Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mom Report

Thank You all that sent prayers and made calls for my Mother.
I was finally able to reach her today, power is back on and phone working once again.
She, her pets, and home fared wonderful. No big trees close enough to the house to cause damage to the house or cars, many of her neighbors did not fair as well.
She is sad she lost her big rubber tree and 2 banana trees but already got replacements to get started again.
Lots of clean up happening in her community and getting life back on track once again.

She is now again excited and looking to her visit here with us in November for 2 weeks. Her most important request to get on a horse one more time. Battling cancer now for 4 years and having her back broken in my youth has made riding not possible for many years.
She has asked to get on Bubba specifically so we will do this for her and at least get her up one more time and he will take the greatest of care of her.
She also requested to hold lots of horses"whole heads' in her arms once again, only a true horse person would understand the need and rewards of doing this.

Thank you all once again, your prayers worked!!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Please if you believe in Prayers
Pray for my Mother, My Teacher
She lives in Texas and in the path Of Ike
I ask for your Prayers if they are in you to give.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Laura & Chappy doing pattern exercises

Liz & Beau Beau playing after a hard days work

Shades Of Oak Rendezvous Workshops

Yes, it's time to start posting about theses events.I know, I have been selfish and delinquent in this and those that have been here this year have been waiting for me to post on them.
I guess I've just wanted to keep them close to me as they have been very special and better than I ever dreamed, I don't want them to change in any way.
I was a bit scared of bringing folks into my special place being where I rest, relax, regenerate from a very difficult life traveling and being in the public.It's harder for me being a very introverted person myself as many would not know.

What a summer it has been sharing my place of privacy, peace, safety and just relaxation for man and creature that Dave and I have created here on the ranch.

These workshops are very hard work and intensive, not only in riding but in some cases emotionally as well, to be a great horseman the two go hand in hand with the discovery of our horses and our selves.
Horses of all breeds have come, it's not just about gaited horses, people from all walks of life have come together to learn share and enjoy each other on the same journey. The days are long and hard, but the down time is wonderful. One can take a short trail ride in the local city park near by, go for a beautiful country walk, but Tony the Aussie will want to go with you, Or relax on the big porch and just let busy lives go away for awhile.
I still wonder if Jo and Carol with those Fancy foot working warm bloods have recovered, Jo said she was taking 2 months off after being here.
The Gypsy's Came
The Gypsy's Went
And Then They Came Back Again!

Liz & Beau Beau doing some lateral work

The work we do here ranges in vastness from advanced dressage, working youngsters, gait development, over coming fears, riding with physical handicaps and healing horses emotionally from bad pasts.
Laura wanted to share her experience with you so she made a little video. I've posted the link below to share with you.

Laura and Chappy letting the fear free

Chappy showing Laura he will stand solid for as long as he needs to in her journey to recovery
A little on what is happening above is, Laura a very accomplished rider from childhood being a dressage competitor. She suffered a sever accident on her then Friesian which she owned. Having a long period to relive the event over and over while healing in a wheel chair, found fear had taken hold. Finding "Chappy " her Gypsy years later, is now working to come back to the rider she once was. Chappy is the perfect horse in helping her do so.

Mark and Beau Beau

So in finishing here I hope the workshops stay just as wonderful as they have been, with serious seekers coming to be a part of what I feel is a special place, that's very much a part of who I am. To find what I have in a life living with horses.



Monday, September 1, 2008

Let It Be
A Thing Of The Past !

Yes Once again I'm doing silly things, but there is a point to this. Believe me "Purple Pony Skin" put up with a lot more of this type thing from me when I was a kid.
I advise you don't try this on your own unless you are absolutely sure you know the horse very well and are an experienced horseman with good feel and have a spotter around.
I also am actually thrilled for a mature gal on the back end of middle age, I can still do a few of these things.
So here is the story and the message.
This horse a fox trotter, 9 years old now and had a very hard start in his youth, the wrong people and hard methods. He now has a very different owner and getting the chance he deserves to be all he can.
He even has sever scars in the corners of his lips from being cut from a bit.
Due to his past resistance to very harsh training and trying to survive and screaming in his own way that he was unhappy He received a reputation of being a problem or troubled horse. It seems to have followed him for some time.
I found a very different horse in him. I road him 2 days, 4 years ago. Last year I could not ride him due to being unsound in the hind due to improper riding from an exercise rider. I spent that 3 days doing body work on him and just some ground work to create a relationship. This spring he was sound again and certainly remembered me and I spent 4 days riding him. I took the bit out and went with a bosal, I also the first year got rid of the bit and used a side pull. The photos above are of my recent last 4 days with him and again he remembered me and we started just where we left off like I had been riding him everyday.
So in total I have spent 13 days with this horse and ridden him 11 times.
Somtimes it's not what you do with a horse but maybe what you don't do as well.
My goal to help him see me as a different kind of human than he had experienced before, show him I had no fear of him so he would have no fear of me. I showed him how to do things through me teaching and positive responses for his try, never forced him, muscled or bullied him.
Just showed him , asked him and he gave right back. So soft ,so easy and with all the willingness in the world, never have I seen the scary things I have been told he could do.
Why? Because I knew his troubles were people troubles, not his that he created or ever wanted. I never brought the fear of those possibilities to him when with him , so they just were not there.
I trust him and he trusts in me.
My reason for doing the things above was to show he was not what he had been tagged ,but was one awesome horse, very talented and a very fast learner.
So often a horses issues are people created, be through just ignorance,
troubled humans or an incomplete training base, for what ever reason, if we can let the past go, then so can the horse. It just takes time, not always this fast but it can happen if we just try our selves and don't put it all on the horse.
We just have to believe in our selves to let the past go, so they can.
It's common for me to also see people bring their own pasts with another horse to the one they have today.
As I have said so many times before "Ride the Horse you have today".

Liz Graves
copyright 2008