Thank you for visiting the Life at Ravenheart Blog. Ravenheart Farms is located near Kamsack, Saskatchewan, Canada (about 4 hours from Saskatoon, 3 hours from Regina, and less than an our from the growing city of Yorkton, SK).

Monday, March 24, 2008

"The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives." Native American saying

Water. A precious gift and so often taken for granted. We are so blessed in this part of the world. We turn on a tap and water flows. Prior to living in the country, I rarely gave much thought to water. Yes, I did my best to conserve it, shorter showers, not leaving it running when brushing my teeth and doing dishes etc. I respected, appreciated, and was grateful for water when I lived in the city. Yet, I am much more aware of the sweet gift of water these days. Pure, clean, fresh and abundant water! Ravenheart is blessed with a wonderful well. Testing the water resulted in clean, safe drinking water, both from the kitchen tap and the horse hydrant. A front-load washer and reminding guests that "if it's yellow, let it mellow, and if it's brown, flush it down" are some ways we conserve. Protecting the ground water is a priority. No chemicals are used on the garden or lawn. Care is taken in maintaing the well and septic system. Softeners, iron removers, reverse osmosis, all new to me but now part of daily living as I perform my daily visit to the "basement" to check on the "systems".

So, yesterday when I went to the horse hydrant to fill a bucket for Spirit and no water flowed, I was shocked. What could be wrong. Panic set in quickly, as this is the main hydrant I use to fill the horse trough. With some research on the web I learn that a "frost-free hydrant" can freeze if the handle is left open slightly, no allowing all the water to drain down below frost level, or that filling small buckets instead of the large trough, can also cause it to freeze up. Since Spirit arrived (see earlier post), I have been hauling buckets to him, as he is in a separate paddock where there is no heated horse trough. I learn that filling one or two buckets, 3 or 4 times daily, can cause a problem. I learn that I could have just scooped buckets of water from the main horse trough and then filled it up, using way more water, which I guess is better. Oh, how I yearn for Spring!

The plumber will arrive this evening to check it out. I trust it will be an easy fix. In the meantime, I will be hauling buckets from the house. It is snowing today, so shovels full of white, fluffy snow is finding its way into the heated trough. Today I even appreciate the snow!

As I write this, I am listening to CBC Radio Saskatchewan on water. "Should it be a human right?" "Should everyone be on a water meter?" These are important things to ponder. All humans have the right to water. I am willing to share the water at Ravenheart. Maybe someday it won't be my choice to make. In the meantime, I will honour and appreciate the precious gift of water. A neighbour just up the road has drilled for water and found none, so they haul it in. This is a reality for many farmers and rural residents.

I offer this prayer...

We return thanks to our mother, the earth,
which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams,
which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs,
which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the corn, and to her sisters,
the beans and squashes,
which give us life.
We return thanks to the wind,
which, moving the air
has banished diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars,
which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun,
that he has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit,
in whom is embodied all goodness,
and who directs all things for the good of his children.
Source: Earth Prayers from Around the World - IROQUOIS PRAYER (adapted)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Welcome to Spirit!

Small in size but big in attitude! Spirit is the newest herd member at Ravenheart. This story reminds me of visiting a country market in the Laurentians (Quebec) on a field trip when I was in grade school. You could buy anything at this market, including baby goats for a dollar! If not for the bus driver who stopped me from boarding the bus, I would have arrived home (in town) with a baby goat in my arms. Not only did we live in the city, but my Dad had a definite aversion to goats...due to being chased by one as a youngster. Now that I live on a "farm", the billboard at the local mall is a risky place for me. In January I saw an ad for a sleigh...and a few days later it arrived in my yard, delivered by the artisan who I called "just to check it out." A couple of weeks ago I just happened to notice an ad that said "miniature horse for sale." No pictures or description, just those little pull-off tabs with the phone numbers...and one found it's way into my pocket. It couldn't hurt to call could it??? "Oh, he's a stallion. And he's the only horse we have, so he's all alone! And the kids aren't really interested anymore? We're asking $299, but we're open to offers"!!! Ok, I thought, we'll just go and see him. Melva came along. "Oh, she say's, I can help buy him." "He's so cute!" "And so fat!" (something to do with a hay bale bigger than him). So, the research started immediately with questions such as: What are the risks/benefits in gelding a 10 year old stallion? How can we safely and successfully introduce him to the herd and will they accept him, be afraid of him, bully him? Where will we keep him until he is gelded and fully recovered? Will he willingly load in the horse trailer? How will he react to the mares and how will they react to him? Will it be mayhem? What in the world are we thinking???

Well, I'm glad to report that overall things are going smoothly so far. A young neighbour and experienced horse woman, Amanda (Equine Massage and Chiropractic) offered to pick him up with her horse trailer. She calmly lead him around the yard, taking him back and forth to the trailer so he could check it out in a relaxed way. Amanda then laid out a handful of oats, and he stepped right on. Doors were closed and all was quiet on the trip home, thankfully just a short 1/2 hour drive. Upon arriving at Ravenheart, he stepped off the trailer calmly and all was well till he got sight of the horses. Then it was all Amanda could do to hold on to him. Thank goodness he's a mini. Once in the paddock there was plenty of snorting and whinnying and chaos, but thanks to a good electric fence, all took place without harm to anyone. He spent the first few days running back and forth along the fence if Raven and the mares got out of sight of his paddock. The vet is coming soon to geld him. After much research, I trust that things will go smoothly and he will recover easily and quickly, and in a few weeks be able to join the herd and enjoy the gentle company of Raven, Sugar, Lacey and Brownie, along with his new role in the Equine-Assisted Learning team at Ravenheart Farms.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

For the Love of Horses

For the Love of Horses

“You took me to adventure and to love. We two have shared great joy and great sorrow. And now I stand at the gate of the paddock watching you run in an ecstasy of freedom, knowing you will return to stand quietly, loyally, beside me.” Pam Brown, Author

The horses are calling. A powerful transformation is taking place all over the globe. Our way of being with horses is evolving to higher ground and the horses are leading the way. This is profoundly evident by a Google of phrases such as equine assisted learning (EAL/EAP), spirit of horses, healing with horses, way of the horse, One with the Herd, the Tao of Equus, and Path of the Horse, which is just a few examples resulting in a vast array of websites and articles linking to this powerful and emerging way of being with horses. Amongst these sites are thousands of heart-felt testimonials from people who have been deeply moved and inspired through experiencing horses in this way.

Horses symbolize a magical balance of peace, power, beauty, and grace. Merely the sight of a horse galloping playfully across an open field or grazing peacefully in a pasture is enthralling. We are captivated by their power and elegance, and respectful or downright intimidated by their immense size. As long as we have inhabited the earth, humans have treasured horses for their exquisite beauty and have profited from their generosity of spirit, strength, versatility and power.

A reawakened “horse whisperer” approach to training and relating to horses is rapidly gaining ground. For people with a love and passion for horses, this movement is deeply welcome. It is no longer acceptable to “break” a horse. Words commonly heard these days are “relationship, natural horsemanship, trust, understanding, harmony, communication, lead, allow, partnership”. The “old” ways of training horses through dominance, fear, control, and force are falling away and being replaced all over the world with relationship, respect, and understanding.

In addition, horses are enriching our lives through their ability to bring us joyfully into the present moment and provide us with opportunities for clarity, understanding and reflection through activities such as Equine Assisted Learning/Therapy (EAL & EAP), therapeutic riding and Hippotherapy. Therapists, counselors, healers, life coaches, corporate leaders and spiritual communities around the globe are enthusiastically embracing this magnificent and inspiring movement.

Horses evoke a myriad of emotions within us. Play, lightness of spirit, love, calmness, and reverence. They present us with opportunities to connect to the deepest part of our spirit and reconnect to our true selves. If you want to pause, open your heart, uncover incongruent or buried emotions, and recognize your inner gifts, spend time in the presence of a most magnificent spiritual teacher and healer – the horse.