Freedom’s just another word

Deep Well Ranch

Hows that lyric end? for nothin’ left to lose. Today I set out for freedom.

You see, my horse. The one I’ve blogged about before. He has been a challenge. A wonderful challenge. We have gone from a bucking maniac to a horse that trail rides, arena works, JUMPS, took second all around in five classes in an English show with one of my students on him. Really, one and a half years of work with this guy and he’s become a wonderful horse. Our last hurdle (I hope anyways) has been venturing out on trails ALONE. A touch of the back story…when I got him I wanted an easy trail horse that I could go out alone on trail rides with. Well, my guy of course took that opportunity to show me the mirror. Show me what I needed to learn myself. I thought about giving up and just getting “an old quarter horse”. Nothing against Quarter horses of course. I love them. But I had to go for something different. That could be a whole different post topic with a psychological twist, but ….anyways. We came through so much. I have been working with him on going out on the trails, the mountain and the ranch land alone. He gets nervous and jumpy. Then, I get nervous and jumpy. We take a little bit at a time and then turn back so we can end on a sucessfull (and, you know, still alive) note. Well, well. I wanted to head out on our own last Sunday. The stable was overwhelming. Everytime I walked out my front door there was someone needing something. Heck, I had three knocks on my door and another person outside yelling “Hellooo?” before 10 AM. I saddled up for my ride and, I kid you not, as I’m mounting a car pulls in full of teenaged girls wanting to see the “rescue horses”. I can’t believe this. I need a break. Please. Peace. Please. I smile and direct them to where the “rescues” are so they can look at them. I let them know they can come back tomorrow (Monday) if they are interested and want further information. Bless them for their interest and hearts for the rescues, though. Really. Then I hit the road, to the trail, to the ranch that is wide open land for riding as far as you could ever want to go. And, today, it was different. I just so deeply felt the need for solitude. For quiet. For peace. Did I already say please? My nervousness took second place to this need. My horse felt it too. He must have. Because he stayed calm and cool the whole way. We went all the way out…through the ranch gate, through the ranch land, we ran. Oh did we run. Full circle back to my title here. “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose”. I needed so deeply that FREEDOM, that solitude and that quiet that my fear and nerves subconsciously stepped back and let me have what I needed. That is a rare thing but when your need “rears it’s head”, remember there is no stopping you.

They’re here…

moment 5Oh my. They are definetly here. The rescue horses from a slaughterhouse feed lot. Our stable has partnered with a private party who is starting a rescue organization. This endeavor is very exciting and has been in the works for a little while now. So, one night last week our owner here headed out with two trucks, two trailers and a rotation of drivers to switch off. Twenty four hours of driving later, here they are. And ready to run free out of those trailers. They came in at midnight so we were asleep. The next morning, going out to feed, I swear it felt like I was a little kid again and it was Christmas morning. Especially, because I was told there would be BABIES. Is there anything cuter than a baby horse? Really. AND, I’ve been warned not to fall in love. It will be hard. Also there is a pregnant mare “due any day”. That will be fun to blog about. And the pictures of that lil’ newborn foal will be awesome. I CAN’T fall in love though. Right?



Anyways, a bit of a recap as to what’s been transpiring around here in these first few weeks of our new year. The woman heading up this rescue mission asked us to partner for a low-cost board and, more importantly, training. You see the problem is that people can rescue horses left and right. But then what? Often they are wild horses and/or completely untrained, often never even touched by a human and are very fearful. Rescue a horse, okay. Then what? Many times rescues end up unwanted horses again. Which puts them in basically the same situation they were in before. Thus, the second very important step to a “rescue” is training. And it has to be good, quality, gentle training because these horses are scared. So, here is where we step in. Not only to provide a place for them to stay but to provide training so they can go to a home. Myself and a team of five others here at the barn have commited one year of training to these little ones. It will be slow and easy, no “cowboying”. One year of imprinting and gentle training with the goal of an excellent and rideable horse to then go to a loving home. I know horses. I know riding. I know training to deal with “behaviors”. But to be perfectly honest, I know nothing more than what I have read or seen in movies about “breaking” a wild horse. I’m ready to learn though. I’m looking forward to sharing these new adventures on the blog as well. Back to the story, I started out with niavely high hopes and then-when it took two hours just to get a halter on the one pregnant mare who has had some human contact-I started to comprehend the reality of this challenge. A week later, I have only been able to touch ONE of these eight. And that was only because it was morning feeding and the girl was starving so I bribed her with food. That counts. Well, we will see how this chapter goes. I feel confident because I will be mentoring under the owner here, who is an amazing trainer and knows how to do this right. I feel grateful to have such an opportunity to learn from him from square one. Wish us luck!



Remember that October mischief?

snowmanWell, that mischief is back! (halloween mischief post). Our fun and whimsical boarder who keeps us on our toes is at it again. We found this little guy back by the wheelbarrows behind the hay barn. It was unexpected and had us laughing. Reminding me what a fun and enchanting place this stable-land can be.

snowman2So, in all honesty, I was double checking my spelling of “mischief” when I found myself going over it’s definition. Mis-chief n. 1. Behavior that causes annoyance or difficulty 2. Damage, destruction, or injury caused by a specific person or thing or a specific injury or harm done 3. The inclination or tendency to play pranks or get into trouble. Hum….what an unexpected lesson in perspective. I tend to use the word as a more playful, fun type of “trouble”. You know, the good kind. Anyways, here’s to mischief (of all sorts) in the playful, whimsical and surprising ways that it appears here at our barn and in all of our lives. Although my heart is with the horses here, it is often the people that unexpectedly (MISCHIEVIOUSLY) end up being the heart beat of this place too.

The modern disease

Busy, busy these days are! Read this and remembered to slow down.



In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, “Kayf haal-ik?” or, in Persian, “Haal-e shomaa chetoreh?” How is your haal? What is this “haal” that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know.

I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a…

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This moment


Joining Amanda Soule at “Soulemama” in the tradition of “this moment”:

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

A little magic boot

Yesterday was Three Magic Kings Day here in our barn (…home).  It’s a cultural thing for our family more than anything. Anyways, if you leave your shoe by your bed with a little hay for the camels…those three magic kings will surely stop by for a snack and leave a final small gift in your shoe as the holiday season officially “ends”.

Three kings2

I found a gift was left for me as well…It was a glorious morning.


Snow7As we have also had our first real snow of the season! What a sight to wake to. The picture above is right out of my daughter, Sahalie’s, window overlooking the stalls. Does it get any more magical than this for an eight-year old?


And, the view out the main room window.

Snow12And, walking out the front door. It’s going to be cold. But beautiful. And so quiet. Which is so, so rare and sacred here.

Snow11But, the tractor started so life is good! Otherwise, this could’ve been a long morning trek.


NOW….let the fun begin!





THANK YOU for the gifts of quiet and stillness balanced with fun and chaos. And, the warmth and comfort that somehow follow everyone of these crazy days!



Resolutions with a twist

Jan 1





A unique way to approach “New Years Resolutions”:  Be productive, go to the gym, attend yoga regularly, get into the outdoors, quality family time. Okay, here we go:


Be productive:  Well, we’ve been in prep mode for some time now. Haven’t posted so much about it because I’ve really just been reveling in the holidays and trying to enjoy the family time when I can. However, behind the scenes there has been a great deal of work. Where we are, our winter’s are milder and shorter than many of yours probably are. But they still come hard, fast, cold and with snow.


The wood is ready, stacked and we are already enjoying it inside on these cold nights. My little girl’s a trooper. She actually made this fun! I think that sounds pretty darn productive, no? Resolution #1 CHECK (in barn speak)




Go to the gym:  Hay is delivered, unloaded and the hay barn is overflowing. That is ALWAYS a very comforting feeling with so many horsey mouths to feed! Resolution #2:  CHECK (again, in barn speak…..hey, who do you think loads up these bales every morning to feed?)



Attend Yoga class:  We have had our first hard freeze. With that, of course, I’ve had my first hard morning of breaking ice in the water troughs. Ahem, fifty of them… With a sledgehammer. I just pretend I’m at the gym…only it’s much easier because I know lives depend on it. And, it’s somewhat like the Yoga class I used to attend before I got too busy doing things (like breaking ice)…stress relief, tension and frustrations out, being in the moment. Absolutely. Resolution #3:  CHECK


Get into the outdoors:  The final birds, migrating off from our little haven. Resolution #4:  CHECK (definetely couldn’t be in a better place-both physically and mentally-to meet this resolution every single day, rain or shine).

Birds 2

Quality family time: Homeschooling, living in this unique and life-changing place, learning so much everyday, my daughter and I both growing and bonding through our horses, working together, playing together, learning to appreciate the little things as well as the big, accepting ourselves as individuals for who we are, um….Resolution #5:  CHECK!!!

Sahe delivering gift


I was looking for something inspiring to post on this first day of the new year. I wasn’t finding it. Although, I did have these winter prep pictures I’d been meaning to get up. Then I decided that part of welcoming a “new year” or anything new in life is one part jumping in head first with wild abandon (as we did when we agreed to move in here and start this adventure) , one part hard work and preparation so that what’s to come happens in an intentional way, and then one part of a big sense of humor. Letting go of perfection and going with what loveliness you’ve got right in front of you.. A little dose of each for a perfect balance. Right?