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Blue Heron Stables

connecting horse and human through body, mind & spirit


Stories from the Soft Side of Sasha

Posted on April 21, 2016 at 7:38 AM Comments comments (6799)
It's easy enough to do, for some.  Others have a difficult time deciding where or how to begin.  This has always been the case for my friend, Terri.  You could also call her my care giver or steward.  She never liked the word owner but to me she has always been my partner, benevolent leader, my student and my teacher.

She has learned over the years that she is a reflection of me and I am a reflection of her. It's been a journey of twists and turns over smooth and rough surfaces on a path to understanding who we are and what our purpose in this life is.

My name is Sasha.  I'm one of the horses that call Blue Heron Stables home.  I'm one of six horses that are living here at the farm permanently.  Our herd has an additional 11 horses at the moment.  Not often is there transition in the herd, but every so often some of our friends do leave and others will appear.  We are lucky that way. There is more stability in our herd than in other herds.

I'm 15 years old.  I was bred with a Belgian and a Standard Hackney.  I'm a big girl with the coloring of the Hackney horse.  My job as lead mare has been mine for 11 years. It's not that I'm not challenged everyday, but it's only to keep me on my toes, and eventually I will want to give up my position, so others need to step up every once in a while to practice those leadership skills and qualities.  Although some may see me as a very tough and assertive leader, which I am, it's only because I demand respect when it comes to my boundaries.  But we live very peacefully and as long as there is plenty of food, water and space, our herd is quite content to let me watch over along with my partner Tony.

My friend, Terri, has always wanted to write about the horses and her journey over the past 15 years.  Terri's mother constantly tells her that she has so many stories to share and that people would be very interested in reading about the wonderful stories that come from running a horse farm.  It seems sometimes, that with Terri, she's always felt the struggle to communicate with her physical words as well as her creative words on paper. So, it was my suggestion, that perhaps she write the stories through my perspective.  Maybe people would be interested in hearing about life on the farm as seen through the eyes of this horse.  I mean, I am one of the two reasons Terri and her husband Rick purchased this property.  My dear friend, Bear was the other reason.  He passed on in September of 2015. 

So, it has been decided that I will tell the stories, through Terri and although it will be lovely if they are read, this truly is an exercise in creativity, trusting our heart and intuition that the words coming from the heart through the body and into the fingers to create words to tell a story will help Terri grow into a confident writer and know that the stories that end up on the pages are heart warming, funny and full of love and truth.

Our friendship goes beyond just a horse and human.  We have learned so much from each other over the past 15 years and she has taken me on a journey that I'm so very much grateful for.  I am one of the lucky ones who have been given an opportunity to be heard because Terri decided that things needed to change. 

I hope you'll enjoy the stories that come your way as much as I will enjoy sharing them.

Colorful Space

Posted on August 10, 2015 at 8:47 AM Comments comments (205)
 A wonderful friend of mine was out visiting yesterday and as we sat in our gazebo by the pond, she mentioned to me that there seemed to be more of a peacefulness to the property than ever before.  I asked my friend to explain what she meant by that as we had both mentioned that this place always has an wonderful vibe to it, but it seems, it was when she noticed that all 17 horses were now living a life as one herd with no closed gates between paddocks and fields which has allowed the horses to meander from field to paddocks without any restrictions, that there was a sense of ebb and flow.

It's true.  I don't think I have ever seen such calmness and a sense of real community since the horses have been given the opportunity to become one.  I must admit that I am very grateful to be able to provide that for these horses and when my husband and I have company it gives me such pleasure to be able to show our friends a little taste of "free horses". 

I can wake up in the morning and 17 horses are spread from one corner to the other corner of the 14 acres that they have to roam on, or I can come down to the barn and all 17 horses are together in a huddle in one of the paddocks.  Perhaps it's the meeting of the hearts,or some wise teachings being given out by the elders to the young geldings, who can provide so much entertainment by their rambunctious playing. 

So I am glad when I do force myself out of bed early in the morning hours in order that I might capture moments like the one above.  With dots of huge hearts on a green landscape below the blue of the sky, you might think these horses were roaming the foothills out west.  Some may say, it's only 14 or 15 acres, but for me it seems like so much more and it's been beautiful to witness how the horses responded to the space that they've been given.  It's been an ever expanding dream and I'm in much gratitude for those who have supported the unfolding of this vision.

The Quiet of the Evening

Posted on July 15, 2015 at 8:08 AM Comments comments (50)
On a quiet evening at Blue Heron Stables, I have the pleasure of walking out on to my deck to overlook the calmness, the beauty and the comfort that is being shown to me in front of my very own eyes, the meshing of two herds, 3 weeks ago that has now quite obviously become one.

It seems when I look back on my 10 years of living life as a farm gal, I have been in the process of experimentation and the horses have graciously allowed me to learn through mistakes.  They have been patient with my inexperience and have allowed me to revel in my right choices and learn from those other choices.  I have gained so much clarity by surrounding myself with incredible teachers, but truly it is the guidance of the horses and the listening to my heart that has given me the gift to stand out here this evening and thank the universe for expanding my dreams to this point. 

There are so many nuances happening within the 15 member herd, that I am most grateful to be a witness to.  It truly is observing everyday, a huge family with little children running around, teenagers trying to find their way into the thick of the family, and the wisdom and knowledge being given out everyday by the elders of the herd. 

Unlike a wild herd , these horses come with people attached to them and that truly is the greatest gift of all because not only do I have a relationship with each and every one of the horses that live here, I also have a special connection with each and everyone of their companions.   To each and everyone of you, your trust and faith in the care of your horses and the friendships that you have given to me and my husband, are never taken for granted and most certainly I wake up every morning with the deepest gratitude for the experiences of love and laughter and tears.

"Life is good"

Letting go of the Fear

Posted on January 3, 2013 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (183)
It's a new year.  And as with the coming of a new year, we all tend to decide what resolutions or changes we want to make in our life that we can all hopefully stick to. There are always the food resolutions, the weight resolutions, spend more time with my friends and family resolutions.  I decided to not do the resolution promised this year.
I have a plan in mind for 2013 and it's to unfold the dream of a farm that shows compassion to horses and humans alike. The dream to provide people with the knowledge about horses in a way that perhaps they never thought about. My dream is to have Blue Heron Stables represent horses in a way that we as humans can learn to trust, build confidence, build better relationships based on trust and leadership and compassion toward our equine friends.
I gave up riding almost a year ago based on feelings that I had felt for most of my life. The heart was voicing it's opinion in a stronger way then my mind could convince otherwise. So I decided to listen to my heart and my gut.  I also started to research the equine physiology and psychology, in order that I might understand fulling the effects that riding has on horses.  And I wanted to be able to answer peoples questions in regards to my decision, just in case anyone was interested :)
Although people are not busting down my doors to come and take horsemanship lessons from me, the wonderful girls that I do have come, have made me so proud.  These young women have opted to take their 1 hour riding lessons and learn from the ground up, from the importance of establishing a true deep connection with their horse, using no bits and bridles, and no saddles and a very strict limit of 15 minutes only on the backs of the horses. My goal is to show people that it doesn't have to be about the riding when it comes to horses, but it's also a lesson on the reasons why we need to consider whether we ride or not.  I want Blue Heron Stables to be the safe haven for those wanting to be with horses in a different way, to learn about horses in a different way and to provide an environment which people can feel comfortable knowing we are all doing the same thing together.
I have wonderful friends who have given me their support and respect for my decision to put away all of my tack, others will think me crazy, inexperienced, and uninformed but perhaps this is my resolution. 
To finally step out of my comfort zone, let go of the fear of embarrassment and self doubt and know that what is good for me and my horses will not be good for other people, but I will support and guide and provide the best service to my students as I possibly can to show them that my good intentions are for my horses and not to worry about comments about horses earning their keep, or "now what are you doing to do with them". They will do for us..... teach us confidence, compassion, self love, trust, leadership skills, ............  I've been a slow learner over the past 10 years, but I'm finally getting it and I see the gratitude in my horses eyes every day and with every student.
I hope that 2013 will be a year for all to see their dreams unfold. Think it....Believe it and you Will Receive it!!!!


Posted on March 4, 2012 at 4:59 PM Comments comments (158)
It's a wintering Sunday afternoon and I thought I'd just sit down and reflect the events of the past 3 days.  My friend Anne Gage and myself conducted our first WOMEN, WISDOM & WHISPERS clinic this past Thursday and Friday.  Doing a 2 day clinic during the week might have been pushing the envelope but I really wanted to try it and I decided to follow what my heart was saying.
Now, with the flyers and the advertisements and facebook and emails, you would think we would have a waiting list of women wanting to join us for these 2 days, but what we did end up with was a wonderful group of 5 women (which I was thrilled about) join us at Blue Heron Stables.  These 5 women did not know each other but at the end of the 2nd day you would have thought we had known each other for years.
The love of horses is what drew these women together but it was connections of body, mind and spirit that jelled all of us women at the end of the course. 
Our theme was the Intuitive Connections between Horse and Human and the experiences that were shared between all of us brought tears and laughter and a bond that will last a lifetime.  Between discussions in the coziness of the livingroom to the work with the horses in the arena, it brought about feelings and AHA moments for all of us. 
As the owner of the wonderful horses that we worked with during the 2 days, I have to say that I was practically brought to tears by the calmness and the relaxation of both the horses and the women.  The energy in the arena was electrifying as there were personal moments for each and every one of us.
I would like to personally thank Anne for her knowledge of horses and life experiences that she brings to these clinics and I'm grateful for her friendship.  We truly do work well together.  I would also like to say how grateful I am to beable to provide a space where women can come together to share, reflect and
be themselves in a safe environment and work with the most amazing animals that god could have created.  Because by providing this setting, I am meeting women I'm suppose to meet and enjoy having the experiences I'm suppose to have.  It's truly a wonderful thing !  So thank you to each and everyone of you
5 women who made the clinic what it was.  Just an incredible experience.
It was a busy weekend, as I did a Reiki course on the Saturday and was also
priviledge enough to have a healing done by the Reiki method as well as a healing done by a Shaman Practitioner.  It was the most incredible experience.  Again, met 2 wonderful women who loved and supported  the events
that happened that day. 
When my husband and I moved to this farm, I had a vision about a year later, and I'll be honest, this is hard to write down, but I'm learning to just be true to myself and be open with my heart, but the vision was to open our farm to clinics such as these and that is why I'm so grateful that Chris Irwin is here to add to his horsemanship clinics with his EAPD Program.  Equine Assisted Personal Development.  And for those men or women interested in learning more about this certified program just go to Chris' website, but if you're heading down a path and any of these words tug at your heart or gut, I encourage you to take a leap and at least inquire about it.  It might just make a difference in your life.  I'm learning to take those extra steps and it makes for a wonderful journey!!!
:) Thank you

Sunshine Somewhere

Posted on April 16, 2011 at 9:03 AM Comments comments (77)
Even when the clouds are over head and the rain is pouring down, I do try to remember that somewhere above the sun is still shining.  It's a terribly dull morning with lots of rain, so sometimes it's hard to find the positive motivation you'd like to have to skip down to the barn and feed the 'kids' and muck out stalls :) 
Then I do always remember how lucky I am to beable to have the health and strength to do all of that and that I'm not having to get dressed and go and work in an office all day and then come and do chores.  I admire anyone who's life is on that path.  At our clinic this past weekend I met a wonderful couple who own and run their own rescue horse farm.  They care for and nuture 46 horses and they both work full time as well.  And they were here to learn Chris Irwin's techniques for horse training, so that they would better connect with their horses and teach those who might adopt one of their horses.  You could tell that they love what they do and never complained about the amount of work it took to run such a large operation like that.  That's what I love about doing these clinics, I get to meet so many incredible people who have all the same goals in mind.  Learning the language of the horse so that we may all better understand the messages we are giving to our horses and the messages we are receiving back from them.
Then it makes it really easy to throw my muck boots on, rain Jacket and hat and skip down to the barn, with coffee in hand and say a big good morning to my four legged family!!!
Let the sunshine through you and have a great day!!

Good Morning

Posted on April 15, 2011 at 8:27 AM Comments comments (174)
As I sit here at my computer, I'm able to look out at a beautiful sunny morning and
see all my horses quietly feeding with the cool morning air gently blowing their tails.
I do find that the life of a horsewoman can be so serene and peaceful and often I will
just sit and watch and tell myself how grateful I am for this life.
After a fun clinic with the horses, it certainly inspires me once again to refresh some of those
riding and training skills that might have become stale over the winter months.  I had a wonderful lesson with one of my students yesterday with my big mare Sasha, whom I rode in the Chris Irwin Clinic this past weekend.  It was fun to take what the two of us did with Chris' lesson and use it with Jen and Sasha.  It's always nice to see it from a different perspective.  From the ground :)  I hope with the arrival of spring that all you horsewomen, and men, are feeling renewed, and inspired to spend lots of good quality time with your horses.  And if I've learned anything over the past few years is that quality time doesn't have to mean quantity.  There are days when sitting with my horses while they sleep in the fields or eat their hay, can be a wonderful lesson.
Enjoy your day!


Posted on April 12, 2011 at 8:56 AM Comments comments (166)
Hi Everyone
Please bare with me...this is all so very new to me.  I guess this makes me a blogger!
I just wanted to let people know that happen to see my website that we are here to
help, listen to, and share stories about people and their horses. 
As you know I am a Chris Irwin Certified Trainer and we have just finished our first
Horsemanship Clinic this past weekend.  As always it was alot of fun, alot of information and just a great experience meeting the challenges of new horses and  meeting alot of wonderful people as well. 
Our next event is in May when Chris will be here for his 2nd of 4 clinics and Train the Trainer Series.  Please go to his website for any information about the clinics and registrations. 
But I'd love to hear from anyone with any questions or success stories with their horses using Chris' training methods.  A little information or advice can go along way.
Look forward to this new world of blogging.