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, November 24, 2011

Being Thankful - Happy Thanksgiving

Good morning friends. Today is Thanksgiving, a time for family, friends, and feasts. A time to remember how fortunate we are, a time to rejoice. I am thankful for my beloved husband Rick, my wonderfully crazy family, good friends all so far (and too far) away, my beautiful horses, dogs, kitty, and farm flock, and I am thankful for my my life in general. I wish you all a wonderful day and a thankful existence. I am off to ride and play with my three horses, Fosse, Whiskey, and Lola, and get some much-needed fresh air! Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

An evening update. My horse time this morning was fabulous. I was able to ride all three horses and spend some very nice time with them for two hours! I also learned something about Lola. She makes ugly faces and gestures but, I don't think they are at me but at the boys....another lesson in not taking things personally....but I think a red ribbon in her tail should we ride with others may be a good idea...luv ya Lola, you gorgeous mare! :) Fosse was just excited to be trucking around and has come a long way. We had to keep the ride at a walk because it is icy, mucky, and snowy but still, slow and right beats fast and wrong. He sunk pretty deep as we walked through one area and didn't spook even though we dropped a foot, fast...he's a great horse. Whiskey was funny, willing to walk but I was careful to give him time to think about why he should do it...my LBI needs a patient partner, he's lucky that he lives with me, lol. At one point I went to hand him a treat with my right hand, he reached over to my left, I leaned over with the treat in my right to his left and the two of us got really unbalanced and almost tipped over! It was like slow motion but, we remained standing, hilarious really, very comical, and my faux pas of course, I should have flexed him to the other side or put the treat in my left hand, no worries. I love them all so much....YES, VERY THANKFUL.

Oh, and I just placed a Black Friday order with Parelli online....now that is my kind of shopping trip...Colt Starting Educational DVD Set, The Horseman's Apprentice Series CD Boxed Set, and a few other goodies....much more I'd like but will have to pace myself and my budget...their new catalog is exciting!

I am also [still] in the market for a new saddle. I've been for sometime but I think this spring, I'll finally get a new saddle for Lola--I hope, lol. I am planning to buy the new Wintec Wide (apparently they recently redesigned their saddles). I'd love a Parelli saddle but there is just no way I can afford one. Another Parelli friend (equuswolf--Jen) told me to get the flocked version of the Wintec instead of the CAIR panels, especially because I use a Theraflex pad, when I use a saddle that is, which is not all that often. I tend to just use my bareback pad or nothing at all but, I believe that I should change that sometimes and my current saddles don't fit her. My friend also shared all kinds of other information about her own saddle experiences that were very informative (thanks Jen).

Well, that's it for this evening! Credit card has been put away...for now. Happy days. :)


Lisa said...

I, too, agree with the flocked vs. CAIR. I wish I could recall the exact details but something goes wrong with the CAIR panels over time. I do remember the Balance saddle folks used to recommend the Wintec Wide as an viable option. At one point I considered it for Cricket but then went treeles, western, super-awesome English and now western (Natural Performer, and I still have my English)

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

Lisa--I know nothing about treeless. What does that mean and how does it feel to ride in? I've done no research on the subject. The reason I am looking at Wintec Wide is that Parelli said if I couldn't afford their saddle, this was the next best option because of the width of the tree. (Also, need to send under $1,000.)

Lisa said...

If you have aspirations beyond L2, I wouldn't even think about treeless. A treeless saddle is basically a sophisticated bareback pad. There is no tree to inhibit the horse's movement but there is also no tree to distribute the rider's weight. I've not done anything with treeless since I sold my Bob Marshall years ago. Cricket came to hate that saddle and began biting at me during saddling & cinching. She never got over it until I got my Reactor Panel (English) and within a week of using that saddle, she quit all negative feedback.

My one piece of advice when you start your saddle search - don't limit yourself to Parelli saddles. Do your research and see what else is out there. Maybe you'll come back to Parelli but maybe you'll find something that works better for you and for your horse.

As much as you want the saddle to fit your horse, it has to also fit you. Not just saddle size but also the conformation of your pelvis. What I love about RP is the way they have different seat styles to accommodate different riders. The seat that feels good to me tipped my friend forward. The seat that felt good to her was not a good fit for me.

There are so many good saddle makers out there. I bought my NP after trying it a couple times and getting input from an independent saddle fitter (one who is very big into bodywork, correct biomechanics and horse comfort above all). She loves the NP but doesn't like the Fluidity.

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

Thanks, Lisa. My aspirations were to become a Parelli instructor someday but I don't see it happening because my profession pays the bills. :) That said, I need to finish getting officially assessed in the levels...just have to find the time. Saddles are such a huge research project--probably why I haven't gotten the one for Lola. I got so lucky with my other saddle and the boys.

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

P.S. I'm a L3 at the moment.

Lisa said...

I remember you passed L2 - I kind of said that to illustrate a point. Treeless is great for trail riding and just mucking about. If you want finesse you need a quality treed saddle - one that fits you and fits your horse.

Karen Rohlf and Linda Parelli may be able to show finesse, collection and self-carriage in nothing but a halter but those are hugely talented horses and they've been schooled in proper tack.

Asking a horse to develop his back while the rider is still developing her skills is not a recipe for success. A proper treed saddle actually invites the horse to raise his back into the rider's seat.

samihob said...

Great blog! Why not come and post it at hay-net.co.uk an Equine Social Blogging Network for more to follow.

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

Thanks, Sami! I will check it out!