The horse's pasture to the East...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


A friend asked me "What are you thankful for?".  Talk about a complicated question! That's one that I can't begin to answer, at least not easily.

...old friends.

Great joy...

and determination, with attitude!

Love in every form it comes to me.

Curiosity...and innocence.

Quiet ...

moments of unexpected beauty.

"So I awoke, and behold it was a dream."    John Bunyon

I am, ever yours, Nancy...wondering

Sunday, March 27, 2011


My first time on the back of a horse was when my Grandfather swung me up onto Penny, one of his ancient Belgians, who had taken him through the Great Depression and World War Two, saving his small farm. He'd learned how to farm with horses, way before the introduction of the tractor and machinery. It was a very simple choice for him to make, putting away the machines. "Horses give us so much more than a tractor. Never forget that little girl." That was what he told me.

He was organic before there was a name for organic, using the composted manure of his milk cows, pigs, chickens and horses on his fields and in his truck gardens. " If the worm doesn't like the corn, neither do we." He was a wise man, my Grandpa.

Penny and Sun were ancient when I met them, but I didn't know that. I was barely five, so to me the sun literally rose and set in them. They were big enough to make it look like that to me, so it was so! They were great mountains, as all Belgians are, and part of the family. They were always there, like the trees and, well, like the sun that always looked like it came up from behind them.

I was nine when they left this Earth, and shattered. I still sometimes cry when I think about them. They gave me such a gift with their friendship and quiet patience. Both of them were my teachers, showing me how to balance and move on their wide backs. And when I was too strong in my requests to move ( "Come on Penny! Move!"   kick...kick...kick), she would turn and take hold of my toe and squeeze just enough to get my attention. " Not so hard little girl. I understand you when you whisper. Don't shout so! Now ask again, but be polite." And I would. Worked every time. Smart horse! Who was "training" whom?

A couple of weeks ago a friend contacted me and asked me to take care of her horses while she was out of town. They're horses that she cares for, belonging to another person who no longer takes the time that it takes. Sometimes aging is inconvenient, so people do their best to avoid it. In this case, my friend is the winner. She is having the time of her life, learning from two older horses the way that I did all those years ago. While she is their caretaker, they have become hers too. So when she asked me to help, I said "Absolutely...I would love to help!" I never pass up the chance to meet another horse. And it's a privilege to meet such venerable elders, so how could I say no?

They're staying at a former riding academy. These are the last two horses left, living by themselves except for my friend. She lives only a few minutes away, so she has the chance to be with them two or three times a day at least. Whenever I go to see her there, I find her sitting in the field on the ground, horses near by grazing. She is slowly becoming part of their herd, showing them that some people really do stay the course and are worth knowing.

The little horse you see in the image above is Rocky, an ancient Morgan or part Morgan. He has been loved by countless little girls during his life, and it shows. He was waiting for me every morning when I arrived, calling. Even now, when he's half blind and creaky in his bones, he still likes to have his head scritched and his coat brushed. Loves his grain too, although he drops quite a bit of it and takes a while to eat. He's lost some teeth, so he's on a complete senior grain in a pellet form. His twelve or so hours a day in the field is spent pulling up and dropping grass, but he loves it especially when the sun is out to warm him. He's the alpha too, even though Penny is considerably taller than he is and, as frail as he's gotten, quite capable of tipping him over. He directs Penny when they are in the field and she follows willingly.

My friend has done a great job of organizing the end of the huge barn (used to hold thirty horses at one time) that Penny and Rocky are in. The very few things they need are within easy walking distance, right across the aisle, of the two stalls being used. In fact, she's opened the two end doors of the barn and they now have rooms to stand in where they can lean out to watch the world. When the weather is better, she leaves them outside 24/7 but this has been an unusually hard Winter. The stalls in out of the weather have been well used and appreciated by the remnant herd she cares for.

While I was there, I admit to poking around, looking at things and wondering how hard it would be to reopen a full facility again. It would take quite an investment of time and money. I'm still business woman enough to know that, so it would be out of my reach now. But during the quiet moments, while the horses were eating their breakfast yesterday, I leaned on the wall and listened to the past.

I could hear excited young voices coming and going, cars being parked and parents asking when they should return to pick up their children. I could see horses in the fields, watching for their partners and running to the gates to greet them. And, in the full sized indoor arena (still in very good condition and being used by dog agility trainers for now. I would LOVE to have the use of an arena like that. Oh my...the things I could do!) I could hear the voices of the teachers, correcting riding positions and coaching their young students to use a lighter hand on the reins.

And then Rocky leaned out to nicker to me, telling me he was ready to go outside. Reality is a hard task master. Sometimes people have to give up on their dreams for one reason or another. Rocky and Penny have lived there for years with no students to teach or people to care for them except whomever the newest groom is. My friend is there as permanently as possible. She is a horseless person who loves horses, so having these two old "teachers" come into her life is a true gift.

Penny is an ancient retired thoroughbred. Her back is dipped and the muscles are atrophied. Some of her joints are swollen now and it looks like her pasterns may have some fusing in them. She has cataracts that you can see when outside in the sun. No one will ride with her again, but she still loves attention. And she still has a few lessons to teach too.

This morning John, my husband and a new student in the world of horses, went with me to help out. He and Penny made a real connection. He was the one who fed her her grain, haltered her and, on the way to the field, played a few games with her. He was anxious to see what an old riding academy looked like and to meet two horses not our own.

They played some Friendly Game, getting used to each other and then he taught her to give to the lightest pressure, using the Porcupine Game (love the names Pat Parelli has given to the basic moves used in communicating with horses. Great teaching tools!). Then he haltered her, using one of our rope halters, and out we went.

On the way to the field he stopped and backed her a few steps at a time, played the Driving game from zone two (her neck) and disengaged her hindquarters, a game Parelli calls Hide Your Hienie. By the time we arrived at the field, she was in his pocket! " OH! You speak horse! Tell me what to do. I'm yours." and so he walked around the field with her right beside him, at Liberty. All I could do was stand there with Rocky, scritching his itchy places and watch, smiling. For him it was magic!

Before we left both of us went through the barns (yes, there is a second barn with another six stalls in it, all of them full of garbage. What a shame!) and looked at the fences, water sources, arena and, of course, made sure Rocky and Penny's stalls were clean and ready to come home to. Both of us dreamed and then let the dreams go. Maybe that place will be bought and reopened by younger people with deeper pockets than ours. It would be a lovely wish, wouldn't it? "Horses give us so much more..."

When we left, both Rocky and Penny turned to watch us leave and followed out to the end of the pasture they were in. From far away they looked like the young horses they were not so very long ago, waiting for their morning to begin with excited children there to teach and care for.

#7 Horses teach humans and humans teach horses. , Eight Principals of Horse-Man-Ship, Pat Parelli

I am, ever yours, Nancy, smiling at you from OZ

Friday, March 25, 2011


One of my favorite movies, when I was a girl, was National Velvet with Elizabeth Taylor. I loved every last bit of that movie, from the first scene when you see Micky Rooney walking down the road whistling, to the last scene when Elizabeth Taylor rides out her family gate to find Micky Rooney so she could tell him about his Dad.

My favorite scene in the movie was, and still is, the one where Elizabeth jumps out of the back of the lorry at the track where the Grand National is going to be run, walks into a lovely garden full of every fragrant flower they could jam into the scene, leans over and puts her head into a lilac bush, takes a deep breath and says " Horses!" She doesn't even notice the garden. All she can focus on is all of the spectacular horses walking too and fro with their riders and trainers, everyone dressed in their racing colors and every coat shining. It's one of those scenes that has always resonated for me. Nothing better in the world than the smell of lovely, healthy horses.

When I read in the news that Elizabeth Taylor had died, I decided to get my copy of National Velvet out to watch again. It was my way of saying goodbye to one of my favorite actresses, and indulging myself at the same time! (Might as well be honest here.)

The last ten days have seen our usual wild swings in temperatures and weather. We've gone from wind and snow to sunshine and green grass beginning to appear to more snow and sleet and back to balmy days again. The last snow left five inches on the ground, which melted by the end of the day. Weirdest part of that day were the frogs in our pond to the West of the house that kept singing through the snow storm! That was a first for us. When it's mating season, it's time to "make hay" and that's all there is to that!

I've put in several new gardens this year so I haven't been writing here the way I should have. We're doubling the size of our vegetable gardens, doubling the size of the flower gardens and putting in an herb garden too. We had lots of compost to use. Had to make use of it somehow! And I asked for seeds this year for Christmas too. It's going to be fun watching my seeds grow and remembering back to opening my packages at Christmas ! Can't wait for the little green sprigs to pop up out of all that lovely, sweet smelling soil. Horses are a gift to the world in more ways than one! (They're going to love the carrot patch!)

The sun's risen and set ten times since my last post here. I've been working with Lucky and Apache every day too. Sometimes it's just for fifteen minutes...sometimes for ninety minutes, but always with the thought in mind that it's just going to get better and better.

I've been focusing on my inner game of Horse-Man-Ship this year...really visualizing exactly what I want to accomplish every day. The balancing act comes in to it with the need to set things up so Lucky and Apache feel like it's on their time table. No easy deal since they're both scary smart horses!

With Apache I'm playing mostly at Liberty. He loves that. When we're coming in from the field (grass is getting lush. Time to shorten their days on the pasture, never easy for any of us!) I'll do small circles, disengaging his hindquarters and then stepping back just as he comes past my shoulder and doing the same from the other side. It ends up looking like figure eights with me in the middle as the fulcrum. Then we speed things up and practice our walk/trot and trot/canter transitions, sometimes going sideways or backwards and then swinging around to go forwards.

None of our sessions are ever more than twenty minutes at a time. The trick with him is to keep his mind engaged as well as his body so he doesn't have a chance to be "naughty", ending it with a flourish and then a lovely, long massage under the eves of the barn, standing in the sunshine.

John has been doing longer sessions with Apache On-Line this year. He's slowly taking the real leadership role with Apache. Mine is the "fun" role, building confidence and respect so Apache is ready for John. I act as the second set of eyes for John, helping him when he asks for me to. So far, so good!

Today Lucky and I had a spectacular ON-LINE session. He was spot on 100 % for me all morning! My focus on the "inner game" is working! I've been very careful to keep my hands open and to do my best to "act like there is no lead when I have a lead in my hand" and to "Act like there is a lead" when we play at Liberty. The softer I get with him, the easier he is to play/work with. The harder I try to REALLY follow this program without deviating from it, the better our language is with each other.

Since Lucky is a Left Brain Introvert, for the most part, I try not to use too many Circles with him. But I want to get him used to the idea of Circles too, so I've been setting them up so that we do two Circles, change direction and then walk two Circles, then come back the other way. Or I break them down into Falling Leaf patterns, moving him in Figure Eights away from me as I walk forward, then switching it around and doing Figure Eight's while I back away, him coming towards me. (Away builds respect, towards builds confidence).  He needs to feel like there's a goal we're going towards, a place we're seeking, for the Circles to make sense and to be fun!

I've been working on our Sideways and YoYo more also. At a clinic we attended two weeks ago, Jenny Vaught emphasized both of those games, talking about the value of an excellent back up and sideways. She taught us some interesting variations on a theme too, so I used a couple of those ideas this past week to keep Lucky on his toes and guessing. I love to surprise him with something new like backing in a curve through the barn door and touching the side of the barn with his inside shoulder. Oh, the licking and chewing that were going on with that one!

Jenny had also talked to us about the importance of letting them rest more in between new tasks, giving them time to absorb and process. Lucky loves to stop. The only thing better is eating! So giving him time to pause and relax is making a huge difference for both of us.

Our breakthrough this week? Lucky is now doing a Sideways for me out to the end of the twenty two foot rope with me standing still! HUGE! He's loving all the carrots too. Every time he comes back to me, preferably Sideways also, he gets another piece of carrot. In his opinion, life is good!

The days are getting longer and sweeter. And I'm wondering if having this much fun is legal!

Breath in..."Aaaaaahhhhhh. Horses!" Good bye National Velvet. We'll miss you!

Nancy, smiling and remembering...

Saturday, March 12, 2011


In geological terms, we're just an eye blink in history. Maybe we're less than that...the thought we have before we blink. If you're Christian, you believe in the world being made in seven days. I've always thought that was a nice allegory for what really happened.

Think about it. If God has always been and always will be, then "days " are meaningless. Time has no definition and everything is happening all at once. So "days" would be in terms we mortals can't wrap our heads around. A billion years ... that's 1,000,000,000,000 ! ... (hard to look at much less think about, isn't it?) would be a day to an immortal being. And that's how we become eye blinks, or the thought before the eye blink. And that's where the "seven days" comes from. Just add all those zeros and you begin to see what was really happening on an infinite scale.

The way I manage time has changed too. Pat Parelli has a saying he uses a lot when he's doing demonstrations for his students. "Take the time that it takes, so it takes less time." I like it so much that I have it at the end of all my emails. It's become one of the mantras that I chant to myself during my day. I used to say it out loud to myself. Now it's become one of those thoughts I have before I blink.

He also has lists of things he wants his students to learn. 7 KEYS TO SUCCESS, QUALITIES OF A HORSEMAN, EIGHT PRINCIPALS OF HORSE-MAN-SHIP, and EIGHT RESPONSIBILITIES OF HORSE-MAN-SHIP. On three of those lists he talks about time. #5 Time, 7 KEYS OF SUCCESS...  #7 Timing, QUALITIES OF A HORSEMAN...  #8 Principals, purpose and time are the tools of teaching. , EIGHT RESPONSIBILITIES OF HORSE-MAN-SHIP   So you know how important timing is in all aspects of working with a horse if he mentions it that often.

This past weekend John and I went to a clinic in KC. The instructors were Jenny and Tony Vaught, former Parelli Professionals. It was a clinic focused on gaited horses. We audited it. I would have loved to have Lucky there, but this year auditing will have to do. And I learn at all of the clinics we audit. I sit there and twitch, using the same muscles I would be using if I were with my horse. John told me that my hands open and close as if I had the reins or the lead in my hands. (If you can't tell by looking through this BLOG, I'm obsessed with my horses.) This event was no exception.

Jenny Vaught was particularly good at taking the time to come down to our end of the arena to talk to us. We were the only auditors who were there for the whole weekend, so that was a real treat for me. With gaited horses the need for having good timing is magnified. I know the names of the gaits that Lucky can do now. Ready? It's quite a list. He can : trail walk, dog walk, flat foot walk, lateral pace, foxtrot, hard trot, canter and gallop, and RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! full out run, but I try not to go there. You can see why timing is everything, can't you? Jenny said "Riding a Foxtrotter is like taking a Master's Course." Whew!

She's right too. I've been trying to work it out on the ground first, but there were so many variations on a theme it was hard to keep track of what he was doing. No worries! I love a challenge. My job this year is going to be figuring out what kinds of subtle signals to give, on the ground and on top, to allow us to work as a more synchronized partnership.

I waited for a few days before I started back to work with him. I like to sleep on it when I've learned that intensely. We started up slow, staying inside his pasture and paddock for the first few days. I kept the sessions light and easy too, one day Online, the next at Liberty. And I've been doing simulations with John also. We talk during the day when we're taking a lunch break (I love Blue Tooth for that.) and plan out our strategies. Tomorrow is the change over for Daylight Savings Time, so we'll have an extra hour every evening too. WOO HOO!

The last couple of days I've upped the ante to see where the weak links are. Sure enough, he tried the "Run Away From Nancy" game (some people call it bolting. It's really pretty serious stuff that has to be stopped. Not a good pattern to allow to set in place.). Thank heavens for Parelli Simulations! It's brilliant on their part, to encourage us to practice things before we have the horse in our hands.

He did the bolt at the end of the season last year, right before the snows started. John and I spent the Winter practicing strategies. That's pretty important for us since he's a young, strong and very intelligent horse. He can run much faster than I can. And he's big too, much bigger than I can handle if he decides to pull away from me. So having the ideas in place and the strategies in mind ahead of time is everything for me.

This evening was the time to test my theories. I played with him for just over an hour, slowly making it more and more intense. I worked on the areas he (ME TOO!) is weakest in ... backing and sideways. I kept it as interesting as I could, using some of the new ideas and skills I learned at the clinic with the Vaught's. Timing was everything!

We worked on backing in curves, using the lightest of pressures...light as a feather, just one ounce. Whenever he tried for me, I released immediately. It worked too. He was like smooth chocolate, melting just right. (and from me, chocoholic that I am, that's quite a comparison) I switched that over to Sideways up and down hills and over objects. Again, my real focus was on the timing. Then I added in Squeeze, asking him to back into the barn stall in a half circle. The barn stall opens up right next to the fence, so it's a corner. There's also a step up of about ten inches, more like a trailer. The doorway is low and narrow too, so again it's very much like a trailer. I use it a lot to play with since I'm always looking for things to do trailer simulations with (we have no trailer).

Slowly upping the tension without tripping him in to being frightened wasn't easy. It was a good game for the both of us to play with each other. My goal was to have him back half way through the door, then come back out. I didn't want to push him too far. We did it too, but I could feel the electricity building. Other's probably wouldn't have noticed it, but I did. We're pretty attuned to each other now.

Then, after taking a rest and playing a bit of Friendly game, I switched it up. I had a cone set up about 3/4's of the way out into his paddock. I set off, driving him from zone 3 and 4, trying to find one of our walks. I started with the trail walk, then upped it to the flat foot walk and then I smooched and took us up to the foxtrot. WHAM! The tension he was showing came out in the form of " I'm done. I don't want to and you can't make me!" and he tried to bolt.

He swung in a curve out to my right to come around in front of me. That's what he usually does. He swings around in front and runs past me. He uses it with Apache too. I've watched him out in the field when they're playing. I was ready for him. I let him run out to the end of the rope while I ran along with him (now you know why we started in the paddock. It's contained. Not much room for him to navigate in.) and, as he passed in front of my right shoulder, I shook the rope as hard as I could, shutting him down so fast he swung around to look at me and then jumped in place twice. IT WORKED! The look on his face was exactly what I wanted to see. "You stopped me! I didn't know you could do that!"

We stood there with me turned away from him to take every last bit of pressure off. I waited...and waited...and waited. As soon as his head came down and he licked and then let out a long, whooping sigh, I knew I had his attention and that he was thinking and relaxed. I brought him to me, rubbed him on his whithers. We turned and I started again with the same pattern going in the opposite direction towards a post in the paddock as my focus. This time, when I turned up the speed and asked for that foxtrot, he looked at me and hesitated....and we took it home TOGETHER without a hitch. And that's where our evening ended too, on a good note.

Timing really is one of the most important elements running through everything I do with my herd.

Tomorrow we're going to a sale at a tack store in KC. Maybe I'll find my saddle! If I'm lucky, the timing for that may be right too.

I am, ever yours, Nancy, thinking and blinking at you

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Ever have a dream that leaves an impression on your whole day? I did, last night. I've done all of my chores, played with Lucky on line, canceled an appointment, but all of it has been in a kind of disconnect. My head was still back in the "dream time", trying to understand what it meant to me. It's more than half way through the day as I write this and I can still remember every detail.

It starts on a walk through a forest. It's a very pretty morning. The sky is so clear I can see every tiny bit of dust and pollen. The colors are intense, like the world was when I was young and there were no filters. There was no reason not to see every detail. I can remember running my hands through the tops of the grasses and flowers, feeling them brush the underside, across my palm.

When I looked up, I realized this was an old growth forest. The trees had never been cut. The trunks were so big around that, when I tried to walk around one, I couldn't find the other side. The tops of the trees were so high up they were lost in the mist of a cloud. Either the trees were huge or I was very small. They were all kinds too ... oak, maple, hedge, ash, northern pine (which was so blue it wasn't green), walnut. They were all mixed together and seemed to be in complete harmony with each other. There was plenty of sunshine and space for all of them. And, because they were so big, it was more like meadows with dappled light than a forest floor.

I could smell the loamy odors of leaves and needles, old grasses and flowers mixed together. It was like walking through a spice garden. I remember thinking to myself that my nose was very happy! And I could hear insects, birds and the wind in the leaves and grasses talking together. I tried to stop and hear the conversations, but it was just past my ability to understand. It was like standing in a park in Paris, listening to hundreds of people talking in any language except English. I could hear the words but couldn't understand them.

I was fascinated. It was like coming home, but to no home I'd ever been to before. My feet seemed to know where I needed to go, so I kept walking with no destination in mind.

I came to a stream with clear water and pebbles along the edges. There were big rocks too, but flat on top. Sometimes I jumped from one to the next even when they were so far apart I shouldn't have been able to. Sometimes I walked with my toes in the stream. The water was very cold, so cold it was almost warm. I remember standing there watching the water run over my toes, enjoying the way the light turned my feet a kind of dappled green and blue color. I liked the contrast of the pink color of my legs above the water. I could see all of the fine blond hairs on my legs too, like I could when I was little.

I walked down stream, going with the flow of the water, until I came to a cave set into the rocks. The rocks were covered in mosses and lichens with tiny flowers blooming in them. They felt like velvet when I touched them, and some of them closed when I brushed them with my fingers. When I pulled my hand away and waited, they opened up again.

There were tiny flying insects going from flower to flower. They looked like super miniature butterflies...thousands and thousands of them. When I reached out to the flowers in the lichens again, they rose up in a cloud and landed on my arms, on all the tiny blond hairs, and fanned their wings. It tickled and made me laugh. When I ran my hand down my arm gently, so I wouldn't squash them, they flew again and went back to the lichen flowers. It made my arms tingle where they had landed, but a nice being more alive.

I turned and looked into the cave. It was dark, so I thought " I need some light." and there it was! I wasn't holding a flashlight or torch. It was just lighter, so I could see into the back of the cave. The cave was very deep and the ceiling got higher as I walked into it. The sand sifted through my toes when I walked, so it was dry in the cave.

In the back of the cave were books leaning against the walls, lying on the floors in stacks, some of the stacks tumbled over. I was amazed, not because there were books in the cave but because it was right where they needed to be. I stood there and looked at them, trying to decide what to do. Which one should I pick up and open?

There was one book that, when I looked at it, seemed to be THE BOOK. It felt like that, important and in capital letters. It wasn't any more or less beautiful than any of the others. But it was more like I'd been given permission to look in that one first. The light around it was just the tiniest bit brighter than the other books. It was, simply, more there...more solid.

I walked over to the book to lean down and look at it before I picked it up. It was so big! It looked like it might be too heavy for me to pick up, but I decided to try it anyway. When I lifted it up, it settled into my hands, almost like it was a part of me. It wasn't too heavy or too light. I felt like Goldie Locks. It was just right.

The binding was made of something that was alive, warm to the touch with beautiful images and tooling on it. It didn't move, but it felt like the lichen flowers outside did ... THERE, in capital letters again. It was an important book. I needed to be very careful with it. It was due my respect, but not to be worshiped.

When I opened the book, there were beautiful Byzantine style paintings of animals inside, each page was a different animal. They were all wearing or carrying a symbol in some kind of language or alphabet that I couldn't read. Some of the pages had writing on them too, with the upper left corner of the page decorated in gold leaf and jewel like colors in patterns that made perfect sense to me in the dream. I couldn't tell you what they mean now. The alphabet looked very much like Hebrew.

I heard a sound behind me, in the mouth of the cave. When I turned to look, there was a beautiful deep red bay horse standing there. It had a perfect body that shown in the sunlight, almost sparkling. It's legs and mane and tail were jet black, almost blue. It had very intelligent, kind eyes that looked straight at me with no fear. I was surprised, but I also remembered to turn a bit to the side so as not to put any pressure on it. I smiled too. How could I not? This horse was perfect in every respect. I loved it. It loved me. That was also clear to me.

It stepped into the cave, coming to me to exchange breath. It's breath was like the grasses and flowers I'd walked through under the giant trees. It smelled like sunshine to me. And then it spoke to me, in my head. I heard this bell like voice, deep in tone. It said " I am the author. " and then it said it again with more emphasis, like it was important that I understand. " I am the author. "

Talking in words to the HORSE didn't seem like the right way to communicate, so I thought " Of all of these books? This is a whole library! "  And it said it one more time, this time with laughter.  " I am the author. "

I wondered if I should put the book down. I was worried that I would ruin it somehow. It's just that it seemed to want to be in my hands. And when I looked down, the pages began to turn themselves so I could see all of the animals. Every one of them was perfect. And they all had something that was important they were either holding or wearing.

When I turned to look at the HORSE, I saw past it to the mouth of the cave. There was a huge, white, shaggy goat standing there. It seemed out of place, like something was wrong with it. It began to turn around and around in these insanely fast circles going faster and faster. It was so out of sync with everything else in my dream.

And then it leaped at the HORSE. I let go of the book (which didn't fall but was simply back on the ground where it had been before) and tried to jump in front of the HORSE to protect it from the goat. I was afraid it would get hurt! Instead, faster than I could move, the HORSE stepped in front of the goat between it and me. I yelled out loud, "NO! NO! YOU CAN'T DO THIS!"

And then John woke me up. He told me I was thrashing around in the bed and yelling "NO!" over and over. I was covered in sweat too. I sat there and shook with my head back in the dream, worried about the HORSE.

That's it. That was my dream. It was about 2:30 or so when John woke me up. I couldn't go back to sleep after that although I tried to. I wanted to go back, to check on the HORSE. It was that real to me. Everything was so vivid!

I'm wondering if this was one of those Shamanic types of dreams? I rarely remember dreams that completely, especially this long after I dreamed it.

I'll have to let this one sink in for a bit before I understand what happened.

I am, ever yours, Nancy ... lost in the dream