About Me

My photo
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

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Weekly Task Challenge: Patterns!

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!)

Do you remember the Parelli Patterns? This week's task is to review the patterns map and evaluate you and your horse. Don't just read it through, take notes, write down your progress, and actually play with your horse! If you cannot ride because of the weather, do the online and liberty materials and get back to the riding portion when you can. Find out which level can you do each of the patterns and make a plan to get even better! Remember, the patters are the blueprint for you and your horse, they help to make you both resposible for your actions and partners, not just mindless, boring robots! Have fun, be safe, and of course, be SAVVY!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Don't let minor set-backs stop your drive!

Just a quick post today...So, I've been on a 13 week-long self-imposed weight loss plateau. What do I mean? Well, I've lost and gained the same 5+ pounds for 13 weeks, never passing 60 pounds down. I am sure you can imagine how difficult this has been. In the past, I'd have probably given up. However, that is not what I did, Each day, I'd try to make the best decisions possible and push forward on this journey. I kept going to meetings, kept talking with my WW buddies, and just kept pushing. The reason why I say self-imposed is the fact that I've not been totally on track, slipping up, and just not as focused as I'd been. I can certainly list a bunch of reasons but, they are not the point of the post. The point is that no matter how hard life gets, if you want something bad enough, just don't give up (and this means you and your horsemanship too, folks). Keep at it, keep trying, and you will get there! This morning, at my Weight Watchers meeting, I finally broke through and am down 61.2 pounds! I am feeling really great too. When I ride or play with the horses I am more agile, I feel more energized and athletic, and am certainly more limber and fit. If you are even pondering losing a few pounds, just do it, go for it, you and your horse are worth the effort!

“Live life fully while you're here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don't try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.” --Anthony Robbins

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Weekly Task Challenge: Water and Winter!

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!)

For those of you in northern hemisphere and the colder climates, freezing water tanks and buckets is just par for the course during this time of year. However, our horses need access to fresh water, 24/7! This week's challenge is to make a plan on how to cope with this recurring issue. Some ideas include using a water tank heater, heated bucket, insulate your tanks, and buckets, build or buy something solar-powered, or even one of those fancy waterers! Comment here and share what you do to cope. I've listed a link to some solar power ideas--very cool ideas (thanks, Tenley). Heating Water for Animals (Solar)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bobbing for Apples and Other Horse-Related Fun

A friend on the Eastern Ontario Natural Horsemanship Meet-up Group responded to one of my discussion posts telling me about a Halloween Spooktacular event she had where her horses bobbed for apples! I thought that this sounded like great fun and so, this evening, I gave it a try with my horses. As anticipated, Whiskey was game for the task! To add a little challenge, the hose was running in the round container causing a current. He chased the apple around and around and caught it biting down, pushing it in the water, etc. What fun! Lola and Fosse were less impressed and decided it wasn't worth the hassle. LOL

Prior to this, despite still feeling not too well, I wanted to spend a little time with the horses. I packed my pockets with apple cookies, grabbed a halter and lead, and headed out to see them. I was immediately met by three horses running up to me to hang out! I played with them all by riding Lola around one-reined, bareback and the boys loose, she and I calling the shots (although she and I had a few moments where we had to negotiate who between the two of us was to lead the charge)! So it was girls against the boys and what fun we had indeed--I think the girls won. We traveled all around, over logs, around trees, between trees, on the rail, off the rail, and had a great deal of fun working with patterns and obstacles as the sun quickly disappeared.

Finally, it was time for grooming and apple-bobbing. I took each horse individually and gave them some one on one friendly game time, it was peaceful and nice. Each was brushed from head to hoof, hooves were cleaned and examined, and a few more goodies before I left. As I wrote earlier, Whiskey loved the apple-bobbing game. Lola loved being groomed and rested her head on my shoulder, and Fosse enjoyed the time as well, grooming me back, one-on-one, with his favorite partner, me. I'd like to think that they all enjoy my company and our relationship, I know I do.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Longing for my horse friends...

Image from:
http://www.worldphotographicarts.com/gallery/colorawards/2nd_annual/masterscup/fullsize.php?t=Nominee in Nature&id=7000

Well, it is Sunday, getting dark out, and here I sit in the house thinking about you all, my horses friends, and my horses. Since moving to NY, I truly feel like I am in the lonely barn (despite the Canadian group I am a member of) and it is a very difficult place to be because I am a social creature! I find my schedule to be extremely busy and I find it difficult to fit in everything, and most especially, fitting the horses in to the degree that I want (like the old days) has been very difficult. I often wonder if I found a horse buddy (like the one I had in VA--you know who you are, Clare--I miss you terribly) if I'd be doing more? It is hard to say, I would still be busy but, sometimes having a friend to share the fun with makes it easier to schedule. The few horse friends I've found are really busy and do their own thing--and I am truly looking for a PNHr because we can study and learn together. Rick tells me to be patient and to remember that moving and settling in takes time, and sometimes a long time (years), and that my new position (career) truly takes much more of my time, we started from scratch here on the property and it is coming along, etc. etc. You get the idea. The left-brained, logical side of my brain understands this, the right-side of my brain feels restless and frustrated. There is never enough time, money, and the like is there?
*sigh* C'est la vie!

In any event, I did check the Eastern Ontario group's message board and posted, I checked the calendar,and have offered to open my home and library to folks should they want to get together. There is truly nothing else I can do I guess. I hope to make a connection with horse friends, old and new, again soon...I am in need for a horse friend fix! (Clare, you just have to move up here with Guiness, ok?!)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Weekly Task Challenge: Reach Out and Touch Someone

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!)

Being connected to like-minded horse people is an important piece of the horsemanship journey. Whether it be a good friend, networking opportunity, outlet for feedback, or something else, human relationships are vital to our progress. This week's task is to connect with a new or reconnect with an old, like-minded horse person! Have fun, don't be shy, and just do it--reach out and touch someone! You won't be sorry,your connection will be mutually beneficial. :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Butterfly Effect

"Today scientists talk about the so-called Butterfly Effect. The theory goes that the wings of a butterfly beating in one part of the world can actually lead to changes in conditions many hundreds of miles away, even on the other side of the world. Everything in nature is, in some way, connected; every cause has an effect. In the same way, individual choices made by individual people – even insignificant people – can change situations and events, sometimes on a huge scale, and sometimes many miles away or many years into the future."

So, I was really jonesing for exercise! I cannot stand just sitting around to get well. Like I said before, I don't have time to be sick and it has been over a week! Now I haven't stayed home for a week but, I also have not been leading my normally active life. On a good note, I have been able to continue working on CU stuff in between naps and am not getting behind on my work despite taking a couple of days off to get well. It seemed fairly nice out today so I bundled up and take Morgan for a walk. I think we both needed to get out of the house and get some fresh air.

Once outside, Morgan and I decided, for better or worse, to do a walk/run. When I write for better or worse, I am referring to me being sick and she and I not doing this activity in so long that I cannot remember when we did it last. I chose to do the day 2 of week 5, C25K workout (5min fast walk, 8 min run, 5 min fast walk, 8 min run, 5 min cool down walk). I did stop a few extra times (like 30 sec each) to catch my breath and blow my nose and them resumed running!

Then, while doing our last run interval, the last part of it, we were catching up to a lady walking in the same direction, Morgan and I each were distracted for a split second and boom! She tripped me (while the lady was watching), and I fell on the road, splat! How embarrassing, especially when you feel like you are looking like an athlete with your athletic dog! LOL--It would be akin to falling off your horse (or falling next to your horse if you were on the ground) in front of others when all seemed to be going well. Morgan stopped immediately after I fell and started licking my face, I was laughing. We are both okay, I have a little road rash on my knees--ouch.

So, we ended up walking the rest of the way with this woman, who lives down the street and discovered she and I both know some of the same people in our respective circles. She and I talked a bit about the horses (nope, she is not a horse person) but, she admired mine and our farm. Anyhow, it was a good ending to a good workout. I headed back to the house sweaty and needing to take a rest.

Walking up the driveway, I let Morgan loose to run around and visited with the horses who were happily enjoying the sunshine and munching on some beautiful, green, hay. I am hoping to get in some time with them this weekend including but not limited to play time, trim time, and ride time! The weather appears to be in our favor and hopefully the ground will have dried out so that we don't chew it all up.

I walk away with feeling good, coughing up junk out of my lungs (a good thing), and really remembering the euphoric feelings and success I had when Morgan and I regularly walked and/or ran together. Now to figure out how to get this back into the schedule despite the lack of light, impending hostile weather, and all the hustle and bustle that is my life. Just another reason why building an indoor arena is a good idea--in addition to using it for horse time which is also lacking because of the light, weather, and schedule, Morgan and I could use it to exercise too--which is good not only for my journey to thin and fit but, it benefits my horsemanship!

What we do, how we act, and how we respond all impact not only our lives but, the lives of others. So it stands to reason that how I spend my time, the fact that I exercise (or not), what I eat, decisions that I make in all aspects of my life, determine my own destiny and my destiny impacts those in my life (my family, friends, animals, etc). Take great care when you make decisions in all areas of your life, your choices have consequences and important, no matter how small they may seem at the time. Everything in my life is so interrelated that it could be described as part of the butterfly effect and it is the same for all of you.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembering Horses on Veteran's Day

The sculpture above is of the war-weary Civil War horse in the courtyard of the National Sporting Library http://www.nsl.org/warhorse.htm .

Today is Veteran's Day, a day to remeber our fallen military heros. Let's also take a moment to remember the many fallen horses who died in battle, side-by-side with their human partners.

Click here to read an article from Horse.com about our fallen equine heros. "Armistice Day, more commonly known as Veterans Day, provides us with an opportunity to commemorate the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at the end of World War I and marks the day when millions of people worldwide stop to remember those who have served and died for their countries in military conflicts throughout history. This Veterans Day, spare a few extra seconds to remember the countless number of horses that lost their lives in combat alongside the brave men and women who served their nations. "

Monday, November 08, 2010

Apple Bowling!

Image from:http://sascalia.blogspot.com/

So what do you do when it is cold, muddy, and gets dark early? When you are really busy working, have no indoor arena, or lights installed yet? How do you keep it fun and interesting and not get discouraged because you don't have the perfect equestrian facility and all the time at your disposal? (Yeah--it is called reality for many of us. Bummer, huh.)

Well, I am an optimist and a dreamer, and I never give up. I try to find the good in everything and everyone so, a little apple bowling with the horses is what I've been doing and it's been a hoot! Yeah, I've been busy, sick for a week, and still, finding a way to connect.

My horses are simply too funny! Picture this, Lola has to be fed first--pushy and in your space, does not understand why she should even play, just wants the apples darn it! (She is respectful when asked to be.) Fosse is running around whinnying like a lacrosse player yelling me, me, and I have to send him the apple so that he can make a goal, and Whiskey, I roll it, he runs for it, leaps in the air stopping the apple with his front foot, picks it up and eats it, every time, and trots off, floating in air (away from Lola why thinks he's a target)--he is truly athletic, gorgeous, and thinks he's a Lipizzaner!

Horses are truly fun to be around whether you are riding, playing on the ground, feeding, grooming , cleaning the barn, or anything else. Every time I am with my horses I feel extreme joy and happiness, I feel complete. They seem to enjoy me just the same, even if I've been too busy to spend long sessions with them. The one thing I always try to do is to make the time we have, fun. To me, there is no point to it unless we are all having a good time. So, don't let your circumstances get you down, find the positive, be creative, and have fun!

Next game...carrot catch!?

Another reason to be physically fit for your horse...

North Bay Farrier Service in California posted this amazing video on Facebook. I just found it and had to share! Even if you are not a Facebook member, you should be able to view it! Check out the video and then come back here and read my post! How Does Energy Effect Hoof Balance? (Also, check out Lola as a youngster above, floating on air.)

When I saw this video, my first thought was, "Amazing...horses are so powerful and beautiful." my second thought was, "Geeze, I'd better get out and trim my horses hooves, they are due!" and finally, my third thought and the reason for this post was, "Wow, yes, just another reason why being physically fit for my horse is so important!"

Okay, so let's review what we saw on the video. These horses are putting extreme strain and pressure on their bodies, look at how their legs and hooves are affected! They are agile, balanced, strong, athletic, and incredible. Now, imagine adding a rider to the equation and ask yourself some difficult questions:

What would my horse like?

1. A rider that was balanced or unbalanced (and what am I?).
2. A rider that was physically fit or one who was not (and what am I?).
3. A rider that was coordinated and had timing, a rider that was not coordinated and lacked timing (and what am I?)

These factors truly affect our own sense of self and our ability to be one with our horses. I don't know about you but for me, this is such a major truth and so important that I have been working hard, every day, to get back to being: balanced, fit, and coordinated. I didn't lose it all but, what I can say, a terrible truth to admit, is that gaining weight threw everything off kilter for sure. Losing the weight is reminding me of how much I used to do and how much better I was, in all aspects of life, fit. A realization that was vital for me to get my horsemanship on track and for me to make any kind of progress (let alone be safe). My horses are thankful and seem to be appreciating every step forward I take. I feel all the better for it on so many levels.

In any event, please take a moment to evaluate the video, your horse's feet and fitness, your own fitness, and take what steps you need to take to make your partnership that much better! Best wishes to you, the journey is well worth the trip!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Weekly Task Challenge: Dance with your horse

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!)

When dancers unite, one leads and the other follows, in harmony they float, move, and enjoy a feeling on oneness. This same feeling applies when you are in harmony with your horse. This week's challenge is to dance with your horse. Whether you are on the ground or riding, find a way to clearly communicate, lead, and become one with your horse. If you are struggling with this idea, think about starting with the friendly game while on the ground or perhaps a passenger lesson? Be sure to crank up the tunes, be centered and relaxed, and have fun with it, the sky is the limit! Be certain to come back here and write a comment sharing your experience. (I'll be trying to figure out how to combine my love of horses and Zumba together! LOL)