My fingers are already numb and painfully cold after only 10 minutes of being outside. Struggling to get the metal chain unhooked from the gate, I finally resort to removing my gloves. The frozen metal feels angry on my skin, burning my flesh with a sharp sting as my fingers stick to the chain itself. I move quickly in order to get my hands back into my glove and slide the gate open, across the 5 new inches of snow. I can then release my two mares into the field where I have placed piles of green grass hay; the essential fuel for their bodies to stay warm.
The horses are having their own exalted expression during the -5°F early morning light. Nostrils and eye lashes covered with frost and their coats layered with icy snow, the horses let out heavy moisture-filled exhales creating billows of mist. They look like a chimney releasing the smoke from a hot wood-burning stove that sits inside a lodge cabin. The mares trot lightly over to the gate, through it, and then they are off like racehorses to the piles of hay, coming to a screeching halt once upon the pile of their liking.
Cor’s lively mustang blood, now cold from enduring the dark night, compels him to rear and prance back and forth along the fence line until I can get to his gate. His dynamic, youthful and stallion-like behavior, are evoked by these dramatic shifts in temperature. Pawing and moving about, his impatience is exaggerated and dramatic. I know and am use to this ritual we play out in the bitterly cold morning moments.
The gate opens and Cor jets out to the piles of hay pushing the mares aside and all three of them start a bucking and kicking festival. Snow is flying and the neat little piles of hay are scattered everywhere. My heart lifts as I watch their exuberance and I wish my fingers were warm enough so I could operate the slim cold camera in my pocket.
Moon, the elder at 25, is wise enough to know not to waste a morsel of energy by moving about. Instead, he stands at this gate, still and unflinching, his eyes watching my every move. Once his gate is open he slowly drifts out to the piles. Then moves along side of Ginger, my sorrel filly, and they resume their meal together.
Moon is not the only one that watches me with wise eyes. Inkie, my wired hair Jack Russell sits and supervises. Never letting me out of her sight, and with one eye open for any bunnies that might dare to hop by her.
The rabbits, a burrowing, gregarious, plant-eating mammal, now are scurrying around desperate to find forage on the barren white laden landscape. I feel for them, as I know many will not see the spring. After four cold winters, I now know to bundle my rose bushes and all plants against their tenacious and relentless foraging of my dear blooming bushes in the cold winter months.
And the wise owl is perched on the ponderosa tree where he has lived for the last four years. I hear his hoots and feel his eyes penetrating into my back as I give a quick glance to my little dog. Could the wise owl pick up my dog? He comes to the property mostly during the winter months, as he knows my land is plentiful hunting for rabbits and other small rodents. I trust he will go for the easier catch.
And so, it is morning at the ranch. The cold blue moments before dawn change as the first rays of the rising sun cast a warm orange red light on the snowy trees and covered fields. Everything has a sparkle. My body and soul love this time of year.
The day unfolds into more mundane, though equally as important, tasks inside such writing this blog and preparing manuals for the upcoming second annual Retreat and Conference in Tucson. I am working with my staff to upgrade the already fantastic online resources that are included with the yearlong EFLC program. And every day, I am interviewing individuals who have a deep calling to be on life’s journey with Horse and to bring more love, honor and respect to all of the animals and Mother Earth through becoming a facilitator of the EFLC work.
Now more than ever, is the time to be present to the beauty that is in this world, the vast landscapes of the west and the forests and coastlines of the east. Now more than ever, give thanks for the free clear air that you breathe and the glorious stars that glimmer in the cold still night of winter. Embrace the glorious cold snow as it strikes your skin and ignites a reminder of how alive you truly are.
Now more than ever, I know that this work with Horse is of the utmost importance to reconnect all humans to love, honor and respect Mother Earth and all of her creatures. Change is inevitable and dramatic change is coming to our lands. One of the greatest contributions we can “be” is to remain in the light and be a leader in raising consciousness in all peoples and in the way we live on this earth. All systems need balance. We each must find our own way to contribute to the balance and the preservation, not only of our wild herds, but all of Mother Earth’s creatures and her land, ocean and air.
I ask that you sit and meditate during this winter months when the dark nights offer us more time for deep introspection. I invite you to sit with your spirit and your souls to awakened or deepen your sense of what is important for you to do and to offer during this one magnificent life you have been given. Then I encourage you to muster up courage and add plenty of excitement, bring in a splash of hope and trust and then open the door and take YOUR step toward making positive change in the world.
Please join me for the Journey with Horse in any of these ways . . .
Special Two-Day Equine Exploration Program
Completely new to the work and want to experience a powerful session with Horse? The savings are significant for this program.
Register Now to Reserve Your Spot!
Dance of Authenticity through the Wisdom of Horse Workshop
This program has evolved and expanded through the 15 years that I have been offering this work. It is deeply rich in tools and processes that will dramatically shift your body-centered consciousness and connection with intuition and higher self, all lead by my masterful and experienced herd here at the ranch.
Limited Space, Register Now for the April or May program to ensure your spot.
Reserve My Spot Now.
Equine Facilitated Learning and Coaching (EFLC) Level One Training Program
Designed for those individuals who are already in helping professions or considering becoming a facilitator of the EFL work, this program fills every single year. You will come away with the confidence and tools necessary for enhancing the human-horse connection and exploration by the end of the program. If you are a coach with the ICF, you may gain CCE’s for attendance in this program.
Read About the EFLC Level One Program.
Reserve My Spot Now.
The Equine Facilitated Learning and Coaching (EFLC) Certification Program is our most comprehensive and in-depth training program for incorporating Horse as teacher, guide, mentor, and healer for humans. Taught nationally and internationally for over 10 years and reaching over 10 countries, our program is the most complete choice for coaches, riding instructors, therapists, artists, equine specialists and counselors who wish to integrate Horse into their business. We fill every year and we are currently in the process of interviewing applicants. Be sure to visit this page and submit your request for the extensive packet of information that outlines the complete program, dates, and tuition.
Annual Retreat and Conference
I am sorry if you missed the opportunity to attend this in January 2017. Be sure to get notified first for next year’s program as this program also fills very quickly. Fill out the blue box on our Conference page. You will receive the first notice of next year’s dates.
Click Here for Retreat and Conference Information.