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, February 22, 2012

Living On An Ice Cap! :)

Well horse friends, still not much to report as we are living on a sheet of ice up here! Despite a very calm winter, my farm has been plagued with ice. It is literally so bad that I have fallen several times when feeding and have slide into my car when trying to walk to it! And, yes, we have used deicer and salt but, it is really thick ice and every day that it thaws a bit, the night just freezes it up to create a new, slick, hazard. I almost considered buying the horses ice skates! You should have seen Fosse the one day. He was being all bad and punky-acting (LBE) and then, in an instant, he looked more akin to Goofy! So, not much going on at all except feeding, grooming, and cleaning. (For the horses, we did spread manure on most of their outside ice...not pretty but at least no broken bones out there!)

One thing that is noteworthy is that Lola and I are doing very well. She only tried her shenanigans once since the last biting incident, it was feeding time (of course), and I asserted leadership, very subtly actually, and she respected me. :) A Parelli student asked me about this issue via email. The person seemed to be a bit dismayed at the "Say Ow" response from Parelli or perhaps that was just my impression. It was a nice conversation back and forth.

I think that at times the just say "Ow" is okay, it is situational and you cannot, in my opinion quantify all responses in the same way. In effect, backing the horse out of your space before it happens is definitely the right choice, like for instance if your horses tends to be play nippy. Anyhow, many situations, many horses, many people...all different. Frankly, after the interaction that I described on the blog (I chased her out of the barn and ostensibly bit her much like another horse would have--I just felt guilt when I shouldn't have which prompted my original post and reaching out to Parelli), all I did afterwards was go back to my tactics of making sure she understood the herd dynamic, I did backing exercises during feeding time as well. One new thing was to move where she ate and feed her last. Once I did that, the other horses also took a higher stance in the dynamics as well. Overall, she became more respectful of me, the others, and her place in the world. Now, within the herd dynamics, horses only, her position changes but when I am in the herd, I am alpha, without question or challenge. Backing does cure biting and I was in the wrong for not being able to respond like that when the incident occurred. I also think, in hindsight, I may have challenged her in how I looked at her. I was not paying proper attention and as always, it is human error in the end. In hindsight and after talking with Parelli and other PNHrs, think I did not more or less (perhaps less) than what another horse would have done to establish herd hierarchy and leadership.

I hope to be posting more regularly soon. The ice is starting to melt and somehow I doubt a real winter will ever get started. This is typical because this year, after thinking about it for 20 years, I finally bought snowshoes and am in the process of procuring back country cross country skis. I got to snow shoe twice and it was great fun. I really wanted to ski but alas, I will probably finally get my skis and have to look at them until next winter.

Anyhow, stay tuned, I'll be happily horsin' soon!