Friday, August 9, 2013

Feature Friday – Happy Natural Horse – Lorrie Bracaloni

Howdy Folks,

Dedicated to helping folks learn how their horses can live naturally and pain free Lorrie Bracaloni has published 2 books, a vast number of short films that can be viewed on YouTube (HERE) and her website (HERE), maintains an active blog (HERE) and a facebook page (HERE) and (HERE). While she is a hands-on, certified Equine Holistic Practitioner and is very busy visiting clients and horses, she also believes strongly that with these methods of outreach she help many more horses live pain free, healthy lives.
Lorrie & Boogie
Lorrie began seeking answers to questions 12 years ago when she lost her beloved Thoroughbred Romeo to colic when he was only 3 years old. Not satisfied with the standard answer, "I do not know, it just happens to horses sometimes," she embarked on a mission to learn how to maintain a healthy, happy, pain free horse. Lorrie was led to a workshop given by Dr Regan Golob on nutrition and pain reflexology. There is where Lorrie found her answers to equine health and nutrition. Later that year she set out on a life long journey of going to school and becoming certified in equine health. She devoted several years to studying and practicing acupressure pain release on rescues horses at horse rescues and area race tracks.

Currently Lorrie holds seven different certifications in areas such as, Homeopathy, Acupressure and Herbal Remedies. She is a favorite clinician at Horse expos such as Ohio Equine Affaire, Timonium Horse World Expo, Harrisburg Pa Equine World Expo, where she freely demonstrates what she has learned.

A big passion of Lorrie's is to continue to donate her time and knowledge to help the rescue horses return to a happy, healthy, pain free life. She provides free workshops at Lost & Found Horse Rescue in Darnstown Md, and helps man their booth at local horse shows bringing in much needed donations.
 Her books – "How To Identify And Release Your Horses Pain Points (with DVD)" and "Natural Equine Remedies – Prevention – Solutions – Results " can be purchased on her website (HERE).
Lorrie demonstrating checking the Atlas 
Lorrie also gives workshops and demos all across the country teaching natural health and nutrition for horses, keeping them sound, happy and healthy. Thanks Lorrie for helping the horses and their people!

Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Grandpop, the Reporter and Firewood

 Howdy Folks,

This is the 4th in a series of visits with Grandpop – A World War II Veteran and cowboy. We first met Grandpop on June 27, 2013 in "Perhaps I just Lived Too Long (HERE) … Enjoy your visit and please share. 

Grandpop, the Reporter and Firewood 

I knew I was in for a treat when I saw the tiny white car with the local newspaper's logo on the door parked halfway between the barn and house. Every once in a while they'd send an intern out to have a chat with Grandpop and write a story. I found them in the barn. From the looks of things, and the pale face of the young intern, it may have been his first venture into a horse barn, and first time sitting on a straw bale. I smiled at his attempt to settle in a way that the straw didn't poke him.
Kessy, Saturday and me writing a story.
Grandpop tossed a nod my way, introduced us, then went back to brushing Blue. I leaned against the saddle stand, back out of the way, to watch. And listen.

"So they tell me you were in the war." The young man held pen to tablet. "Iraq?"

Grandpop stopped, laid the brush on Blue's back and chuckled. "I'm a might older than that … World War 2." He turned away briefly to tug on Blue's mane, but I knew he was hiding his eyes. Thinking of those years is always hard on him. He'd rather talk about horses, ranching and family. The important things, as he would say.

"Really," the intern said. "Wow, I never thought of that war … don't know much about it." He made a few notes. "Where you always a … cowboy? How did you get the ranch?"

"A cowboy?"

"It's not like I had it pictured, but sure, you've got land, horses, cattle. Seems like a cowboy. Except you ended up with a farm, or ranch."

"Ended up with a ranch, did I?" Grandpop pulled his hat, scratched his head, pretending to ponder that one.

"Sure look at it all. I've only been out here a few weeks, this is my first visit to a real farm … I mean you must have had some lucky breaks to get all this. That's what I'd like to touch on for my story."

Grandpop pointed to the big oak. "How would you like to take a little stroll?"

"How far. I mean, what for?"

"Oh I'd like to walk a little, stretch these old legs a bit, and show you the view."

I followed behind as we made our way to the big oak, walked between the mares, who promptly fell in line behind us, much to the reporter's worry. Grandpop had a little fun, respectfully, assuring him mares don't eat humans. Even city slickers, I heard him add with a friendly chuckle.

We walked beyond the majestic tree and on up to a high knoll just outside the woods, pausing every now and then for Grandpop to lean on his cane and catch his breath. Grandpop used each break to point out one vista or another. The young reporter made notes as he listened.

Finally we reached our destination. A little campsite just outside the fence at the edge of the woods. I'd not been there for years, and from the looks of it no one else had either. The ring of rocks for the campfire was still there, waiting.

"From here you can see pretty near every bit of our spread. One of my favorite spots. Almost built the house up here, but, my wife liked the valley better. We used to come up here real regular for picnics, campfires and the like. Now, not so much." He grinned wide, "Next time I'd better ride a horse, this trek about wore me out … Our youngest son runs the outfit now, and he's doin' a mighty fine job." Grandpop settled down on the log hewn bench he'd made decades ago.

"So there was no house? How did you live here?"

"Well, we were younger then, and bunkin' in a tent that first summer was a high time. Yes sir, that was a mighty special summer. We had a 2 room house up by fall. Over the years we poured a lot of hard work, sweat and love into this little outfit, and by golly it sure was worth every effort … Hey, it's a long walk back, how about a little campfire, since we're here anyway. I should rest a bit, and we can finish up your story." He pointed toward the woods, nodded to the reporter, grinned my way. "Would you mind gatherin' a few sticks for us?"

"Sure." Timidly the reporter began to gather fallen twigs and branches, making certain not to get out of our sight.

Grandpop used his cane to brush the debris from the fire ring, settled back on the bench, then talked the young reporter through building his first campfire.

When the first tiny yellow flames licked at the twigs the young man rocked back, smiled wide at Grandpop, "I never did anything like that before! Look at my fire go!"

Grandpop leaned on his cane, stood and offered his hand to the young man. "These days there's too much talk about some folks havin' more than others and being angry and jealous about it ... There's an old cowboy sayin' … God put the firewood in the woods for everybody, it's up to each of us to gather it and build our campfire." They shook hands. "That's the story you should write, young fella."

Gitty  UP ~ Dutch Henry 

You can read the Fifth in my Grandpop series "How About A Smile"(HERE)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Let Your Horse Slow You Down"

Howdy Folks,

In your busy life let your horse slow you down. They'll do it, if you listen. They have many subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, ways of cutting through the fog of hurry-up-go-mode to help us focus on the moment. To see the world as it can be seen. The glory and beauty of it. The peacefulness and rewards it can offer us, if we slow down and process the moment.
The Coffee Clutch bunch
Our Coffee Clutch family knows I start each day in the barn enjoying the finest brew Folgers decaff has to offer, (I'm a connoisseur of fine coffee blends) and the quiet company of my mare Kessy, as well as Saturday, Tigger and Miss Kitty. It's a time of gentle reflection and absorption of goodness, peace. I watch the birds at the feeders and chicken scratch, listen to Saturday snore, Kitty purr and Kessy munch her hay. I thank God each morning for a beautiful day, sun, rain, wind or snow, they're all beautiful. The anchor of our morning meditation is Kessy. Her spirit welcomes us to live in the moment with no worries or anxieties. 

Sure not everyone has an hour or so to spend just sitting with their horse in the morning. But what if you had ten minutes, sometime each day when you could sit with your horse and slow down your thoughts? Try it, you'll feel the slowing. Your horse will feel it too.

When your horse stops to snare a nibble of grass as you ride along and you ask her to walk on, pause and wait. Many times a horse will happily walk on, after they grab two or three more mouthfuls. But if we yank on the reins, kick and demand, they'll probably still grab those extra mouthfuls, but your teaching her resistance, rather than allowing her to teach you, to slow down, enjoy the moment. So in this case simply ask her to walk on with a kiss or cluck, and perhaps a gentle heel touch, and wait. When she takes that extra bite, she'll raise her head and walk on softly. If she knows she can rely on your patience, you can rely on her harmony.

In fact whenever you ask something of your horse, allow the pause. It's for you, more than the horse. We humans are too often wired to go quickly. Instant results. How many times have you seen and heard friends say, "Whoa, whoa, whoa?" when one "whoa" is all that's really required. Asking once, allowing the pause, then seeing the result will slow you down, and in the long run, shorten the time needed for response. And you'll both be softer, more in the moment. And because you're in the moment, in tune with your horse, you'll see, feel and hear your horse on an all new level. True harmony.

Another great way to allow your horse to teach you to slow down is by doing the little exercises I spoke about here - PRE-RIDE EXERCISES FOR YOUR HORSE

While doing any of these exercises for your horse it is very important to pause, allow her to process the information, at the same time you will be too ... and you'll be slowing down.

So if you haven't already, go ahead, let your horse slow you down.

Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry