Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Miss Mitzvah { aka Mitzie}

I must add a picture of our resident prima donna kitty, Mitzie.
She is soon to be 8 years old, and was also a rescued kitten.
Mitzie showed up on my Mom's doorstep one morning, very skinny and flea-ridden.
Her real name is Mitzvah, which means good deed. We felt compelled to help her, as we continue to feel compelled to help all animals in need.
She has such a skeptical look on her face, but is truly a sweetheart.
We are taking her back in to the vet next Thursday, as she needs some dental work.
{Maybe that's why she has that look on her face!}

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Our rescued babies!

This is a picture of Buddy, our Jack Russell terrier, and a picture of our two rescue kitties, Max and Molly.. They all get along famously and have been known to curl up together on the doggie bed. {Notice the sock on the blanket behind Buddy! This was grabbed from the laundry basket moments beforehand! Bad doggie...bad doggie!}

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Godspeed, Sally

I loved Sally Swift's books and still have my original copy of 'Centered Riding'. Helped me to make my horse's job alot easier.
If you've never heard of Sally Swift or Centered Riding, check it out.
Your horse will thank you, too!

By STEPHEN MILLER of the Wall Street Journal

Adding a new-age spin to an ancient practice, Sally Swift garnered a world-wide audience for sensitive horsemanship with what she called "Centered Riding."
Borrowing from such body-awareness disciplines as the Alexander Technique and tai chi, Centered Riding stresses balance, breathing and visualization to meld rider and horse. "Imagine eyes in your chest that look in the direction of the turn," her book "Centered Riding" urged. She had this advice for nervous riders on ill-at-ease horses: "You can breathe a horse to quietness."
The book and a follow-up, "Centered Riding II," sold more than 800,000 copies in 15 languages according to Centered Riding Inc., a Perkiomenville, Pa., foundation devoted to propagating Ms. Swift's ideas. The technique is taught as a supplement to classical horsemanship at riding centers across the U.S. and in nations as far-flung as Norway and New Zealand.
Ms. Swift's techniques have been compared to Zen or Yoga on horseback, but they stemmed in part from her own awareness of body mechanics owing to a childhood condition, scoliosis. Therapy included a back brace, but also exercises that stressed body awareness.
"I was very fortunate because people in my circumstances were often put into full-body casts or had spinal fusions or other unpleasant experiences," she wrote in "Centered Riding." She added, "I was given the freedom of many years of enormous happiness on a horse."
The daughter of a hydrological engineer, Ms. Swift grew up outside Boston and had already been on horseback for several years when she was diagnosed with spinal curvature at age 8. Therapy "encouraged my riding, because it used both sides of my body equally," she told Horse & Rider magazine in 2000.
Worried that too much sitting would aggravate her condition, she postponed college and became a riding instructor. "Even the best riders and instructors, with their innate coordination, were not teaching people how to handle their bodies. They were teaching them only what to do," Ms. Swift wrote.
Several decades later, after a career in the dairy industry, she retired and went back to riding, but her back had deteriorated. "I was standing tipped to the side and was frequently in pain." A new round of therapy including the Alexander Technique and tai chi set her on course to developing Centered Riding. She said she later found that Eastern techniques had already been applied to other activities, including skiing. In recent years, "centered" approaches have emerged in driving and singing, says Denise McCluggage, author of "The Centered Skier
She continued to instruct into her 90s using body-awareness disciplines.
Adds Susan Harris, an equestrian author and former apprentice of Ms. Swift, "Now I see riding instructors using breathing control as a matter of course. Horses are much more sensitive than people realize, because they are prey animals."
Ms. Swift continued to instruct riders into her 90s at Southmowing Stables in Guilford, Vt. She said in the Horse & Rider interview that two things could bring tears to her eyes: a beautiful performance on a horse and a brass marching band.
In 2006, she was inducted into the U.S. Dressage Federation's hall of fame, which called her "a quiet ambassador for a more harmonious connection between horse and rider."
She died April 2 at age 95.

A Favorite Saying

"The grace of God is found between the saddle and the ground"
-Old Irish Saying

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I'm So Blessed

I came across this very cool little article that makes so much sense I wanted to share it.
I knew the first moment I saw the man who would become my best friend,husband, and biggest supporter, that this was a person of infinite character, depth, and love. I feel so fortunate to have him in my life. Although there may be a point or two we could work on, we have instinctively followed this advice for years.
May you be blessed with a genuine soulmate- someone who truly loves and believes in you, no matter what. Someone who celebrates and supports you just the way you are, and always has your best interests at heart.

10 Signs Of A Healthy Relationship
By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

"My parents had a very good relationship," I often hear my clients say.

"What do you mean by good?" I ask.

"They didn't fight. They spent a lot of time with each other."

That may have been the definition of a good relationship years ago, but now most people want more. Following are ten signs of a healthy relationship.


Is kindness more important to each of you than having your way, being in control, or being right? Do you each receive joy out of being kind to each other? Being kind rather than controlling with each other is essential for a healthy relationship.


Do you and your partner well up with warmth and fullness of heart for each other and express it with affection? Are you each able to see the beautiful essence within each other, rather than just the faults? Are you able to get beyond the
outer to the unique inner Self of each other? Do you enjoy sharing affection? Warmth and affection are vital for a healthy relationship.


Can the two of you laugh and play together? Do you appreciate and enjoy each other's sense of humor? In the midst of difficulties, can you help each other to lighten up with humor? Can you let down and be playful with each other, letting
yourselves be like kids together? Laughter and fun play a huge role in a healthy relationship.


Are you both each other's favorite person to spend time with? Are you motivated to set aside time just to be together? Do both of you have friends and interests that you enjoy doing? Are both of you fine when you are not together?

Some couples spend a lot of time together because they really enjoy it, while others spend a lot of time together out of fear of being alone. It is important for a healthy relationship for each person to have friends and interests, so that they are not dependent on each other. Dependency is not healthy in a relationship, particularly emotional dependency.


All relationships have some conflict. It is not the conflict
that is the issue, but how you deal with it. Do you have a
method for resolving conflict, or do the issues just keep
getting swept aside? If fighting is part of how you deal with
conflict, do you fight fair, or are you hurtful when you fight?


If one or both of you get angry, do you hang on to it, punishing your partner with it, or can you easily let it go? In healthy relationships, both partners are able to quickly move on, back into kindness and affection.


Do you each trust that the love is solid, even in very difficult times between you? Do you each know that you can mess up, fail, disappoint the other, emotionally hurt the other – and the love will still be there? Do you each know that the love is
about who you are, not what you do? This level of trust is essential for a healthy relationship.


Do you each feel heard, understood and accepted? Can you share your secrets with your partner without fearing being judged? Are you each more interested in learning about yourselves and each other than you are in controlling each other? Is listening to each other with an open heart and a desire to understand more
important than judging each other or defending yourselves?


Is your sexual relationship warm and caring? Can you be sexually spontaneous? Can you talk with each other about what brings pleasure to each of you?


Do you each feel free to be all that you are? Do you each feel supported in pursuing what brings you joy? Does your partner feel joy for your joy?

While some people may naturally be open, kind, affectionate, accepting, and emotionally responsible for themselves, most people need to heal the fears and false beliefs they learned in their families. Healthy relationships evolve as each person evolves in his or her ability to be loving to themselves and each other.