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

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Journey to Better Health and Horsemanship

Image captured from a Facebook post.

Good afternoon everyone. I've been busy working away today and almost forgot to have my lunch. I've reheated my Arbonne Detox Tea so many times, I cannot remember how many now...in fact, here goes nothing (turning the microwave on, again). By the time I realized how hungry I had gotten, I was at a tipping point of almost starving. Thankfully, I had my lunch all ready and available in my office. (I am thoroughly enjoying an Arbonne Vanilla Protein Shake with raspberries, unsweetened almond milk, and coconut, YUM.)

Being prepared is so important on a journey to better health, for me anyway. I am too busy to think through my own personal WW journey decisions sometimes (because I am too busy making many other decisions that seem more important) and so, having made choices and having prepared a plan ahead of time helps me when I am running a million miles a minute. I menu plan, such a saving grace (I know, I've told you this already), I write it before I bite it (again, nothing new), I stock my home and office with healthy choices (yes, both locations need the same care taken to be prepared), and I usually stick to my plan (yes, usually I am fallible as we all are). It is much easier to follow-through (and pass the test) when you've done your homework in advance, don't you think?

It seems to me that in my horsemanship journey, I've lost the planning, the forethought, and thus things are stalled (sort of). I can make a million excuses but facts are facts. Much like a journey to better health, a horsemanship journey is a life-long investment, WOW, today's epiphany. I did reorganize my home library over the winter break and particularly the horse section---it needed work--and I have a lot of catching up to do! It is amazing to me how I've gotten so behind in my studies. I have been seeing the horses on a regular basis and doing small things (Lola is acting great by the way). But the weather up here is such a factor unlike when I lived in the milder climate in Virginia. There, I was out with the horses for hours everyday, year-round. Here, not even close! I have no regrets for moving but probably better decide if I am staying for the long haul and if so, suck it up and build my darned indoor arena! (Any suggestions on the smallest I could get away with? Remember, it is just me and mine, no boarders, no horse business.)

I hope you all have a lovely afternoon and evening. Rick and I will be watching Star Wars movies tonight and dining (before 7pm - my new rule) on beautiful garden salads topped with warm, grilled chicken breast and drinking San Pelligrino with freshly squeezed lemon. Doesn't that sound lovely? My other trick/tip to staying on track and healthy - make your food look, taste, and sound beautiful, it is worth the effort. I use fancy measuring devices, pretty plates, I present my food like they would on TV with proper plating technique - usually. Dining should be an experience to be enjoyed (rather than gulping down our food in a few fast minutes). Sit at the table, enjoy your company (or your solitude), experience the meal, savor the flavors, colors, smells.

So if dining should be an experience? So should our engagements with our horses. Take a little time to wear your favorite Parelli shirt or hat to the barn (or whatever makes you feel happy and special), groom your horse (slowly and with meaning, not just a rush to get the dirt off job), enjoy the sites, smells, and sounds of the barn even before you play. And, when you do engage with your horse to play or ride (although I believe riding is also playtime), try to look deeper into what is going on and enjoy the experience in its entirety, reflect and respond, don't just react. Life is simply too short not to love our horses and everything connected with them!

Do any of you have any thoughts or insights about planning and preparation? What do you do? What works, what doesn't? (I'm asking with regards to healthy living and horses!) Remember, this blog is where I talk about horsemanship, healthier living, and just about anything else that passes through my mind.! LOL :)

Below is a quote I naturally identify with on my natural horsemanship journey but, I think it is appropriate in just about any instance. It helps keep my universe in balance, reduces stress and the risks of feeling guilt, and a way to remember that this is not an all or nothing proposition. (Thanks, Pat.)

"Never say never, don't always say always; usually say usually." ... --Pat Parelli


Shannon South said...

Prior & proper preparation is the only thing that works in my weight loss goals. Like you I started back at WW in Dec (I think its weird how I do something and then read your blog and find you are doing the same). If I don't plan the meals - it falls apart. Last night for example - I got derailed at the arena with my daughter which took up the time I would have been preparing dinner. As a result dinner was massively late and a chocolate bar found its way to my hand because I was STARVING! But its the same with horses ... I schedule my horse time and once its written in (in ink!) not too much will cause the plans to alter. Wish I could find the same determination with exercise .. maybe cause i don't love exercise as much as I love my horses?!

All about planning. One facet to my weight loss goal is to find exercise that will also benefit my riding .. so with much persistence in finding a class to fit my hectic schedule, I start my first ever yoga class tomorrow! I am scared to death. But hopefully part way into this year my horse will be thanking me for being lighter and having improved flexibility and balance.

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

Hi Shannon--it is funny how we are doing the same things without even knowing it!

When the weather is nice, I will jog around the field with one of the horses online. Whiskey especially likes this. I barely start to bring up my energy and he already knows what we will be doing...and an Arab with his energy up is gorgeous! Anyhow, silly but fun, the neighbors probably think I am crazy---ah, but who cares.

The chocolate bar as a quick fix has often been something I do. Now, I am trying to reach for fruit or Baby Bell cheese, it seems to do the same and is healthier.

Best wishes to you!

(So, are you in a nice, cozy indoor at you place? Sound like it...jealous.)

Shannon :) said...

Well - currently I board my levels horse at a fabulous natural barn approx. 12 min. from home. The decision to board was a very difficult one - have him home with me and have limited play time due to weather? or not have him at home but have much more play time with a gorgeous 80'x200' arena full of toys. I still struggle with it. The owner is a dedicated Parelli student and one of the kindest people I know .. so I trust that Tido is well cared for every day .. but its still hard. My husband and I made the decision to invest in an indoor tarp style indoor to be built later this year if all goes well. That's why I smiled so much at your comment about building an arena too! I am currently looking at a 60'x100' with an additional piece down the side to house hay and an insulated/heated classroom/tackroom. Not the dream barn but affordable and I can get my partner home with me!!

I'll need to stock my pick-up with healthy snacks as I always seem to be caught out somewhere with limited options (like the arena - the food at arena's is terrible)! Thanks for the thoughts and best of health to you!! S.

Michelle AKA arabhorselover1 said...

It sounds like you have things worked out for the best possible situation, awesome. The size arena you mention is similar to what I was thinking. Nice. (We must be synced together somehow! LOL)

Kimberly Taylor said...

What a wonderful experience about horsemanship journey. Best wishes for another year of horsemanship journey.