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, February 28, 2011

Weekly Task Challenge: Snow Removal

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!)

The snow is still flying here in Northern New York and it looks like we are all in for a long winter despite the report of an early spring from Punxsutawney Phil. I don't know about you all but I have a ton of snow and removal is a definite issue. Not only is my driveway long (two tenths of a mile if you don't count the two circles), but it is akin to a one lane road, winding through the woods. Rick and I have had to take into consideration snow removal before erecting any new fencing or buildings (a little suprise we got the first year we lived here). There is just not enough places to put this white stuff (I even have to dismantle the round pen for snow and manure removal). Anyhow, you'd have to be here to totally understand. Suffice it to say, it is not always as easy as one may think.

This week's task is to think about snow removal at your place (or while you are planning your dream farm). What do you do now, what issues have arisen, what could you do better? Make a plan and share it with us in the comments section!

Here are some resources for you reading pleasure:

Easy-Does-It Snow Removal

Snow Removal Tips from WVU

Snow Removal from Wikipedia

PlowSite: The Snow & Ice Industry’s Largest & Original Online Community

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Road to the Horse--Winner Chris Cox

The 2011 Road to the Horse Colt Starting Championship is over and the winner is... (third time in a row), Chris Cox. I didn't get to watch it but am hopeful for a dvd to purchase with the footage. I saw clips on Facebook of Pat with his colt and saw true horsemanship. Congrats to Chris for winning and to all three clinicians (Chris Cox, Pat Parelli, and Clinton Anderson) for making the world a better place for horses. Pat--I am a die hard for you and truly honored to be a Parelli student. I wish you'd have won but in the end, it is not about the blue ribbon, but about the relationship. Great job to all!

(By the way, Pat is bringing the horse home. *grins*)

From Pat Parelli - Fan Page on Facebook:
"A note from Theresa (for Pat): Partner (the colt) was very unconfident on his right side:bracing and bucking. Pat rode Partner in a hack in the 3rd rd comp today at a canter in both leads with rhythm and relaxation with NO bucking. Pat bounced the green ball to the top of Pat’s head on that right side: Partner was relaxed and interested. There wasn't a dry eye amongst our team. Pat exhibited a great deal of lightness!"

The Power of Visualization


As I sit here planning for my week, I am listening to a Cambiati coaching session with my laptop and headphones, trying to remain quiet, and keep 5 dogs quiet. Rick has been working overnights and is sleeping. We don't have a bedroom where you can shut a door in our home. We have loft - think log home - we love it this way but it can be complicated. Anyhow, Ti Caudron and her guests are talking about visualization on this session, as a tool to success, particularly to health and life.

This session started my mind remembering how visualization has been such an important tool for success already in my life and that I should be conscious to incorporate it. For me, it is important in all situations and I've used it for job interviews, in preparation for meetings, and even for social events where I had to network. I have used it in my horsemanship, in planning a vacation, and even while on Weight Watchers.

So it has worked and if I want success in my journey to better health, it is a tool I must reincorporate, especially when faced with difficult decisions, situations, and any loss of motivation. I really believe that completing a successful 28 day cleanse/detox as well as getting to my lifetime weight goal are both hinged on using many tools but very importantly, visualization.

It only naturally follows then, that visualization for horsemanship is very important too! I have often visualized things I want to be doing with my horses but sometimes, have found that I never get to the point of doing what I am thinking about (usually because we have to play with the horse that shows up and I always keep my principles before goals). However, when I have done these things, these goals that I've visualized, I've noticed better relaxation, better partnership, and more fun in all of my horse-human interactions.

This year, as I get back to active horsemanship, and gearing up for Level 3 assessment, I plan to use visualization as one of many tools for success. (I also am using it on my journey to better health---of course). On the coaching session, she recommended to choose three words to anchor yourself and to represent the experience you want to have (how you want to feel, the choices you want to make, and who you want to be). Use these words not only during visualization but when you are in the situation you have prepared for. This is a great and easy idea to incorporate. Below are some visualization resources (also known as mental rehearsing) and ideas for you to try out!

Resources:

The Revolution in Horsemanship: And What It Means to Mankind

Weight Watchers Tools For Living Companion : 8 Ways to Get What You Want

Creative Visualization: From Imagination To Reality - Attracting Success With Mind Power

ZenChill Power Tools

Mental Rehearsing Handout

Installing a new habit and breaking an old one by Dr. Stephanie A. Burns

Visualization - imprinting patterns of success

Weight Watchers Tools For Living

Mental Rehearsal - Can You Ingrain a Skill by Thinking about It?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sound Asleep

I went out to the barn to feed the horses and Lola was laying in the barn. I thought, hey, let's see if she will stay put when I go in to see her, she did. I was petting her face and delighted that she as not nervous to get up (we did this one other time outside). But this morning, she was breathing heavily and after a bit, I thought it was strange that she didn't get up. I checked and the blanket didn't trap her legs, the horses had hay and plenty of water so I assumed it was not colic (or unlikely anyway). However, when trying to get her up, I had to rock her and kept telling her to move, to get up, and it took several minutes to get her to stir and rise. Well, she got up, started yawning and stretching, walked outside, and stood there. Fosse and Whiskey were hanging around and Fosse was licking me, Lola was just standing, watching. Then, I fed more hay (outside) and viola, she walked over and ate. I guess she was sound asleep, in a very deep state of relaxation, with her eyes open! Whew--scared me to death--I knew I loved her but realized today just how much because I was terribly worried, sad, and terrified for her, and the thought of losing her was devastating. I was also thankful that I'd just gotten paid should the vet need to come and save her. Horses...they just steal your heart don't they?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Weekly Task Challenge:

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 is the last time you've done some horse-related reading? Have you read things you'd suggest to others? Reading about our passion whether it is fiction or non-fiction, whether it be a book or journal article, perhaps a blog, is really important to keep our minds engaged and current with our passion.

This week's challenge is to create two lists. The first, a list of things you've read that you'd consider must-reads. Share this list here on the blog using the comments section or with your horse friends. The second list is one of new things you want to read (feel free to share this too). Each list should contain at least 5 items! Have fun and be creative!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Needing a Fresh Start - WW Journey Update - Process, Planning, and Progress


I am trying very hard to remember that my horse journey and my journey to better health are connected and equally important. To have a solid partnership, both horse and human need to have mental, emotional, and physical fitness. My horses are doing their part (usually) and so, I keep striving to do mine. Pondering...if WW is a lifetime commitment and lifestyle, what is it that makes it not always liveable? Why are bad habits so difficult to discard and why doesn't the WW lifestyle allow for easily giving them up? Maybe it is not just a habitual issue solely. I do think that fat, sugar, and salt (and especially together--or other trigger foods like wheat) are akin to drugs, are addictive, and if you stop eating them you are okay. The second you allow them back into your diet, it is like a drug addict given a hit and thus fix of their drug of choice. It is hard to put down, the more you eat it the more you want it and the more it is on your mind, the more you fall out of good habits and into the oblivion that got you to the point of needing intervention in the first place....hmmmmm....more pondering.

My lowest weight (not in my life but while on this journey since Jan 2010) was 195.2lbs in December 2010 which meant I made it to Onderland and was also past 25% weight lost, past the mid-point of my entire journey too. I was on top of the world. The holidays came and went (some good days, some bad). As of my last weigh-in however, (February 12th, 2011--I skipped my February 19th meeting--not a good idea by the way) I was 206.6 lbs meaning no more 25% lost, no more Onderland, and not past the mid-point of my journey. I find this to be very difficult to deal with as we are now approaching March 2011. I realize that it is in my control and my fault but, that does not make it easier. It is what I am eating and not exercise particularly as I workout more than most people even on my worst weeks. On my good weeks, I workout twice a day, on my bad weeks, usually once a day at least 5 days a week. I am now at 56 lbs lost, 76.6 lbs to get to goal (130 lbs) ... daunting to say the least!

I've reached a place in my WW journey where I am falling back into old bad habits that include the mass consumption of sugar, fat, and salt, not getting in all of my workouts (I actually love to workout all of the time), and feeling kind of overwhelmed and unable to focus. I suspect part of this is emotionally motivated from stress related to the winter weather (and no horse play time--very depressing and no walking or running with my dogs), a heavy work load at the University, and an off-kilter schedule with my husband (I miss him as he is snow plowing almost all of the time on 12 hours shifts). I am feeling pure desperation, feel yucky from eating junk, feeling terribly guilty, feeling like a failure, and really need a clean start. This journey is an integral part of my horsemanship and I cannot give up. I am worth it and so are my horses and my horsemanship!

I've decided to stay on WW (of course) but, to get a clean start, I am going to go through a 28 day cleanse/detox program as well. It is a way for me to "kick" the bad food habits and get back to feeling good again. Just like with our horses, people are what they eat and what is consumed directly effects performance.

A Facebook friend of mine, Heike King is an Arbonne Consultant and she is going to get me hooked up on the Cambiati 28 Day Detox/Cleanse program with both Cambiati and Arbonne products. Some of the key concepts with the program are:

--Identify how nutrition affects your physical, mental and emotional health;
--Use food as fuel;
--Identify food allergies and intolerances;
--Identify and correct imbalances that contribute to a lack of energy, inability to lose weight, and missing competitive edge;
--Identify and eliminate compulsive eating habits; and
--Create a path for wellness for the rest of your life.

These are concepts that I am always thinking about and they should fit well with the WW lifestyle . A detox/cleansing restart may be just what I need. The other benefit is that they tell me what to do for the next month (there is a class which I like too--education is really important to me), no thinking needed on my part (lol), just follow the plan (as far as I know--I am still getting info). (BTW--Other online WW folks I know did it and referred me to her back in July 2010 (I was not ready to try it them) and continue to use these products in their daily regimen with not only weight loss success but, they feel overall really well balanced and healthy.)

I was in denial for years about gaining weight and now, regretting not getting at it when I gained just 5 pounds...geeze could I have waited any longer!? Now, I am working on losing 132.6 lbs...can you imagine? UGH, disgusting really, simply horrific (but when I get there, the horses will be pleased and so will I for so many reasons).

I was never the fat kid but, college, marriage, lack of knowledge, and complacency got the best of me. I don't think that I ever realized I would/could get fat and as it happened, I kept thinking it would just go away or something. It truly snuck up on me. Now at age 39, my plan is to get to goal by my 40th (this Dec 4th) and stay there. I want to live a long, athletic and healthy life with Rick and the critters and I have to lose weight to do so. (OMG I am heading to age 40--frightening, I feel like I am 18 most of the time--especially when I am riding around bareback on Fosse, Whiskey, or Lola, acting like a fool!--thanks Parelli for the ability to do so!)

Sometimes, I just want a magical do-over and be my younger healthier, thinner self. It is tiring to constantly have to think about this stuff. I try to bargain for it stating to the Universe that if given another chance, I'd be diligent and careful and not allow myself to get where I am now. However, reality is that kind of magic does not exist and as Pat Parelli says, "Take the time it takes and it takes less time." What I take from this quote in this context is that I have to just get back at it, do what it takes, and I'll get there!

So there you have it, that is my update!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Weekly Task Challenge: Music Time ♪♫♪♫♪♫

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!)

So I've been rockin' out to music at my desk (mostly to music I've heard at Zumba class) and decided that there may just be a weekly task in it! So, this week's challenge is to start compiling music that you'd like to listen to while playing with your horse! When doing so, be thinking of how your energy changes to each of the songs, be aware of your body moving while listening to certain songs, and decide what tasks you might pair up with what songs! You'll find that you and your horse will develop a rhythm together, a cadence, and you'll be dancing! So, have fun putting together your play list and go spend time with your horse. And, if you have any suggestions, please post them here in the comments section!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Horsey Love ♥

I just got back in from a little horse time with Fosse, Whiskey, and Lola. It was just grooming and snuggling (at liberty) but, it was wonderful. They are just so cuddly when I am out there with them. They could be doing anything else but choose to be with me. I am hoping for some warmer days as I need to trim hooves and would love to do some spring cleaning in the barn too. I've got quite a bit of tack to go through and sell (stuff I just never use) and some organization to do (I cannot wait for Rick to get his building and get all of the non-horse stuff out! LOL)

Anyhow, today's experience leaves me thinking that it truly speaks volumes about our relationship. Despite having months off from so-called "official" horse time, they don't hold a grudge, they want to be with me, and they make me feel fabulous. I've been feeling terribly guilty lately, about not spending time with them because of the weather, and today, they made me feel better. I love that about horses. I suspect that all the time I spend with them (when I am not whining about the cold, ice, and snow) is quality and thus, the quantity is not always the most important. Our foundation is strong, our communication is strong, and thus, our relationship is strong. ♥

The point of this short post is that any time you spend with your horse is valuable and adds to the foundation of your relationship. That even if you only can spend five minutes, it is worth it. Don't worry friends, winter is almost over (I think) and we will be back at is 100%! I truly look forward to making progress not only on the property but with my assessments this year. I need to get back at it for sure!

So, stay warm, be savvy, and love your horse. As Pat Parelli says, "Put your heart in your hand and touch your horse with your heart."

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Weekly Task Challenge: Egg and Spoon!

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!)

Since we had fun with a silly task two weeks ago, let's try another. Remember egg and spoon? The rider rides the horse with a spoon in hand that has an egg balancing on it! I recommend using a regular, metal spoon, not a plastic one.

This week's challenge is to get together with a fellow horse buddy and play egg & spoon in the snow (bareback if you dare)! Play with a dozen eggs (please buy cagefree eggs --poor chickies). Try the game at all gaits and in all depths of snow! If you dare, use obstacles and jumps too (being mindful of ice). Each time you lose, you give your friend a dollar! Remember, you will need a dollar for every egg used in the game. If you are in the lonely barn (like me), put the buck in a jar and your horse gets it each time you lose, towards some yummy treats! Have fun, be safe, and as always, be savvy!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Weekly Task Challenge: Emergency Preparedness

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!)

Since the weather all of the world seems to be extreme in these last several weeks, it seemed only appropriate to have a weekly task that addresses emergency preparedness and horses! This week, review the links below, find additional resources, an evaluate your level of preparedness. Feel free to post here as a comment and share!

American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Emergency and Disaster Preparedness
A comprehensive index of emergency resources for horse owners and practitioners.

About.com Emergency Planning for Horse and Pony Owners
An article and guide to resources for disaster planning for families with pets.

NetPosse.com Stolen Horse International Inc. Disaster Planning Pays Off
And article including suggestions for emergency planning.