July 15th, 2014 UnRepentant

Perhaps it was the umpteenth person that pulled me aside to ask, “Why haven’t you blogged?” that’s prompted my blog now, almost a year later. Or perhaps its that I am finally beginning to heal.
I haven’t been able to blog simply because of my own emotional battle I’ve encountered. So many shifts in my life that I haven’t felt concrete enough to stand up to this blog. It’s my platform and one I take seriously. A glimpse into my philosophies and what I stand for.
On this occassion, I have battled staying centered, focused and fulfilling what I believe is my purpose and I know it. Coming back to this page after Crockett’s passing and seeing my last post has just been another heap of painful on a very difficult year that I just didn’t want to address. I wasn’t ready to address.
My last blog I didn’t know Crockett would only be with me a few more days. His untimely and tragic passing sidelined me harder than the bout of chronic adrenal fatigue I’ve been battling since June of 2013.
I couldn’t write or blog. My spirit seems sapped of whatever spark it had to try and make a stand in the world after Crockett died. My little buddy. My partner in crime.
Coming back to the blog page I’d see his photo and be reminded of what I know. That animals possess a keen ability to KNOW when their time is short. I’m in awe of this. It’s a tangible link between this life and the next.
I’ve seen it so many times and this time, I just can’t forgive myself for not taking the time to move through each day carefully protecting my herd. I put my attentions elsewhere and got sidetracked by things that just don’t matter that much.
You see, horses, and my animals mean life to me. Their presence makes this life bearable.
O, I’ve been told I’m too sensitive. That I need to toughen up. That my feelings about this don’t matter or are too emotional.
I don’t believe that despite some serious self analyzing.
Crockett did what he did because he KNEW he was leaving. His passing left me with a message I can’t ignore.
Read my blog dated September 2013. Crockett, and Aemelie’s behaviors were atypical. I can see that now.
A simple nudge that I wake up, be aware and in honor of my calling. To not waste another day pursuing activities that don’t speak to my calling, my passion and gifts. My higher calling.
I tried to blog after Crockett died.
He was killed tragically when he bled to death after hitting his head. He was spooked by pigs that shouldn’t have been out of their pens. They escaped, foraged down around the shelter where they came upon Crockett getting his morning drink. When he spun from being surprised by them he ran his head into the side of the shelter. I found him just as he as taking his last breaths. I will never be the same. Watching him die was no easier than watching my Mother die.
This year that’s passed has brought a closure to so many things. So much of my journey has been in this single year. And now its clear I need to focus. To redefine…WHO I AM.
Its easy when you’re young, have nothing but optimism and energy. Harder when you’ve been hit by things in life that just sap your energy and leave you grasping for direction.
This past year has been a lot like that. But also illuminating and wonderful, like the moment that comes when your heart and soul make profound leaps of honor in self awareness. This has happened to me a lot of late and the transformation and powerful emotions are difficult to share only because they are mixed with the darker emotions of fear and failure.
Funny how this mixture always walk side by side, giving us a choice of what we want to choose.
I choose to move forward. To realize better my calling, my destiny and what it all means. At least to try.
It seems so many of the things I’ve put my energy into have faded, been taken away or just not worked, that the path is now wide open, staring me in the face, daring to do what Crockett told the communicator I was to do. Share my message. Never stop. Because I am a teacher and protector of horses and humans, like it or not.
I can’t dishonor his legacy. He took the time to say goodbye to me, although I didn’t know it at the time. The blog I wrote described his mannerisms as unusual. But really, they were just usual. His love manifested in a moment that will always be with me on this side of life. Animals so often are this way. Transparent in their love for us. Unconditional. And teachers. Before Black died he and I spent a lovely evening together the night before he became sick.
I don’t think this is unusual, only that we as humans miss it. I am glad I am super tuned to the Universe, despite the fact it causes me emotional and spiritual pain that is sometimes overwhelming and overpowering. I observed the horses stand vigil over Black’s body and they honored Crockett the same after his passing, standing vigil where he fell, converging on the area and standing there for several hours to rest and bask in the sun, even though the area he fell is not where they normally do this as a herd.
These observations aren’t lost, they’re mine. Mine to own. Mine to share. And mine to use as inspiration that I’ve been hit by a few things in life but that there is still time to work, live, love, laugh and experience the essences of life. All of them. And so I shall. Unrepentant for my connection with this life, Universe and all of the animals and humans in it.

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September 6th, 2013 Heart of the Moment

The blog started because I had something to say. It began as a dumping ground for all of my pent up frustrations, thoughts and theories. Some of these blogs were full of them. And some just musings of my observations in life but they all have something in common aside from documenting my experiences with horses.
It’s uncommon perhaps to have such a central focus in one’s life. I have always known mine. Horses. No matter what horses have been a constant even when I’ve been so hurried as to only spend moments with them during the day. They are there, solid, and in my dreams too.
Crockett, my little mischievous mustang, the one I laid my reputation on the line for when I scratched him on the third and final day of the Extreme Mustang Makeover. His back was so sore from the excessive riding he would blanche at just several pounds of pressure upon his spine. His spirit so soft and vulnerable, I couldn’t bring myself to ride the begeesus out of him for any amount of money. He’s rewarded me by coming to me in my dreams, a messenger and encourager. My lifelong friend. Just last week he made a point to camp near me despite the fact the other horses were eating treats of bread I’d spread for them. A kind of peace offering for the fact the pigs, chickens, geese and cows all get grain on a daily basis. Not the horses. They have pasture and are fat on it and do not need the extra grain. But they still wish for equal treatment. Crockett camped with his head buried in my back. I turned to scratch his head and he moved with me, keeping contact with me, gently. He often touches me first with his muzzle but this time he just stood with his head rested into my body.
Curious, I thought. But not so uncommon. He is playful and mischievous, except when he has something to share. He once told a communicator I was never to give up on my mission to share my insights, something that has been challenged of late with this serious run in I’ve had with Adrenal fatigue. A condition brought on by too many long hours, not enough rest or water. I’ve been put on the mat before but not quite like this. It’s required a whole new level of awareness and discipline and one that’s compromised my interaction with horses this summer. A fact I have complained about loudly in my thoughts.
Crockett must have known this for I clearly felt his consideration and comfort of me. It was enough to move me to tears.
You see, he is one of the more animated treat lovers and he loves all treats. Bread is one of his favorites. This is why I found it incredibly conspicuous that he decided to let all of the other horses eat while he rested his head into my body.
The other day I pulled him out to trim him and he was a perfect and absolute gentlemen. He has those days but he dislikes being removed from the social aspect of the herd. He is in love with his social life and I indulge him. He gives me everything I ask of him, including immense pleasure both in the pasture during our frequent visits and while I ride him. He’s lived up to all expectations I’ve had of him and then some.
As I stood with Crockett pressed up against me his posture encouraged me to relax, feel the moment and be in it.
That’s been difficult as I work through a serious illness whilst planning my activities when I am 100%. There’s care to be done and I must manage my efforts wisely or the resulting ramifications can put me on my back with no warning.
It’s a new sensation and one I am not used to experiencing and type A, Taurus personality that I am, I have been an impatient patient. Giving one’s body the care, rest and nourishment it needs is not in my habits. I rather prefer running full tilt into the day and the exhausted tiredness I feel after fielding chores, riding horses, trimming horses and tossing hay all in one day. I can still do all of that but at half or less than half speed.
This is why I found it curious that as I was contemplating my next plans for my career and future that Crockett decided to pay me a visit and take a break from his usual routine of besting the other horses with his athleticism and wit. He stood quietly and as I moved off to finish watering the pigs, a chore I was doing impatiently because I would rather play with my horses than feed pigs, I realized I was not alone. Crockett kept his invasion of my body space going and followed me as I moved, again pressing his head into my back while I stood with the water cascading into the pig pen.
We stood like this for several minutes and I tested his intrusion. I moved. So did he. Several times. Each time he would press his head into me, standing quietly, passively and peacefully. So I decided to do this too.
We stood with one another, our breath matching one another. I was the first to move. Or rather, the first one forced to move. Aemelie in her big personality way wanted to come see what energy swap we had going on. She likes these moments and while it was different for Crockett to be in this state, it is not so much for Aemelie. We can read each others moods and enjoy moments like this almost daily. As Aemelie is the big boss mare of the herd, our interactions are rarely interrupted. Crockett is more the middle guy in the pack so he’s easily pushed off. This time he flattened his ears and to my astonishment, Aemelie walked past, seemingly ignoring the two of us only I knew she had changed her mind last minute and honored Crockett’s desire for our alone time. She granted his ability to send me this comforting message.
You see, the night before I’d had a very vivid dream. I was in full health and not taking for granted my gift of good health. In this dream I was traveling to do a clinic. When I arrived, I had shipped the horses ahead for my time there. It has always been my dream to bring my horses with me on my travels. In this dream I had especially wanted Crockett there. It so happened that prior to my arrival an evil spirited individual had turned Crockett out with the resident herd. This was potentially dangerous but more so, they taunted me that I wouldn’t be able to bring Crockett away from the other horses or catch him in their vast acreage. The vision was of a lodge set amongst snow capped mountains, expansive green pastures and fresh running water.
I laughed because I knew my little horse. There isn’t a pasture big enough to contain his love for me or mine for him and catching him in any size area is never a challenge. He catches me.
It’s true. I can ride Crockett into the great unknown and he will stay with me, happy in my presence. I love this about our relationship. He’s always connected, always a gentlemen, even though he has a wicked sense of humor.
In my dream I stepped off the porch of the cabin and in the distance I could see Crockett had settled himself pleasantly in the company of some brood mares.
Crockett loves to think he’s head honcho (even though in our herd he worships and emulates Mickey – the true valiant stallion of our herd). The host incorrectly assumed Crocketts new love interests would be too much for me to exorcise him back to me.
This was all in my dream. Some sort of training failure, a lapse in our harmonious relationship, a hole in my philosophies.
Not to be so. I whistled and Crockett promptly left his new family to come galloping up to me full speed only to halt before me and place his head into my chest for a long scratch and hello.
He held this pose in my dream. It was a confirmation that as I traverse the muddy waters of life and its challenges and unexpected developments that I should look to be in this place of my dreams. True to myself, doubting nothing about the purity of my world with horses, content in it if the only thing that is to be is the oneness of human and horse.
Now, in my own pasture, with Crockett amongst his herd and ignoring one of his true love interests (bread treats) he stood with his head sunk into my chest, just like in the dream. A reenactment that he HAD come to me in my dreams. I didn’t imagine it nor contrive with my mind an outcome I prefer.
I think he knew I’ve struggled this summer, a summer I expected much different things. Not a health set back or business challenges or…(fill in the blank). And yet it doesn’t matter. Its what’s in the heart of the moment that matters.

June 25th, 2013 INTENTION

What clarity we receive when at least we slow down long enough to enjoy the rising of the sun or the setting. Sometimes full sun upon the body is what is required to rest the soul and quiet the mind. I’ve done neither for some time but recent events in my life have forced me to the natural state of contemplation and the guidance of others as well as literature for the direction of the path I must walk.
Health crisis is nothing new to me, although I have enjoyed wonderful health, those times when I have had to face it the threat has been serious enough to be life threatening. I guess that alone should tell me something.
This process started two and a half years ago with my decision to move North to Idaho to care for my Grandfather after the death of my Mother. It wasn’t so much a decision as the decision was made for me, uprooting me into something that has been both wonderful and terrifying, gut wrenching and life changing, exhilarating and joyful all at the same time.
Perhaps I should be thankful that this process of life is so delicious that I get to experience each and every emotion all at once. But it doesn’t feel that way sometimes.
Of late I have been on a dedicated quest to find the balance between the gifts I have been given and the path that I must tread to protect my family, our resources and build on the ones that we have and also, to keep them.
I do so realizing there are more important things in life than money, fame, power or good luck, although those things are wonderful. But my Mom’s passing taught me that sometimes the best you can do for your family and loved ones is to not only be authentic and true to your highest being but also to preserve a legacy and leave behind the mementos of the love and care you felt for those around you.
Such was the power of the gifts she left me and still does.
I’ve been forced lately to realize lately that not everyone shares my vision, or quest or my assumed clarity of what goes on between the spiritual and emotional energetic realms and reality. I have walked that line for ages is seems. Some people just have baggage. Garbage that no matter how many times they walk past it they cannot get rid of.
I too, am one of those people.
My skin broke out months ago as I began a quest to detox. After nearly bleeding to death and collapsing from exhaustion and dehydration brought about by my insatiable desire to work myself into a more comfortable financial position, I realized that you can detox your body with action (I choose to juice and eat organic and have renounced sugar, processes grains and all manner of junk food – ok out there, those of you who have witnessed my occasional piece of pizza and ice cream! I confess I am not perfect!) but you must also detox with spirit, mind and energy.
Reflecting on some recent events where proof once again of my visionary pursuits is in full view of the skeptics I realized that there is also more. Not only must ones environment possess the attributes of desire, calm and intention, pure and in love with the outcome, so must those you work with along the way if they are the intimate souls with which you partner.
I realized we all have that garbage – layers of it – and that no amount of example can prompt someone to “get it”. They have to “get it” on their own. But at what price to the teacher?
As my skin has cleared and taken on a new and healthier glow, the shedding layers are but symbols of the layers of emotional doubt I’ve carried and reflective of the vivid dream I had the other night where I was sheparding my youngest son through a foreign country. It was Mexico in my dream and I instantly realized why Mexico. I’ve spent some hours there, have an interest in the language, and am familiar enough not to be afraid, but do not know the customs or language well enough to be comfortable.
As I woke I realized that this is a lot like the business transactions I am currently in. They mean more than the financial reward. Like my Mother leaving us her peaceful ranch, my Grandfather paving the way, the torch being passed to me, the only child to stay bravely in agriculture and face its wicked wrath and sweet caress of a summer morning where the cows drink water and moo low, satisfied. A hawk takes wing as the bees work their comb and the horses rest upon green grass.
Two halves of a whole that when one is passionate about the same can wield a sword of emotional whoop ass while at the same time consoling and changing the souls body chemistry so that all one wants is to stay in it a minute longer.
Like my dream of Mexico this world I am traversing is both comfortable and familiar and all at the same time foreign and yet I must guide this business transaction with the love that I would show my young son.
He is now 19, on his own, independent and strong but doesn’t that say something about the one half of the whole that raised him? I succeeded. Not once, but TWICE! Both of my boys are men to be proud of. I am past the horrible tastes of fear one goes through as a parent when they question their choices.
A tarot reading and clearing ceremony of late on the full moon of summer solstice bolstered my resolve and erased my doubt and…no doubt gave way to the torrent of emotion and angry guidance I gave recently to the most stubborn of my students. He shall remain nameless.
Sometimes the biggest lessons we learn are from those that not only challenge us in their helping but also remind us that even if we are not in agreement that at the very least we have the next morning to rise and greet the sun, alone and in meditation, open to the Universe and its messages, unencumbered.
I’ve learned to protect those times. NO TRESSPASSING!
Perhaps no matter how far our paths take us the key is to be open to the messages but knowing when to quit parroting them to those that don’t hear and just move on. Restoring the peace and opening the door for them to learn from the Great Spirit who brought us here in the first place.
For me that door opened with my Mom’s passing. What joyously magnificent and torturous events have evolved to give opportunity as well as take away. How much of these events are a direct reflection of our thought? Our inner demons at play while we dance another tune for others? Or in our honesty, embrace because we haven’t intentioned a different path?
If anything, I’ve learned that when there is recognition of the garbage, take it and get rid of it, cleanse and purge and then, forgive those that can’t and move on.
The wild rose will find all manner of soil to grow. I know. I have one sprouting in the front yard.
Wild roses were my Mom’s symbol. I learned to love them from her. They are everywhere on our l and in Idaho. She would say, “the tree can find what it needs to grow from nothing but stone where no manner of life should be able to survive and so is the wild rose, finding its home wherever it is, and thriving there for our enjoyment.”
Wise words from my Mother, the Sage. Still guiding me, this little wild rose sprouting in my path is but symbolic that like the examples before me, what I ultimately know within my heart and spirit is that we must not exist from a place of fear or lack, but one of childlike joy, open to the guidance of our loving Spirit and the nurturing of what comes with intuitive quiet, meditation, contemplation and action. And so is the manner of life, all at once quiet when necessary and requiring action from us to move it forward, realizing that the outcome will be, not matter what the additions and that in our quest, our strength is only as good as what’s inside of us.

June 24th, 2013 EPIC TODAY

So, my horoscope today says, “you have something to say.”
When don’t I have something to say? Kirk lovingly jokes that my tombstone will read:
Here lies Karina. Boy, she had a LOT to say.
I can’t help it that I was born under a Taurus moon and it seems I was destined to be a natural born leader whether people listen to me or not.
As the wildfire raged in Black Forest and now in Walsenburg, I experienced an odd sense of dread and loss. So many people we know live in Black Forest! In Walsenburg the photos of the ranchers trailing their cattle on horseback to save them from the fire brought back the fearful memories I have as a kid being evacuated from the threat of fire. We first packed up our neighbors (they lived in a tent and summer camped to tend their cattle) and then started with our own items. The southern evacuation border of the Black Forest fire was where Kirk and I lived some years ago.
A couple of days ago my facebook post read, “Today was epic!” Not an exaggeration. It was. Compared to the prior week when I thought I might die. Literally. A trip to the emergency room for a hormone imbalance brought on by fatigue and dehydration brought about a sudden shift in my life that for once sidelined me so hard (like being body checked by a professional linebacker) I was helpless to respond to it except sleep. And try not to pass out repeatedly from blood loss. Plainly…REST was in order. That was the doctor’s orders
Truthfully, that was the ONLY thing I could do!
I am not one for REST. I like my active lifestyle. Stubbornly so. Enough so that the Universe found it within its powers to snap me up short, prove everyone that ever said I work too hard right and give them a platform to lecture to me with nodding and head-bobbing that FINALLY I might listen.
It was humbling. And all at once enlightening! Perhaps blood loss works like that. Passing out felt a lot like the right of passage some cultures adopt. You know the one where they hang by their skin until passing out because it brings about a burst of euphoric epiphany that influences the rest of their lives? Yes, it was a lot like that.
Like these damn, horrible and terrifying wildfires.
I’ve been evacuated due to wildfires several times as a kid. Once I was with my Dad at the local hardware store when the call came. I was enjoying the rare treat to spending time with my Father who throughout his life has been twice as busy as me and now lectures me about the price of too much ambition. We raced home and the fire raged ahead of us. My Dad pushed his little pick-up past 80 mph and we couldn’t beat the fire. It raced over the wheat field and up into the trees ahead of us and roared toward our family home. My Father prayed out load and took time to rebuke the fire. It narrowly missed our family homestead. I still remember the sour taste of fear of watching my Dad in anxious fear the fire would not stop but engulf our home and the rest of the family who were at home. Twice! That’s how many times as a kid we we faced evacuation. The second time us kids were at home. But my Dad had learned from the first fire, the one he stood helpless to stop except in renouncing it spiritually. The second time we kids fought the fire. I ran the backhoe and my brothers the Caterpillar plows to push fire line. We stopped only when my oldest brother was forced to jump from his to avoid being engulfed. That Cat burned in the fire and the memory of my brother pushing the line until it was the very last, almost too late moment is still burned into my memory. I know the horrors. Several years ago I received the phone call our family homestead had finally succumbed the threat of wildfire and had burned to the ground.
I raced from Colorado to Montana not knowing if it was true. My Dad has refused to leave our homestead. He had last been seen fighting fire on the mountain that bordered public land and our land. I knew he would never leave. I remembered how he had cried watching the local lumber company cut trees from the land bordering ours. His was a tender love of his native home and place of his youth. He would give his life to secure it. I knew it.
The phone lines had been burned, the power blown so there was no way to know except to travel back to the home of my youth, which I did, the speedometer of the car rarely leaving 90. I knew if I were pulled over that I could explain to the officer my hurry. It didn’t matter if he understood or not. I needed to be home in the place where so much of my intuition and well-being had been fostered.
My heroic father with all his mechanical power (and I mean he used every one of them) had simultaneously and all at once backhoed, trenched and bulldozed an impenetrable fire zone around our families house that if you didn’t know 100 yards behind the wood encrusted house, an out of control wildfire had raged. He saved our families home and several of those around ours with his bravery.
I grew up knowing how to run the dozer, back-hoe, water truck, dump truck, trucks, cars…anything…to be prepared in case of wildfire. Because my Dad loved us enough to teach us how to survive, solve problems and bravely face adversity. I am praying for the peace and the intuition of those now threatened by these fires to run long before its necessary if they choose and to fight well if they don’t. That is the only way to be prepared, if there is such a thing in this terrible unpreventable tragedy.
Such things bring about recognition of things that before may go unrecognized. Like the full curl ram and ewes Kirk and I saw as we traveled across Colorado not long ago.
REST is for the birds. I am still fighting a racing heart and shortness of breath (very foreign to me) but drive and work we must. And then the sheep.
I could hardly ignore the fox from the night before. Or the owl. But Big Horn Sheep?
They are the symbolism of change, making dreams come true and vision.
As mean as Mother Nature is. She is also, at the same time, gracious, tender and direct.
Two blown tires and a few other delays, (another forced rest which turned out to be stupendously productive!) since Kirk and I RARELY if EVER anymore have uninterrupted time to do paperwork and the necessary steps in pursuit of the DREAM, stops and starts in our day, after sleeping haphazardly crumpled up on the rear bench seat of the truck…Kirk in front (because he is the ONLY person on Earth I know that can sleep with a seat belt stabbing him in the kidneys) and me on the rear bench, tossing and turning because unlike Kirk I am like the Princess and the pea. No amount of cushion can erase that damn pea from beneath, I was invigorated, thankful, amazed, brought to tears by the joy in our lives, the wonder and the amazing events that have transpired of late. I am purposely being cryptic. The situation warrants it and not even wild horses will drag it out of me…just suffice it to say, I am exhilarated and all at once satisfied about the trajectory of things. How odd to think that on the eve of a health wakeup call that most would allow to sideline them that I find myself….SPEECHLESS with wonder?!
That bloodletting event, the one that I welcomed, to purge and detoxify this body and ready it for something new. Tests had already confirmed I had nothing to worry about save bleeding to death, easily controlled by the herbs I fiercely ripped from my Naturopath’s hands after the ones from the Emergency Room had worn off brought me out of my fanciful stupor I am invincible. I wasn’t afraid. I’ve almost died a thousand times. But not epic today.


Its been happening a lot lately. I’ll be trimming a horse and as if by some magic source the horse will respond in such a way that they might as well be talking. Horses have gone so far as to point with their hoof, shake their heads “yes” in response to direct questions and astound their owners with their obvious answers.
While in Idaho all last year I was part of this frequently and my now good friend and photographer Moon Walker was too. She observed this regularly with her horse. He had previously all but trampled farriers.
Today a horse that’s been on our roster…more specifically…Kirk’s roster…reacted in kind. She’s a rather stoic mare and has had multiple lameness issues. Kirk and I sometimes differ on treatments. Today was my first time ever trimming this mare.
She was characteristically “stodgey” with her hoof. Especially her left front. In my vocabulary, “stodgey” is the word I use to define the action a horse uses when it clearly is not excited about you working on it.
This generally happens when the horse has been treated to enough painful farrier visits that it humors you by picking up the foot then hammers you by slamming it down. Then prevents you from picking it up by forcing all of its sheer will and weight into the foot.
A big quarter horse, this mare has all of the characteristic tell tale signs of having been trimmed multiple times unwell.
Unwell trimming leaves a horse in worse shape than you found it.
She’s been treated by multiple vets, multiple farriers and is still lame.
Kirk had her going about a year back but infrequent trims have her lame again.
Enter Karina, Kirk’s fill in for today.
I immediately went to work and she characteristically gave me every indication I was but a fly of disrespect in her world. She shook me off and planted her hooves as if in concrete.
No worries. My $7 wonder hoof pick does the trick nicely of helping them to pick up their hoof. A prick above the fetlock and most horses will at least pick the hoof up. She was no different. She picked up then slammed her hoof back to the ground.
I worked with her a bit, taking a bit of hoof here and a bit of hoof there and allowing her to rest and feel the changes I was making. She licked, chewed and offered her rears easily but continued to resist my efforts.
I stayed true to my Taurus roots. I don’t give up. Period.
Soon, she was tossing her head up and down in “yes” fashion when I asked her in between rest periods if she was feeling better.
Her owner wasn’t there but the owners husband was. He laughed in amusement and said he’d never seen that before.
I pointed out that she was regulating my trimming time, delegating and commanding my performance. Bossing me around really. But I was happy to oblige. I continued to trim and soon she was practically lying down so I could trim her hooves!
She would weight one foot and then the other and her stance went from discomfort to square and comfortable. She tapped her toe on her left foot indicating that more of the pesky solar callous she had needed to come off. I obliged and again she licked, chewed, yawned and animated her joy over the changes.
I explained each step as we went and enjoyed her regular owner’s husbands reactions. He’s got a joyful personality anyway and while not really a horse guy, he likes them enough to know that what he was seeing wasn’t usual.
That’s my world and suddenly it hit me. While I do this every day for a living and find the matter amusing and fun, commonplace anymore, there probably aren’t too many farriers getting these reactions from horses.
This mare guided every stroke of my rasp once we’d opened a dialogue, every cut from my nippers. She was in charge of the session, me, merely her laborer.
I’ve noticed these sessions getting common place and then suddenly another thought struck me.
I’d gone riding with Kirk, our partner Mike and Kirk’s brother Glenn this past weekend and had taken some photos. In these photos the men are obviously being honored by their happy horses, their eyes dreamy with the addiction of riding God’s green earth and their manly owners exhibiting the same.
A group of three men, three horses, and all in obvious ecstasy of the moment. It struck me that photos like the ones I had, just like the animated communication during trimming aren’t common place at all, but should be.
Perhaps it was the night’s nagging before from a dedicated friend telling me that I better not forget my purpose here on Earth. It’s easy to do with the empire we’re building. Not many see the value in running ragged every day.
I do.
I want to leave a legacy. It’s about so much more than horse training or farrier care. Its about overall health, observation of the smallest particles of energy and being patient enough to allow yourself to be taught as much as teaching.
I was reminded of that today while I walked the fence of a field where we will be turning out our cattle. While I’ve been to this location a lot to trim, I haven’t ever taken a walk on this ethereal property. It was like magic. My mind slowed and inside my soul wagged “yes” to my decision to observe the moment with silence and reverence that can only be achieved at the perfect, most wonderful moment when your life stands still long enough you can literally taste the sun as it bathes your back in its warmth.
I took a couple of photos and shared with via text with a friend I knew would appreciate them. A little nod to the moment that although by myself I surrendered to the moment long enough to cast a big dream out into the universe and ask it for guidance going forward on the real reason for why I am here.
It isn’t to raise chickens, sell hay or even to make money. It’s to exercise my one, true passion and pass along the ethereal messages that come from a life well lived in honor of true gift and heritage. For while I love farming and all that it entails, I am completely and utterly entranced by the energetic magnificence of a world few really “see”.
When pressed this week to write more, publish more and do more, I have resisted. Partly because I don’t know the process. Partly because in my busy head I see a plan evolving that will bring about the resources to do just this..but in the meantime, like that stodgey mare, I am setting my feet in concrete until I’m shown that the shape of things is perfect. And comfortable enough to waggle my head “yes”, I’m ready to move forward and pull back the curtain so that others might be touched as I have by the magical world of the ethereal horse and its wisdoms.

April 10th, 2013 Free Form Change

The world is only as big as the next creative mind.
It seems that horses and psychic impressions go hand in hand. Entering our new mainstream of horse enlightenment is a renewal of the arts and holistic practices that takes one into a world of unknowns and wonder.
Some time ago I met and worked with a very artistic young woman who loved both art, dance and just about anything air-like and adventuresome that this Taurus mind could not fathom. We are rooted in the reality of most situations even though we do dream large dreams.
She would send me photos of her and her horse, a beautiful black with her long red hair blowing in the wind with nothing but a red shawl to lightly cover her almost naked form. How the photographer got those photos so perfect still mystifies me. I am not immune to beauty, but running naked and barefoot with my horse (while it has crossed my mind) isn’t something I am so liberated to do. Still, I admire those that do and furthermore, do so in front of a camera. There’s someone behind that lens after all. It’s definitely a step outside of the artistic form some employ through classical dressage and I can appreciate the art form and the beauty of the same. I just know my “lane”. Dancing naked with my horse isn’t in my “lane”.
An article in Holistic Horse outlines one dancers choreography project with horses and how she’s been transformed by her experience with horses and their innate desire to become one.
Since Robert Vavra wrote Stallion of a Dream I have envisioned running so fast as to actually transform into a horse. That book still mesmerizes me and conjures fantasies of my own…although I am mostly if not fully clothed.
Still, I think that notion of truly wanting to become a horse is premature.
I definitely don’t want to do that until we have eradicated all forms of forceful egotism with horses. We as a human race are still a long way from that in my humble subservient opinion. For the record, those who know me will laugh at that last statement. My opinions are sometimes far from humble….or subservient. So goes the fight in support of the horse, a free a noble creature with emotions as tender and as diverse as our own and a purity and connection with the Earth and Universe that is yet uncharted.
I shall do so remaining clothed, as my work requires me to be ready and in my comfort zone, this includes full seat breeches.
On the other side of this coin, I like the horse and human equation. I think it works quite well when one has a passion to be a part of their world and be satisfied in our role within it. As a teacher and a healer, I find that often my most sought after talent is in the actual interpretation of horse’s behavior as well as human behavior. I like that role. I am the headlight on the train headed into the night.
Enter the land mine field of psychic horse trainer meets traditional training.
As we evolve in our enlightenment I should welcome this path as a way to expression. We are all the same after all, just not all on the same path. That is what work with horses really is all about. The love required to make a creature capable of trampling us into the dirt into a gentle and serene creature is anything but force and repetition. It truly is about free form and intuition, freedom and being at play with the Universe. Clothed or not it is during this interaction with horses we are truly free to be ourselves and also, to allow the horse to be free as well, without an agenda. Just an expectation that on its free will it will join us in our moment of spiritual free fall into a world where anything is possible and all is beautiful.

March 22nd, 2013 The Essence

I’ve had articles and videos of my work being held in the wings. But as of late my intuition has prompted me to begin revealing these one small piece at a time. I’ve always had grandious ideas of how to market my work and an intensity to make it happen. But sometimes despite the best of efforts my thoughts, ideas and planning just don’t come to fruition. At least in the way that I envision. Perhaps it was a phone call from a friend today that has reconnected me with the fragility of life, perhaps the fact that I have just made more permission in my life to be ME. Whatever the cause, here is an article excerpt of what will be a multi-part blog submission.
Meeting Cheyenne for the first time was an exercise in patience. She battled her owner, reared up, ran over him and threw in a kick for good measure. It was clear she had some attitude. But horses aren’t born combative. They are made that way by experiences in life that leave them with scars.
Her owners had warned me about her during my initial visit with them over the phone.
“She’s hard to handle. Nobody can handle her but me.” Said her owner. “She can’t be trimmed because she rears up and won’t stand still.”
Watching her brace as I walked up to her I noted that next to her was the stallion pen. Around her was her herd, but across the fence from where she stood. It was clear to me that Cheyenne was their leader. A fearless and fierce one at that.
I took the rope from her owner’s hand and as I steadied her she countered, evasive and aloof. She wasn’t going to be an easy nut to open.
“She’s been like that her entire life.” Said her owner. “I want to sell her but who would buy her?”
This intrigued me. At risk horses always intrigue me. Like some drug, I crave them.
“If you could handle her and have anyone handle her, would you sell her then?”
“Yes, I raised her from a baby and we’ve even had a colt out of her but every time we try to do anything with her she gets combative.”
The owner went on to explain that Cheyenne had suffered a hoof injury and that even the vet had given up trying to treat.
“When we breed her she has to be hobbled.”
Horses like Cheyenne are sending a message. It was clear hers was, “Leave me alone and nobody gets hurt!”
Somewhere along the way Cheyenne had decided that the only place she was really comfortable was in with her own herd. But even horses like Cheyenne need care and it was clear that she needed to have her hooves trimmed. I liked the challenge of taking her from combative horse to one that would work with anybody or any professional. Horses like that are saleable and Cheyenne’s owners were determined to find her a new home.
I started working with her and each move I made she countered with one twice as big. At times she was threatening and downright volatile.
I was there as her farrier but I could see that what Cheyenne really needed was training and a lot of decompression exercises. She was so amped over what possibly could or would be done to her that she couldn’t consider cooperating.
Carefully, I looped my rope around her front hoof and she responded by exploding up in the air and then expertly turning and launching toward me, hitting me full force with her chest. I bounced to the side and let her hit the end of the long lead I had on her. She was fast!
“She’s had about thirty days of professional training but that didn’t go very well.” Her owner said. “He gave up on her and said she should just be a brood mare.”
Rule number one in Karina Camp. Female horses that are difficult to handle should not be bred. Period. There are enough horses in the world and plenty of responsible breeders. Hard to handle horses need to be cared for, loved, and trained. Their owners should be treated the same.
I let Cheyenne have her way a moment and she trotted around me pulling on the rope, clearly set on getting back with her herd. She was escalating.
I continued to work with her and let her settle down. For Cheyenne settled down meant moving constantly. Movement was her defense.
I let her move on the end of the rope until suddenly she stopped and looking at me, she decided that perhaps I had a treat.
I could tell from working with Cheyenne that while she was difficult she was not beyond taking treats. In fact, she gave every indication that she was used to getting a lot of treats.
Rule number 123 in Karina Camp – Treats are fine in moderation so long as they are given correctly. When this does not happen, horses can become distracted, pushy and aggressive. Treat trained horses aren’t all bad. The same goes for owners who give treats. The cure is in knowing the difference and working with horses and owners that are in conflict because of treat overload.
Cheyenne had all of the markers of a horse that had everything figured out. Her aged owners were limited in what they could do with her so she simply took advantage of the fact. Plus, she was the boss in her world so it suited her that people could be instructed by her as well.
I let her pull on me a time or two and then snapped the rope to pull her head in toward me. Normally I never do this. Horses that are pulled on will learn to pull back. Cheyenne was already passed this lesson and had moved on to being belligerent. As I expected, she responded by pulling harder on the lead rope.
I let her continue circling, then snapped her up short again. She stopped and I stepped in to pet her but instead, she took off going the other direction. I let her go and again let her settle down on her own terms. She stopped and then, began to lick and chew. But for Cheyenne, the licking and chewing wasn’t submissive. She was in control every step of the way. She eyeballed me with a knowing and defiant stare. She wasn’t about to give in without a fight.
I stepped in to work with her again and once more she took off. I snapped her short and brought her head around. She stopped short and I petted her. She pulled away, moving off again. Repeat.
When she stopped I stepped to her shoulder rubbed her leg. She darted off, clearly anxious about me picking up her hoof. We went on this way for several minutes but then, she began to settle down. I put up a few boundaries for her and this time, she began to respond. Her defenses were beginning to drop. She eventually started communicating although on her part, it was a tense conversation. She would only give me access to her body on her terms. Still, forty minutes later I had made some progress on her hooves. Enough to warrant her being turned back out to be with her herd as a reward. It had not been a pretty session but her owners were thrilled at my success.
Karina’s interpretation of what occurred to change Cheyenne’s aggressiveness: Cheyenne tested me several times but my body language and firm reprimand on the rope helped to establish that I wasn’t there to push her around. I was there to help. The fact that I kept calm, didn’t jerk on her unnecessarily and gave her a chance to help me, assured her that I was fair in my communication. I didn’t allow her to be pushy with me (as evidenced by my stalwart pull on the rope) but I did allow her to move freely so long as she wasn’t pulling and belligerent. She settled in to our discussion and eventually, stopped altogether to give me access to her hooves. A sign of her willingness to work and evidence that she had been handled in such a way prior that she wasn’t excited about getting into the same conversation again. Sometimes horses are anxious, not misbehaving. In Cheyenne’s case she was both. Sometimes at the same time but I exercised patience with her anxiety and got cooperation from her instead of misbehaving.
“She has a lot of ideas of her own.” I said. “She wants to be in charge.”
“Oh yes she does!” her owner said. “Do you think you can fix her?”
“Yes.” I said.
“How would you go about doing it?” he asked.
“First I would work on the issue of her dominance.” I said. She is clearly capable of calling the shots for you and for her horse herd.” I had noted that while I had been working with Cheyenne that all, and I mean, ALL of the horses had reacted.
Adults neighed to one another, the stallions ran back and forth into a froth and the colts trotted, cantered and crisscrossed in their pen in agitation. The entire time I had been working with Cheyenne the whole herd had been in an uproar. She had only given me glimpses of focus and the rest of the time had been intent upon getting back with her herd who had all agreed that Cheyenne was in trouble.
Horses don’t necessarily give obvious objections to being with a human. However, in this case, it was clear that Cheyenne’s insecurity about what would be asked of her and her intense dislike over being asked to do things she found intolerable had translated into total herd nervousness.
Karinaism– What is going on in your relationship with your horse is not as important as what is going on in the herd! By watching herd reactions we can learn a lot about how horses internalize their experiences with us. When herd leaders have a dislike for working with humans they will often influence the rest of the herd. These relationships within the herd are more important to observe than our own work with the horse. Herd relationships that are soured toward people are dangerous. Many people fail to realize this.
I was never told that Cheyenne was the herd mare. Her owners were oblivious to her herd relationships. They explained her behavior as flaws. A typical response to horses that don’t obey our demands but entirely wrong about the source of the problems they are experiencing.
Cheyenne was only four years old but held a very high position of influence with this herd despite the fact there were many older mares in the herd. Telepathically she was sharing her dislike of humans with the rest of the herd. Sure enough, I learned that most of the horses out in her pen were hard to handle. Cheyenne’s attitude was filtered through the herd like a bad virus. I couldn’t rule out that the older mares had held the attitude first.
This left me with an intense picture of what the daily herd banter must include. Sometimes it’s possible that horses can have the best of care but at the same time possess little or no understanding of what their emotional needs are. It is my belief that this was the case with Cheyenne and her herd.
I noted that Cheyenne could clearly see all of the other horses of her herd but still she felt it necessary to behave defensively. In fact, some of the colts had come to sniff noses with Cheyenne. What I was seeing was clear indicators that people, not lack of contact with her herd was what was setting Cheyenne off. It would be necessary to help Cheyenne understand that humans could in fact be a part of her herd. The only way I was going to be able to do that was to have access to the entire herd. I needed to interact with Cheyenne and her family in a non-aggressive way.
We talked a bit more and I agreed to come over again to work with Cheyenne, her owners giving me permission to work with Cheyenne in her own environment. A lead mare, a warrior mare, out in her own herd.
The next visit with Cheyenne she had thought about our visit.
Karina break – Horses will marinate on the information you give them. They will think overnight or even over time about their last experience with a human. They may decide not to interact on a positive note the next time and this is normal. They instead choose the safety of their own herd and will act accordingly. Cheyenne had given me access to her hooves but she was not about to give me access to her and her herd.
The minute I stepped into her pen she locked her eyes on me. I countered by remaining near the gate. As I expected, her herd surrounded me, the bravest seeking my counsel.
Herd law states that leaders do not come forward first. They wait to let the underlings inspect and do their dirty work for them. Herd leaders find food sources, sometimes selfishly and resolve problems during times of danger. Underlings filter information to them about curiosity items much like worker ants carry food back to the hill. The tasks discourage inappropriate contact and give herd leaders time to decide escape plans if they are necessary. Sometimes in herds like Cheyenne’s, there are younger horses without as much human experience and they are just naturally drawn to be more neighborly because they haven’t had the same experiences. As I stood with some of the herd members checking me and my pockets out, I watched as she shifted her position at the round bale feeder. She distanced herself several horses deep and watched my every move.
I let a customary polite amount of time pass and noted that Cheyenne had begun to telepathically group her herd. She wanted nothing to do with me. I took a few steps toward her and pushed our energetic bubble. She immediately pinned her ears and walked away. It didn’t take much energy for me to push her away. I tracked her and she swung around aggressively. Her resolve to exclude humans from her equine world was tangible. Now I was on her turf. Her turf, her rules.
I waited while the other horses filtered in and out of my communications with Cheyenne. I approached her several times but she met my advances with dirty looks and evasiveness.
Alpha horses will often position themselves behind other horses and use them as shields from having to communicate with a human. With twenty plus horses in her herd this was an easy task for Cheyenne to accomplish. I waited instead, ignoring her and got busy meeting the rest of her family. Some of the colts chewed on my coat while others ran away, not ready to face the new human in their midst. I waited while older horses chased young ones off and soon, all had sniffed, chewed or inspected me in some way.
Cheyenne didn’t like this at all. Swinging her head she trotted first one way and then the other, rounding up the herd and pushing them past me. They thundered out into the vast pasture. This is very common when you are integrating into horse herds so I followed, trotting along and then running to keep up. They circled the field, running, bucking and wildly enjoying their agility over my two legged wandering. I followed along, kicking at the grass and overall behaving just as another horse in the herd would. They regarded me inquisitively, clearly amused and curious about my strange behavior.
New horses are often sniffed, bitten, kicked, pushed and otherwise greeted. Lots of running follows until the new horse is either absorbed into the herd, which is rare in the immediate, or pushed to the outside where it must wait to be invited in. This is where most horses begin their journey toward becoming a worthy member of a new herd. I was no different.
Once again the older horses came in, one by one, sometimes two or three at a time, and sniffed me once over again. This continued until the last young colt had his turn. Youngsters are always last to be in the middle of excitement. They are kept within the herd until a threat is no longer present. Then they are permitted to curiously stalk new stimuli. Still Cheyenne did not approach. She watched intently but did not advance to greet me as the others had. Two or three other mares did the same. This too, is not unusual. Herd mares bond as groups and clearly, they were content to take care of their herd without my help.
I advanced once more toward Cheyenne and once again she took off running, the herd following her. She thundered up to the water and skidding to a stop, drank long and deep.
Water is a resource and horses learn to protect it just as they do grasses. Cheyenne was clearly waiting to see if I would take her precious water or belittle my lowly station by taking to the water without waiting my turn. I circled around instead and stood a fair distance off, just as any respectful horse would do. Several horses followed and taking their rightful turns, they sucked in the water.
I stood aside and waited.
Cheyenne swung her head toward me and marched past toward the hay. She was testing me. Would I be insolent and try to take it?
I did not and she began to drop her defenses. It was clear in her body language that she was beginning to see that I was not a threat but a visitor. I allowed her to start to teach me the ways of the herd.
She sauntered over to her mare support group and they grouped semi-circle, clearly defining for me my position as an outsider and I replied with respect. I waited and watched.
Soon, Cheyenne headed back out to the open pasture. She dropped her head and ventured over several off limits grassy areas she had clearly defined as her own personal buffet. I had seen them when I was walking the pasture and had carefully avoided them. I knew she would think me intrusive if I had mashed the green tender shoots she loved.
Walking briskly she sniffed one manure pile then another.
Horses scent with their manure and I had not dirtied her pasture.
All of Cheyenne’s behaviors were normal. She was clearly indicating to me that the pasture was hers. Her prior interaction with Man had taught her that we are takers of turf. I have worked many horses like Cheyenne who learn to raise their defenses and always answer “NO!” when they are asked for cooperation. This is generally learned through multiple experiences absent care of their emotional well-being or understanding of their herd dynamics.
Sauntering out to the openness of the pasture she laid down to roll and because I had followed her, I lay down and rolled too, copying her.
She rolled, got up and then, as she went to rise the second time she saw me laying on the ground. I lay there, aware of her astonished stare and waited for her. I could “feel” her softened spirit. She didn’t know why I had done it for I expect no human ever had, but she liked that I was partaking of the pleasures she was showing me of her pasture.
She rose to her hooves and swallowing, she stood, looking at me, puzzling over my inhumanness. She stood and stared for a long time and then, she let out a big sigh and shook her head, blowing in the way horses do when they are releasing endorphins.
It was a grand moment and I waited. Soon, because I knew Cheyenne could not resist it, she walked over to me and after a few moments of pause, she sniffed me, then bumped me with her nose.
I opened myself to her and she looked toward the owners residence with a wistful stare. You can see it in the video. She was telling me she wished beyond wishes they would join her in her world instead of always being outside of it. It was a poignant moment. These are the moments I live for. I assured her I would help them cross that threshold into her wisdom and told her I would do everything in my power to find her the person who would love and cherish her for all eternity.
Honestly, she doubted this but then, she’d had a lifetime of humans doubting her abilities. Sometimes you just have to start small and I conveyed to Cheyenne my heart was open to hers and together, we would at least enjoy this day, this moment.
She sniffed me again, then, one more bump. That’s mare speak for I’ve acknowledged you but you still do not exist until you prove that I exist. Cheyenne was after all, worthy of respect and she wasn’t entirely ready to give herself to me yet. She still had herd duty and wasn’t entirely convinced I was well informed of mine.
I respectfully allowed Cheyenne her lead and let her walk past me to the rest of the herd. I followed at a respectable distance. Had I walked too fast Cheyenne may have escalated and bolted again with the herd. She was keeping one ear tuned to me, expecting my insolence.
Instead, she inspected several more choice grazing areas and integrated back into her herd. I was once again greeted by the youngsters and several more of the young adult horses and then, two of the older mares that had hung back with Cheyenne. Cheyenne had given them the “all clear”.
Cheyenne began to lick and chew enormously. That is what you see on the video. I had not touched her but my energy had helped her to let go of some of her anxiety. She was processing and I let her do so in peace, acknowledging my mending of fences to her by smiling. Warmth left my body for her and I mentally caressed her, helping her to heal.
She sighed heavy enough that I could hear it and shook her head, shaking her body in the way that horses do when they have become comfortable. Cheyenne was no longer tense. Her eye lost the guarded look she had carried with her and she began to inspect me with the help of her herd. Clearly she had signaled that I could be trusted. At least for now.
**Part II titled Cheyenne Warrior Mare Part II is available at
BIO-Karina is a nationally known trainer whose work with horses is revolutionizing the way we think about them. An approved trainer for the Bureau of Land Management and industry leader, Karina has worked with hundreds of wild horses and horses with “behavioral” issues. Her work has been showcased on television, in magazines, newspapers and radio. Karina is also a full time farrier, farmer and author. You can download more photobooks and articles and read more about Karina on her eco-friendly, wind energy powered website,

February 17th, 2013 Hurry has no Place Today

Every now and then a day comes along that is marked by events that totally take your breath away. Most every day is like that for me, but some are more special than others. Today was like that.
It didn’t start like I wanted it to. The tractor wouldn’t start and the man of the house, and helpers, had not left any starting fluid in the last remaining can to get it started. ARGH! An hour late for my first stop, I hooked onto the flatbed instead only to find out at my first stop that the trailer would not fit in the customers barn. Plan B was to drive all the way home with the loaded trailer and return on the next day. My day off.
Oh well. Farm an hour, work two.
Next stop. No sign of the customer. I was there to trim for her but she was nowhere to be found. A text or two later letting her know I was there and she said, “so am I, where are you?”
You guessed it. She had moved her horse to a new stable….40 minutes away.
Drive 40 minutes, trim like crazy – carefully of course – and then on to the next stop.
Nothing too remarkable yet except that I was now two hours behind.
I cancelled my early afternoon appointment and headed to what should have been my late morning appointment.
I was in a hurry and this was a new customer. As I drove I prayed to be present and in the moment. I loathe being hurried. The customer and the horse deserve the best. Especially new customers. They have many questions and it is just as important to be aware of the environment, goals, ect of the owner as these all effect the choices you make during those first and critical trims.
I walked into the pasture and noted that the gelding was staring at me in only the way very wise and wonderful horses do, sizing me up and weighing me on his understanding meter. This is the meter that tells horses whether or not a person is open to them or not.
I reciprocated I was here as his friend and went to work on his pasture mate. The next thing I knew he was standing very close to me with his lips pulled back and his teeth on my hand. It was an awkward moment, but not one that I am not used to. Horses with bad teeth often signal to me in this way that they need dental care. I pulled back his lips and looked at the worst teeth I have seen in quite some time on a horse. I shared the name of Phil Ratliff with the owner, suggested a good dental and waited for the horse to release me from his teeth. They usually do after the horse has been listened to. This one did not. He became more aggressive with his teeth.
What followed was a very profound and powerful communication session for he and his owner. We covered a slurry of topics, all of which were dear to her and her horse communicated deftly as if using sign language by the way he bared and pressed his teeth upon my palm…and hers.
Sounds strange, I know, but this was what worked for him and strangely, I was keenly aware of all that he needed to say. When finished, he stood like a champ while I finished trimming his hooves.
The owner thanked me and I boogied to my next appointment, amazed that even in a hurry one must wait upon the divine for guidance. Had I overlooked the horses need to place his teeth upon me, disciplined him or shooed him away his owner would have missed a life changing experience to be inspired, empowered and enlightened.
As I drove to my next appointment I reflected on the morning and realized that hurry was a mindset. The Universe has perfect timing. By having to hurry to meet my schedule I was made aware to focus, ask for clarity and be present in the moment. This acknowledgement made it possible to be present and be the tool that my gift requires.
Next customer.
Her horses, horses I know very well because she purchased them from me, had been doing something very strange. They were taking opportunities to push through the bridle with her kids and staring down a street they passed during their daily rides, something they had never done before. It was obvious to the Mother the horses were conveying a message but what she didn’t know.
It was soon to be dark so I let her know that I would address it as soon as I was done trimming. I picked up the front hoof and began to apply the high speed grinder and it spun a few revolutions before the horse whose had his hooves trimmed multiple times by me and my grinder jumped away. Two more tries and I decided that once again, although in a hurry, it was obvious to me that he didn’t want us waiting to talk. The grinder makes horrific noise and one cannot carry on a conversation while it is running.
I picked up his hoof and began to trim him manually, and he stood quiet and still as if a statute while we talked and I worked at the same time.
She told me the name of the street and the meaning became crystal clear. It has no meaning to anyone except them and me, but meaning just the same. Another wonderful moment borne out of the same day and I realized that my theme of hurrying just didn’t have a place in it today.
“This is my world.” I said, and her son replied, “I like your world!”
“Me too.” I said.

February 14th, 2013 Don’t Take It Lying Down

I’ve blogged in the past about the necessity of laying a horse down but more and more frequently I see that most photos posted on trainer’s blogs, web pages, facebook posts, etc, show them with horses lying down.
I am getting sick of that for the horse.
What bothers me even more are photos of trainers sitting on the horse as it is trying to get up, is getting up or rather, struggling to get up.
Somehow…this pose has become synonymous with “natural” horsemanship.
O – O, those of you who know me well know that the term, “natural horsemanship” is a hot button.
For those of you who are worshippers of the same I take it upon myself to personally exorcise you of the thought that “natural horsemanship” means anything other than identifying with your horse in the same manner as it would its herd and not in the manner that has become the hallmark of “natural horsemanship”.
Man + Horse = Man disciplining horse until horse becomes irritable, spooky, hyper-sensitive and defensive.
Now, before you go yelling at me that “natural horsemanship” does NONE of these things, let me tell you that YES IT DOES!
I work with no less than 5-10 horses in a given day and always from the business end of the horse, the bottom of their hooves.
As a farrier I get a lot of insight into the mind and body of a horse. Nine times out of ten I have to deprogram a horse trained “naturally” and this isn’t always effective without a LOT of horse “move quickly, fastly and waaaaaaay over there from me”….this is not what I want from my friend, the horse.
I can spot a “natural horsemanship” horse before I even get out of the pick-up.
They are the ones with their heads up, eyes wide and wondering, “WHAT IN THE HELL IS THIS PERSON WITH THAT EQUIPMENT GOING TO MAKE ME DO NOW?” Those that have “normal” presentations are often so over stimulated they have checked out long enough to get through the task. These horses almost never show affection.
The horse is hypervigilant before I even get to it and generally, this costs me ten to twenty minutes of my time to get the horse to settle down, stop swinging left then back to the right, settle down, quit pulling against my arm in refusal to give control of your hoof, give up the control of your hooves and relax! So I can trim your gosh darned hooves and make you comfortable on that end at least!
I am not kidding, there is a parallel here and the answer is always 100% when I refence the behavior that the horse “really is good and does all sorts of tricks”.
Does this include lying down?
Unfortunately, yes.
We’ve not taken the horse to a new depth of overstimulation and somehow people keep misinterpreting this that the horse is “well trained”.
With sighs of affection and awe we say to ourselves, “now that horse trusts his owner enough that he will lay down and let the trainer dominate him…stand on his side (another thing that totally infuriates me from the horses stand point…how comfortable can it be to have someone STANDING on you ribs?!!!
Laying a horse down is something that should be done with benevolence and honor. It should not be repeated, and repeated and repeated and repeated…and it definitely should not be undone by having the trainer leap upon the back and force the horse to stand up.
Yes, I have laid horses down. Yes, it is effective, but to take the horse back to its fear of being preyed upon over and over and over is not training the horse well…its torturing it.
I know this because I work with several horses who owners’ claim to fame is the famous lying down trick. One is so skittish I can barely trim him. The other so disengaged I have questioned whether or not there is actually a soul left inside the horse.
A disengaged, disinterested, shut down and emotionally dominated horse is not my idea of humane training.
Horses are designed for man and sent here to this Earth to teach us. They should be affectionate, comfortable and when you look into their eyes, they should have life there.
I have said for several years that there is a better way. I intend to prove that and have spent my life tirelessly working to teach people that while lying a horse down has its place and benefits, I don’t need that “trick” to show that I have my horses cooperation and respect.
I refuse to work from a place that teaches us that to be one with the horse we must dominate them in such a way as to eradicate their likelihood that their fear will result in our death.
Training horses from a fear standpoint has reached its end in my book. It’s time to give the horse back its dignity and teach people instead.
Let’s look at it this way.
If I were your friend and every time we met I pulled you to the ground and sat on you, what would you think?
Damn straight. I’d call the cops for assault too.

February 13th, 2013 I Couldn’t Resist

My Mom used to call me her “cat” largely because my curiosity could not be quelled. Christmas, Birthdays, anytime a gift was given, having to WAIT would nearly drive me crazy! I love being curious. It’s what fuels my learning and learning fuels my desire to reach for the STARS!
This past week I’ve spent a great deal of time working with others in the capacity I love most. In communication, review of issues and finally, solutions to find healing.
I was inspired to take the psychological profile on EHarmony…a little experiment I did because its a psych test I haven’t ever filled out!
I’ve done the Tony Robbins psych test, I’ve done the self efficacy tests, I’ve done online tests, I’ve done the Dr. Drew competency test…but as I am relationally satisfied…I never did the EHarmony test. It was time consuming, but FUN! And definitely will be a test I recommend in the future whether or NOT you have a mate.
Well, for one, I have never been one to follow convention. EHarmony is for those in need of a mate, right?
On its face, yes. But filling out their free questionaire, you get to know a lot about yourself and I think that’s important, so go on. I dare you. Fill one out for yourself and then do as I did…let it sit for a month or two. See what others say and then, re-read your profile.
I can tell you now, don’t do it if you plan on filling it out, erasing it, filling it out, erasing it….just be honest. Be YOU! You’ll learn a lot about yourself and you might even find out a few things that you didn’t know about yourself! I know I did. I realized that while I sometimes feel like I don’t articulate my thoughts well that I do write them well and I was happy with that. I also found that in doing this exercise that I found a new joy at the bottom of who I am. Compartmentalizing has always been a strength of mine and I realized that this was the part about the test that I liked best. It made it easy to address both the good and the bad of Karina Lewis. But for the most part, I think that the good stands out and for that, I am grateful to both the EHarmony test and because I’ve been able to achieve a level of pride in myself that isn’t arrogant…just REAL.
For the record…cause I know you are curious too…about my test results….here they are:
In my own wordsThe one thing I am most passionate about:
I am passionate about horses and animals of all kinds, farming, writing, cooking, traveling and spiritual empowerment, individuality and being grateful for small things, personal improvement and making a difference in the world using your strengths, being open minded and resourceful for yourself and others.

The most important thing I am looking for in a person is:
I recognize the people are mutifaceted and that individuality is appealing to me. However, individual personality traits are the foundation for any relationship and my perfect person will be honest, have integrity and be loyal and supportive, of good moral character, a good communicator, confident in who they are while being able to compromise without being condescending. The perfect person is a Leader but also able to listen. I appreciate a man who is successful and can appreciate a successful, independent woman. A man who appreciates a woman’s sensual side as well as one who works hard is also important. A man who is open minded.

The most influential person in my life has been:
I give many people credit for WHO I am, as I stand on the shoulders of greatness, people who have cared enough to educate me in my life. My business partner, My Grandfather, my Uncle and Aunt and my personal coach, others who work to empower and enlighten. How can you choose just one when so many deserve the credit!

..The three things which I am most thankful for:
•I am thankful for many things on a daily basis and practice being thankful minute by minute so I am thankful for this LIFE!
•I am also very thankful for my HEALTH.
•I am thankful for small things,DAILY.
Three of my best life-skills are:
•Maintaining an organized life
•Achieving personal goals
•Managing my finances
.The one thing I wish MORE people would notice about me:
I am loyal to a fault.

..The things I can’t live without are:
Privacy at the right times to renew and regenerate
Animals of all types
Balance and Harmony or the persuit of theme
Hard work, goals and personal/joint successes
..The first thing people notice about me:
People notice I am sincere and genuine. I am known for my magnetic personality and driven character. They recognize I am confident yet warm, passionate yet nurturing. I am a person of many gifts and skills that easily adapts and is adventuresome. My communication skills and open minded wisdom based in life experiences allow me to interact with many.

..A little more about me:
Sincerity, truth and honesty are important values. Imparting those to benefit others, our truer calling! Seeing someone for who they are and desiring to be beneficial to them as well as to one’s self. The recognition of an individual’s purpose in life is as important as mutual respect.

..My interestsI typically spend my leisure time:
I enjoy working with horses, animals of all kinds, farming and agriculture are also passions I persue in my free time. I enjoy writing and reading and being creative for the benefit of others. Self improvement and empowerment are important to me as are astrology and persuit of the holistic avenues in life that are open to us. I enjoy privacy to recharge as well and intimate time well spent, cooking as well as entrepreneurial persuits that are well organized and planned. I also enjoy cleaning and organizing.
The last book I read and enjoyed:
I am a master at doing two things at once and so I read The Ringing Cedars series, book 4, CO-CREATION and MAGIC, sequel in the SECRET series. Both excellent books on the holistic principles that make us human and push us to go to greater lengths to push our spiritual limits for the benefit of ourselves and others.
.According to my friends:My friends describe me as:
Hard Working