Thursday, February 23, 2012

I trimmed hooves today and it didn't kill me! I've been having this dang elbow problem for so long now. I've put off trimming because I didn't think I could. But I found this awesome stuff, it's a capsaicin cream called Capzasin HP and it totally kills the pain. Well, it did until after I trimmed, and it didn't hurt that much then. I highly recommend it if you have chronic joint or connective tissue pain. But I wonder if you do more damage because you don't feel the pain you should be feeling... And don't stick your finger in your eye after you use it. It is a hot pepper cream after all. And it does burn mildly at times. Not too bad but I'd imagine some people might be more sensitive to it so it would be a good idea to do a small test area first.

Anywho... I was surprised at how little needed trimming since it's been a while. I just got the girls done today, will get the boys tomorrow. They're pests. I have all the horses in the same area now and they were in the adjacent stall making all kinds of racket while I was trimming Bella. She didn't appreciate it. At one point she decided she had to leave, but I think that was more because of the dogs barking at Liam who looked like a crippled Jedi coming out to visit me in his bathrobe, trying to keep it closed to the wind. Kids...

The horses are obviously loving being pastured together. The mustangs all stand in a red huddle with their blaze faces so close together. Then they play chase, graze a bit, and take a nap. It's all so loving and harmonious. Soxy stays separate because she's old and protective of her space, but I know she loves the company. And she enjoyed teasing the boys and then squealing and striking at them, all from the safety of the other side of a gate of course. She still has to be separate a lot of the time because she gets special feed.

I was going to make a trip to the Seattle area tomorrow to visit my good friend but I had to cancel it. I'm bummed. So I'm "window shopping" online for a bit of retail therapy, even though I can't buy anything.

Check out this awesome barefoot hoofprint pendant on Etsy: You see so much horseshoe art around but not much like this, and not this well done. It's so small I was thinking it might make a nice charm for a bracelet if you're into that sort of thing.

I also like this shop:

This one isn't horse related but I LOVE it:

So many beautiful things on Etsy. It inspired me to make my own turquoise and leather barrette tonight, and to attempt to fix an old handmade silver barrette I've had since I lived in New Mexico. I don't have a lot of faith in super glue though... But I really want to do more of this soon. Maybe experiment with horsehair too, and I have a beading loom. So many possibilities, so little time! And I am notorious for starting projects and then stuffing them in a box. (Remember the saddle blanket I was making a year or so ago? I still want to finish it, but it's still barely started.)

Speaking of projects, I've been on a roll. Painting the trim inside the house, giving everything a thorough scrubbing, rearranging all my wall art. My living room is actually kind of relaxing now. Still have a huge TV blocking my big back window but I haven't found a lower table to put it on yet. Speaking of which, I went antiquing the other day and boy could that be an expensive hobby! So many things to fall in love with. I contented myself with an absolutely wonderful ceramic bread bowl that is over 100 years old, for only $30. I first saw it a couple months back and I looked at it several times since then, and I finally caved and bought it when it was still there a week ago. There's something about it, I just immediately loved it. Maybe it was mine in a past life. :)

So anyway, I think this supplement I'm taking is really helping with my energy levels. It's amazing how much I can get done in a day. But I don't know if it's a permanent effect or if something in it is amping me up. Either way, I'll take it. Until I need to quit taking it, that is. Hopefully the energy will stay with me.

On that note, I better go get a few more things done before bed. Good night!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

12 years or so ago I bought my first new car, a Toyota Echo. I loved the name, the interior, the mileage, the look, and of course the low price. They didn't seem to understand how important it was to me that I get a green one. But it was, so I had to special order my new car and wait a few weeks.

She was beautiful and shiny, and when I picked her up she only had 3 miles on her. Eventually I named her Darby. I've always loved her, even though these days I mainly drive the truck. John drives a lot for work and at 35 MPG of course he drives the Echo.

She had a big milestone today.

Almost there:

300 thousand miles! Never thought I'd see the day!

Middle of nowhere, near Plaza, WA.
(I love the center mounted dash console - the wheel never blocks my view)

And here we are, 300K after the first time I got behind the wheel:
What a good car she is.

(We had a good lunch, too, and a great visit with my stepdad who, coincidentally, was with me when I bought my car, and cosigned to make it all possible. Thank you, Henry!)

Friday, February 10, 2012

It was a dreary day here but I didn't feel it a bit. I did my morning "run" on the treadmill (actually it's walking and jogging) and then some housework, some horsework, some time with my sister, a chiropractor visit, a trip to the DMV, and picked up my boy who had had a bad day, then got dinner and came home and became a vegetable.

This morning as I was walking back from feeding the boys, our old dog India preceded me with a deer leg she'd found. She was soooooo happy. Talk about walking proud. When she stood at the door cheerfully expecting me to let her in I had to put my foot down. She enjoyed it thoroughly outside. It reminds me that I keep meaning to pick up some bones from the butcher for the dogs. They're really good for keeping their teeth clean. And of course the dogs love them.

I took Scout for a walk around the property, looking for the dead deer. All I found was a small bone for Blue to enjoy. But we did find that the pond on the far side of the property is pretty full, and Scout walked right in, got a drink and splashed around, over his knees in the water. I like his playful inquisitiveness. Meanwhile Tonka got his exercise running and calling for "his" colt. So when I put Scout back, after letting him enjoy some of the tiny delectable green grass by the pond, I got Tonka out. He was all sweaty and breathing hard but he also enjoyed his turn at the green grass. He did walk in the pond when I insisted, but only on the very edge and he pointedly did not enjoy it. We walked around some more and I gave him extra grazing time. I know that EPSM is supposed to be adversely affected by sugars in the grass, but I think that it does Tonka good because of the extra vitamins in green grass. He always does better when he's grazing fresh grass. So I did a couple chores while he ran loose stood around eating, then I put him away. Baby Blue doesn't know yet not to walk right under a horse, as he showed me a couple times today. But he didn't learn his lesson, they just ignored him.

The rest is pretty boring but it was a good day overall. Hope you all had a good day too!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

I'm feeling a little weird lately. I haven't said more than a couple words to my horses this week. I've been spring cleaning. I've been working. I've been worn out at the end of the day.

I feel like I'm in a state of potentiality. Like when the stream is caught in an eddy, whirling, gaining energy, but not going anywhere... yet. And I don't feel like I can (or want to) shape the direction I'm heading. Yet. I feel like I'm waiting, whirling, energizing, and the waiting is difficult. Normally I can wait calmly. Or maybe I'm not normally waiting, maybe I'm normally sitting stagnant. Right now I really wish I could direct this energy somewhere, but I don't know where it's going yet. I know that wherever I'm headed is right. I just have to wait, and make ready to flow back out into the river again, then start paddling.

Maybe I'm crazy. (I bet I sound crazy.) Maybe it's springtime in my bones, wanting to burst forth. Maybe it's this supplement I'm on. Maybe I'm getting healthier? Maybe I ate too much salad today. Who knows.

I'm not discounting the possibility that nothing huge is going to change in my life. That maybe all this means is that my house will be cleaner. But that's a change for the positive, and bigger than it sounds. I'll take it. :)

Thursday, February 02, 2012

I've gotten farther along in my Real Riding book and I can't recommend it enough. I just finished Part 3: Mindwork. It's really important stuff. At the end of the section he talks about the state of true being with horses: "Have you ever had those moments with a horse when time seems to stand still? You feel totally uplifted by the experience. It is as though you are floating on air. You feel completely connected with the horse and your surroundings and totally at peace inside yourself. Everything you try to do with the horse happens easily and simply, as though the horse were part of your inner self, reading your mind and carrying out your wishes even before you have asked."

A little excerpt from the same page: "Imagine you're a horse... You form deep bonds; you love your friends and family." Yes, this may sound obvious, but did you ever just sit there and think about how deeply they bond? How much they love one another? I'm sure we've all experienced the magnetism of the herd, often in a very frustrating situation. Wouldn't it be nice if they were herdbound to us?

The next section is Partnership Work and I think it's going to be pretty amazing too.

On another note, there is a video I'd like to share with you. It's titled Horse Training with the Initiator Signal - Asking your horse's permission. I totally love it. Mostly I love it because this is something that just naturally came to into being in my training with Bella, but they've made it much more more clear and consistent than I did. I don't give treats and I don't have a consistent signal, but I do ask her to acknowledge me before I move on to something I know might stress her into mentally retreating. I think I ought to make my method clear like theirs, now that I know it is a method. :)

I'm having a horsemanship crisis of faith. I want to find a system that I think is fair, but that is also clear and easily understood, and I can't find it. Perhaps that's partially because so much of horsemanship is based on experience and feel, not words and techniques. You can't always look at a 2D image and get a feel for the horse and handler's state of mind, or how exactly the horse is bent, or what their breathing sounds like...

I don't like the idea of chasing horses in circles when they're freaked out. I don't believe that's natural horsemanship. I don't believe that a horse who cares about another horse is going to chase them around when they're scared. Sure, they do that as a dominance game, but it's not a friendly game if one horse is seriously scared. Friendly chasing happens in comfortable times, in safety among friends. Aggressive chasing is not among friends. Even if the chaser is in a calm state of mind, if the chasee is not, it's not friendly (in my opinion).

(Feel free to correct me if you disagree with the following.) A loving leader among the horses will still reprimand at times, and will still claim the better food, the better place to stand, etc. But when their buddies are scared they might reassure with a touch of the nose on the shoulder or neck. Or sometimes just ignore the goofy spooky horse. Perhaps they spook and run with them, and then show their unconcern or even advance on the scary object, which helps the scared horse realize there's nothing to worry about. They say, "I see what you're worried about, but it's okay." Maybe they don't really care how the other horse feels and they just experience and feel their own feelings, but they don't exacerbate the problem their buddy is having unless they also are afraid. Aha! Maybe we chase horses because we also are afraid? That sure doesn't put us in the fearless leader position, does it?

All that said, I do understand that often a horse needs to move its feet to "get the crazies out." And I'm not against doing what it takes, for as long as it takes, to keep a horse from jumping into my space. I know that sometimes horse training does not look pretty. And I'm not claiming to be an expert on horse training. I don't really know what I am saying. But I do know that I like my relationship with my horses, and I don't like to chase them around (unless they're being naughty on purpose, which the boys have been known to do, but even then circles are not always the answer). And I know I'm in a serious seeking phase right now. So, any suggestions? Books? Videos? Articles? Websites?

Blah. I keep going back and re-reading what I've written and it doesn't seem quite right. Don't think I'm not happy and thankful for the many wonderful teachers we meet along our horsemanship paths. There are so many gems and jewels to gather from them. And I'm not claiming everyone else is wrong and I'm right. I'm just uncomfortable in my own self about some methods. They obviously work for a lot of people. Maybe I've misunderstood, or read the horses wrong. I don't think I have, but I don't claim to be infallible. :)

Anywho... Enough second guessing my writing - I'm going to sign off now!