This is a story about a very sweet dog, I often see him in my head when I am in need of comfort and the assurance that everything really is okay, to do my best to relax, trust and have some faith that what I am creating will turn out better than I can imagine.
It is autumn, I am sitting in a chilly garage in New Brunswick, Canada. With me, is a lovely woman in her 40’s, her Mum and a jaunty, cheerful Jack Russell. He has just driven with his lovely human from Ottawa. His human is mentally and physically fatigued, is crying, sad, her spirits are low and she is experiencing some culture shock. She has just packed up, moved house, quit her job, split from her husband, driven 985 km and is living with her Mum. She is in very much doubt about her decisions and is really upset about whether bringing the Jack Russell, was the right thing to do. Would he have rather stayed in Ottawa with her husband? [Read more…]
Acupressure is an ancient healing art developed in Asia over 3,000 years ago, using the fingers to press key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s natural self-curative abilities. When these points are pressed, they release muscular tension, and promote the circulation of blood and the body’s life force energy (Qi or chi) to promote health and healing. Using the same points as Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupressure applies a comfortable range of pressure from gentle to firm. Acupressure is safe, non-toxic and definitely habit forming… And the horses highly recommend it!
To perform acupressure, place the ball of your thumb or middle finger on the acupressure point. Gently apply direct pressure to the point while exhaling. Use prolonged pressure directly on the point; gradual, steady, penetrating pressure for approximately three minutes is ideal. Slowly release the point while inhaling and move on to the next point. Trust yourself, relax, breath deeply, go with the flow of energy and enjoy!
I was very surprised, when a friend of mine at the barn, told me about her horse’s delight in eating bananas as a treat after her riding lessons. She also mentioned that bananas and salt, were an excellent electrolyte for horses. Curious, I consulted my friend Pam MacKenzie, who is a Purina Certified Equine Feed Consultant for Atlantic Canada. Pam’s experience and knowledge on nutrition and improving the well being of horses is vast, she is my go to person for all related queries. I am grateful to her for answering my questions! These were her answers.
Are bananas and salt an electrolyte?
Yes. Bananas rolled in salt (salt is an electrolyte when wet) create sodium chloride and potassium. Potassium, is often included in commercial electrolyte products, because, like sodium chloride, it is a component of sweat.
How much salt would I put on the banana?
The salt level: it depends on the day, the weather, what feed, hay etc., and the amount of sweat loss the horse is experiencing. Hydration, can change every 4 hours. Watch the horse and see if it is drinking after working, shipping, etc. Check hydration with the tent test.
Tent test: pick up a good pinch of horse’s skin at the neck and let go. If the skin snaps back immediately, the horse is properly hydrated.If the skin takes a little time to go back down, or, it stays up in a ‘tent’ shape, the horse needs more fluids.
This would be a beneficial time to give the horse a banana rolled in salt. Most horses like them and it is a nice way to get salt into them, to encourage and keep them drinking water. Plenty of clean, fresh water must be accessible for the horse to drink after eating the bananas and salt, or the horse will become more dehydrated. As horses are unable to drink on the road while in transit or in the show pen, it is best to only feed them this treat after trailering and after a competition when plenty of water is available.
Also, if the manure is loose the horse may have eaten too many bananas.
Most horses enjoy this natural way of restoring, replenishing and hydrating their systems. I was delighted while watching some of my horse friends gobble them up. So try it out, of course if the horse sniffs the banana and turns away, respect their choice and refrain from force feeding them!
Well, here I am, writing my first blog, in my new house! It is a very delightful experience indeed. I have been in transitional moving chaos for a month now, have been filmed for CBC news and had the amazingly inspiring opportunity to speak twice at the Atlantic Horse Fair to very appreciative crowds. Throughout, the horses have been reminding me to take deep breaths, exhale aaaahs and keep my mind as quiet as possible by focusing on the peace and beauty of my surroundings.
My new home is charming, tiny, cheerful and full of light. I loved it the moment we met. It is full of possibilities and I am appreciative of it’s inspiring effect. The only thing that has been missing in it’s loveliness was a connection to the internet. For three weeks, I have been ferrying my laptop to several locations with wifi and answering business emails, uploading CBC links and fretting about this blog. Sitting in your car seat, in a hotel parking lot is not condusive to a calm demeanour in professionalism and prompt replies to business enquiries! By last Friday, my tranquility and ability to remain focused and organized was fraying into anxiety, doubt and exasperation. As the rural wireless surveyor stood and informed me, that my location was not going to pass inspection for their wireless service, that I must wait three weeks, and then enquire whether internet was even feasible, I sat and cried. After he left, frazzled and having a panic attack that this location may indeed be unsuitable to do business in, a move may be in order, perhaps this had all been a mistake, on and on my mind raced in a frenzy of doubt, mistrust, judgement and criticism of my choices and decisions. Luckily, in the midst of this cloud of despair, I heard my friend Scully say…’Relax, there is a solution.’
So, I tried to relax. Everytime, my mind would speed up with the how’s, what’s and how come’s, Scully would say ‘Reee-LAX!, stretch and exhale’. Interesting indeed. Relaxing is a practise. During my move, I had been noticing, that I kept putting off relaxing into sometime in the future, by saying, ‘When I get this box moved, I’ll be able to relax.‘ Then as soon as the box was moved, I would say, something like this…’Now, after I sweep the floor, clean off the table and get the bathroom painted, I can relax.’ The horses kept reminding me, that it was necessary to relax WHILE I was doing the activity, instead of putting it off. That the act of doing must be relaxing. So, I did do my best to relax and let the internet solution occur, but after a few hours of hemming and hawing, I went to visit Scully in person. I told her, I was ready to blow something up, I was so frustrated. That I was tired and my mood gloomy and could only see the difficulty in the situation. When she pointed out that it was all a bit amusing and that there was a point to it, my reaction was rather curt, serious and impatient.Whatever could be amusing and what possibly could be the point of having to move again and not be able to easily keep up with my business?
‘Well,’ She said.’ Awhile ago, you asked us how you could improve your abilities in focusing and communicating with us more clearly, with less emotional entanglements…remember we suggested you unplug the TV and spend a lot less time on Facebook and surfing the internet? Well, without the internet the last few weeks, you have been forced to do this! It’s been really beneficial for you, the film shoot for CBC and the success of your talks in proof! So it is kind of amusing how it all has come about!’
Then, she turned around, and pushed her bum up to the stall door, stated she was sore from so much jumping in her first clinic of the season and recommended that I continue to relax by giving her some Reiki. After, an hour of standing and receiving some energizing, calming energy myself, my friend Wendy happened by, hearing about the internet frustrations, she made some helpful suggestions. The possibility of a solution occurred. Then, upon my return home another suggestion was on my answering machine! And guess what? That suggestion was the solution! And miracles of miracles, thank you internet guides, here I am writing this blog! So if you are frazzled by a problem, be aware of the action of relaxing, as Scully says, you have to relax and keep relaxing to let the solution occur, but be assured there is one!