Friday, December 28, 2012

"FEATURE FRIDAY-Linda Nedilsky – Healing Veterans and Horses with Myofascial Release Therapy"

Howdy Folks,

Linda has long known of the healing power of the spirit of the horse, but it was brought into her heart by a very special horse, Story, a few years ago, when he refused to let Linda carry the baggage of a horrible incident she'd endured years earlier any longer. Story, with his gentle ways, and understanding had helped her shed the burdens of mistrust, fear and hurt by first doing nothing more than standing quietly as she brushed him.

Today Linda is a massage therapist who heals horses and humans with a gentle technique developed by John Barnes called, "Myofascial Release Therapy. (JBMFR)"  Linda was a massage therapist before discovering MFR when seeking pain relief herself from injuries she'd suffered in an accident.  She no longer offers traditional or any other type of work except JBMFR.

What is "Myofascial Release Therapy?"  First, what is Facia? It is the connective tissue that surrounds and infuses every muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel and organ in the body, all the way down to the cellular level. The fascial system can affect every system and function in the body ... The impact of unhealthy fascia on your body is profound. When the fascial system is healthy and functioning well, its acts as the primary support system of the body, stabilizing and cushioning muscles, bones, organs, and all other systems within it ... When fascia is restricted through trauma, repetitive motions, poor posture, scar tissue, and/or the inflammatory process, this flowing, powerful system can become solidified. Think of taffy hardening. Fascia will thicken or reinforce in these areas of stress and, in turn, shorten the connective tissue, causing a fascial restriction … MFR helps to remove the straight-jacket effect from the body by releasing restricted fascia. Treatment is based on taking a look at and treating the entire body, helping to restore balance. By releasing the fascial restrictions, with gentle massage like techniques, throughout the body, MFR will decrease the crushing force, therefore decreasing pain and increasing function, blood flow, nutrition, and overall health- down to the cellular level.

Linda is devoted to offering hope to people, and horses (as well as dogs) who suffer from chronic pain, educate and help people about the options that are out there for them to improve their quality of life.

Her other objective is to tap into people who own horses, who are not aware that their own pain, emotional trauma, or restrictions have a huge impact on their horse's bodies and their behavior. "It amazes me at how many people will go out and buy new saddles for their horses, have the saddles fitted (which they should do) without considering if the horse's restrictions or even their own restrictions are causing the saddle to rub the wrong way." Linda explained.  "Even the simple things like hooves wearing the wrong way, or teeth wearing down on one side more than the other can be caused by fascial restrictions in the neck, back, hip, and legs. For example, knee inflammation in humans many times is caused by the pelvis being misaligned due to scar tissue and fascial restrictions. Many people have come to me after getting shots in their knees, and surgery who are still in pain. After just a couple sessions their pain has been resolved and they no longer need to take pain meds …So imagine if we could do the same thing for our horses ... just through body work."

Linda has recently become part of the, "In One Peace Project," a nationwide organization of JBMFR practitioners who will devote one day a month to Veterans and currently serving military personal, "to help them integrate back into their lives as whole healthy, vibrant persons. In one piece."

This is truly amazing therapy with the ability to help bodies, and minds, heal and function pain free and happy. Please have a look at Linda's website here for more details and how you might get involved.  To learn more about the "In One Peace Project" visit their web site 

Gitty Up
Dutch Henry

Thursday, December 27, 2012

"Greatest Gift"

Howdy Folks,

Robbie and I sat about in the middle of the sanctuary holding hands as the Minister opened his sermon with a prayer. Christmas Eve candlelight services is one of Robbie's most favorite things, and we'd gone with friends to their church.  It was a wonderful service filled with the Christmas Spirit, communing with friends, and Robbie's delight, circling the sanctuary singing the comforting and familiar Christmas hymns. 

The thyme for service was the gifts, gift giving and the Greatest Gift Of All, the gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ. As the Minister explained,  the most valuable gift ever given, and it was given free. His sermon compared the perceived value of the gifts we share with each other, the money they cost us to purchase and what they might mean to the giver, and the recipient. He had a few appropriate jokes and personal experiences about gifts that missed the mark, and stories of gifts that were just right.

But woven in the tapestry of his sermon was this line, "The only animal in the world that can give a gift is man," which caught me off guard and I must say disappointed me. Not only did he include that thought, but he went to some length to explain how it is true. I was greatly disappointed in that opinion, and the fact he felt the need to insert it in his Christmas message, for as far as I could tell, it added nothing to the central fact of the story that Jesus Christ IS the greatest gift ever given.

I wondered as he spoke had he never felt the warmth of a cat curled on his lap on a chilly evening? Had he not once been greeted at the door upon his arrival home by a dog's eager face, wagging tail and bouncing dance? Had he never seen the pictures of service men and women greeted by absolutely ecstatic dogs nearly smothering them as the arrived home after a long deployment? I wonder if he'd never sat with children, looking out a window on a cold snowy day watching birds at the feeder display their beauty, and making the children giggle at their silly antics.

He surely never stood by a horse, soaking up its giving spirit, with his face buried deep in its mane as tears streamed down his cheeks. I can believe he's never been to a Therapeutic Riding Center and watched as a young girl, dealing with the weight of Spina Bifada, discovered she could indeed sit tall and smile wide. Or watched as a battered woman regained confidence while riding a horse, who knew the precious cargo it carried and made sure to keep her safe.

I agree the most valuable gift ever given was Jesus Christ … but I also know God gave all beings the ability and desire to give gifts. And I thank God for that … For the best gifts of all, in any season, are the gifts of love, healing and comfort … And I believe animals have a most special talent for giving that.

God Bless
Dutch Henry

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

"A Christmas Story – Part 2"

Howdy Folks, 
I wanted to share something with all our friends for Christmas, so I wrote a Christmas story. Merry Christmas everyone and God Bless. Robbie, Kessy, Saturday, Sweetness, Zoe, Miss Kitty, Tigger and I send prayers and wishes that this may be the happiest of Christmas days for you and your loved ones and folks all over the world.

(If you missed Part 1 please read yesterday's post first)

"A Christmas Story"  by Dutch Henry - Part 2

Only two cows in milk right now, so milking didn't take very long, or give even half a pail. Clover, the youngest was due to calve any day, and her milk would surely be welcome. Milking finished and still no sign of Jed, Sarah checked on Jessica all snug in her nest of hay, then busied herself giving hay to the cows and horse. The chickens hardly stirred, few even pulled their heads from under their wings.

Worry kept her busy. Finished the feeding Sarah found cloth and strained the milk, a job usually done on the tiny table in the cabin, but she dreaded the trip back through the wind and biting ice crystals, so she did it right there in the barn. Besides, somehow the barn seemed a better place to be tonight, Christmas Eve. Her mind though kept busy fretting over Jed. Was he lying in the bitter cold somewhere, hurt? Or worse? She began to build a plan to go search the vast openness that lay between them and the orphanage. That would have to wait for daylight. But wouldn't his horse have found its way back to the barn? Jed's horse, Scout was a big, powerful horse and very smart. Surely had something happened to Jed, Scout would have come home?

Nervously she nursed baby Jessica, to the unsettling sound of relentlessly raging wind tearing at the walls of the barn. Gathering Jessica she moved closer to the cows so the sounds of them peacefully chewing might sooth her worried heart. She nestled into the straw next to Clover and rocked gently. The barn was a peaceful place but tonight even its warmth and embrace could do little to sooth her. 

The ride to the orphanage and back, even with a first class Christmas party should only have taken Jed and Scout about six hours. He should have been home well before dark.

Weary with worry, Sarah hugged tiny Jessica and squirmed deeper into the straw.

 Her horse pacing and nickering in its stall roused her. "It's okay, Goldie, the wind can't get us in here." Knowing she must check the fire and the stew in the house, she carefully tucked tiny Jessica safely back in her nest of hay. "I'll be right back, you sleep tight." She kissed her cheek, and wiped a tear from her own. Turning to the cows and Goldie she said, "You all watch over her while I'm gone."

She snatched the lantern from its peg and made the dash from barn to cabin, the never-ending, awful wind at her back. Inside she found the fire nearly out, but the chicken stew still delightfully warm. Building the fire back up, stirring the stew and gathering another blanket to swaddle around Jessica took only moments, and through the bitter, blinding darkness she ran for the barn, shielding her face from stinging snow.

Fighting the wind to pull closed the heavy barn door, for an instant the wind's roar was blocked. Was that a bell? Did she hear ringing bells? Or were her ears simply ringing in the wail of the wind? She strained her eyes in the direction of what she imagined was the ringing bells. Is that a light? Could that be a light? But what could there be out there moving in this horrible wind? It didn't appear to be a horse and rider. Her hopes sank as quickly as they'd soared. The bells stopped and the light vanished. Sarah pulled tight the door, made fast the latch, then hurried to Jessica to add the extra blanket.

Clover mooed, Goldie stomped and whinnied. Before Sarah could react, from the outside, above the wind, came an answering whinny.  "Scout? … " Sarah yelled, tears streaming her face. Terrified of the possible answer she yelled, "Scout, is that you? Is Jed with you?" Bells, did she hear bells again? With wings on her feet she flew to the door, only to have the latch yanked from her grasp.

Stunned she starred into the darkness, and there stood Jed flashing an ice covered smile as wide as the mountains themselves. Behind Scout were two horses harnessed to a wagon with canvas stretched over it. "Brought ya a few Christmas visitors Sarah!" Jed waved a hand toward the wagon. Sarah's knees melted, she crumbled to the ground.

"Hey now," Jed scooped her up with a hearty laugh. "We can't have this, we have us a Christmas Eve party to put on for the young 'ins!"

Jed, Shorty and Jake fought the wind to swing open the big barn door, Martha led Scout and the team right into the barn. Every hand worked together to pull the door closed behind the wagon. Martha flipped down the wagon tail gate, and one by one the children slid out, giggling and laughing.
Sarah's knees went weak again, she grabbed onto Jed. He could see the love, relief and questions in her eyes.

"Well," Jed started, "When I rode up to Martha's the wind already yanked the roof off that old shed they use for a home. Jake, Shorty and me didn't take too long to figure out there was no fixin' that rickety old building. Nobody knew what to do next, not only did they all need a place to live, but heck Sarah, this is Christmas Eve and we got songs to sing and presents to open … so we hatched a plan to stretch this canvas over the wagon, nail 'er down with boards and haul the entire outfit right here."

With a grin and tip of his hat, Shorty yanked the sack of presents from the wagon seat, held it high and danced a little jig. "Merry Christmas!"

The children had settled down in a circle holding hands, except for little Jane, who had discovered baby Jessica. "Look Miss Martha, it's just like the story of baby Jesus, lying in the manger with all his friends in the barn."

God Bless and Merry Christmas ~ Dutch Henry

Monday, December 24, 2012


Howdy Folks, 
I wanted to share something with all our friends for Christmas, so I wrote a Christmas story. Merry Christmas everyone and God Bless.

"A CHRISTMAS STORY" by Dutch Henry - Part 1.

With a piece of kindling, Sarah scratched ice from inside the lone cabin window. Cupping hands against her face she was able to squint through the tiny pane to see the blowing, swirling snow outside. Nothing new to see, except the darkness moving in. She shook her head, "Can't even see the barn now."

If he wasn't getting home tonight, and her hopes were fading as her worries mounted, she'd better bundle up and tend the animals in the barn. Jed had been sure to load the wood box before leaving . Load the box? She smiled at the heavily laden box with wood stacked halfway up the wall. "Wood enough for a week," she remembered him assuring her, even though he was planning on being gone only a day. 

This would be the first Christmas Eve visit to the orphanage she'd missed since they'd wed three years ago. But this year, with a month old daughter of their own, and the threatening skies, Sarah thought it best Jed make the ten mile ride without them. So he'd set out in the shadows of early morning alone.

She bent over the black kettle filled nearly to the brim with simmering chicken stew. Stirred it thoroughly and swung the black arm out from the fire to hold the kettle just near enough to the hot coals and gentle flames to keep the stew at the perfect temperature. She'd have a Christmas feast waiting for him when he returned.

The orphanage sat way outside of town, on a little farm well off the beaten path. Out of sight. Out of mind. Run by old widow Martha Bowman, and two old broken down ex-cow pokes, Jake and Shorty. Jed had grown up there. "Poor kids," Jed had told her once, "not only don't they have families of their own, but most town folks don't even want to see 'em. They'd just as soon forget 'em."

Jed never forgot them. Each Christmas he'd visit and carry a feed sack of toys to share with the children, usually numbering around ten. Toy horses, he'd whittle, a fishing pole or two, and dolls Sara would sew. Of course a few knitted scarves and mittens too.

Not being able to see the children this Christmas Eve had Sarah's heart a little heavy. She'd grown so used to the singing, laughing and playing. And the happy faces. Even the old cow pokes would join right in and sing along. Jed had a way of really throwing a lively Christmas Eve party.                                            

Sarah tended to the fireplace, wrapped the baby in their warmest blanket, grabbed the milk pail, the coal oil lantern and started for the door. Forcing the door into the wind took all her strength. The gale hit her full on, slamming the door shut behind her, nearly sucking the very breath from her lungs. Leaning low she sheltered the baby, pushed into the wind and hurried for the safety of the barn. Tiny frozen flakes pelting her cheeks like stinging bees. It was a journey of only fifty feet, but tonight it seemed a mile. The snow wasn't deep, but the wind halted her every step.

Full hands made sliding the barn door latch nearly impossible. She could set nothing down for fear it blow away. Struggling with an elbow and the back of her hand she managed to pull back the thick metal latch. Immediately the wind ripped the door from her grasp slamming it wide open. She hurried to the far corner, past the cows, the horse and chicken coop.

Inside was a different world. Jed had labored a full summer four years ago to build the barn out of logs instead of boards. "Harder to be burnt out that way," he'd explained.  They'd lived in the barn a full year after that, while together they finished their one room cabin. She settled the baby snugly in a bed of hay. "There now," Sarah soothed the sweet girl, "you sleep easy, Jessica, while I milk the cows, and I'll bet Daddy will be home before I'm through."

She battled the raging wind to pull shut and latch the heavy door, hung the lantern on its peg in the center of the barn and paused a moment to look around. Three cows and a horse make plenty of heat inside a barn as snug as this one. The wind howled and raged but could find no way in. She settled down on the milking stool and started milking the first cow.

Snug as they were in the sturdy barn, her mind was on Jed. The first streams of milk rang out on the pail side. She tried to time the ringing sound of milk hitting the metal bucket to "Silent Night" as she squeezed in time to the hymn she hummed.

"Why isn't Jed home yet?" Is all she could think.

I'll post Part 2 tomorrow on Christmas Day ~ Merry Christmas ~ Dutch Henry