Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Birthday Blessing

Well, I made it over the hill to the other side of 50! Bear and I drove down to Nashville, Franklin and Leipers Fork Tennessee. We stayed with Marvin and Mary Ella Bastian or more specifically in their little cabin and we had a wonderful time. They treated us extremely well and we love them very much.

I had to share that I recieved a really special miracle while on our way home. As I said, I am missing my brother Joe terribly and this would be my first birthday without him. I always made him peanut butter cookies for his birthday so armed with the cookies, we stopped at every cool place we could find and we left a cookie. The highway patrol is probably wondering where all the cookies came from. I felt him with me a lot. Early in the morning when I woke, before I fell asleep and every moment in between. So we are in the gift shop in a Cracker Barrel restaurant waiting to be seated when a woman bumps into a rack of greeting cards next to me. She walked away and one card fell to the ground at my feet. I picked it up and the front said "Happy Birthday Sister"It was the perfect way to let me know he was with me. I love you Joe, thanks for the card.

The view from the back of my horse is the beautiful landscape of Tennessee and the pretty little cabin that sits on the hill in Franklin, what a perfect place!


Monday, November 10, 2008

First Rides, Cousins and Cabins

Good morning world!

It is 32 degrees here in Ohio and it is snowing light flakes. I am not a winter person, I am a summer person but this year, I will try and enjoy each day for what it is instead of counting down the days til summer rolls around again.

The other day, I told you about my frustrating work session with Hootie, the buckskin gelding. Well I called in reinforcements. I called in my friend Carolyn who also used to be one of my 4h kids years ago. See, she is younger and bounces instead of breaks and to be perfectly honest, I really hate the first ride. I love taking a horse that has had a rider on his back and perfecting everything from that point on. So after about an hour of the same nonsense he offered me, Carolyn sat down in the saddle and he dropped his head and said... "Ok, I get it now". That makes him my clean slate to apply our ten steps to a great horse. I hav e decided to document those ten steps for my next book.

Cousin Marvin and Mary Ella called from Nashville right as Bear and I were discussing what to do for my 50th. As I mentioned, these people had read my book, The Horses We Love The Lessons We Learn and called us one day. Their last name is the same as ours and even if we are not related, there is a definate connection. Well they took a revolutionary war era cabin that stands on their property and completely renovated it into a guest house. They invited us down to stay in it for the coming weekend, so we are leaving wednesday and coming home friday or saturday. We are excited. I will be waking on my 50th birthday in a cabin in the hills of Tennessee and I couldn't be more excited.

We spent the weekend clearing the trees from the pasture and burning leaves and branches and assessing the damage I did to the barn when the big cherry tree fell on it. We are thinking it is going to be about $750. Yikes! Again, let me say that it is amazing to me how little space trees taake up standing compared to falling and especially when they fall on your barn. Oh sigh, I can't wait to sit in the little cabin and reflect on what is important in that lesson. The view from the back of my horse will be much nicer than the mess out in the pasture.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

What is Important

The view from the back of my horse today is what is important. In the worst of circumstances, the power to see the positive side of any situation.

My friend Shannon tied a horse to a gate, the horse spooked, dragging the gate and injuring himself and Shannon in the process. Shan has a broken back and pelvic bone, the horse had a few staples . Tying horses to moveable objects is never a great idea but what is important is that neither of them were killed.

As my 50th birthday approaches, I must admit that it bothers me because I really wanted to do something special to mark the occasion. Time and finances won't allow me to go on a cruise or have a big blowout party but I have a husband who tries to make me happy with smaller gestures and what is important is that I almost lost him once and the good Lord let me keep him on this earth a little bit longer and that is what is important. That he loves me enough to want to celebrate my birthday and he is here.

In training our gelding, Hootie, I have worked in the round pen for quite some time getting him over his fear of basically everything that frightens him. I was frustrated beyond belief because I have waited three years to be able to ride this horse that I have raised from the day he was born. Everytime I tried to put my foot in the stirrup, he would bolt. I grew tired and took a break but never left the round pen because I didn't want to end the session on a bad note. I sat on a barrel in the middle of the pen and something wonderful happened.

As I sat there, I looked around at a day that was perfect. It is Indian Summer here in Ohio and the temperatures are high and the sky was blue and leaves continue to fall creating a blanket of reds and yellows and oranges and it occurred to me that what was important here was that I have the ability to get this horse past this hump after years of working with horses. What is most important is that if I stop rushing the process and allow him to figure it out on his own time, I will have created a horse that I will enjoy for years to come.

As I sat there in my frustration admiring the beauty around me, he walked over to me as if to say "be patient, I am frightened and I need your guidance." I traced the lines around his eyes with my fingertips and stroked his beautiful black mane and just "visited"with him. Once I calmed down, he calmed down and the lesson continued. NO, today was not the day that I would take my first ride on his back but what was important was that it reminded me of why I love horses in the first place. I was reminded how fortunate I am to have them in my life and that the day will come when he is ready for this big step and I don't want to rush him. Something tells me that there may be six inches of snow on the ground before he comfortably accepts me as his rider and these frustrating days will have been forgotten but what is important now is patience.

In the darkest, most frustrating times, we have to remember what is important in life and cling to it. I sent Shannon a care package of halloween candy, magazines and other things and as the days of indian summer come to an end I will continue to patiently work with this horse as often as time allows and just enjoy it for what it is and remember what is important.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I know, I too hate the holiday celebration coming so early but there is a reason for my madness. First of all let me tell you that I have stayed true to my suggesting in The Horses We Love that going trick or treating in full costume is good for the soul. I was an alien butterfly and collected 7.5 lbs of candy. I was attacked by a cat. My grandson and I laughed so hard that he is unlikely to ever forget that night. That is good for my soul! Don't forget how to play, people, it is what keeps us young.

Now to the reason that I mentioned the holidays. My buddy and awesome web designer is putting together a contest for all of you. Just go to our web page at either or in about a week or so. Click on BOOKS and there is a free gift for you. Two audio chapters that I have recorded that you can click on for free. Then there is a link to enter to win a collection of the three books that are currently in book stores. Someone is going to win a signed copy of The Foal Is The Goal, The Horses We Love, TheLessons We Learn and Tips and Tidbits For The Horse Lover.

Bear and I wanted to give back to you for the holidays and for all the blessings that we recieve. On that note, I am going to be doing some Christian radio interviews over the holidays. I would love to do one in your area so please give me a call if you have a fav radio station that would like to participate.

One more note...Thanks to Holly Clanahan from America's Horse who will be doing a feature article on the books and the story behind the stories in reference to the nightmare that was occurring while writing the books. It is a story not to be missed with her expert writing skills. It will be months before it actually hits the pages of America's Horse but they have always supported us through the Sage Remarks page by quoting us 9 or 10 times over the past few years and we thank them for that.

So for the upcoming holidays, you are the view from the back of my horse. Get out and vote and enterfor your chance to win at our web site. As always, Blessings to you and yours this holiday season.