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Friday, May 31, 2013

Invitation to connect on LinkedIn

From Judith Falk
Equine Sports Massage Practitioner at Second Wind Equine Sports Massage
Burlington, Vermont Area

I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

- Judith

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Favorite Time of Year to Ride!

My Favorite Time to Ride

The crickets are chirping, the air is drier and the nights decidedly cooler. While I don't want to rush out of summer and into fall, I do love this time of year most of all to ride, be with horses and enjoy the outdoors.
Something about the quality of light and the smell in the air. Something about the leaves beginning to rustle in the wind, the huge mixed flocks of blackbirds, starlings and cowbirds swirling through the sky or lining the wires. And yes, even something about needing a sweater when the sun goes down, or feeling a chill when I walk out to the barn in the morning.

I was born in the fall, and I don't know if that matters, but it has always seemed like "my time of year." Riding during these days never fails to make me smile, and feel great. Even the occasional rainy day is fine, when you have a great ride and come inside to dry off and have a cup of tea.

Anybody want to share their favorite time of year to ride?

Monday, August 27, 2012

End of summer reflections

Summer is winding down--what is your favorite memory that you created with your horse this summer?  Galloping across a field?  Taking that perfect lesson?  Winning a class that you have worked SOOO hard to perfect your skills for?  Maybe watching someone else ride your horse, and getting the chance to see how beautifully he moves?  Spending some down time with your horse, in a long grooming session?  

Whatever your answer, take a moment to look back and enjoy your accomplishments, and those of your horse.  And enjoy anticipating the accomplishments yet to come....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The world according to Danzig

I had the most amazing experience with my new horse, Danzig, recently.  In fact, it was so mind-blowing that I hardly know where to start.

I could start by telling you that that I bought Danzig, an 11 year old OTTB, a mere two weeks ago to be my new field hunter, and that it was love at first sight.  But most of you already know that, as I have been barley able to speak without inserting Danzig into the conversation one way or another.  

Or I could begin by telling you about the Animal Communication Workshop I took in June with Amelia Kinkade, and what a life-transforming event it was.  To have the opportunity to be with 40 or so like-minded folks, all of us there to hone our animal communications skills, and work with such a gifted and talented teacher was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. One of the skills that we worked on was doing body scans on animals, “inserting” ourselves into the animal to allow us to see what they see, feel what they feel. It was transformative.

I could also get the discussing rolling by asking you to relate some of your own successes in inter-species communication—and whether you are aware of these successes or not,  I’d be willing to bet the family farm that you have had just such an interaction with an animal, one where you knew what the animal was thinking and feeling, without knowing how you came by such knowledge.  

Here’s what happened.  We had just finished a lovely hack, with Danzig being his usual curious, enthusiastic self (“Let’s go here!  What’s over there?  What’s around the next bend?”) and were returning home.  We got to the pasture where I keep my sheep, and that’s when it happened.  Danzig stood there, riveted by the sights and sounds of the sheep, and suddenly, without me quite knowing how it happened, I was seeing the scene through his eyes, smelling what he smelled, FEELING what he was FEELING.   It was incredible—I was no longer in my body, I had become part of him, and could fully understand things from his perspective.  For Danzig, the sheep seemed to be magically appearing, as he couldn’t see the barn door from where they were emerging.  And the noises they were making!  The funny way they moved!  The shape of them!  And then, just as suddenly, without me knowing the connection had been “broken”, I was back in my own body, and able to verbalize to him what the sheep were, what they were like, what their jobs are (although we were communicating non-verbally the entire time).   

I’ve said it many times before, we all have the ability to communicate with our animals, it’s a matter of being willing to take the time to practice, like you would any other skill you are trying to perfect.  I’ve never had an experience quite like this one, but I’m confident that it will happen again.  And I can’t wait for the next time!

Here’s wishing for many connected moments for you and your horses.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


As spring turns to summer, and riding season is truly upon us, I become both excited and nervous. Why?
The expectations that the season brings makes me at the same time eager to get out there and do things, and also afraid I won't measure up, or make the grade.
But who is the scorekeeper? I am! I am the one who sets my own goals, my own challenges, and my own measures of success. Whose voice tells me what is a job well done, and what is not?
This year, I promised myself to base my expectations on only what I feel my horse and I can or cannot do. If it is the same as last year, who cares? If it isn't as brilliant as the rider after me, so what? All I need to think about is: Did we do our best? What can we do better? Were we prepared for the goal?
If I focus on answering those questions, then I can accurately measure "success" based on how well we actually performed, rather than how it stacks up against others (or how I believe it compares).
So this summer, I'm going to prepare, set clear obtainable goals, and listen only to my heart and my horse instead of imaginary voices. And hopefully you will see us out there trying our best, and smiling about a job well done. Good luck to you all, whatever your season's goals are!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Let's go!

Spring is here—it’s the perfect time to sign up for an individual CEGA session for some fine-tuning as you head out on the trails or into the show ring!  Or be sure to join us for our upcoming session, Stress-Free Riding at Home and Away, to be  held at The Equestry in New Haven, VT on Sunday 4/29. Our goal is to help you and your horse get the most out of your time together!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The harder we try, the less we accomplish?

Yesterday, during my lesson. I rode a horse that I have ridden a few times now.  He can be lazy, and requires a bit of leg/incentive to keep his energy moving forward without falling on his forehand.  I found myself working harder and harder to keep him going. I gripped with my legs and used my stick and gripped harder with my legs. I collapsed my body, so I could use more leg.  I began paying less and less attention to being in the moment, as my frustration began to rise.  I'm sure you can recall a time when you just wished your horse would do what you asked.  Well here's the thing, this horse is all about ease and flow and how you use your energy.  I of course had totally lost that and needed reminding about how this horse would be able to hear what I was asking for.
Finally after trying REALLY hard.  I was reminded of energy and flow and how if I were to become clearer and more fluid perhaps I might get more from this horse.  OMG what a life lesson.  Sometimes I get so focused on trying to create something that I forget about what it is I am really looking to do or have.  When I take the time to be in the moment, and stay with my horse with clear intent and energy my ride, my life, my work all flow with greater ease. Where could doing less with greater clarity be more in your life?