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

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

So, who wants to come and play?

This is a photo of Fosse, the first horse in the new arena, is checking it out for the first time tonight! Lola and Whiskey were jealous; calling to him...he whinnied to them just once. Time to break out the obstacles, tack, etc. and enjoy it!

We have more to do and some things will wait for spring but, all in good time, right?

For more photos, please surf the blog archives.  You can also visit us on our website Natural Horse Lover Farm http://naturalhorseloverfarm.com/ or go to our Facebook Page:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Website and Facebook Page - Have you seen them yet?

I've launched a new farm website called Natural Horse Lover Farm at http://naturalhorseloverfarm.com/. Come check it out! 

I've also launched a new Facebook page.  So if you like social media, come like us at Natural Horse Lover Farm https://www.facebook.com/NaturalHorseLoverFarm

And, don't worry, the blog is not going away! If you have topic ideas, let me know! 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Principles Before Goals for The Best Life Ever

I always remind people that one of the tenants of natural horsemanship is "principles before goals." I learned this from Pat Parelli long ago and truly believe it. All too often, I see horse people putting their goals before their principles and sacrifice their horse in some way to achieve them. It is a sad state of affairs and another example of human greed and ignorance. Repeat after me and 
believe it, live it, always, "principles before goals, no matter what, period, no buts about it!"

1. A fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.
2. A rule or belief governing one's personal behavior.

This morning, a few Parelli friends posted this on their Facebook walls and I wanted to share with you all. Thanks everyone!

"Goals are a means to an end, not the ultimate purpose of our lives. They are simply a tool to concentrate our focus and move us in a direction. The only reason we really pursue goals is to cause ourselves to expand and grow. Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term; it's who you become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals, that can give you the deepest and most long-lasting sense of fulfillment." ~Anthony Robbins

Monday, October 08, 2012

To blanket or not to blanket? Now that is the question!

One of the big debates is whether to blanket or not. I've seen different sides of this issue and have spoken to many people and their criteria varies widely. A dry horse is a healthy horse so adequate protection from the elements and a healthy coat should suffice.  Horse fed a good quality diet with appropriate protein tend to grow a thick, winter coat that with its natural body oils, can shed moisture. I have blanketed on and off for years with some years not using them at all.  I like to judge what kind of shelter my horses have the temperature, as well as the weather forecast.  In Virginia they had shelter but it was smaller and there was usually a horse kicked out (and that varied) so I blanketed more often. Here in Northern New York, our climate is far colder in the winter. If it is sunny but cold, I don't worry much as they always have access to shelter. If it is wet out but above zero, I don't blanket as they have a large area to access shelter and no one is typically kicked out. When the temperatures start heading below zero (and it can reach 40 below zero Fahrenheit), I blanket.  I also closely monitor body weight and if a horse is seemingly thinning, I am certain to blanket that horse and will also address the nutritional issue. I also tend to blanket old horses. For me, this is a case by case, season by season issue.  Last yer we had a mild winter, I never blanketed once. I truly prefer to allow a horse to develop a natural coat as I believe that Mother Nature usually knows best. :)

There are many types of blankets to consider so be aware of what its purpose is.  Is it a stable blanket, intended for in-barn use only, a light, medium, or heavy weight rug for outdoors, do you need to buy a full hood or neck cover? All good questions and things to consider.  What is your price range-=now there is huge variance in this.  Not all blankets are created equal but I don't believe you need to spend a million bucks either.  I prefer Weatherbeeta but have had great luck with Rider's International as well. but you decide for yourself what brand suits your horse best. 

Fitting the blanket is vitally important.  A blanket that is too large or small can cause terrible rubbing on our horse making the experience far worse than leaving ell enough alone and not blanketing at all.

From Dover Saddlery:

How to Measure Your Horse and Fit Your Blanket
The fit of your blanket is extremely important to the comfort of your horse. Improperly fitting blankets can cause rubbing and slippage. To find blanket size, measure distance from center of the chest, across the point of the shoulder, and to the center of the tail. Many blankets are sized in two or three inch
increments, so choose the closest size available.

Care of Your Blanket
Blankets should be cleaned annually. First, remove excess dirt with a brush or hose, then wash by hand or on a delicate cool water cycle. Use very mild soap. Allow to drip dry. Do not put blankets in the dryer as this will damage the waterproof coating and void any warranties.

So, to blanket or not that is the question to you all, what do you do?

Here are some articles on the subject:

To Blanket or Not to Blanket by Cherry Hill

Why Not All Equines Need a Horse Blanket

To Blanket or Not to Blanket? By Horse.com

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Vote for Fosse!

PLEASE, Vote for Fosse on Dover's photo contest! The photo is called, Super Stylish in the Summer and is in the best headshot category!


Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Fierce Horses?

I was reading a post on Facebook tonight about a herd of Arabian horses (not stallions) that attacked a deer that entered their pasture. Apparently they were stomping at it, picked it up by the tail and were swinging it, when it escaped they kept chasing it.  The owner of the horses had no ability to stop them, they kept trying to push past her when she interfered in an attempt to save the deer (probably an unsafe move on her part). She was uninjured. Fortunately for the deer, it lived and although probably sore and bruised, was okay the next morning and reportedly was grazing   This deer was from what read to be some kind of farm or private zoo and had jumped the fence.

I noticed that when my horse Lola first met Morgan (my Great Dane) she was a bit aggressive towards her and seemed to want to strike.  I immediately intervened using my leadership skills and utilizing the tasks and techniques I've learned over the years.  The situation immediately ended. My other horses, Fosse and Whiskey have never done this so it was a surprise.  Whiskey actually likes to lick Morgan and play with her ears!Fosse likes to sniff her. Lola has been good at other times I am not convinced that this is a long-term issue or even an issue today as this was back when she first arrived and at that time, was defensive about everything and towards everyone! But, just seeing the behavior initially has made me bit leery.

I did a little looking into my Parelli resources to look deeper into these issues and found that they are basically talking about aggression towards humans in terms of fear or dominance. On their website's page called "Aggressive Horse" they point you to tools like the Horsenality and Seven Games materials. But this does not quite address the issue in my opinion.  I just don't believe this was an act of fear as a deer is not a predator like a human. And dominance?  Maybe if the boss horse picked on the deer to establish a clear herd dynamic but for the group to come together in a pack-like manner, much like predators do, is fascinating (and scary). I have seen dogs do this to a goat and it is very frightening. Stallion behavior as addressed on the Parelli website reads like a horror movie...well not all of it but the example Pat gives is gruesome. I get it, I've worked with stallions, I've ridden stallions, you must be SAVVY!

In any event, the behavior that the horses attacking the deer really make me wonder about the psychology and herd dynamic.  And, why would my horse want to strike my dog who was just standing next to me? I feel like I need more information to make a better determination, in my mind, what and why it happened.  I just found the scenario intriguing. So, I've got some homework to do! I have to learn and understand more.... never ending self-improvement!

Have any of you ever heard of or experienced anything like the deer or dog examples?