questions from the barn tonight

sea of trees

Have you ever hit a wall? Wishing it could be a mirror that would reflect back into the world everything you know to be true in your soul?

Have you ever wanted to convince someone so much of something? Of who you really are? What does it feel like when they don’t believe you?

Have you ever seen such beauty, felt such strength, breathed such crisp lovely air? And, then, not been able to pass those sights and feelings on to ones you wish you could?

These are just my random questions to you out there, in blog-land. And to the universe.

“In our world we are constantly pulled away from our innermost self 

and encouraged to look for answers, 

instead of listening to the questions”.

-Henri Nouwen, Reaching out: the Three movements of the Spiritual Life

…courtesy of mindful balance


barnraised is moving out of the barn.

This has been a hard post for me to write because so much of my blog “theme” is tied into this crazy barn where we live.

It is time for me to move on. Living in the barn, running this busy facility is taking a toll on me and my family.

Oh it has been the most wonderful adventure, fun times, good people and a learning immersion experience I couldn’t have had anywhere else. I feel like a changed person. A stronger person. A very much braver person.

And my body is tired, my mind is tired, I need sleep, my little girl sometimes just needs “all the people to go away”. I feel somewhat taken advantage of here, my kindness is walked over sometimes, it’s exhausting having to always “cowgirl up” and reinforce boundaries day in and day out. Over and over. Also, for an introvert, I have just had it with people at my front door -literally- sun-up to sundown. And a “boss” who won’t set any boundaries for the business that I run for him….for free mind you. Ok.

Of course, anyone whom has ever lived in their place of work can understand how that balance is difficult to maintain and how one can get stressed out. However, live in someone else’s business and it doubles that. It’s hard to be the one “in charge” here, but not the one to “call the shots”. It’s hard to see things I don’t agree with or feel good about taking place and not be able to right them or make change. It’s hard at the end of the day, or in the midst of chaos to see where the boundary lines are. And ultimately, I’m not that comfortable anymore.

And that is when one must know that it is time to move on. Or in this case, move out.

The decision has been a while in coming. Just wanted to make sure I gave it my all, tried to make it work and that if and when I pulled the plug I knew I was doing the 100% right thing.

So we’ve given our notice. We had a plan and a back-up plan but both those fell through. So we stayed on here a little bit longer than we probably should’ve. Thus, bringing us to the exciting decision to continue being barnraised…on our own terms.

We are under contract right now on our own facility. Let’s hope it all works out. It will be a smaller scale than what I’ve been managing here. Which is not a bad thing. And it will be on my terms. A beautiful, healing, friendly place that honors others and honors the horses that live and work for me. A place that holds respect and beauty. A place that is grateful for kindness and says no to dishonesty.

final post

Deep well 5

Final post of 3 in the saga:  History made. The end of May will be the one year anniversary of “Romance” joining our family. My daughter’s “dream horse”. Who gave her a run for her money. My little girl so desperately wanted one thing. To go out on the trail with her. Out of the arena, off the property. Out into the endless miles of open ranch land and mountains. Needless to say, it was slow in coming. Both girl and horse are timid, yet stubborn personalities. I admit, there were times that I thought this was just the wrong horse for her. We had those hard conversations about maybe finding something else for her. Well…

Deep well 4

I underestimated both…girl and horse. And I am reminded of what a horse can do for our soul, our character, our inner strength.

Deep well

Every therapeutic riding session I have ever instructed pales in comparison to what this baby girl has accomplished of her own free-will, desire, drive and commitment.

My friends, …”well-behaved women seldom make history”…and these two commited souls have gone down in my history book as heroes. It may be small in the scheme of the horrors, challenges  and hardships of the world, but it is huge in the heart of a small girl who now, I believe, can do and will do amazing things in this world. More importantly, she believes.

Thank you for reading through this little series of posts. I felt like both, she and I, needed it. And it offers a little celebration of sorts into the BIGGER WORLD out there.


Blog 6

I ended up buying a horse that changed my life. Literally. He was a challenge and many times did I think about giving up. But I didn’t, I couldn’t. I’m a gluten for punishment and apparently, I have been told, I sought out this challenge as a reflection of my own insecurities. Even though, all I said I wanted was an easy, fun trail horse. I guess we just are who we are even if we try to be better. But the lesson in this, is that’s not necessarily always a bad thing. We face head on who we are and then we see why and where we may want to change. Then we have the free will to make that change if we wish, if we are willing to do the work. If we are willing to look at our messiness. My sweet boy, what a challenge he was. He taught me self confidence, assertiveness, focus, to STOP caring about what others think and say, to forge my own path and believe without worrying what the outcome may be. Because it was just he and I in the end, making it or not. In more ways than one, because I have the on-going neck pain from this path! Dare I say, a HORSE changed my life. Yes, I say it. A horse greatly changed my life. Today, he is my best friend and we are getting along beautifully. Still a challenging moment here or there, but really no worries. The therapeutic value of horses is so hard to put into words. And, Im not one of those “airy fairy” types that believes in Tao type deep energy connections. And, I don’t not believe in it either. It’s just not totally and completely “me” to go there. I will say my truth though, and that’s that there is indeed therapeutic value to horses in so many ways. A creature who can quite literally feel your feelings, hear your heartbeat and smell your fear. A horse will synchronize to your heartbeat, breathing and emotions. This may sound deep, but as Monty Roberts teaches, it’s nature. Horses are herd animals, looking for a leader. It is a survival technique for them to synch with the herd. When the herd leader becomes frightened of something, a predator say, it is the immediate syncing of the herd that alerts and saves them. Take a horse out of the wild, and, well they still need a leader. If that’s you, then they sync to you. Be afraid, they smell fear. Increased heartbeat, faster breathing? They sync to you sending their heart rate and breathing up. Keep yourself calm (even in the midst of fear or nervousness) and you can keep your horse calm. Breathe deep, focus, visualize and your horse will come with you. As John Wayne says “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyways”.