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

Monday, March 29, 2010

A brief thought about the present and the past...Catching and Moving Horses About

Yesterday afternoon, as Rick and I headed out to enjoy a day trip to the St. Lawrence River and the local, state parks, we stopped at the barn. I needed to close the gate that allows the horses out into the big field, securing them, for the day, in the front paddock. Basically, I walked up to the area where they were (outside the paddock in the alley that leads to the field), used a few cues based on the 7 games, and without the benefit of a lead line, halter, or anything else, my horses willingly complied with my directions, each moving to the paddock in the order I specified, calmly and peacefully. (Keep in mind, they could have bolted out to the field and told me to fly a kite!) Anyhow, I locked the gate and Rick and I were off. At that moment, for whatever reason, my mind started thinking about what a significant thing this was (even though at this point, it was quite a natural interaction for me and them). But it was significant should I choose to relate it to past experiences with horses, and more specifically, pre-Parelli experiences.

In the past, pre-Parelli, I'd have never thought of leading a horse (or asking a horse to go somewhere) without the benefit of a halter and lead line, and some of the horses, we even used to apply the chain over the nose--oh my--I am so beyond that now but at the time (in the distant past), it was how I was taught and what I was told to do--not having any knowledge at the time of another, better way, I just did what everyone else was doing. And, let's not even talk about catching a horse without a bribe of grain and treats (I definitely don't do that anymore either, nor do I ever feel I need to). In the past, not only would the request for me to move one horses require me to get a lead line, a request for me to move three horses that were together would have required me to complete the task, with the halter and lead line, and I'd have needed to close the gate between each horse to ensure the others didn't get away and, I might add, this may have even caused me to go find help. I can also imagine I'd have felt a bit of anxiety or perhaps a bit of an adrenaline rush having to interact with so many in the same space all at once (which is close quarters with an electric fence that is on by the way). But now, as I previously illustrated, not only am I moving three horses simultaneous at liberty, I am not worrying about running to get the gate shut or that they won't listen to me, or that one may run into the electric fence and I no longer use bribes. I mean, if they were in the field, all I'd have to do now is whistle and they come running to me, immediately, and always.  We have a strong relationship and communication is equally sound. This is not to say that Fosse does not on occassion take off playfully asking for a good chase but, my reaction is quite different than it might have been many years ago.  Now, I just go in the opposite direction, ignoring him, and viola, he shows up again (within seconds I might add).  I cannot say that about all of the horses I've interacted with pre-Parelli, definately not.

I cannot begin to tell you how lovely I think life is having this strong connection to my horses...a dream come true really. And, of course, this all translates to the other things we do with our horses, including but not limited to riding. So, If you start thinking about how you interact with your horses now (or how they interact with you) versus before you incorporated Parelli Natural Horsemanship in your life, what you might find is quite interesting. What I find now are willing partners, friends if you will, who desire to be with me and I truly love being with them, on a totally different level than my past interactions with horses (and I've been around them my entire life in one way or another). I believe that there are no good excuses for people who cannot catch their horses except to say that they have not put the time into the relationship, period. Remember the little rescue Mini-Me? I could catch him...actually he would catch me! Which is the way it should be whereas no one else could.

Well, that's it for today! Until next time, keep it natural, and be savvy...(oh, and come back soon...look for future posts and videos of Lola and my assessment journey--the weather is breaking and it is time to get to work!)

PS. If you are having trouble catching your horse and are on the Parelli path, you may want to get a copy of Parelli's Catching Game DVD (no longer sold but you can find it on e-Bay) or Parelli's Natural Attraction DVD in the Success Series. Best wishes to you all.

Image from: http://janeheller.mlblogs.com/horse.jpg

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