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, September 26, 2013

RIP My Sweet Little Dinger Dog Sahlen

Today, we unexpectedly lost our sweet, 14 year, 4 month, 17 days old miniature dachshund, Sahlen, aka The Dinger Dog. She was born 5/9/1999. I took her and the other dogs outside at 4:00 am and everything was fine. Around 5:00am the bed started shaking, hard, Morgan became hyper alert and I knew something was wrong. Sahlen was convulsing in a hard seizure. After that, she appeared to be blind and confused. She settled down only a little so I put her in her crate with Sid to help calm her and keep her safe. I went to work. She had a seizure about 6 months ago and therefore, I thought perhaps it was the same case of a random issue. Rick called me at work and she had another around 9:00 am. I called the vet and we were told to watch her and being her in if this got worse. By 10:30 am she had another one. I rushed home and took her to the vet (this took about 75 minutes). She had another on the way to the vet's, two there and was sedated upon the second one.  That one started when they were taking blood. The blood work results showed that her organs were fine, no diabetes, etc., it was good.  Unfortunately what this meant is that this was a serious neurological issue, and the beginning of the end. We could have left her there hooked to IVs to die more slowly or let her go in peace. We chose the latter. Rick went to the car, I held her through the transition. She is now in dog heaven with our beloved Frasier. The house is quiet and very solemn tonight. RIP my sweet girl, may you be in peace. Our hearts are broken.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dressage Clinic & Standardbred Day - Oct. 13, 2013

Mark your calendars! October 13, 2013 - 4-H Dressage Clinic & Standardbred Day at Sunnybrook Farm, 92 County Route 28, Ogdensburg, NY. 

NOTE: This is primarily an unmounted event. If you wish to bring your horse please contact Anita or Mary Beth at 379-9192 to register your horse for this event as well. All 4-H rules apply.

Harvest Festival - Fun with minis! - Sept 28th, 2013

Mark Your Calendars! September 28th, 2013, Harvest Festival - Miniature Horse and Donkey 4-H Fun Day and Clinic at the Gouverneur Fairgrounds. Registration is required, deadline September 20th. Please contact the Cornell Cooperative Extension at 315/379-9192 with questions or to register. All age and experience levels are welcome. The event is FREE. All participants must wear 4-H approved riding helmets and footwear. Equines must have proof of current negative Coggins test and rabies vaccinations.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What a great day - liberty as a gauge

Image and info about Parelli, go to: http://www.parellinaturalhorsetraining.com/

Today was a great day. I took time to review Level 3 DVDs and then headed out to get something from the workshop.  Upon viewing them, I have been doing much of these tasks for years---which begs the question why I didn't assess long ago...ugh.  Upon arriving up front at the workshop, Whiskey called to me and so, I decided to stay. I still cannot remember what I went to get but I do remember how much fun I had and how great it felt to have my horse call to me.

I decided grooming was certainly in order so we had a mutual grooming session, all three horses and me. It was truly fun and each horse's horsenality was shining through.  Whiskey had his typical fairy knots and the bot flies have been busy! (If anyone knows how to remove those eggs easier than with the bot knife, please let me know.) Whiskey was extra cuddly and wanting attention.  Lola was butting in at every move, and Fosse wanted to check in, be nosey, and run away.  I suspect he had catching game on his mind, LOL. They were all, of course at liberty, with me in the paddock/playground, no halters or anything on them.

Afterwards, I decided to play with Lola and test our relationship.  I only had the 12 foot rope and halter with me (on the grooming box - no carrot stick) and just made do. Sure, I could have went into the barn to retrieve all kinds of tools but decided not to. Anyhow, I haltered her with savvy. Is there any other way? LOL We worked on the 7 games with the lightest possible phases using the landscape for obstacles.  A huge flat rock for a pedestal and our horse-henge rocks for figure eights. After playing, I removed the halter and Lola stayed with me.  I took this as a signal to continue.  We played the basics and then I started running away from her and she trotted to catch up - ah, the stick-to-me game! I then proceeded to play figure eights and serpentines at horse-henge again and she was great.  All was close range and all on her terms as she could leave me at any time but didn't.  I then ran back towards the other horses and Lola trotted with me, I stopped and she stopped, I walked and she walked, a perfect liberty session.

Unfortunately that was all the time I had for playing.  I then mucked stalls, scrubbed the walls, feeders, and bars, bed down the stalls filled the water buckets, put in the feed, and put the horses in for the night.  Each went to the appropriate stall, at liberty. :)

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Getting lost and finding my way

As you know, if you've been a regular reader over the years, I talk about horses and other related things (that may not always be apparently related but trust me, they usually are).  Healthier living is a direct connection to my horsemanship as it is one of the keys to success in the quest for fitness for partnership.  Pat Parelli teaches that both the horse and human should have these to achieve true partnership: mental, emotional, and physical fitness It seems that the latter is one that I struggle with most and I know some of you do too. For those of you starting over after regaining the weight you had already lost, I wanted to tell you about my experience this morning. 

I was looking for the calculator instructions for Ellie, a Weight Watchers member who posted on our Facebook page (I did not find them), and came across my old weight record from 2010. That was the year that in 12 months, I lost over 70lbs and was doing great. If you search through the blog, some of the evidence is written about throughout. In looking back, I realized that I struggled though the holidays, had memories of tough times at work in April 2011, then that summer, I hurt my back, Rick got sick, and from then on, I was lost.

The reason why this is important is because I was able to tangibly see that I could indeed be successful and that now, in hindsight (of course) I know that in order to get and stay at goal, I need to have good strategies for the tough times. My point is that perhaps the first time was just practice and that giving up is never an option. Much like horsemanship, we have to practice.  "Practice doesn't make perfect - only perfect practice makes perfect!" ~ Pat Parelli.

The other thing I came across was a love letter from Rick and my pets cheering me on and a love letter I wrote to myself as an exercise given to me by my Weight Watchers leader at the time, both very significant and important to me. I had forgotten about them and was truly moved at my finding this morning. 

I should probably reveal that I've recommitted to living the Weight Watchers lifestyle a week ago.  I am using Weight Watchers Online and hosting a weekly Weight Loss Support Group on campus (a requested event from people at the university, not WW-centric but a supportive environment for anyone trying to get healthy). As before, my week runs Saturday-Friday.  I weighed in yesterday and much to my surprise and delight, I've lost 3.5 pounds in the first week. I made some wise decisions throughout the week and indulged too. You have to love a program that allows that! Now onto week two, I've been doing everything I need to including daily formal exercise, tracking, eating with the good health guidelines in mind, menu planning, and more. I feel good again, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too. I feel empowered and as always and much to my good fortune, Rick and the critters are here for me (Morgan, my Great Dane even stretches with me at the end of my workouts).

As for horses today, the plan is to post my laminated dressage letters, patterns, etc. in the arena.  I didn't get to that task yet and Rick has agreed to help.  I'd also like to ride Whiskey today, for some reason I keep dreaming about it. We are also going to put the cow-flavored (lol) barrel covers on the barrels, inflate my new Parelli green ball, and continue to prepare for winter!  Yes, you read that right, we are flying into fall weather and winter is said, according to the Farmer's Almanac, to be very bitter here this year.  The lounge/classroom will likely not be complete (this will be the one heated space in the new barn) so I've got to figure out a Plan B for barn time without the risk of freezing to death!  I am also still in a holding pattern for the lighting project - patience is a virtue that I believe I'll always struggle with! :)

I guess the main point of the post overall is to care for others but never forget to care for yourself. You are important and worthy. oxox

Saturday, September 07, 2013

No matter how slow, keep going

Another step towards assessment has been made. I finally purchased a saddle for Lola. This has taken years and yet I still felt guilty. Every time I had the money to move forward, something else would come up and although a priority to me, it took some time to happen. Each time I thought I'd be able to make the purchase, an animal would require a seriously expensive vet visit, my vehicles would need work, etc. There was always something. There is probably a reason and so who am I to question the Universe.  I feel sometimes like I am in slow motion!

Anyhow, yesterday, albeit reluctantly and with some trepidation, because I once again felt guilty, I bought a black, Wintec 500 Wide, 18", flocked saddle, along with a black, Wintec Pro chafeless, elastic, dressage girth, black, Wintec Slimline stirrup straps (I assume not called leathers because they are synthetic), and black, MDC Ultimate Stirrups. I plan to use my Parelli Theraflex saddle pad. I chose this as the best option since I cannot easily justify the expense of a Parelli saddle (which I'd love). I was told years ago by several Parelli professionals that this saddle would work well and so here I am! Now, let's just hope she is not hateful to ride when it comes! LOL

In all seriousness, I've been putting the pieces in place for success and having fun too. The laminated tools came out great and just need to be mounted. The camera appears to be in working condition too. Rick has agreed to help with taping as well. 

Yesterday we had fun with the horses. Rick was jogging around the paddock with a bucket of apples

and "accidentally" dropping them here and there. Fosse and Whiskey started eating, Lola thought it was a fun game of chase. It was interesting to watch someone else (Rick) interact with my horse. I saw something different from this perspective, something really good, I saw play drive.

So anyhow, that's the update. Just remember, "No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying." --Tony Robins

Have a nice weekend.