and that is okay. Some people need to lose weight, others just need some exercise, some need healthier eating habits, some need it all. Everyone has a different set of circumstances in life and that is ok! And, everyone's journey to what the "perfect" them is differs as well.

Here are some assessment ideas to help you. Write things down, take pictures, make a record.
  • Have someone take a photo of you in clingy clothing, a bathing suit, your underwear, what ever it takes to see all of you! No hiding behind your comfy, oversized sweatshirt. (Or stand in front of a full-sized mirror if you'd prefer to keep this a secret.) I have a huge antique mirror in my bathroom and when I get out of the shower, there is no hiding the truth. LMAO
  • Get on the scale, in the morning, in your birthday suit, write it down! I really like the digital scales or doctor's scales if you can afford one. They seem to be more accurate that the analog scales and easier to read.
  • Go use an online body-mass index calculator and see where you are at. You might also want to look at a height/weight/age chart.
  • Get out the tape measure and measure your parts.
  • Think about how you typically feel. Do you have energy, do you lack it? Do your insides feel right?
  • Think about when you are with your horse, do you get winded easily? Can you post trot without a problem? How is mounting for you? A challenge? Easy? Be honest.

Okay, once you have honestly figures out where you are think about where you want to be. Consider these goal ideas as a starting point and go from there. This is YOUR journey.

  • If you want to lose weight, set a 5% goal to start. Once you lose that, set a 10% goal, etc. Until you get where you want to be.
  • Set a goal about where you want to be in your horsemanship in the next year and list what things related to your fitness you may need to do to get there, then write down your plan.
  • Plan your week's menus. Look at new healthier recipes (or alter your all-time favorites) and write down a menu plan for the week, go shopping, and stick to it!
  • Find a local support group if you need to lose weight.
  • Locate a local gym and join! try to get there 3 times a week.

I am certain by now, you understand the challenge. Broken down very simply, it is this.

  1. Identify where your fitness level is.
  2. Determine if you need/want to do anything about it.
  3. Assess where you are.
  4. Set a mini-goal to start getting you where you want to be.
  5. Make a plan.
  6. Stick to it!

Best wishes to you all. Thanks for reading, until next time.

*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 parelli.com for any official instructions or materials.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hidden Meadows Parelli Matinee a Success!

As you know, my local Parelli group was disbanded once and for all and so I joined the Eastern Ontario Natural Horsemanship Club Meetup Group. I have attended 3 meet-ups and was so excited to be with these folks that Rick and I decided to host a meet-up at our place.

And so, today, we hosted a Parelli Matinee from 11am-2pm and had 10 attendees (including us)--people didn't leave until 3pm! PNHrs from as far as 2 hours away atttended (Canadians and Americans). We had a wonderful time getting to know eachother, eating a fabulous lunch (thanks to Rick for making Turkey Gumbo Ya-Ya and our friend Susie for making Death By Chocolate Cake), and watching the new, NEC Celebration DVD. The video as edited very nicely and was truly enjoyable to watch.

This was a wonderful meet-up and the location worked out very well. Rick and I were so very pleased with the turnout and look forward to hosting again. We've set up another meet-up as a Hidden Meadows Level 3 Parelli Matinee - Sunday, February 7th, 2010 - 10am-4pm. if you are interested, come to Hidden Meadows Natural Horsemanship in North Lawrence, New York and view the latest Parelli Level 3 (approx 5 hours of video, shown on a 52" Flatscreen LCD TV--so everyone can see it in all its detail!). This event is free. Lunch, snacks, and beverages will be provided. (RSVP)

Thursday, January 07, 2010


I just wanted to let you all know that the weekly task challenge will now be posted as a regular blog post (using the same image) rather than a page element. I am systematically going through and posting all old tasks as posts and back-dating them in the blog. These date back to march 2008 but were not done every week for a variety of reasons. If you search weekly task challenge you should be able to find them all but note that you will have to click on the "older posts" link towards the bottom or your results, not an easy link to find. You may be better off searchin on your topic. Up to you. If you are looking for something, just ask! This should be complete in the next day or so. (**Update: completed backfile)
I think this will make the weekly task challenge a better and more accessible resource for everyone. Thanks for your patience while I backfile the past tasks! If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas, please let me know! Thanks.

Here is the weekly task challenge image I am using. If you are scrolling or browsing the archives, look for it! The image was originally found on Norma's Heart and Desire Blog.

An Ah-Ha Moment: How to Be Prepared AND In the Moment

If you follow Linda Parelli on Facebook, you'll have probably read yesterday's note, "How to Be Prepared AND in the Moment." A fellow PNHr talked about her experiences at the ISC and how she was told to "live in the moment" more and that she was bringing too many "what-ifs" into the interactions with her horse. Linda remarked, "...The best time to prepare is before you are with your horse, even the night before! Make your plan and mentally explore what could go wrong and what you would do about it. This is mental preparation. Then when you are with your horse, play out your plan - don't go in expecting to have problems or you cannot function as a leader. You have to go in with a plan of what you're going to accomplish with your horse today and do everything you can to set yourself and your horse up for success to achieve your goals. By being prepared for the unthinkable the idea is to automatically do the right thing in an unexpected situation because although it may be a surprise in the moment, it should not be something you don't know how to handle..."

This was a great article for me to read and I thank you Linda so much for posting it. I think that I have finally figured out how I was going wrong with my RBI, Whiskey. As our relationship and my savvy progressed, I started over mental rehearsing all of the what-if scenarios and he is a very sensitive horse and I am certain that his last major (public) melt-down was precipitated by my energy due to this.
Here are some of the what-ifs...can you think of more?
What if my horse:
  • does not load in the trailer
  • won't stand still to mount
  • does not want me to ride him
  • bucks
  • runs away
  • spooks
  • bites
  • makes a fool of me
  • forgets everything we know
  • woke up on the wrong side of the corral

What if I:

  • am a failure
  • look stupid
  • look fat
  • lose the competition
  • feel unsafe and have to dismount in front of people
  • cannot get on my horse
  • cannot get off my horse
  • forget everything I know
What an ah-ha moment for me, what an empowering moment, what a freeing moment that will allow me to play with my horse again with a different mindset and get back to having fun, like we used to when I didn't think so hard! I am going to get back to mental rehearsing and planning before my interaction and then play with the horse that show up and reacts as needed to the situation, no second guessing, no anticipating, just living and playing in the moment.

WOW---smack---I needed that! LOL! Keep it natural, keep it savvy, and HAVE FUN! :) Until next time...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Weekly Task Challenge: Make a Plan for 2010

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

Chances are, you've been thinking about a New Year's resolution. Well, what about making a plan for 2010? This week, identify where you'd like to be with regards to your horsemanship in the next month, the next two months, and so on. WRITE DOWN a plan to get there using small goals as the foundation for your year-end goal. Be sure to include some kind of regular assessment to measure your progress and be willing to be flexible with your plan should you need to. If you know precisely where you want to go, how to get there will come together easily. Having a clear path will cause you to be motivated and excited and thus, successful.

Good luck 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 parelli.com for any official instructions or materials.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year! Any Resolutions?

This is a time of year when people reflect, plan, and look forward to a new beginning, renewed motivation, and dream of future successes. This year I plan to work very hard on my physical fitness and plan to assess and pass, at minimum, level 3 this year. (My physical fitness will impact my assessment goals.) It is easy to make a resolution but sticking to it is another matter altogether. To celebrate and begin my renewed journey for 2010, I purchased all of the new Parelli DVDs, "Getting Started, Levels 1-4, and the NEC Celebration." I believe that these new materials will offer me another look at my horsemanship and give me a renewed sense of being part of the Parelli dream. (I am also going to look into the ambassador program.) My plan for physical fitness is to exercise 3-5 days a week and so, I have renewed a 1 year membership at the gym, I am going to attend Weight Watchers meetings starting a week from tomorrow as well. This is something I did a long time ago for weight loss. My goal now is not just weight loss, but to get back into healthier eating habits for overall health and well-being. This past year has been full of health-related issues for me and I truly feel much better exercising and eating right (no surprise but for some reason, a difficult task at times, go figure). As for my professional goals, I am looking forward to many new projects and challenges at the University this year. And so, the only resolution related to that is to continue to work hard, be diligent, creative, and be the best Director of Libraries that I can be.

Happy New Year everyone. I send you all best wishes for a successful year!