The horse's pasture to the East...

Friday, March 30, 2012


I love it when a plan comes together!

Success is all a matter of perspective. It's how you decide to look at the world.

Wednesday night I decided that Thursday was going to be an experiment. No matter what happened I was going to look at it ALL as a success.

If this were a movie everyone in the audience would be sitting there groaning, knowing that something was going to happen...kind of like the extra crewman in Star Trek that always got killed or turned into a zombie. But if Thursday was an experiment then I was going to control all of the parameters of how it was set up and that included making my own movie. The worst case scenario was that it would be a comedy. And I'm good at laughing, especially at myself. 

I started the day playing with Lucky and Apache in their field, at Liberty. I kept it easy. I played some long distance Stick To Me. I wanted to restart all of us working as a team. When we play at Liberty, it really does make it partly their decision to participate. Good way to build my draw too. 

It took ten minutes to get Apache's attention enough to draw him to me. No surprise there. He loves to play, classic LBE. He came to me and we did some tiny Circles and lots of Friendly game. 

Lucky took a bit longer. He loves his grass and everything out there is emerald green. I worked on keeping my signals to him very subtle with lots of breathing away any tension on my part. When he did turn towards me, or step in my direction, I took all the pressure off. And, son of a gun! worked! He came to me soft and easy as you please.

My game with him was Touch It with the nearest fence post. He loves Touch It. He walked to it, touched it, looked over his shoulder and said "This one?" Yes! He came to me, got his carrot, a whole lot of Friendly loving and I called it quits. I'm working for tomorrow.

The best part was when I walked in and they followed me back to their paddock, knowing that I was going to close the gate on all that grass. Woohoo! Good start to the day...

Saturday, March 24, 2012


I'm an artist. It's part of my hard wiring...can't help myself. It permeates every facet of my life. 

I see the world in colors, paint, light, textures and, because I have a bit of synesthesia ( I can hear colors and see certain kinds of music, as well as hear it), sounds. 

When I was in school, more years ago than I want to admit to, at some point during the year my parents would be contacted by my teachers. I was an honors student but all of my essays, math papers, science tests would be "decorated". I think by doodling. My Mom would, patiently, explain to the teachers what was going on and, because my grades were high and, extrovert that I am, I did well participating in class they would let it be.

Thankfully I found a partner, my husband and best friend, who "let's it be" too. I'm not, by nature, an organized person. My desk top is covered in stacks of old photo albums, little pieces of doodled on paper, unfinished masks, unpaid bills and dust with more doodles drawn into it with my fingers.

My head wonders through my day focused on whatever project I'm working on and I multi task while I work. 

Today was a celebration of too many things to do and not enough time to do them! Most people call it Spring. It's the time of year that, pretty much, blows my circuits. My seeds came and I want to garden! My arm is healing so I want to play with horses. My house needs to be cleaned and organized since I've been one handed for three months (broke my right arm and I'm right handed). The horses need to be groomed, dogs trimmed and bathed, flower pots re-potted, patios swept, fences mended, lawn mowed and here I am, writing. I crack myself up! (I forgot to tell you that I'm an Olympic Procrastinator with a thousand excuses for not finishing things.)

Spring has sprung! WOOHOO!

This morning I celebrated my first real play/work session with Lucky since the "Big Break" in January. We played for thirty minutes, all light and easy stuff but even the easy things can always be improved. I did that last night (sorry, my head's suffering from run away thoughts too). And this morning I spent the first several hours of the day with my camera in hand, capturing some of the images you see here. Calligraphy was in my head this morning when I woke up so everything I saw had a lyrical quality to it. 

The light was beautiful, horses were funny and engaged and the whole crew was out with me, dogs, cats, horses and donkey. The world was a maze of lines, triangles, new colors and the light... lovely, clear air after the rains light. 

Even the compost, steaming and forming a fog above it, was beautiful with the sun rising behind it. (I'm sparing you a picture of that.)

I'm playing with my horses again, painting and writing, pulling weeds and even carrying water buckets with my right hand and arm again. I AM HAPPY. And I'm flat out amazed at how much fun it is to scrub out a toilet and mop the floor. 

You're wondering at that leap, aren't you? Well, aside from the fact that that's the way my head is working today, I can tell you that I've found a new kind of focus and concentration in everything I can do BECAUSE I CAN DO IT. Yup, it's as simple as that. I'm finding my own balance back as my arm and hand grow stronger. Even better, I'm now ambidextrous... really ambidextrous. I can write with both hands, draw and paint with both hands, flip my tools in the barn as well as my tools in the house from one hand to the other and complete my task well enough that you can't see which is right handed and which is left! I've found my silver lining in the "Big Break" cloud and I've decided to keep it.

I'm sounding a bit manic here, I know. I'm not. I'm just excited. And I'm not taking any of it for granted either. I'm moving forward  and plan to use every single drop of all that I have in front of me. The hard part is figuring out how to prioritize since it all seems so important!

Things I have done today, and the last several days :
1. Groomed all three equines, using both hands.
2. Played with Lucky On Line for thirty minutes. (Hooray!)
3. Scrubbed and cleaned my bathroom and kitchen, using both hands.
4. Trimmed Joe (my cocker spaniel) to prepare him for a much needed shave
5. Pulled weeds, carried water buckets (only 1/2 full), ran the vacuum, and mopped and swept floors with my right hand.
6. Trained Miniver, jumping my much neglected cavalettis with her
7. And danced all over the house with the stereo turned up way too loud!

It just doesn't get any better than that!

WOOHOO! I am psyched! 

I am, ever yours, Nancy, suffering from a massive case of the best kind of Spring Fever! 

Thursday, March 15, 2012


WOOHOO! I am on the "official other end" of my recovery from my accident in January!!! That means I'm done with physical therapy and follow up visits with the surgeon. 


I'll still have to keep up with my exercises, but that's a twice a day commitment and not that big a deal. I like to exercise. It's been a regular part of my day and sorely missed when I can't, like in January when I walked around in a haze, holding my arm in the air. (" You will need to rest, keep your elbow above your heart and your hand above your elbow, and REST.") So, for me, exercise is it's own reward, part of my routine.

While I was " resting ", I had more than enough time to think. Since it was my dominant hand and arm that were out of commission, that and pacing, reading and gnashing my teeth were all I could do. Being an extrovert who loves to DO, it was the hardest part for me. I had to learn how to think while being still, no easy accomplishment for me. It was on a par with learning how to be left handed! 

For the past two and a half months I have been completely rewiring my brain!

You know those images that have been flying around FB, the ones where it says "This is how my friends see me." and " This is how my Mother sees me." and so on? Well, this is how my brain WANTS me to be, what it tries to make me in to ... a sweet, soft, silly, comfy, warm, safe, sleepy kitten! This is what my brain sees as my default setting. The hand that comes in to it, trying to wake the sleeping kitten, is the ME that is trying to keep myself motivated to make my better BEST. "Wake up Nancy!"

And THIS is what my brain thinks it's trying to protect me from when I reach for that good, becoming a better, on the road to BEST with my horses or anything else, for that matter, that is outside my comfort zone. It YELLS at me, saying " LOOK OOUT! RUN FOR IT! EMERGENCY! " (misspelling intended) 

Recognizing this in myself has been the real breakthrough for me. I'm not sure I broke my arm on purpose. I'd have to be truly crazy if I'd chosen that path consciously. But I have to admit that I went to bed last night thinking about something that one of my sons said to me. " Mom, something always happens, like this, whenever you're on the verge of a breakthrough." 

NO, I haven't had accidents all of my life. This is the only time I've ever broken a bone (so, of course, I made up for lost time and broke two!). But he is right about the fact that I do put obstacles in my way. All of the goals I've reached for have always been on the other side of really BIG MOUNTAINS. Or at least I thought they were. 

Breaking my dominant arm and tearing the ligaments, requiring a metal plate to stabilize my arm and additional surgery to stitch the ligaments together, has been a major obstacle. But it's also been an opportunity to relearn how to LEARN, how to reach for new goals, how to FOCUS and how to keep myself MOTIVATED. (FOCUS was my word for this year, my New Year's Resolution. Hmmmm... how interesting!)

I've read several posts and articles, books and books, about how to overcome fear, how to stay motivated. Interestingly, several of those were written by Linda and Pat Parelli (and I'm not quite tech savvy enough, YET! , to figure out how to attach to those, but you can find them if you Google them or go over to the Parelli website) as well as some of the Parelli Professionals I've become friends with on the social medias here on the Web. In fact it's been a major topic of discussion this year.

Since this post is about my horse-man-ship journey I won't write about my other life as an artist and story teller, but I will tell you that my focus there has changed too. In fact, this " Woaaaahh Nelly!" has been a mountain with gold and silver inside it. The way I approach everything has changed! It's up to me to make sure that the change is in the direction of over the mountain and for the better.

THIS is where I'm going with Lucky and/or Apache . Aren't they wonderful together? I'm "taking the time it takes..." and I will find my way there. I THINK I CAN. I KNOW I CAN! 

One step at a time... 

I am, ever yours, Nancy, doing my Happy Feet Dance, out the door and smiling