You Can Lead a Horse to Water

….but a pencil must be lead! I heard this phrase years ago from my earth sciences teacher Russell Ruswick. That guy was a true inspiration. He was full of good humor even in the context of a bunch of junior high school students. He actually was earthy, just like...

As Spiritual as a Slug

Higher Level Living? Because of our intellect, humankind has come to believe that we’re all living at some “higher level” than the rest of our earthly companions: animals., plants, rocks, rivers. Lately I’ve been wondering about that. I’m...

Bowerbird or Beaver?

Perfection Good enough Excellence Perfection is a state of mind. Good enough often is, but excellence is worth pursuing. When is a nest a nest? A painting a painting? A goal, attained? I have a friend who spends significant energy towards reaching a state of...

More Than One Way to Cross a Creek

One day while paused at the end of my driveway to let a wide truck pass on our narrow lane a movement in the bare winter branches of the trees caught my eye. There, a squirrel was scampering from branch to branch, as they do, in an apparently random pattern. But, no,...

Adjusting Subtle Energy

Uncomfortable Places Sometimes a space feels weird. A room has an odd ‘energy‘, a house gives you the willies. This can happen for animals too. A stall agitates the horse who tries to rest there. A dog won’t relax in your new apartments. I’m...

Fox Seeking

Introduction Around where I live they do this thing on horseback called fox hunting. Basically they talk a loud batch of spotted dogs into running over hill and dale baying as they dash after the scent of a fox and the people follow at breakneck speeds on willing...

Buckin’ A+ Cowboy Ethics

Every once in awhile a quiet, brilliant soul rises noticeably within the fray that is the American hyperactive media machine. The latest is Buck Brannaman, a plain spoken cowboy who has practiced the art natural horsemanship for over a quarter century. Among his more...

I Love Trees

Trees are such awesome individuals. Like us, they begin life from a tiny tiny beginning; a seed and with time grow into large embodiments of the ideas held in that original encased potential. They grow right where they are. They don’t seem to particularly long...

Flying is Easy With the Right Attitude

I know a guy who recently decided to learn how to fly. Well not fly so much as glide on the wind; or hang glide. Now, he’s not a spring chicken, but you can teach an old(er) dog new tricks! Watching him flutter down the ‘bunny’ hills at first...

The Art of the Try

I’m not a big fan of horse racing, but I am a big fan of horses. I have a friend who runs some horses and she does right by them. When their running careers are over she gives them a try in a new job, usually as brood mares, and a permanent home. She’s...

Turning Ideas Into Action!

Many of us have tons of ideas. For some, ideas are the lifeblood that flows through our very souls connecting our hopes and dreams. But how do we get these esoteric beauties out of their glittery realms and into the harder world around us? When we pick up a pencil,...

Field Play

When I lived in a hip Chicago neighborhood one of my delights in this quintessentially urban lifestyle was observing the squirrels who made their living in the trees grown up between the brownstone walkups. I would delight in their scamperings whenever I went outside....

Animal Intelligence – Part 1

Up until fairly recently learned people believed that humans alone enjoyed a ‘higher’ existence than any other animal or creature in our unique ability to be so very clever. Conventional wisdom held that only humans: had language use tools meaningfully...

Doggedly Pursue Purpose

Hachiko was a dog in 1930’s Japan who was found by a kindly music professor who hadn’t been looking for a canine companion, least of all a puppy. Nevertheless the two forged an enduring friendship. Each day the man would walk to the train accompanied by...

Singing Leads to Drawing

I live with three cattle dogs and besides being uniquely delightful individuals there is nothing particularly different about them as dogs. Sometimes they naturally sing. They’ll start by getting worked up about something they see or hear. An easy thing for a...

Imbolc Day – February 1

Today in the northern hemisphere we are halfway between the winter and spring equinox. In ancient Gaelic times this event was celebrated to mark the end of winter’s grip and the impending joys of spring. It’s a forward thinking very optimistic day indeed!...

Groundhog’s Day

By the time the end of January finally comes up here in the northern hemisphere we’re all a little bonky. We’ve entered that ‘no-man’s-land’ space on the calendar where we’re between the holidays and far away from clement weather....

Sleeping In

Hibernation. Holing up. Going underground. These are all expressions of the wonderful skill many creatures practice in locations with seasonal stretches of hard cold environment. Times when survival is next to impossible. They prepare a safe insulated sleeping place...

Happy Thoughts

[slideshow] What? No Activity? Usually I start each blog off with some sort of animal assisted activity designed to help illuminate a personal challenge in some new way. Today I’m breaking from that pattern just a bit and sharing a project I just finished....

Biscuit Math

We humans have a charming habit of measuring stuff in relation to ourselves. Thus we segment areas in feet and report the height of horses in hands. Tiny things we say are thinner than a hair, presumably one of our own. As earthlings we measure vast distances of space...

Healing Animals

A somewhat recent development in the assortment of ‘non-traditional’ modalities available at medical treatment facilities has been the inclusion of visitor animals. Usually dogs, though sometimes cats, rabbits and even llamas and miniature horses are...

A Breath of Fresh Thinking

The cadence of our lives often takes on a staccato quality more akin to chatter, flack and chaos rather than a nicely balanced ebb and flow we know to be healthier. Horses seem more serene than we humans usually are. More at peace. They chew their hay with a solemn...