reflections
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.
WHY?
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
Horses
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:
Genuine
Perceptive
Intelligent
Hard Working
..

February 2nd, 2013 O You’re one of THOSE

The Universe has opened to shower upon me the realities of enlightenment and empowerment. In what was one of the most difficult years of my life (along with 2010 and 2011) I grew the most as a person.
Conflict is never easy and it seems like the past three years has been overrun by it. I tried not counting the number of times I felt let down, shocked or surprised by someone or somebody. I even worked a great deal on finding the positive in EVERY situation. Then, in what became one of the greatest tests of my personal being, I found that once again, the ONLY person I have any control or influence over, truly is myself.
As a kid growing up we practiced loving others. Sometimes to an extent that I could not agree with.
No matter. My parents never coddled us into believe that the world revolved around us. They believed we made the world revolve and that the intentions of our actions would be the judge of our character.
Never have I been more appreciative of this than in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Winter Solstice of 2012 took on a whole new meaning and just as I was beginning to grasp the concepts of what Winter Solstice meant to the ancients, I was challenged to change my own values and concepts and start fresh and new, whether I liked it or not.
The changes were good, I rolled with them and found that while I was taking steps toward change that may or may not be beneficial (at the tiem I didn’t know) that I had no other choice than to do so and hope for the best.
I think we all feel like that at times. Life has a habit of making us run and then…running us over.
I usually don’t like the process but this year I was keen on studying it, learning from it and trying to get along with it. Change is never easy.
Then came my intuitive pressure.
Was I right?
Was I overreacting?
Did I need to react so strongly and emotionally?
What if I hadn’t hidden what I was truly feeling or thinking?
You know the story. Life runs by you and you’re left second guessing if you made the right choice, said the right words or solved the right problem. Hopefully you didn’t create more.
In the past I’ve used mental visualization and psychological strength to gather my “dream team”. People I have little thought that I will meet in person one day, but people that I want to hold close to me so that I can learn and be a better person.
One of these people is Tony Robbins. Another is Lady GaGa….yes, Lady GaGa. I admire these people because they juggle their own teams and still manage to convey positive messages….for EVERYONE.
In what has been a roller coaster three year ride, I learned a great deal about myself and those around me.
In my quest to manage ONLY myself while supporting others, I learned that RAW and VEGAN doesn’t mean giving up things. In fact, I’ve added much to my diet and am healthier than I’ve been in years.
I learned that workaholic is a good thing, especially if you are juggling the care giving responsibilities of a loved one. GOD BLESS ALL CARE GIVERS!
Cursing works to relieve stress.
Exercise can be excessive and an overload so therefore it is OK to be a potato at heart sometimes.
Time isn’t slipping away. It has stretched itself in front of us so that we can learn to plan and set our goals better.
Positive thinking is a language that must be mastered.
Day dreaming isn’t being lazy. It’s an opportunity for the Universe to teach us.
I have quite a lot more ahead of me, but in the day to day trimmings of life, I’m proud when someone says, O You’re one of THOSE and then rolls their eyes at the fact that I meditate, eat right, exercise and stay available to my human counterparts.
Granola.
Tree Hugger.
Activist.
Executive.
Healer.
Teacher.
Politician.
Farmer.
Horse Crazy Person.
Woman.
Pick a label. Yes, I am one of THOSE.