We’re in!

I’d like to apologise for the lack of posting last week.  We moved to our new home on 12 October and have not yet been connected to the internet, so everything is being done as and when we can get WiFi or 4G when we’re out and about.

Our new home is very beautiful though it has brought many challenges.  The weather on the day of our move was wild and windy which caused some issues with coming across the bridge from Bristol to Wales.  This seems to have set the tone for the following days, too, as it’s been a bit of a bumpy ride.

The removal itself went past in a blur.  The team arrived and seemed to sweep all our belongings up and into their lorries then head off to our new location, without even pausing for breath!  We then discovered that they’d been so thorough in their sweep that they’d taken my car keys with them! This added a whole new dimension to the process.

My lovely mother and father in law had come along to help with the move but unfortunately they took a wrong turn on entering Wales and were lost for a couple of hours with no way to contact them as they don’t have mobiles.  When Tim and I finally arrived we found that the lorries had already been emptied, but everything was in the wrong place, leaving us with lots to sort out and heavy things to try and move around over the next couple of days.  It also meant that we couldn’t find anything – though this meant that we had to unpack every box which helped us to make the place feel a little more like home.

We couldn’t have done it all without the wonderful help from a couple of Tim’s friends from work.  Thank you so much guys – we owe you big time!!

The property is a cute little cottage which is very tastefully renovated, however we found that there was some… creative wiring in the house and the office which needed to be sorted as a matter of urgency.  We’ve also found that the sockets and outlets in the other outbuildings do not work which is posing some interesting challenges as the days grow shorter.  Also some of the outbuildings leak, meaning that we don’t yet have the storage area we thought we would have.

The horses were due to join us the next day, but the wind was still blowing hard and so we had to reschedule.  Originally we thought this was going to be for the following week, but thankfully we managed to move them on the Sunday and so they’ve been here for nearly 2 weeks now.  Dax seems to be loving it in this new, wild, Welsh space – we think he might be part Welsh Section D so perhaps some of his genes feel like they’ve come home – and ‘Rika is settling in well.  This involves rolling in the mud so she’s hardly recognisable now!

     Dax and ‘Rika – before the mud bath

‘Rika after her roll in the mud!

Despite the challenges, I love it here.  Walking up to see the horses every morning and evening is such a special time.  I love watching the light, which is constantly changing and subtly altering the landscape and its moods.  Also, the changing colours of the leaves at this time of year are turning the surrounding countryside a glorious golden hue.

The woods are amazing and there’s lots of wildlife.  Most of this we hear rather than see, but there’s a wonderfully cheeky robin who is a frequent visitor.

In one of the fields there is a fabulous old beech tree.  It holds an ancient, mystical energy and is a wonderful place for some mindful meditation.

I’m so looking forward to opening this space up to share its healing energy with others!

I will be inviting people to come and spend time in this peaceful place and allow it to open their hearts and bring healing.

This is an opportunity to take some time, just for yourself, to get out of your head and into your body.

To Be present…

To Feel

To get in touch with your body and emotions and see how they can show you what is working well for you, and what isn’t, so that you can make supportive changes.

It’s a chance to reconnect with the Earth beneath your feet and the Nature all around you to bring balance, harmony and wellbeing.

And Breathe…

If you’d like to know more, please get in touch, or see my website for more information:

 

 

 

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Saying ‘No’

Isn’t it interesting how allowing our horses to say ‘No’ can bring up so much stuff – both for them and for us!?

Since Dax arrived there have been some changes in his behaviour, as those of you who’ve been following this blog will know.  At first he was like a little lamb, meekly following wherever I took him – except into that weird dark box that hoomans call a ‘stable’!  This has now turned around where he’s quite happy to go in to his stable – after all there’s hay and treats in there (herbs or pieces of carrot / celery that I leave on the floor for him to ‘forage’) – but not so keen to walk on the lead rope.

He also has times when he says a definite ‘No’ to being touched – this can be challenging when I want to check his feet or apply neem oil to keep the flies off.

Thankfully, though, he never says ‘No’ to having any scratches and scrapes treated, and will even come and show me when he’s got a cut somewhere!

His behaviour can seem unpredictable, in that some days he is quiet, almost subdued, and others he appears ‘grumpy’ and disconnected.  I get glimpses of a softer Dax, a more gentle and relaxed fellow who is open to engaging and exploring with me, and I think these glimpses are becoming more frequent, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t still see the other sides of him too.  As a good friend of mine posted on her Facebook group the other day, all of these responses from Dax are opportunities to question and explore:

  • Why has he responded this way?
  • How is he feeling today?
  • What has triggered this behaviour?
  • How does this situation look from his perspective?

 

This is also raising other questions for me, around my own beliefs and ways of being.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, the use of strong discipline and ‘dominance’ theories doesn’t sit comfortably with me.  Many people talk about having to be the ‘lead horse’ but this has never made much sense to me.  A horse can see that I am different – I look different and I behave in different ways compared to horses.  I don’t have the anatomy necessary to speak full ‘horse’ either – big, mobile ears; large eyes on the side of my head; 4 legs; a tail; etc.  I am also a good deal smaller, lighter and less powerful.  Also, I can never fully appreciate what it is to see the world from a horse’s perspective.

Dominance theories are often based on research done in domestic (artificial) situations and so the behaviours recorded are not always ‘natural’.  Also we are viewing them through our human filters.

I have learnt that a herd’s way of being is more one of co-operation, synchronisation and leading / following, rather than dominance.

I want to learn how to be a good leader, one who leads by example, conscious behaviours and kindness.

  

From other, personal, work that I have done, I believe in the value of being curious and of listening to our inner, gut feeling, to guide us in finding the best course of action.  Of course, this needs to be done very consciously or we could easily think or convince ourselves that what we are doing is ‘right’ when actually it is just an ‘easier’ course of action for some reason.

So this is what I am working on in my relationship with Dax.  Seeking to find the way that feels right – for both of us.  One that allows us both freedom of expression, while still allowing both of us to feel safe.  Giving him the space to say ‘No’ while also showing him that I can say ‘No’ too.  Opening up a dialogue where we can explore those ‘No’s to see what’s behind them, and how we can find ways to say ‘Yes’ to each other.  This isn’t always easy.  Dax had a hard start in life and doesn’t appear to have learnt the subtleties of expression.  He seems to go from ‘Ok’ to ‘NO!’ in one leap, with no shades in between.  Part of this is my ability to ‘hear’ him too, and to spot his signals, so this is something that I need to learn.

In an earlier post I posed a series of questions:

  1. Is Dax really ‘unsafe’?
  2. Can the ‘ beautiful, loving horse’ within be encouraged to be brave enough to come out?
  3. What would be the best way to work with him to give him boundaries while keeping myself safe and not feeding his fear?
  4. How can I learn the lessons this is offering, to be the best person for Dax that I can be?

My responses to these would be:

  1. No, at least, no more so than any other unsure, sometimes frightened, sometimes anxious, younger horse would be.  I need to be observant around him, learning his signals and so avoiding situations that could be risky.
  2. I believe that the answer to this is ‘Yes’, and will look at this in more depth next week.
  3. This is still the big question and one which I am continually thinking about – reading, researching and exploring with Dax.
  4. I think this comes down to the observations and exploring mentioned above – that, and always seeking to be as honest with myself as I possibly can about what is / is not working, and where I need to go from there.

 

If any of this has raised questions for you, or you have any comments, I’d love to hear from you.  Feel free to comment below or to contact me.

Reflections

Around the time that the changes I outlined last week were going on, the trimmer, Caroline Wang-Andresen of Hoofing Marvellous, came for her second visit.  I spoke with her about what was going on with Dax and mentioned that he seemed unhappy if I tried to lift his front feet, often turning round to bite me.

While she worked on his feet we noticed that he was not as happy to stand still through the trim this time.  He tried to nip her, too, and was more fidgety than before.  She also commented that his feet were more brittle than the last time – a reflection of whatever was going on when that part of the hoof was growing (around autumn/winter last year).

She asked me to walk him up and down – which he did, thankfully – and there was no obvious sign of lameness, but she mentioned the fact that his front right leg twists slightly from the knee downwards.  We wondered if this was causing him any discomfort.  It might be a congenital difference, or could have been due to his rough start in life and not getting the right nutrition as a foal.  Caroline recommended asking her colleague Helen Jacks-Hewett, a McTimoney practitioner, to come and take a look at Dax to make sure that he’s not in any pain and to maybe suggest some ways that I can help to make him more balanced and comfortable.

Dax’s previously ‘rock-crunching’ feet

It was a few weeks before we could find a date that suited both myself and Helen and in the meantime I continued to try and encourage Dax to walk with me.  We had varying amounts of success but, frustratingly, every time I thought we’d made progress, we’d then seem to go back to square one!  I could see that Dax was either shutting down or getting agitated – his eyes would go blank or he would start to chew on the leadrope or toss his head a couple of times – and I didn’t want to push things, particularly as I hadn’t yet been able to have his body checked to rule out any pain or discomfort.

I wrote in my journal at the time:

June 3

“Wondering if this [behaviour] is the predicted challenge of being with an independent thinking horse… sometimes he seems so connected then so distant.”

June 13

“I think Dax had to learn – at a very young age – to survive in whatever way he could, ie to become independent, at least in heart and mind.  I’m sure he’s also learnt that humans should not be trusted, at least until they prove themselves very worthy of that precious gift, and even then, perhaps only in as much as he feels safe / wise to do so…

I, too, felt that I had to take care of myself in many ways as a child.  Dax and I share so much I think – which is why this is challenging for us both… It’s been isolating in some ways for each of us, but hopefully we will find connection and healing through our similarities – that they will bring us together”

Helen came out at the end of July and did a full assessment of Dax’s conformation, suppleness and strength.  In her report she commented that she could find:

“No misalignments located in spine or pelvic joints, and no areas of muscle asymmetry or soreness noted so on the whole there doesn’t appear to be any significant underlying musculoskeletal problems.”

This was a big relief!

She went on to say that:

“His behaviour seems typical for a hand raised foal, and shows a lot of foal like tendencies even though he is 6 years old.

There is a really sweet natured clever horse in there who will hopefully continue to learn and develop given the right herd conditions and handling techniques.” 

I so hope that she’s right, and that I can provide what he needs to bring out that wonderful side of his nature.

But… there’s a darker side too, which I’d seen glimpses of and which then reared it’s ugly head unexpectedly one night.

More about that next week…

THE CHAKRA SYSTEM – part 7 of 8

THE BROW CHAKRA – AJNA

Also known as the Third Eye, this chakra is located in the middle of the forehead, slightly above the level of the eyes. It relates to the pineal gland, a part of the brain located at the rear end of the deep cleft that separates the 2 cerebral hemispheres and just in front of the cerebellum.

This gland is thought to influence our biological day / night rhythms.  It produces melatonin that seems to affect mood and sleep / wake cycles.

The body parts influenced by this chakra are

  • Ÿ         eyes
  • Ÿ         sinuses

The colour of this chakra is indigo;
its sense is the sense of sight;
its element is light;
its functions are intuition and seeing (including insight).

It is also thought to relate to ‘second sight’ and other psychic talents.

The ‘food’ for this chakra is mind altering inhalants.

When this chakra is open and balanced it results in a wisdom, imagination, and the ability to make decisions.  You have a strong sense of your own inner truth and listen to, and follow it as it guides you on your life path.  You are confident in your own intuitive decisions.

When it is out of balance it can lead to visual problems, a lack of imagination and therefore empathy, or an inappropriate use of imagination where you prefer to live in your own inner world rather than being open to the reality of your situation.  You might feel lost when it comes to your spiritual purpose and path in life.  You feel disconnected from your intuition, or don’t believe that you have any.

It can also cause headaches, nightmares and an inability to trust one’s own judgement.

Our energies can fluctuate during the day, and our chakras can be more or less open in any given situation depending on what ‘pushes our buttons’.

Why not take some time to pay attention to how you’re feeling — whereabouts in your body do you feel tension / pain / ease / lightness?

Are there repeating patterns in your life?  Do they serve you or do they leave you feeling stuck?

If any of this has resonated for you I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Please leave a comment or contact me if you’d like to ask any questions or discuss things further:

www.equenergy.com

07980 669303

robyn@equenergy.com

 

(This post was taken from my article on the chakras.  You can read the full text here)

THE CHAKRA SYSTEM – part 4 of 8

SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA – MANIPUR

This chakra is found between the sternum and the belly button and corresponds to the digestive system.  Its glands are the pancreas and the adrenals.  The pancreas is located near the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine.  It secretes digestive enzymes to help break down food in order for it to be absorbed and utilised by the body (an exocrine function).  These enzymes include:

  • Ÿ         amylase (for starches)
  • Ÿ         proteases (for protein)
  • Ÿ         lipase (for fats)

 

The pancreas also plays a very important role in the regulation of blood sugar through its endocrine function.  It contains specialised cells – the Islets of Langerhans – which secrete insulin and glucagon.  The former helps to lower the level of glucose in the blood by allowing it to move into the body’s cells and the latter raises blood sugar levels by stimulating the liver to convert stored glycogen to glucose.

The body parts influenced by this chakra are:

  • Ÿ         stomach
  • Ÿ         small and large intestines

The colour of this chakra is yellow;
its sense is the sense of sight;
its element is fire
its function is the use of personal power, will and assertiveness.

The food for this chakra is starch.

It is strongly related to intention and transformation.  It is the most ‘exposed’ chakra in that it is not contained within any skeletal support.  The spine is there behind it, but there is nothing in front of it which is why we can sometimes feel uncomfortable when face-to-face with another as their will centre is directly facing ours.

It is here that we first feel shame but also how we learn to move beyond it.  It is also where we learn about power.  Having realised that there is ‘other’ we learn how to relate to them and how to assert our will.

If this chakra is open and balanced you will be confident and in control of your life, having a strong sense of your own power and how to use it in healthy ways.  You will want to use your power to help others and to make a difference in the world.

However if this chakra is out of balance you will tend to be bossy and domineering, needing to exert authority over others.  It can also lead to feeling like a victim, or feeling powerless as you give your power away in order to keep the peace.

Other problems in this area can lead to an inability to deal with stress and a feeling of ‘overload’.  It can also result in digestive issues.

Our energies can fluctuate during the day, and our chakras can be more or less open in any given situation depending on what ‘pushes our buttons’.

Why not take some time to pay attention to how you’re feeling — whereabouts in your body do you feel tension / pain / ease / lightness?

Are there repeating patterns in your life?  Do they serve you or do they leave you feeling stuck?

If any of this has resonated for you I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Please leave a comment or contact me if you’d like to ask any questions or discuss things further:

www.equenergy.com

07980 669303

robyn@equenergy.com

 

(This post was taken from my article on the chakras.  You can read the full text here)

Dog & Cat Nutrition part 4 of 5

Roger Meacock, a vet based in Swindon, UK says: “What people need to understand is that while on the outside dogs and cats have been domesticated into cuddly pets, inside a dog is 99% related to the wolf, while a pet cat’s digestive system is no different from a wild lion’s.”  He says that their diet “should revolve around raw meat, as it would do in the wild, which is good for their teeth and gums as well as the animal’s general health.”

Many pet foods contain chemical additives.  TV vet Joe Inglis says: “Over the past few years, many additives have been banned from human food, but pet food is still pumped full of similar chemicals.” (ibid)  The way raw ingredients are processed into pet food that will sit in a bowl without going off, or that can be stored in a can or bag for years, means that many of the nutrients are destroyed.  This is why additives such as preservatives and vitamins need to be added.  Jackie Marriott of the UK Raw Meaty Bones Support and Action Group says: “Although our pets digest them, their digestive systems have to work flat out to derive the best benefit… Most importantly, processed food also sits like a sludge on their teeth.”

An alternative to commercial pet foods is the BARF – Biologically Appropriate Raw Food – diet.  (BARF is also translated as the ‘Bones And Raw Food’ Diet.)  It was devised by Dr Ian Billinghurst, a veterinary surgeon, writer and lecturer from Australia.  He wrote a book entitled “Give Your Dog a Bone” which changed many people’s thinking around how they should feed their pets.  He says:

“I realized that most of the disease problems I was seeing in cats and dogs were due to nothing other than poor nutrition. That most of those diseases did not have to be. They could be eliminated with correct nutrition. To me this was both a revolutionary thought and an incredible revelation. I wanted to tell everybody! The only problem as I saw it back then was that this philosophy of feeding may not be accepted by my fellow vets who rely heavily on ill health in their patients for their daily bread.”

His website states:

“A biologically appropriate diet for a dog is one that consists of raw whole foods similar to those eaten by the dogs’ wild ancestors.  The food fed must contain the same balance and type of ingredients as consumed by those wild ancestors. This food will include such things as muscle meat, bone, fat, organ meat and vegetable materials and any other “foods” that will mimic what those wild ancestors ate.”

Specially prepared packs of raw foods can now be purchased from several online outlets (such as Honey’s, Raw2Paw, and Barf Pet Foods) making them more convenient, and the price is similar to feeding an animal on a good quality tinned food.

Some people voice concerns about these raw food diets.  In the last part of this series I’ll look at what these might be and how to make sure your pet stays healthy.

If you are interested in nutrition for your pet and would like to explore this further, contact me for a no-obligation chat where we can discuss your situation and see what simple changes you might be able to make to enhance their wellbeing.  My contact details are:

robyn@equenergy.com

07980 669303

You can also read more about my work on my website:

www.equenergy.com/

 

You can read the full text of this article here.

Deepening your connection – Part 5

Other ways of supporting your own wellbeing and balance include:

  • taking time-out for yourself
  • meditation / mindfulness
  • physiotherapy / chiropractic / massage sessions
  • a healthy diet
  • getting sufficient sleep
  • complementary therapies (eg homeopathy, aromatherapy Bach Flower remedies, EFT, healing, etc) 

I personally offer a range of support which can be used face-to-face or at a distance:

  • MetaHealth : This sees dis-ease as a process and, by analysing what is going on for the person, it can trace back to find the original trigger behind the symptoms. The practitioner can then suggest ways in which the trigger can be addressed directly, and cleared, allowing the person to make the journey back to good health.
  • Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) : this uses the same meridian lines followed by Traditional Chinese medicine, however without the needles! It helps to clear blocked traumas and so is a very effective therapy.  It can be used with a wide range of issues including chronic pain, anxiety, limiting beliefs, allergies and phobias.
  • Energy Healing / Reiki : This is a wonderfully relaxing therapy which encourages your body to naturally move into the parasympathetic cycle of rest and repair. It can be used to support a wide range of issues including:
    • healing of injuries
    • detoxification (eg after chemotherapy of giving up smoking)
    • pain relief
    • balancing
    • a sense of wellbeing and calm
  • Nutrition : I am currently studying to be a nutritional therapist and I can advise you on ‘clean eating’ to support health and wellbeing

 

The information in this article was taken from my workshops and video series on giving horses a more natural lifestyle and the benefits that this brings, not only to them but to their owners / carers.  To see more, please follow this link:

www.equenergy.com/horse-care-video-series

If you have comments or questions about anything in this article, or if you would like to book a session with me, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: 

            email:              robyn@equenergy.com

mobile:           07980 669303

You can also read more about me and my work on my website: www.equenergy.com

 

(Read the full article here)