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Moonshadow

I had a dream, that for a few days people gathered together and enjoyed one sunset, and at that moment of darkness, a ring of light appeared. Without being  prompted, or without hesitation everyone cheered!.20170821_102241

As we stared at that ring of light with our cellphones, smart phones and cameras all clicking images of one moment, one shadow, one vision. While shy Venus show her face in the darkness of the moons shadow. In the few moments of darkness on the morning, across the US, we were happy., we were together, all differences aside, we were united in ah and wonder.

Within our little rural community , people gathered together, enjoyed eachs diversities  from across the globe. It did not matter education, job or race. What a beautiful moment it was. For those that visited our little corner of the world for those few days. I have to say thank you for sharing that moment with us.

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When it was done and the light came back on us, slowly drifting reality into our midst, we all knew we were going to return to our daily lives, of schedules, appointments and hurried honeydos.

We stay for a few more minutes, as we watch a new dawn together. When shadows dims and heat returns, reality sets in. We begin to claim our space once again. Our place on the road, a parking spot our place in line at the grocery store, yet after we are gone realizing it never was ours to claim. Just a moment, a hesitation, maybe a frustration  that things didn’t work out to our own expectation,  but things worked out all the same.

As I see the images shared across the internet, and I see the same image over and over again I will think of that quiet moment before and the cheers of strangers, unprompted,sounding together as one voice.

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I will choose to hold on to that dream as if it were real. Thinking and, hoping others had the same dream. That little spark of light as a new dawn reaches past the moonshadow and sheds a little beacon of warmth and new light.

http://www.akmossbooks.com

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On the Off Side of the Fence

In my horse world I have never really been a competitive person. I have challenged myself and my horse to partisipate in certain adventures but have never fully grasped the winning -loosing thing.

I know I have blogged about this before, but I guess in the search of my strength and weaknesses I am faced with more about how I see winning and how others see it. Or maybe it is just getting words on paper about fear and facing it beyond stepping up and stepping on.

I have felt most all of my life like I have been on the off side of the fence. I guess, as they always say… “The Grass is always Greener”… I don’t think I really got that until I realized how odd I always felt in a crowd, always wishing I was something beyond who I was. . Then on top of that, what I felt like when I competed in an event and actually won. Feeling all eyes on me, all of the congratulations and job well dones.. All I could see was all of the flaws I had done and how I felt in the heat of competion.  Sick to my stomach, and insignificant.  To hold an award for a moment for a picture and a feeling of a job well done, yet knowing in my heart , others there are just as good, if not better than myself. 20170812_061727

When for a brif moment the sun begins to rise in my clouded mind. I am stronger than what I was when I began. I have defined my priorities and shuffled through my imagination to grasp innerstrenth and challenge my doubtful mind. For those moments in the winners circle is not about being better than some one else. It is attempting to be better than I  used to be, to the point of recognition.

To stand and be acknowledged for achievements of like minded people. Beyond having to win or needing a partisipation award. But it is more of self value and motovation of growth.

I know there are some extemists out there, qho winning is everything. And others who say,”hey, I showed up, I need a ribbon, or award.”

But for me, it is about personal growth and inner strength. About achievement beyond, showing up. It is about being the best I can be and allowing myself to grow with the challenges of competion.  The heart break, the trials and the rewards on the off side of the fence. FB_IMG_1486048004288

Questioning my strengths and weakness, not by judgement but by curiosity. By questioning my self to the challenges I set for myself. And finding those who can help me on my journey, along the way.

I don’t expect to change the world or even talk you into believing as I do, but as I watch children struggle with being accepted, or feeling like a looser for not placing I felt I would put a few words on paper about my challenges… nothing more. Nothing less, just words from a gal on the off side of the fence.

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http://www.akmossbooks.com

 

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In reading these words, I have sat and waited in waiting wooms, emergency roons, waiting wondering, praying and trying to understand. I think this blog is beautiful, in self awareness and caregivers. Thank you for the blog.

Ocean Views and Book Reviews

HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOURSELF? WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE DEFINITION YOU THOUGHT WAS RIGHT CHANGES? DOES FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN INVENT WHO YOU ARE? DOES WHO YOU ARE DEPEND ON WHO YOU ARE AROUND? WHAT DO YOU DEFINE AS THAT WHICH IS YOU? THE UNIQUE YOU. THE HAPPY YOU. THE REAL YOU? CRAZY QUESTIONS THAT POSE A LONGER LINE OF THINKING, LIKE WHO ARE YOU REALLY?

rotating-questionmarkWHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL I WANTED TO BE THE FIRST FEMALE THUNDERBIRD PILOT FOR THE AIR FORCE. I SUPPOSE THAT THIS SUPPORTED I SEE MYSELF AS STRONG AND UNIQUE. THAT I WOULD HAVE THE ABILITY TO FIGHT AND DEMAND THAT AS A FEMALE I COULD FLY A FIGHTER JET JUST LIKE A MAN COULD.

fly-among-soloIN REALITY, I WAS TOLD THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN, THE NAVY CAME A COURTIN, AND I DECIDED THAT MAYBE MILITARY WOULD NOT BE THE WAY I WANTED TO…

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Defining Yourself

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The Value of Winning

What does it mean to win? Has society placed winning as the value or worth of the competitor?  Is that the sole intention of winning? 20170723_075144I have never really been a competitive person. I hated the idea of one person better than the other, and avoided at pretty much all costs. Was it because I didnt want to fail? I didn’t want to be embarrased or was it that I was scared of my own success?

Just these last few years have I began to look at competion as an act of personal growth. Although I have found not all people feel the same way. I am suprised of the vast array of emotions that some people go through with the thought that they might not bring home the winning blue ribbon.  Last weekend I had an opportunity to participate in a small horse show. I did not have time to prepare or even a chance to give my horse a bath, let alone clean up his bridle path and simple things like that.  I was anticipating a few classes and a grand experience  what ever the outcome.  By the time we got there I ended up signing up for 20 classes, so far out of my comfort zone I could only laugh at what my colt was going to think of me by the end of the day.

As the day wore on class after class I found my little red horse gave me all he had, improving with every class, along with my own feeling of accomplishment.  About the 15th class I felt him falter, hesitate. At first I thought to push him through, only five classes left. I didn’t want to be a quitter.  But that thought past through my mind and disipated in an instant when I asked him one more time for a lope and he gave it to me, with ears up and forward motion. I knew this would be his last tough class of the day as he gave me a beautiful stop. I was filled with pride and emotion as we walked back in line and waited for the ribbons to be handed out. As we stood and waited, a young girl sitting next to me, anticipating 1st, but was upset her horse didn’t pick up the correct lead. She was really upset and found fault in the everything around her. How important is winning? I found out later how her coach reprimanded her for being lazy and not paying attention. Later another young girl was hoping that in trail class they would have things she was good at, such as the mail box…

I replied back at her, “I don’t want things I am good at.”

“Why? It makes it easy to win.”

“I’m not here to win,” I replied, “I am here to challenge myself and my little red horse.”

The little girl was quiet while we waited. Then as we started out of the arena, she said something that will forever be remembered. “Thank you for talking to me.”

“Well, your welcome, my name is Kathy.”

She gave me her name as we visited as we continued out of the arena. Later that day I heard her say to another young girl.

“That woman right there, she doesn’t want to win.  But she sure is winning alot.”

It amazes me the challenges we face and how we evaluate winning and challenging ourself to be better than who we were before  we got there. I have challenged myself several times by entering something. Such as Cowboy Idol cowboy poetry competion and horses shows or what ever, I feel blessed to have competitors who taught me more than by the competion itself.

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On this paticular competion I  was taking a young horse, working at becoming a team and asking him to do things I had never asked of him before, to see if he would follow through. I will say this in facing these challenges.  In English Pleasure, in a saddle I am not familiar with, I did mention English didn’t i; my colt spooked at a paper in the wind. As he jumped to the side at a canter,  I felt myself beginning to fall, Hitch broke stride and brought himself back under me, then picked up his lead and continued as if nothing happened. Ears up and focusing on what’s in front of him. It was a secret he would of kept, had I not mentioned it. If this is not winning I don’t know what is. The ribbons on the wall are a reminder of the adventure, but no one will know the feeling inside, of the challenges faced and achievements within.2017-07-23 13.21.16I will be forever greatful for the challenges we faced together and the sense of achievement that little red horse gave me. Not by ribbons or trophies but by memories and fun we had that day.

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Through Equine Eyes

What is the magic in the horse, that draws the human spirit? The grace? The power? When you look into the eyes of the horse what do you see? No, I mean what do you really see.
I see a mirror of ones self. If I were honest and really stop, look and listen, I would see my strength, and my beauty, I see my courage and my fear. I heard it said, the horse is the mirror of the soul.
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Ray Hunt, a significant influence on natural horsemanship once said, “You are not working the horse you are working yourself.”

From the hundreds of horses that I have worked I feel these words carry a depth that words alone can not be understood until you have felt the impact of the horses knowledge. In the silence of a glance or a tug on the lead to give you guidence on your journey. You have the ability to listen to the horse or redirect the horse to what you thought you wanted, but don’t know how to ask.

Time and time again I have witnessed the correction of what I thought I wanted and what the horse has offered me. And I stand humbled at the difference. From working mustangs who only understand equine language to working the more domesticated horse who have been peopled to death, stalled, and waiting silently, living within four walls hour after hour, waiting to be let out and able to move freely as the athlete they are supposed to be. Some are scared of their own shadow evident when riding.  Other horses critiqued in a discipline of their persons choice to be worked and reworked to perfection of controlled mobility, on a human perspective.

Some horses enjoy the challenge of people working on their discipline others are looking for another outlet, another area of expertise that they can excel at.20170322_141246_231852

The horse waits and adjusts to its surrounding the best it can, some looking forward to blanket and stall, others want freedon to be out and about. We expect a horse to adjust to any situation on our terms, but most of us know there is a limit to their silent sanity.

They try to express their understanding the only way they know how.  Sometimes their efforts is not good enough and we push them beyond their understanding or trust. A lot of times it does not turn out so well.

I was with some buckaroos one morning out at cow camp several years ago, a man had come to ride with us. His horse never being out of an arena before. As he got his horse saddled, the horse spooked and jumped to the side, almost stepping on the man. With that the man proceeded to kick the horse in the belly several times to make him respect his space… the horse became even more nervous of his surroundings then the man began to jerk on the horses head.

An old cowboy watched for a few moments, then stated, “Well that feller is trying to work beyond his knowledge.”

Then turned his horse to begin his day.

I have thought of that instance many times. And realized,  when I don’t know what to do in a situation with my horse, I fall back to old habits taught to me. Some not in the best intrest of the horse. From there I have a choice, keep doing what I have done, or I take a moment pause, think of his reaction to my action and move from there.

If you think for a moment and question this sinario, if a man that speaks a different language walks up to you, puts a rope around your neck and started dragging you along to an unknown destination, would you be inclined to resist? Would your instincts kick in? What if he kicked you in the belly because you jumped, what is your reaction? If this paticular man knew a little bit of your language and offered communication between you and himself what reaction would you offer? If he allowed you to be scared, uncertain, hurt… would trust develop?  Every horse is different, just like every person is different. We have learned what walls to build in life to get by, just like the horse. The damage or abuse we can’t let go of, holds us in a pattern that controls our fear or anxiety that we have learned how to cover up. But we still continue to look for rules, bounderies and leadership along with having some kind of freedom.

As society changes some perceptions of horses  communication, it brings awareness that horses are asking the same things. If they can’t understand or have the courage to try then they take it upon their self to try and find release, what ever the effort. But if we look deeper, the question comes to mind, is that not what we do? Right or wrong, don’t we try to get control, hide behind our fears or flat out take charge?

Why do we want a horse? What draws us to them? Is it that they  healing our life? Do they give us the feeling of being understood, heard? Or it might be trying to get control of life in one way or another. Could it be the challenge of competion, using the horse as our legs? What ever we are searching for through the decades of living and the universal appeal of the horse, they stand silent and wait for our requests. Blindly stepping in the trailer with no idea of where they are headed. To chase a cow, long jog through the desert, or run a barrel pattern, to jumping or dressage. They face and react to our planned days with effort and resistance.

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This is a broad area to talk about and some people might think I have gone off the deep end, but I believe, people and horses have to be multi lingeral to share their existence with each other. To some it is as obvious as breathing and others it is “I have to control this animal.” People can talk of their knowledge and accomplishments,  they can express judgement and compassion. They can feed, not feed, beat, punish or discipline horses in untold techniques behind the scenes to make them shine in the light. The magic is really the reality and truth of our action and reaction that makes a horse truly communicate with us. One thing for sure as you work through the issues and soften the communication between what you want from the horse standing next to you,  it will shine in the silence, for the truth lies within equine eyes.

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Mother Nature

I find myself on Sunday morning, with coffee in my hand sitting outside listening to the Meadow Lark, the Doves, Killdeer and various other birds hidden in the distance in the mystery wanting to be herd but not seen. A cow bawls in the distance, her baby hidden from view. There is a peace here, the horses are fed while others are turned out. I sit in the busyness of the peace…

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I recap of the last few days…

Friendship, laughter, aloneness all wrapped up into a life of adventure and challenges. One challenge accomplished another to face.

I hear the birds chattering and bring myself out of my peaceful state to awareness of the singing… above a hawk circles, two little birds above its head areally a quarter of its size attempting to sway the raptors course. Others team up, as below a grouse hunkers down under a willow, camoflouged in the dry shadows.

The cow has become more concerned about her calf, she starts to stroll where she had last seen it, since it did not present itself or answer her calling.

This all brings an awareness of life… struggles and how as individual species, we are all the same. The hawk flies off leaving the worried birds to tend their young while the hawks babies go hungry, the cow notices her calf on the off side of the fence seeming to have forgotten the hole it found to get through.

Off down by the river a doe has her new born twins stretching and strengthening twig legs, the momma leary of all around her.

In this quiet busyness, it brings the words of Leon Flicks in his poem  The Cowboy. “mother nature, she”s twice as hard as she is kind.

I look at this moment as kind, more of awareness than anything. All that is around me, the bee buzzing in the window and a cheeseburger bird calling in the distance,  life together. The strength of stress, worry and moments of peace wrapped together into life. A moment of graditude.

 

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A Gift of Time

What gift is given with out words? With out money? Without being wrapped? What gift is priceless, selfless and honest? 2017-06-16 10.22.22

Time…

Time to appreciate life. Time to appreciate learning, time to understand a childs point of view.  I was given that gift last week, I relished in every question, every attempt and every try from a world I will never know. That world is being a parent. I was not blessed with children of my own. That is not a sad thing it is an honest part of life. So when given the opportunity to share my life with kids of all ages, I usually jump at the chance.

I had a beautiful opportunity to have my nephews come over for a while. These two kids came to me who want to learn about communication, understanding, courage and facing challenges and patience. All done with my horses. I am not the teacher, I am just the guide. The teacher is the animal standing next to the child.

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Where there is a silent trust, a communication of inner strength, a beacon of light not only in the eyes of wonder but the heart of understanding. When I see the effort not only by the child but by the horse then I know there is a shift, a kind of unknown silent shift that brings the both animal and child to a new awareness of growth, of goal setting, and of communication.

Anyone can Google for information.  But to feel knowledge begin at the fingertips, travel all the way though the body and reach the brain…  That is where learning begins to define character.  20170616_144915-1

When the want and try defy the option of giving up. When the choice is made to try again with such effort that they want to cry, yet fight back tears and bring forth inner strength. Where  video games are foreign words and are forgotten for an entire week.

Where what scared you yesterday is forgotten as you face new challenges today. This is the gift I speak of for in those moments of trial and accomplishments the definition of who they can be in the future begins to develope. Hope, trust, honesty, teamwork wrapped together and silently developed into a memory.

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I am aware that it is only a matter of time and they will be on their own, doing what they do. Grown beyond yesterday’s trials and accomplishments. Laughter of yesterday echoing in my memory. And I will look back and say thank you. Thank you for the gift, the gift of time.20170616_153629

http://www.akmossbooks.com

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