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

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Got Hay?

It is almost October, the end of a long, hot summer a distant memory and as the cool, damp fall has set in. This year, the hay season was shortened by extreme temperatures and a severe lack of rain.  First cutting hay was priced much like what one would expect of second cutting pricing and second cutting cost more to produce than what it was really worth. Third cutting you ask?  Not here, no third chance for hay. We really had a difficult year for all crops this year.

We've put up 650 bales this year, first cutting, and it is really nice hay considering this season's challenges (photo below). It should be enough but I'd have to say that hay bales are to nearly as large as they used to be in the past....remember those 80 pound wire-bound square bales?  Well I remember them but haven't seen them in years! Hopefully I won't need to get more but was told to call if I ran into a shortage. We did, have to have our hay delivered from 100 miles away! Why? Well, we could not get anyone local to commit to providing hay and thus, our purchase from out of town. Not to mention, the quality locally varied greatly and moldy or straw-like was not what I'd chose to feed.  So many people up here feed wet, moldy round bales...I just don't understand how their horses are surviving on it let alone not getting colic!

Now, I am not opposed to round bales just as long as they were rolled dry, stored in a barn, and then kept clean and dry for horse consumption.  In Virginia, we were able to get this kind of hay and it was excellent.  That said, I was one of very few customers for the farmer that sold it and was certain to constantly thank him and tell him what excellent hay it was to ensure he knew I appreciated it.  Funny thing to do but he was an old-time-type guy and this was a necessary step!

So anyway, the quality of the hay we purchased was better than the local available square bales and the farmer ensured that it always was put up dry and stayed that way including delivering it in a furniture truck.  We had to endure the additional cost for delivery along with an additional fuel surcharge but it was well worth it, this "gold green" hay!  I also, for the first time, hired some local boys to help with the job. Do you remember me writing about Irvin?  Well, it is his sons, very nice, well-mannered, hardworking young men (ages 16, 13, and 9 --or so). They made the job easier and we paid them well above standard wages for the job because they are good kids and really helped us out, so to me, a great investment and well worth it.

Have you put up any hay this year?  What kinds of challenges were you faced with?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Like Us!

Well, the work continues at the farm, slow but moving along.  With the weather changing and the semester in full swing, summer is clearly gone.  I feel sad because it was so busy and not with horse-related fun. Everything is find of course but, the horses won't make it in the new barn until spring. We still need to varnish the wood, get stall mats, level the ground, electric, water, etc. Being too cold to varnish, we've decided to do what we can but keep their existing housing in place for the winter and move them in afterwards.  The idea is to maintain the barn and do it right which means....patience. We will be able to use the indoor arena though so that is good. Although that wood won't be varnished yet, it is far less likely to become soiled unlike a stall's potential which is far greater.

I am now working on farm signage, a website, and other marketing pieces.  It is not easy for sure.  So many decisions and each is dependent on the other.Deciding what we will exactly offer is tricky.  We seek to limit ourselves to only people interested in natural horsemanship, period.  The idea for us is we'd rather have an exclusive clientele with the same principles or no clientele at all.  The farm is not our financial mainstay so, we have the luxury I guess. The new facility was built originally so that I could enjoy the horses more when the weather or my schedule interfered, not for a horse business per se.  But, now that we have it, it would be great to engage with like-minded horse people. I am thinking about hosting Parelli clinics and other educational venues, play dates, local horse transport, and having educational events. Anyhow, still working at it, no rush.

I've set up a Facebook page for Natural Horse Lover Farm. Please consider stopping over and liking us!


And, feel free to friend me on my personal page too if you wish


FYI--The new farm website URL is http://naturalhorseloverfarm.com/ it is not published yet but should be very soon.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Name Game is Over - Whew

Farm name....Done! LOL It is hilarious, the name was right there, in front of us all of the time! As you know, I have been writing this blog since 2006 and it is called Natural Horse Lover. Well, this morning we decided that it was also a perfect name for our farm and we already have an identity. So, we plan to call ourselves Natural Horse Lover Farm. Does that sound okay? The next step is creating our sign, logo, and other marketing materials. FUN!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It is like climbing a steep cliff, alone.

Took a spur of the moment ride on Fosse tonight, you know, the halter only kind, and we had fun chasing and being chased by Lola and Whiskey, some liberty play, and obstacles...yeah and cookies came out of my pockets for some very gleeful horses. I had forgotten how great being with them felt, all stress gone, nothing in my universe but the horses and some quiet country time..what a delight and it has been ages since we've done that.

I think that life has been really crazy (work, construction, and tons of visitors from all around the globe). Without getting into gruesome details, some things out of my control, and for months severely impacting my health, workouts, horse time, and much more. Whew.

Unfortunately, things spiral in life and I often start a behavior of denial and self-flagellation when I find myself out of control...I refuse to give myself permission to be happy, to do the things I love, to take care of myself. Hard to understand, I know, something I constantly battle.

I feel like I am slowly taking control again and the horse time tonight was the icing on the cake. It is like climbing a steep cliff, alone but i am doing it.

I am taking Zumba again and am really happy. I have been journaling everything no matter what. I have also been wearing my BodyMedia Fit which is a great feedback mechanism for me. Overall, not too bad, not perfect but working at it one step at a time with a great deal of room for improvement. I did notice this evening that I finally feel strong enough to make wiser choices again and am not using food to punish myself for getting out of control for so long. I know, it sounds crazy but the more off track I am, the more I consciously make poor decisions....very strange but true. I think the endorphins are finally taking over my brain again because it is getting easier. I do have to work on getting enough sleep and get to the gym in the morning...working at that. I know all in moderation but, bad habits and negative feeling for me beget even worse, detrimental decisions - almost as if I make unhealthy choices as a way to admonish myself. ---What a battle, what a journey!