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Blue Heron Stables

connecting horse and human through body, mind & spirit


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.

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!!!!

Change of Seasons

Posted on October 7, 2012 at 9:56 AM Comments comments (67)
As the season of summer changes into the crispness of fall, I find myself changing with the cooler winds that blow across our fields.  When the fields become empty of the soybeans and the eighth of the hay is not even enough for a field mouse to get lost in, I know that the hazy days of summer have ended and a sense of rejuvenation takes place within my body.
This is my favourite time of the year.  A small window of beautiful foliage from young and old maple trees, the sounds of the geese gearing up for their trip back to the south, the coyotes at night stirring up the quietness of the dark and the dancing and playing of the horses out in the field.  No longer being bothered by the pesky flies and the heat of the sun.  I look out and see jumps and kicks and rearing and bucking that only the cool air  and the nip in the wind can produce.
There are days when my body feels like jumping and kicking with the joy of autumn.  But it seems that turning 50 this year has reminded me that I am no longer that young mare who has all the energy in the world but a wiser and older mare who enjoys a good romp out in the field but knows when the body is tired and is happy to oversee her herd.  Turning 50 has also brought on emotions that seem to explode at the most inopportune times..... just ask my husband.  The emotional roller coaster that mid life can bring and has been mentioned to me by women who have already "been there" has been trying to say the least. 
Yesterday was one of those trying times.  I've come to a point in my life where I'm somewhat unsure as to my journey with horses.  At least up until this past week when I conducted my very first one on one Woman's Clinic with a lovely woman from Orangeville.  She came for 2 days, totally unsure as to what to expect, having no experience with horses and for me, praying that this experience with the horses would have an impact on her.  My prayers came true.  We had so much fun, lots of laughs and yes, a few tears as well.  But the most beautiful moments included Kim and Magic.  My draft cross mare showed me exactly why she is here on this farm.  Although she prefers to just hang out and eat and be the alpha mare in her herd, she showed me for two days what she could offer to people.  Kim went into the paddock to be up close and personal with the horses, and when the 4 left to go about eating, Magic never left her side.  Kim fell in love and through 2 days of working together , Kim found strength in herself that Magic drew from her.  She taught her how to be assertive, confident and a respectful leader.  Magic also showed Kim that putting up boundaries was a positive attribute that everyone should find in themselves, and can
easily be worked into their own lives. 
Those 2 days taught me one lesson....follow your dreams.  And my dreams have been to have a safe place for workshops involving the horses as teachers .  We have been blessed to have such a beautiful, peaceful energy on this property which allows people to come and truly walk away feeling at ease. 
My Sasha reminded me of that feeling yesterday.  I had not brought her in to work for quite sometime.  She woke me up and got me out of my head.... after  landing on the ground when she and her 1200 pounds decided to go right instead of left.  I was only leading her, as I don't ride my horses anymore...  but what was interesting and enlightening, was that this big mare saw me fall, stopped and came back and I believe looked at me and said " don't try and fool me with thoughts from your head..... I felt in your body that you weren't with me at the moment..... I'm always here for you, but you must always be here for me when we are together"   So with a deep breath I took up the lead rope and we went into the arena and all that she had been taught, she gave, sometimes with resistance and sometimes without.  She kept me on my toes and in the moment.  When we were done I sat at her feet and she never left, playing with my hair and keeping me safe.
Although my mid life is not a crisis, physical and emotional changes are inevitable, and I will just have to make sure I'm aware of those changes, which require I stay in the moment.  And I see that after the experience Kim had with Magic, that's what I want to offer people.  The magic of horses, the magic of enjoying every moment we are given and whatever comes up, then let it be....... being here on this farm is a gift for me and my family of horses are willing to share their gifts.....
When I became a vegan for ethical reasons, I turned a direction that has been rewarding, difficult at times, but one that I will never regret.  I believe we all have something to share with people, and I'm so grateful to be able to share what my husband and I have here.  I hope that people looking to find something a little different with horses will come across this blog and perhaps investigate further as to the magic of horses..............

Horse Camp

Posted on July 9, 2012 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (306)
Again, I haven't posted anything for a while, but I did want to share the wonderful experiences and and the great time we had here at the farm on the long weekend of Canada Day.
Blue Heron hosted another Horsemanship Clinic with Chris Irwin.  Unfortunately the clinic wasn't busy as far as spectators were concerned, we did have a full 2 days of Private Lessons and Train the Trainer Programs which were quite successful.  The horses certainly got what they needed during those 4 days and I do believe people left feeling great about what they learned and what they could go home to with the knowledge to carry on the work with their horses.
What was wonderful for myself and my husband Rick, were the people that participated in the clinic.  They began to arrive Saturday afternoon, much like young children come to spend a week at camp.  Everyone getting to know everyone else, scoping out the sites, testing the warmth of the pond water, getting to know the other horses, settling their own horses in their stalls.  We had a couple of families take part in the clinic and when the kids weren't watching dad or grama ride, they were off walking the trails or swimming at the pond in our back yard.  The weather was absolutely beautiful the whole weekend, and the clinic was just small enough that it made for a really nice close knit atmosphere with everyone.  The barbeques were wonderful, and yes, the wine was lovely.
As I sit and write this, I am most grateful that Rick and I are able to provide a setting in which people feel so comfortable and at home, knowing that their horses are looked after, even when everyone has gone back to their hotels for the night, that people can just be who they are, and no one is sitting around judging other people for  whatever reasons.  There were people with lots of experience in the  Chris Irwin methodology and some learning this program for the first time.  We all learned from each other and came away with wonderful friendships at the end of it all.  The energy level at the farm was incredible and when everyone leaves.....well I get to bask in all the good energy that is left floating over the farm :)
I would also like to say to Chris.....  this was one of the most rewarding clinics for me as I really got to see Chris in action as far as riding.  Most people at these clinics are eager to ride their own horses and get Chris' help from the ground, however there were a couple of horses that he did ride and help get them through some issues that perhaps the owners would not have been as successful as fast as Chris could provide when doing this clinic.  I knew he was a good rider, but this clinic proved to me that he is more then good... I truly was in awe of his commitment to what he needed to accomplish, his 100% focus he gave to each and every horse he worked with and that these horses thanked him for his diligent work by becoming supple and relaxed and calm.  And without sounding too gushy, it truly was a beautiful thing to watch. 
And lastly..... to my husband.   Rick doesn't participate in the clinics as far as horses are concerned, but he probably has the most important job which is happily entertaining the people that do come to stay.  He puts on the greatest barbeques, takes people on walking tours of the trails, makes this farm look like a million dollars with his impeccable upkeep (my professional groundskeeper) feeds and water horses when I'm busy sitting in on lessons, basically, the clinics would not be what they are without his help.  Sometimes it can get abit stressful but we try to remember to take a deep breath once in a while and just go with the flow.
In the end, if this ends up being the last Chris Irwin clinic we hold, it was truly a memorable one.  It was hard to watch everyone leave, not knowing if they might be returning again with their families and horses, but with any luck we might beable to experience this again in the fall.  If not......... and if anyone is reading this, to ALL the wonderful people who have come to stay and visit our farm for these clinics, I would like to say THANK YOU , THANK YOU, THANK YOU.
Each and everyone of you have made such a difference in my life and I'm grateful for the experiences and friendships I have made over the past 4 years.  It's been a blast.
And to Chris, if you are reading this..... thank you for the opportunity to hold your clinics.  It has been an incredible experience.
I will always be grateful for your friendship.


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